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Record My Mind: Banal Records of a Pedestrian Life

Suffering and evil overwhelm me and I stew in my own juice. 

Sunday, May 16, 2004

5/16/2004 10:47:00 pm - Great Doubt, Great Enlightenment. Little Doubt, Little Enlightenment. No doubt, No Enlightenment.

To some, agnosticism amounts to an indecisive sitting on the fence deserving of contempt. To me, it was always the most rational, open-minded and tenable position. It reflected an honest acknowledgment of ignorance, i.e. one can't decide not because one is wish-washy but because one has no basis to conclude either way. Hence, I was very thrilled last night to read about this description of agnosticism:

Agnoticism is often denigrated as a passive worldview, the philosophical equivalent of a shrug. But true agnosticism,
Batchelor contended, consists of the active cultivation of doubt and uncertainty in the face of the mystery of existence. An agnostic stance "is not based on disinterest. It is founded on a passionate recognition that I do not know." Agnosticism consists of an "intense perplexity that vibrates through the body and leaves the mind that seeks certainty nowhere to rest."

This description of agnosticism is the best I've encountered, it articulated agnosticism's appeal to me in a way that I vaguely felt but could never articulate as eloquently.


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