Aren't we all agnostic?

As there is insufficient evidence for any god or gods.

Doesn’t that mean we cannot possibly attain knowledge enough to be considered ‘gnostic.’ No matter if some claim to be gnostic?

Well agnosticism is the belief that nothing is known or can be known about the nature or existence of a deity. Some concepts of deities are falsifiable, if only by rational inference, I’m not agnostic about those, only the unfalsifiable concepts.

1 Like

A/theist and a/gnostic are just labels for a person’s stance on a specific subject. If a person is convinced that they know there is/are god/s, we typically label them as a gnostic theist. Whether they can supply adequate proof doesn’t matter when labeling someone as such.


What if you know that you can not know anything at all about the god you believe in. That would qualify you as a Gnostic theist.

We have to question, 'What is knowledge." ‘Justified true belief?’ Justified by what? Can’t people hold information they consider to be knowledge that is not justified or true? They act and behave as if it is true and therefore it has actual implications for their life?

Matt D. has a definition of knowledge; ‘Information held to be true, to the extent that altering it would be life changing.’ Certainly under that definition there are Gnostic believers.

Knowledge is a sub-category of belief. It includes those beliefs we hold to be true.

  1. facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.

  2. awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation.

I personally think you are ‘literally correct.’ If people were honest; however, belief systems are not always honest. Nor are they rational. If you make the assertion, you will have a burden of proof. Are you ready to accept the burden of proof?

1 Like

I did not know that, that’s an interesting perspective.

There are many nuances to this I hadn’t considered, this is precisely why I come to this forum, thank you all once again for challenging me.

I guess saying “there is insufficient evidence for any god or gods” would in fact encumber me with a burden of proof.

If I were to stick to my guns, would you say this is a burden of proof that could be met?

I could certainly give some reasons as to why I hold the stance there is insufficient evidence.

I am not certain they hold water though, one such reason; If such evidence has be presented, the entire world would hear about it, and it would be scientifically supported.

Of course, it could be counter argued that the evidence just hasn’t been presented, yet it does exist, it is just awaiting discovery or publication.

(Of course the time to believe, is when evidence is presented, not before, but this isn’t the approach many/most theists take.)

You’ve given me much to chew over in my head!

So it is case dependant, another very valid point.

So you are saying, we should accept a person’s word that they are gnostic, mainly for the sake of conversation?

I can understand that, after all the same could be said for atheism, many Christians (not all) believe we are just suppressing belief.

So the intellectually honest approach, would be to accept that the position they hold is gnostism?

I mean, the claim itself could be considered extraordinary, because doesn’t it also carry with it the claim a god exists.

So to claim gnosticism, is to claim a god exists?


1 Like

To be rigorous on this matter, those of us who recognise that the question of the existence of a god type entity in its most general form is an unanswered question. Not least because if a proper answer thereto had been found in the past, this would now be part of our mainstream body of knowledge, and no one would be arguing about it.

But just because we’re “agnostic” in this sense on the general question, does not mean we are unable to dismiss specific candidates for the “god role” presented to us, especially if those candidates are constructed to possess absurd or contradictory propertlies. Candidates of this sort can be dismissed without further ado.

As a corollary, we can dismiss the legions of cartoon magic men asserted to exist within pre-scientific mythologies, because all of them fall into the category just described. This doesn’t for one moment mean we dismiss summarily any possible non-mythological candidate that may be presented (satricial ones obviously don’t count), especially if said candidate is [1] consonant with known physics, or [2] provides consistent extensions thereto.

Of course, until we have evidence for such a candidate, we may safely operate as if said candidate does not exist, while being prepared to revise that view in the light of relevant new data. Just as humans safely operated for millennia without even imagining the existence of electrons, until data emerged that forced us to revise that view.

1 Like

I disagree. I think that would be described as gnostic about agnosticism and theist.

I think so. I accept the labels lgbtq+ folks use for themselves. I don’t see the difference.


No, to claim gnostic theism is to claim to know god exists.



Re: Aren’t we all agnostic?

I really wish I had an answer for you on that, Wily. Sadly, though, I’m afraid I just don’t know.


Ah, yes.

I got my wires muddled there, my bad.

I don’t see how it is possible to know that you can not know anything at all about god and yet still believe. That strongly implies that belief is entirely a choice. I think you have to be convinced of the truth of something before you can believe it.
You can say “I believe it because it answers questions for me” or “I believe because it feels right”, etc…, but for me, it is not possible to just blindly believe. There must be some “perceived truth” at the core. Even as a child, one believes because they are convinced of the truth of a thing because Mommy told me so, convinced that Mommy is always right, etc.
I understand that different people have different standards for “truth”, but that variability indeed explains why some can have such absurd beliefs with seemingly no knowledge of truth as a foundation.
Clearly, some have such a low threshold for what is true or factual that it appears that they are choosing to believe. Again, for me, belief is an outcome or destination and I think it is, to some degree, for everyone, though the journey may be rather short and devoid of careful scrutiny or skepticism for some.

Yes, yes, and…yes.
But from my point of view, the order of occurrence is that the “consideration” or acceptance of the “knowledge” comes first (possibly even unconsciously) and then, perhaps even without further consideration, belief occurs.
I don’t think it is necessary for one to be aware of this process for it to be fully functioning, and indeed that may be the most common course.

