Agnosticism

 
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Rick



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 12:22 pm    Post subject: Agnosticism  Reply with quote

Agnosticism



John 18:37,38  Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.  Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault [at all].


Agnosticism appears to be divided into two lines of thought, “I am uncertain if there is a God” and “I am certain that no one can be certain that there is a God”.  When facing Jesus Christ, Pilate’s agnosticism did not insight further inquiry; his only response was to question the viability of truth.  Later, when he washed his hands of responsibility for Christ’s crucifixion, he did so based on his certainty of the uncertainty of objective truth.  Uncertainty typically insights further inquiry, however when one is certain of uncertainty, inquiry becomes fruitless.  This, I believe, is the case with Pilate.

Throughout the Old & New Testaments, truth is treated as objective and ultimately identifies God as the source of absolute truth.  Many believe truth is subjective, or that truth is determined by individual opinion.  Many believe because man is free to choose, he is also free from the consequences of his choice.  Obviously, this is not true in the physical realm, how then can it be true in the spiritual realm?

Most agnostics, of course, doubt (or are uncertain) that there is a spiritual realm or spiritual inhabitants.  The question one should ponder is, “ Does a reasonable amount of evidence exist to substantiate a spiritual reality?”   The Judeo-Christian God is biblically identified as omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient (Infinitely powerful, present and all-knowing). Because our five physical senses detect things that are finite, those same five senses would be of little use in detecting God.  Actually, the absence of sensory contact with God affirms the claim that God is infinite.  This would also hold true with Scientific-research, which has yet to discover God.

We must reason with our minds to determine the viability, or existence, of an infinite realm and/or being.  Clearly, when we activate our five senses and consider the accumulation of human experience, we can conclude that this existence consists of the “living” which march toward death, and the dead, or nonliving that decay and erode.  The one constant is change, or transformation.  All that we experience has a beginning and strides toward an altered end.  We can also conclude that ultimately, both the living and the nonliving have very little to do with outcomes, nor did they will themselves into existence.  

As we move backward in time, we run into the difficult question of what was the “first thing”?  The “first thing” has to have always been an infinite/eternal something that is not bound by space or time.  The base-something simply could not have sourced itself from nothingness.  Something has to have always been!  The Bible identifies God as the “I Am”, “the Alpha and Omega… the beginning and the end”.  The Bible speaks of eternal life, a life that transcends this life, an existence that this life is merely a footnote within.  It is reasonable to believe that this eternal something is God, rather than some cosmic matter, which is in a constant state of flux!  Isn’t it clever that the Bible insists that God is unchanging?

We also observe that the universe is constantly moving from order to disorder (entropy).  Broken plates do not automatically put themselves together and store themselves in the cupboard.  Nor do we find order after a hurricane.  Imagine our amazement if a house under construction was completed by a tornado!  It is highly unlikely that the complex order we witness happened from random chance, rather than intelligent design.  The governing laws of nature imply a “Law Giver”.

Scientists insist that all things in the universe retract backwards in time toward a singularity (it is reasonable to assume that this single moment was the action of a single, eternal God!)  Ultimately, the singularity has to become a singularity of infinite existence.

It is reasonable to believe in the Judeo-Christian God, the God of the Bible!  I believe that the evidence is overwhelming.  What is touched upon here is just a portion of the available evidence.  We could discuss the “law of relativity” and the impact those early (nearly infinite) masses and velocities have on time.  Consider the similarities found within the fossil-chain, which point to a common creator.

None of these, however, affirm the reality of God as much as the multitudes (throughout time) that claim to have had a personal relationship with Him.  Many dismiss these relationships as figments of our imagination; this is where I differentiate “imagined” from “make-believe”.  I believe it is in the imagination that faith, love, hope, peace and joy reside.  I also believe these five constitute our spiritual senses which enable a relationship with the infinite eternal God.  Make-believe, however, is different.  Make-believe is a belief that is propped up by man, rather than God.

All of mankind is in search of a love worthy of their faith.  When faith is invested in a worthy love, hope abounds and a healthy spiritual life ensues. When faith is squandered, depression and despair abound and cynics are born.  There is no greater love than the love demonstrated by Jesus Christ in the Bible.  This may not be immediately apparent, but with careful study the Bible claims God was afflicted as a result of our disregard, our indifference of Him.  If only we will invest our faith, or trust, in this eternal work of love we may inherit eternal peace, joy and hope.  Man has the option, or choice, to remain indifferent toward God, or surrender by faith to His grace.

Most would agree that love, faith, hope, peace and joy are certainly real yet not physically determined, in the same way God is certainly real yet discerned only by these spiritual senses.

It is said that it is arrogant of man to believe he is the only intelligent life in the universe.  This is true only if man is responsible for achieving his own intelligence.  If God made man and offered man sovereignty over his own soul desiring man to surrender his soul to God’s love, what greater arrogance is there than man’s disregard to this great love?  We Americans are notorious for disregarding and trampling values unique to foreign cultures. Imagine the arrogance of trampling the most valued asset of man’s Creator. This is not an attempt to create a guilty conscience, which invariably produces make-believe gods.  It is an attempt to make sure an agnostic stance is not casually taken without a comprehensive search for the truth.
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Steve
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where was this research taken from?  What book(s) did this passage draw from?
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Rick



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve,  To answer your question I would have to say the above opinion has been formed from life experiences and a measure of seeking the truth.
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Steve
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a serious response, I didn't know that when you wrote this it was an original opinion formed from life experiences.  It was very well elaborated upon, the writing was detailed and thorough and I asked the question before I knew your writing style.  

When would you like others to take part in these conversations?  I'd like to have a couple others join the discussion by the end of February if we can.  We've got some purposeful truths here and others would benefit from the thoughts and questions this site invokes.  

Just my opinion.
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Rick



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agnosticism is something that exists within the Church.  We all have areas of spiritual uncertainty.  I believe spiritual conversation can allow one person's spiritual insight to overcome areas of agnosticism in another member within the "Body of Christ".

I think it was Yogi Berra that said, "Everybody is stupid about something". I just wonder how much I am missing in my spiritual journey because of the lack of spiritual conversation with others, who may have the insight I need!

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