THE OXYMORON OF AGNOSTIC A/THEISM: A PROPOSITION (modified due to post limit)
This post is inspired by a discussion spawned on an unrelated thread,
The baseline proposition is as follows: agnostic a/theist is a self-contradictory position given that if one is agnostic on a subject one lacks knowledge of that subject yet if one is a/theist one is expressing an existential belief on that subject which, in order to be justified, must be based on some knowledge of that subject. But, I propose, if you are already agnostic and claim to not have knowledge of a subject, then you cannot then justify belief or disbelief in that subject.
What I shall try to show is how this self-contradiction manifests itself first in a secular context, using Category Theory, and then draw an analogy within a theological context
INTRODUCTION, where I define agnosticism and a/theism for this proposition.
As I see it, agnosticism is a position of epistemology. It refers to a mental process, a statement of what we know, what we can know, and what we can't know. There are shades of agnosticism such as strong, weak, pragmatic, and even ignosticism. I will lump all of these together under the common thread that they all claim that we have no knowledge of the subject... the shades mostly come into play depending on whether you claim knowledge can every be gained or not.
As I see it, a/theism (the forward slash meaning it applies to theism and atheism) is a position of ontology. Whether you define it as a belief or knowledge is irrelevant: you are making a claim on existence and that is the realm on ontology, not epistemology. If you believe or know a subject exists, then you are making a claim that, to the best of your knowledge, that subject has existence in our universe. Vice-versa, if you believe or know a subject does not exist, then you are making the claim that to the best of your knowledge. In both cases, in order for that belief to be more than guesswork, it needs to have some justification.
OXYMORON, where I define the central tenant of why agnosticism and atheism are self-contradictory.
Using the definitons about, if you claim to be agnostic on a subject, you are making an epistemological claim that you don't have any knowledge of that subject. This is NOT an ontological claim. You are NOT saying the subject does or doesn't exist, nor I say saying you believe or know that it does or doesn't exist. You are claiming no knowledge. In effect, ignorance is a good synonym for the agnostic: they would claim that having no knowledge of gods, they are ignorant of gods.
But if you claim to be a/theist, you are making a claim on the existence of the subject. You are claiming that you can justify, in one way or another, that that subject does or does not exist. However, justification woudl require some knowledge of that subject. If you say something exists, you would need to bring evidence to prove that it exists; vice-versa, if you claim something doesn't exist, you would need to bring some evidence to prove that it doesn't exist.
So, if you are agnostic on a subject, you claim no knowlege of it. But if you are a/theist, you claim you believe or know the ontological status of that subject, that it exists or doesn't. But if you first claimed no knowledge of said subject, how then can one turn around and justify their existential claim? Therin lay the oxymoron insofar as an agnostic atheist makes an ontological claim without any supporting epistemology to support it.
(CONTINUED AS REPLIES DUE TO POST LIMIT)