Originally posted by Ganondorf
However, over time, I've decided that agnosticism is a completely inconsequential extension of atheism, with little rational basis. After all, would you bother to label yourself with regards to your belief in the invisible pink monkey-giraffe, if it was possible that both the invisible pink monkey-giraffe existed and did not exist? Of course not, it is ludicrous to give credence to the possibility of an invisible pink monkey-giraffe.
Originally posted by Moogs
I fall in the latter category, but was looking for the
"Believe in a higher power, but ascribe to virtually none of the simplistic notions of God people ascribe to" option.
My response to what Ganondorf had to say above stems a bit from the kind of idea expressed by Moogs here.
I consider myself an agnostic, rather than an atheist, because the question of the existence of God is deeply entwined with the question of the meaning of God -- agnosticism is for me an acknowledgement of the sense of wonder and possibility that arises from the question within the question.
Consider the question "Does an invisible pink monkey-giraffe exist?". One might simply answer "no" immediately, on the basis that something cannot be both pink and invisible at the same time. If one is generous, one could allow that the hypothetical creature is sometimes
visible, and at those times is pink. There's still a bit of vagueness is what exactly a "monkey-giraffe" might be, but compared to the variety of meanings ascribed to the notion of God, the general category of some invisible creature combining characteristics of monkeys and giraffes, pink in color when visible, is fairly specific. The domain of the proposition can be established narrowly, and its truth value, determined or not, can be limited to the scope of that narrow domain.
"Is there a God?", however -- that's a more interesting question. Is there a what
? I take the question as meaning "Is there... if is
even is the right word... something worthy of the grandeur, poetry, and scope associated with the many notions of God?".
The deities of human religions seem to me pallid concepts, limited answers to limited questions. To call God a Creator mires God in our sense of time because creation implies a flow of time where something comes into existence after a time when it did not exist. To call God Almighty saddles the notion of God with human concerns for dominion and power. To call God loving, just, vengeful, jealous, to think Him concerned with praise or lack thereof, projects too much fragile humanity on a notion that should be much larger and much stranger than that.
I call myself an agnostic as a way of acknowledging that the universe is almost certainly a grander, more mysterious, and less apparent thing than we know, and more so, than we might even be capable of suspecting. It seems to me that its worth remaining open to the possibility of something befitting the notion of God, in a way that the words "is" and exist are only hints towards a more proper, but less imaginable, verb outside of time.