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A fictitious conversation with an agnostic
Author requests article critique
Me: What is your view of knowledge – knowledge in general?
Agnostic: I believe that we cannot be dogmatic about knowing. Since the truth value of claims to knowledge is objectively unverifiable, then it is also technically unknowable.
Me: So, you are saying that all things are unknowable, that is, to you?
Agnostic: Not really. Because some things are by nature true, without necessitating a proof, since their truth value is obvious. In such cases I think certainty of knowledge is possible.
Me: So you are now saying that you are not purely agnostic?
Agnostic: Not really. I think saying ‘purely agnostic’ is speaking ambiguously.
Me: What do you mean?
Agnostic: Well, to me agnosticism is not just a set of beliefs that I hold on to, a creed that I acknowledge. It’s more of a method that I apply concerning all possible opportunities of knowing, whether applying it to knowledge of obvious, basic and mundane things, or deep and often obscure things. To me, agnosticism is the true free and critical thinking.
Me: How about in matters concerning God and religion.
Agnostic: Well, I think it’s a really necessary thing to acknowledge the existence of a ‘God’ or any supreme being, but it’s somewhat difficult for me to believe in a personal deity. I think I’m more of a deist concerning matters of godism.
Me: Do you really think that God cannot be personal?
Agnostic: As far as my critical thinking of him or it is concerned, I believe so.
Me: I believe otherwise. I think – because I know – that God is a personal God.
Agnostic: Really? So you’re actually stating that you know? That’s quite arrogant! Prove it to me, then. You can’t use your usual evidences against me anymore; I’ve already interpreted those in the perspective of science, and not God.
Me: You see: I can’t prove it to you because by your presuppositions, you’ve already closed or limited your mind to any possible common grounds for argumentations between the two of us. I need you first to try to open your mind to my presuppositions, and then we can talk with each other on a common ground. Free yourself.
Agnostic: Okay. Now explain it to me.
Me: You know, I believe in the transcendental nature of truth, that it comes only via revelation. Man, in all his attempts to arrive at truth, will always be inadequate to achieve knowledge of it that is genuine.
Agnostic: That sounds pretty esoteric, even gnostic.
Me: Call it whatever you want. But I’ll say it’s biblical.
Agnostic: So the Bible is your presupposition? Or rather the basis for your transcendental presupposition?
Me: Yes. I see you are thinking more clearly now. Biblically speaking, all men are finite and fallen, and are unable to reach true and meaningful knowledge of God. However, God, in His love and mercy and grace, has first revealed Himself, most especially through Scriptures, and has, in particular cases, enabled men to comprehend this knowledge of Him.
Agnostic: Tell me if I’m getting it. So you’re saying that in all my pursuit of knowing God, I will always be bound to fail because my incapability – due to my finiteness and fallen-ness – is getting in the way?
Agnostic: To be honest, I find your arguments to be rather too confrontational. But I think they are also, to a certain extent, worthy of contemplation.
Me: It’s okay. Take your time. I wouldn’t expect you to be rash or whimsical in your contemplations, being a free and critical thinker yourself. Thank you for your time. God bless.
Agnostic: Okay. Well, your God bless you too.
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Reader Count & Comments
26 Oct 2011
This was really good. I liked how at the end, the agnostic said, "Okay, well, your God bless you too." A nice, humorous ending.
I liked how you showed that fallen man cannot know God, and that therefore what the agnostic thought was his 'free thinking' and conclusions brought about by 'careful investigation' is really only his own inability to grasp spiritual reality.
1 Cor. 2:14
"For the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
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