reply to post by BenReclused
Special question for "Agnostic Atheists":
How would Mr. Huxley respond to that? (Answer is available upon request.)
I already know what you will say. You will quote him talking about his position in respect to atheism. Saying he didn't want to identify as an
atheist. None of that will conflict with what I am saying. You'll notice in his quote how he describes the atheist. He is specifically talking about
the 'strong atheist' to which I have both acknowledged and said is an unintelligible position. He's talking about the atheist that is making a claim
of knowledge that god doesn't exist. He's not addressing the atheist that lacks the belief in god but isn't making that claim.
Here I will post it. And then most importantly quote his further explanation of agnosticism.
First. Your 'ace up your sleeve':
"When I reached intellectual maturity, and began to ask myself whether I was an atheist, a theist, or a pantheist; a materialist or an idealist; a
Christian or a freethinker, I found that the more I learned and reflected, the less ready was the answer; until at last I came to the conclusion that
I had neither art nor part with any of these denominations, except the last. The one thing in which most of these good people were agreed was the one
thing in which I differed from them. They were quite sure that they had attained a certain "gnosis"
--had more or less successfully solved
the problem of existence
; while I was quite sure I had not, and had a pretty strong conviction that the problem was insoluble. And, with Hume and
Kant on my side, I could not think myself presumptuous in holding fast by that opinion …"
He is clearly talking about the atheist who is claiming gnosis. The atheist that says that problem of existence has been solved. That's 1 of 2 kinds
of atheists. As has been shown to you now numerous times. Even your own definition of atheism you used in the other thread stated the two separate
positions of atheists.
Let's now quote his description of agnosticism:
"Agnosticism, in fact, is not a creed, but a method
, the essence of which lies in the rigorous application of a single principle. That
principle is of great antiquity; it is as old as Socrates; as old as the writer who said, 'Try all things, hold fast by that which is good'; it is the
foundation of the Reformation, which simply illustrated the axiom that every man should be able to give a reason for the faith that is in him
it is the great principle of Descartes; it is the fundamental axiom of modern science.
Positively the principle may be expressed: In matters of
the intellect, follow your reason as far as it will take you, without regard to any other consideration. And negatively: In matters of the intellect,
do not pretend that conclusions are certain which are not demonstrated or demonstrable.
That I take to be the agnostic faith, which if a man
keep whole and undefiled, he shall not be ashamed to look the universe in the face, whatever the future may have in store for him."
He would very much relate to the atheist that disbelieves in god due to a lack of evidence. What he wouldn't
agree with is that atheist
asserting certainty in that belief in an objective way since it wouldn't be intellectually honest to do so. The agnostic atheist is not asserting that
Again. Belief and knowledge are related but separate on this topic.
"Huxley identified agnosticism not as a creed but rather as a method of skeptical, evidence-based inquiry."
edit on 1-3-2014 by Lucid Lunacy because: (no reason