Here's my take on it.

Agnosticism is illogical and refutes itself. Agnosticism and agnostics characterize God as unknowable, ineffable, incomprehensible to all attempts to understand him. This doctrine is self-refuting. The agnostic is making a knowledge claim about what he/she claims is unknowable. How do agnostics know that God is unknowable if he is unknowable ? How do they even know that God's existence cannot be disproved if God is unknowable, or that God even exists if he is unknowable ? To claim any attribute for God is knowledge and claims to know this unknowable God possesses certain attributes. That's a logical contradiction, and any being containing two incompatible attributes cannot possibly exist. So one need not resort to agnosticism. He/she would be justified in not believing in that God if the concept of it contradicts itself in any way. One is justified in accepting and adopting the atheist position.

Tags: Agnosticism, Illogic, Refuting, Self

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Agnosticism and agnostics characterize God as unknowable, ineffable, incomprehensible to all attempts to understand him.

Ineffable - too great or extreme to be expressed or described in words.

So if something is not that great or extreme, it's effable?

Ain't English a fun language?

During twelve years in Catholic schools, most nuns delivered the usual absolutist claim. A few said faith is a gift  that some people weren't given. In college, quitting Catholicism, I went to two meetings of the student atheist club and heard people claiming to know what they had no evidence to support.

I was studying science and chose agnosticism.

Claim as you wish, Anthony. Present your evidence. A ten thousand word limit, please.

Agnosticism and agnostics characterize God as unknowable, ineffable, incomprehensible to all attempts to understand him.

No, they don't. It's Christian theologians who make that characterization of God. Here are the words of Dionysius the Areopagite in The Divine Names:

Indeed the inscrutable One is out of the reach of every rational process. Nor can any words come up to the inexpressible Good, this One, this Source of all unity, this supra-existent Being. Mind beyond mind, word beyond speech, it is gathered up by no discourse, by no intuition, by no name. It is and it is as no other being is. Cause of all existence, and therefore itself transcending existence, it alone could give an authoritative account of what it really is.

And here is St. Thomas Aquinas describing the via negativa:

 "Since we cannot know what God is, but only what God is not, we cannot consider how God is but only how He is not."

And before him, Saint Augustine:

What then, brethren, shall we say of God? For if thou hast been
able to understand what thou wouldest say, it is not God. If thou
hast been able to comprehend it, thou hast comprehended
something else instead of God. If thou hast been able to
comprehend him as thou thinkest, by so thinking thou hast
deceived thyself. This then is not God, if thou hast
comprehended it; but if this be God, thou has not comprehended

Sermon II Of the Words of Saint Matthew's Gospel, §16

However, they still insist that they know God exists through internal knowledge placed by God in each soul. In their view the atheist denies what he knows and is in rebellion against his own soul.

Kind of like being agnostic about Santa Claus, the Easter bunny, the summer garden divas, the Halloween Witch, or the Aztec Huitzilopochtli; or Egyptian Ra, or Mayan Itzamna, or Norse Frigg, or Roman God Apollo, or Greek god Zeus, or Celtic god Lugh, etc., etc. etc. 

You are not required to give everything that is possible your attention - and you can't, anyway. 

Passing judgement on its likelihood means giving it your attention. 

The only reason we attend to the God-conjecture is that some people believe it.  There is a common perception of God. 

Agnosticism does not necessarily mean giving the God-conjecture your attention, and deciding it's unknowable. 

It can be simply withholding your attention from the God-conjecture. 

You've made a valid and important point. We are not obliged to give equal attention to all ideas. How is the question decided? To me the answer is: Weltanschauung—the worldview in which we are embedded.

For example, the story of the Gadarene swine in the New testament shows that in Jesus's time the notion of demons was taken as the true explanation for extraordinary behavior. No one today gives that idea serious consideration. Is it because we have disproved the existence of demons? No, it's because our view of how the world works has shifted away from the supernatural.

Your choice about what you give your attention to, what ideas to entertain.  It's a subjective, interpersonal matter. 

Indeed it is subjective and personal, but much of it comes from the ideational environment in which you live.

Terence, Luara said it well.

I withhold my attention from X. Do you deny the existence of X?

Which of us fabricates evidence?

And Anthony persists in dividing the freethinker community....

Anthony says above that agnostics "characterize God as unknowable, ineffable", et cetera.

On the previous page, Dr. Clark provides support for his saying that Christian theologians made that characterization.

Anthony could have asked if agnostics here characterize as he says we do.

He says that to choose agnosticism is illogical. I saw my choice as rational.

"Tactless" describes his method rather well.


"And Anthony persists in dividing the freethinker community...." Tom Sarbeck.

Apparently Mr. Sarbeck has it in for me because I don't conform to the masses.

Anthony, if you knew me, you would know that I too don't conform to the masses.

Your use of the word "Apparently" softens your unsupported charge.

Had you omitted that word, I might have concluded you are paranoid.


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