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AgnosticBoy

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In this thread, I want to create a list of agnostic thinkers, and we can go into details about any of them. First on the list is Philip Goff. I read his bio and it resonated with me. I'll have to keep an eye out for his work. He also writes a lot on consciousness which is a plus for me. On his site, he has links to a podcasts and some of his publications!

Philip Goff, PhD. Here's an excerpt from his bio:
Religion and Politics
I also write about religion and politics. In terms of religion, I identify as a 'practicing agnostic': I don't know if Christianity is true (it was a long time ago!), but by engaging with it as a possibility, I connect to my community and to something beyond myself. In terms of politics, I'm a vigorous opponent of neo-liberalism and a huge fan of taxation.
 

William

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Philip Goff, PhD.
Can agnosticism be categorized with such sublists?
Will this contribute to possible confusion as to the position of an agnostic?
 

AgnosticBoy

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Philip Goff, PhD.
Can agnosticism be categorized with such sublists?
Will this contribute to possible confusion as to the position of an agnostic?
I'm not sure what you're referring to. Are you referring to Philip Goff specifically. Are you saying he's not strictly agnostic?

I assume that if someone is going to adopt the agnostic label, then they're probably wanting to adopt some of the intellectually humble characteristics that agnostics tend to be known for.
 

William

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I'm not sure what you're referring to. Are you referring to Philip Goff specifically. Are you saying he's not strictly agnostic?

No. I am saying one does not stay in the agnostic position so much as carry it with one into other positions.

I assume that if someone is going to adopt the agnostic label, then they're probably wanting to adopt some of the intellectually humble characteristics that agnostics tend to be known for.

Then might it serve us then to list those things which constitute the agnostic personality...

1: Humble
2: Intellectually honest
3:...
 

AgnosticBoy

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No. I am saying one does not stay in the agnostic position so much as carry it with one into other positions.
Okay, got it now! I believe someone can remain agnostic if we consider how Huxley described it. This would go more towards #s 3-6 on my list below. Now if you're referring to ": an attitude of doubt or uncertainty about something", as one source describes it, then I agree with you.

Then might it serve us then to list those things which constitute the agnostic personality...

1: Humble
2: Intellectually honest
3:...
That's a great idea!

Here's what I would add:
3. open-minded (esp. open to religion and the supernatural)
4. Undogmatic (the opposite of this - >inclined to lay down principles as incontrovertibly true. "he gives his opinion without trying to be dogmatic")
5. Freethinking (based on Huxley's description)
6. Non-partisan (based on Huxley's description)
7. Non-committal or Undecided (someone not believing nor disbelieving in God's existence).

There may be more. I wouldn't say that an agnostic has to exhibit all of these traits but they should at least exhibit some of the key ones like #s 2, 4, 7. If we go by Thomas Huxley's agnosticism then numbers 3-6 on the list are definitely necessary to have. A lot of these traits are related anyways, where one probably leads to or supports another.

Philip Goff probably falls into #7. I think he could've easily referred to himself as a theist or atheist but he left those words out of his bio. One big test for me would be if he's a partisan when it comes to atheism. Is he open to religion? How does he handle religious claims? Does he always agree with and follow the atheist side?
 
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William

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We Exist Within A Creation [WEWAC]

I see Agnosticism as the default position - one of ignorance with the capacity to learn.

Atheists have done a good job of trying to place agnosticism as a sub-category of atheism [weak-atheists] - one which Agnostics should resist as the dishonest thing that it is.

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AgnosticBoy

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I have to add Bart Ehrman to the list, not just because he identifies as an agnostic , but also because of this debate:
 

AgnosticBoy

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Well, I think we can expand the list to regular people instead of just academics.

Andy Signore...

I've only seen a few videos of his commentaries on events, but he seems very fair and balanced. He describes himself as an independent (referred to himself as such within the first minute of the video) and he seems to understand how the Repubs. and Dems. think. I know that's not the same as an agnostic unless you consider being unaffiliated from the two major parties, and the reasons behind it as being agnostic-like.


Very good commentary on the Whoopi Goldberg race comments. No political spin!
 

AgnosticBoy

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Jesse Ventura...former US governor, former wrestler. He doesn't call himself agnostic but he certainly shows some of the characteristics mainly when it comes to questioning and not committing to either side. He does refer to himself as an independent, politically speaking.

Watch these!