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So thinking about agnosticism, where one believes only that they are ignorant of god, or any preceding entities behind causality, as I interpret it. I had the question of: "what causes the belief of an underlying entity or force behind causality?"


And even more about this underlying force in Agnosticism "Would this idea contradict the wisdom behind ignorance?" "Can you make a paradox concerning this question?"

  • so are there any philosophies or personal ideas you feel are relevant? Or any blunders in my logic?
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I can't actually follow a logical arc in this succession of questions. But I can venture to answer each question individually.

One psychoanalytic answer to your first question (part of Jung, but particularly strong in Kleinian object-relations theories) is that we all have parents, and we are genetically prone to depend upon them.

We are used to the idea that an identifiable person is the source of order in our lives, without which nothing would make sense. This belief sets in so early that it constitutes an Archetype. Once they fail us, we automatically replace them with another infallible source of everything, over and over if necessary, and eventually with something supernatural and therefore unassailable -- be that the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or the idea of Natural Law.

Being logically aware of this dependency, and the damage it can cause, can be enough to shake loose our attachment to this idea, but it does not come naturally. You can then see agnosticism as a triumph over a natural weakness, or as a trauma symptom that rejects a natural feeling, depending upon what see as its effects.

The wisdom behind ignorance, from this point of view, is that Mommy and Daddy often don't fight fair, and they often fight over stupid things. Not everything needs to be decided, and it is often best not to take sides in a pointlessly destructive argument. Agnosticism is a form of peace through evasion writ large. But peace is valuable, and both of the other sides are just as evasive. Maybe it is better to have peace through evasion than to have either enemies or allies with unquestionable delusions you cannot abide.

The idea that belief in the supernatural is a natural force does not challenge the idea that it is also unnecessary and may be dangerous. Lots of things people naturally do are stupid. At the same time, fighting a natural force, especially addressing it directly, is generally pointless. So the answer to your second question, from this starting point, would be 'no'. The theory of why people choose to believe or disbelieve is not at odds with the reason to choose the middle ground.

I am not exactly sure what the third point means. A few of the strong arguments for agnosticism are themselves paradoxes. We get to questions about omnipotence or omnibenevolence and find the idea creates paradox: the boulder God can't lift, the evil that turns out for the best, the way supposedly loving cultures are constantly at war... They are not really false, they just don't have to make sense. So maybe the positive value of paradox is one thing that could be a lynchpin for an agnostic worldview. The idea that not all statements have truth values is a value worth upholding, and facts about God is a good place to start.

Then this position would be strongest if it was itself logically paradoxical. But I don't see where it is. Agnosticism, even based in the positive notion of paradox is not skepticism outright. Things might have meaning, but that meaning is not tied up with solving any one particular riddle, much less the idea that riddles all have answers. This does not have the implicit reliance upon a negative principle as a base, so it does not create the paradoxical states sought out by true Skeptics.

  • Very nicely argued that agnosticism can be a positive position. A Scottish juror might feel passionately that not proven is the correct verdict. – Philip Roe Jun 26 '17 at 2:34
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Or, the belief in a higher spirt, or an afterlife, may be a natural byproduct of the simple question - why are we here?

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