So, I am convinced that i can not know anything about the god I believe in. That is what I believe. I believe it blindly, just like most theists. (Knowledge is just very strong belief.) I perceive this as the truth at the core of existence. My beliefs are not absurd because no one can know anything 100%. Oh. And I am completely unaware of the process. I know because I know because I know. Did I mention “Love is God?”

Yes. However, if you say, I have not yet seen sufficient evidence to convince me that a god exists, you are stating a personal fact. Then you ask, ‘What evidence do you have?’ I am willing to listen to and evaluate the evidence you have.

I like asserting, ‘There is no good evidence supporting the existence of a god.’ I think this is demonstrable. Yet, to make the assertion, I am stating a positive claim. That means, I am willing to debunk the bible as evidence, ontological arguments, presuppositional arguments, Arguments from morality, Intelligent design arguments, argument from love, Pascal’s Wager, and more…

I clearly stated the evidence is poor, and now I can be held to the claim.

On the other hand. ‘I have not found arguments or evidence convincing,’ is a softer and more personal objection. The only thing I have asserted is that “I” did not find the arguments or evidence convincing. What is the person going to argue? “Yes, you did?” That would be foolish.

But, if you said, I found the evidence insufficient, you adopt no burden of proof outside your personal opinion.

Keep the burden of proof on the theist. Even if they say, ‘So you don’t believe Pascal’s wager?’ The response is ‘Why is that believable?’ Keep the ball on their side of the court.

So, the time to believe something is after the evidence has been presented, not before. When you find the evidence, get back to me and we can talk again.

Theists wriggle and worm their way all over the place. As soon as they are pinned down on one topic, they jump to another. (“So, even if I don’t believe in a god, I should believe because of Pascal’s wager? Do you not think an all-knowing god would know that I am believing to get into heaven and for no other reason? Do you really think I can use Pascal’s wager to fool god?” 'Well, where did all this come from then, look at the trees, there must be a first cause." Bla bla bla… and so it goes.

You need to pin them down and prevent them from jumping about, if you plan on engaging with them. ‘So, you agree with me. Pretending to believe in god, as recommended by Pascal’s wager, to get into heaven, is not a good idea.’

You are answering your own questions as you move along. It seems you know the answers but lack the conviction. I suspect the more you hear them the more sense they will make to you,.

1 Like

Then you are mental.

No, no, and frankly…no…knowledge deals in the currency of facts. Belief is counterfeit and deals in acceptance with conviction, based on being convinced of something, often independent of any factual status, and often with belligerent disregard for that staus.

Well of course that statement proves itself to indeed meet the standards of what could be defined as absurd…or if you prefer, a non sequitur…how did you determine that?

Well, thank you for that. You cannot imagine how long and hard I have waited for this.
I appreciate you bringing me to this climax of reason and rationality. If I had only known this earlier I could have avoided a number of un-gratifying intellectual encounters and disturbingly spontaneous philosophical bacchanals…

1 Like

KNOWLEDGE: Belief-Knowledge Continuum, there are varying levels of belief. A belief is the subjective requirement for knowledge. We believe knowledge. This means that a belief is a biased and personal judgment. However, if we have laid proof or evidence, this belief can be considered as knowledge. A belief can be certain knowledge if the “belief” has reached a +10 in a continuum from 1 to 10. At +10 it can now be considered as certain knowledge. If it does not, reach the upper levels of the continuum it will only stay as a belief.

I know for a fact, the god I believe in, can not be known. The evidence is everywhere. LOL

1 Like

Nope, no, nein, negative, nay, and…uh uh…
Gaining a familiarity with demonstrable objective facts can lead to knowledge, sans belief.

Well, you are on something here…
Belief is an acceptance of the factuality, rationality, or acceptability of an idea or thing, often with a conviction that surpasses a simple acceptance.
Since one can become convinced of the truth of something which is not true, or has not been shown to be true, then clearly, belief is not a path to knowledge, but rather an outcome of accumulating knowledge or an outcome of becoming convinced of the truth status, independent of the “objective truth value”.
I think it to be an absurdity to assume that a belief can rise to the level of producing knowledge. ( see Katheryn Kuhlman ministry)
I also once tried to hitch a horse to the back of a small cart…
Edit (“There are two different types of people in the world, those who want to know, and those who want to believe.”)

I believe I left my jacket in the car. Then looking out my window and through the window of the car, ‘I know I left my jacket in the car.’ Knowledge is belief. We believe something to be true based on the best evidence possible. (Justified true belief is that which we call knowledge.)

Now, my wife approaches the window and tells me, ‘That’s not your jacket. That’s my blue blanket.’ I no longer know it is my jacket, I suspect it may be the blanket. I open the front door and get a closer look. I recognize a patch on the jacket. Once again I am sure it is my jacket. "Honey, you are wrong. I know that is my jacket because I saw the red patch.’ “I don’t believe you, she says.” She walks out to the car, opens the door, and brings in the jacket. ‘You were right. I should have trusted your perception. I now know for a fact it was your jacket.’ Knowledge and belief are directly realated., and fluid. Once the atomic world consisted of little particles, and now they are little waves and possibly strings and branes. (Are we really saying the same thing differently or is there a fundamental difference in our perspectives?) I think we agree on what knowledge is (justified true belief). You seem to have knowledge somehow separated from belief? Is that correct?