I’m an agnostic. (Don’t ask me why.)

Last month I posted the following Facebook status.

I’m an agnostic. (Don’t ask me why.)

I meant it mainly as a joke.

Let me explain. An agnostic is someone who doesn’t know. So if you ask me why I’m an agnostic, I’m going to answer, “I don’t know!”

375885

I meant it mainly as a joke, but I also meant it partly as a statement of fact about me.

The term ‘agnostic’ was coined by 19th century English biologist Thomas Henry Huxley (who, incidentally, is best remembered as “Darwin’s Bulldog” for his advocacy of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution). He derived the term from the (Ancient) Greek ἀ- (a-), meaning “without”, and γνῶσις (gnōsis), meaning “knowledge”. Hence, the literal meaning of ‘agnostic’ is someone without knowledge. Huxley said

Agnosticism, in fact, is not a creed, but a method, the essence of which lies in the rigorous application of a single principle … 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.

Agnosticism is not a creed. Agnosticism says nothing about anything. That’s how it’s entirely possible (and, in my opinion, entirely desirable) to be both an agnostic and a Christian.

Agnosticism is not a creed. It’s a method(ology) only. And it’s about what conclusions are certain. (I’m not sure, but I think I’m not entirely certain about anything.)

I’ve studied more than enough philosophy to know not to put too much trust in the evidence of the senses or the deliverances of human reason. That’s one reason why the following is one of my favourite scriptures.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight. (NASB)

Do not lean on your own understanding. Seems pretty agnostic to me.

This entry was posted in Epistemology, Evolutionism, Proverbs, Semantics, Twisted Sister. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to I’m an agnostic. (Don’t ask me why.)

  1. Tim Wikiriwhi says:

    ‘Don’t lean unto thine own understanding’ is about making God’s word your final authority… *in those situations* when your own reasoning appears to make you question the character of God as revealed by the Bible…
    We are to be strong in faith that the Bible is trustworthy… and that we ought to heed it rather than determining to live by what we ourselves find convenient, or expedient.

    When you study the Bible, and the scope of your vision increases, and you see first hand how it integrates with reality…. your faith grows in assurance being under-girded with a confidence that your trust is well placed… inspite of the many ‘issues’ that our own understandings are well aware of.

    It is with my firm belief that God can be trusted to keep his promises that I declare myself to be a King James Bible believer… though I am well aware of the controversy of my choice… I trust in the Lord… rather than leaning unto ‘my own understanding’/human scholarship… which is based… and promotes the antithesis of faith in God’s divine preservation of his word.

    What We may vainly assert to be our higher contrary understanding of things to what the scriptures prescribe ought rather to be identified as *Our Ignorance*.

    Either we are mis-interpreting the scripture, or we dont know all the facts or reasoning’s of God for his Sovereign decisions.

    Where there is controversy… there is opportunity for discovery.
    We need not deny there is an issue, yet our faith ought to intuitively… and from past experiences make our decision to trust the scriptures to be our ‘natural’ choice.
    We are the Bible believers.

  2. Richard says:

    ‘Don’t lean unto thine own understanding’ is about making God’s word your final authority… *in those situations* when your own reasoning appears to make you question the character of God as revealed by the Bible…

    Well, Tim, that’s your interpretation. You’re welcome to it!

    It is with my firm belief that God can be trusted to keep his promises …

    But, yeah. I agree. That God can be trusted to keep his promises is what I call an axiom or “article of faith”. God exists and is not a deceiver.

    … that I declare myself to be a King James Bible believer… though I am well aware of the controversy of my choice…

    Yes, you are. 🙂

  3. P says:

    Not according to the rabbinic tradition. We are to question god, to argue with him, to run like Jonah when things appear ridiculous. That is the holy ground.
    Shake your fists at God like tiny antennae

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *