Please note that the text below was written by the feeling-being ‘Peter’ while ‘he’ lived in a pragmatic
(methodological), still-in-control/same-way-of-being Virtual Freedom before becoming actually free.
Agnosticism – the doctrine or
tenets of agnostics, an agnostic attitude;
Agnostic – A person who holds the view that nothing can
be known of the existence of God or of anything beyond material phenomena. Also, a person who is uncertain or non-committal about a particular
thing. Oxford Dictionary
Agnosticism – That doctrine which, professing
ignorance, neither asserts nor denies. Specifically: The doctrine that the existence of a personal Deity, an unseen world, etc., can be neither
proved nor disproved, because of the necessary limits of the human mind, or because of the insufficiency of the evidence furnished by physical
and physical data, to warrant a positive conclusion.’ Webster’s Dictionary
Peter: The philosophy of agnosticism, ‘the doctrine
which, professing ignorance, neither asserts nor denies’ is not only rooted in theism, its continued existence as a philosophy sustains
theistic belief, and its current popularity in some circles is, bizarrely enough, sustained by Eastern spiritual belief.
From my brief reading on the subject, the term agnostic was
publicly coined by T.H Huxley, a biologist, philosopher and champion of Darwin’s evolutionary theories, at a meeting of the Metaphysical
Society in London in 1869.
‘It came into my head as suggestively
antithetical to the ‘Gnostic’ of Church history who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant.’ T.H.Huxley
Hence agnosticism, as a philosophy of professing ignorance, was
rooted in opposition to those who claimed they had a special knowledge of spiritual mysteries, hence what some refer to as secular agnosticism
owes its existence to theism – or to put it plainly, if you hold no theistic beliefs whatsoever there is no need to be agnostic to those
beliefs. The reason I say that the philosophy of agnosticism sustains theistic belief can be summarized by the following quote –
‘The Atheist asserts that
there is no God, whereas the Agnostic maintains only that he does not know.’ Encyclopaedia
In other words, by maintaining he or she ‘does not know’ an
agnostic leaves the door open to theistic belief.
Of course an actualist, whilst being an atheist, is not
constrained to asserting that there is no God, he or she has, by the experiential evidence of a PCE, the direct knowledge that there is no God,
by whatever name or gender – that any and all religious and spiritual belief is but impassioned fantasy.
That the current philosophy of agnosticism is sustained by
Eastern spiritual belief can be seen from the following reference –
‘It is also possible to speak of a
religious agnosticism. But if this expression is not to be contradictory, it has to be taken to refer to an acceptance of the agnostic
principle, combined either with a conviction that at least some minimum of affirmative doctrine can be established on adequate grounds, or else
with the sort of religion or religiousness that makes no very substantial or disputatious doctrinal demands. ...
The second possibility, that of an agnosticism that is religious
as opposed to secular, was realized perhaps most strikingly in the Buddha (Gautama). Typically and traditionally, the ecclesiastical Christian
has insisted that absolute certainty about some minimum approved list of propositions concerning God and the general divine scheme of things
was wholly necessary to salvation. Equally typically, according to the tradition, the Buddha sidestepped all such speculative questions. At
best they could only distract attention from the urgent business of salvation – salvation, of course, in his own very different
interpretation.’ Nature and Kinds of Agnosticism. Encyclopaedia Britannica
If one believes the hand-me-down legends, Mr. Buddha remained agnostic about many
issues that were of vital interest to his followers and this legend has served to imbed the principle of agnosticism within Buddhist philosophy
– and therefore within much of Western philosophy of the last few centuries. In Buddhism agnosticism is exalted as a sign of great wisdom so
much so that whenever a Buddhist professes ‘ignorance’ he or she is actually maintaining their feeling of superiority over others.
Anyone who holds to the doctrine of agnosticism has to, as a matter of principle, remain open to ‘an unseen world’ … because its existence cannot be disproved. Agnosticism is directly contrary to
actualism – actualism is firmly rooted in the actual world, it has nothing whatsoever to do with any ‘unseen world’.