Saturday, 7 November 2015

Strong Agnosticism

Agnosticism tends to get characterized as a kind of shrugging your shoulder's position. But strong agnosticism asserts much more than a shrug of the shoulders. Not only do I not know, but you don't know and they don't know either. None of us know. Our ignorance is in fact what unites us as human beings. We are all born into a mystery. Knowing is not an available option. The two options are (1) Embracing not knowing (cos we don't) or (2) Pretending to know something. Naive realists think from inside a box in which everything is either a thing (or something that happens to a thing or some that is done by a thing) or it is nothing. Their thinking asserts: "God is not a thing, therefore it must be nothing." Whereas in fact, if God exists, she must exist prior to all distinction. Which is why she must necessarily be unknowable... even for those of us who are interested in getting to know her.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Growing up and Waking up

We don't achieve the higher stages of waking up and growing up just by knowing that they exist... we need to practice.



Friday, 7 August 2015

Letting the mystery be


I think this is exactly right, and one of the reasons we should think of atheism as partial ... It seems like atheism doesn't sufficiently let the mystery be... like at some level it is in denial about the mystery.

Probably so is theism. Maybe even more so. Like we can't allow ourselves to be in the presence of the mystery so we have to cling to cookey notions which claim to pin the mystery down - this is how so many of our religious traditions turn into idol worship. They miss the critical part of the story of journeys which understands that the signpost is not the destination, and that you can never arrive at a destination - because by then it has ceased to be a destination.

I think humanity will turn out much more harmoniously it we embrace the mystery, celebrate the mystery, invite it into our homes, be thankful for it, wake up into the mystery in the morning, go to sleep in the light of the mystery at night, breath in the mystery, feel the mystery permeate every sinew of ourselves.

I doubt very much that anyone has ever killed in the name of the un-nameable and unknowable... Not really.

Oh sure you can run towards the enemy waving your sword and shouting "Allah is unknowable". But if you think Allah has told you to kill someone then clearly you don't really understand what "unknowable" means.