To be Gnostic [nos-tic`] is Greek to know, or more accurately to choose to know. As a-typical (atypical) is to be not-typical, a-political (apolitical) is to be not-political, etc. a-gnostic (agnostic) [ag.nos-tic`] is to not know, or more accurately chose not to know.
As Idler most accurately pointed out before getting sidetracked, A-Theism (atheism) is not-theism. Theism is the fervent belief in gods or deities – religion. Atheism is not-religion. No, Tom, “being an atheist” does not “require[s] as much belief in an unknowable…”
Atheism rejects belief in an unknowable. War is not the answer. Next question.
I find it fascinating as a not-necessarily disinterested nor outside observer here as reinforcement of comfort zones unfold through the exercise of definition of that unlike, and this entire thread runs disturbingly evangelical. The fundamental problem here is (not necessarily) you don’t listen. When I tell (not necessarily) you there are no gods you don’t hear “there are no gods” – you hear does not believe in gods. Atheist. But what you heard, “does not believe in gods”, is not what I said – there are no gods. It makes you comfortable, it reinforces your worldview, your belief system, to assign labels to that which you do not understand, are indeed fundamentally incapable of understanding. It makes you comfortable to call me a name, a something, I am not – you call me “does not believe in gods” as if “gods” exist, but that is not what I am. There are no gods.
As a Gnostic I have chosen to know, or more accurately have chosen to pass through the doors of and pursue the path of knowledge – to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, if you wish. There is no unknowable. Only the undiscovered. Upon entering into, embracing, investing in, your belief system you consciously chose to close the door to the path of knowledge, to reject the fruit of the tree of knowledge, to embrace ignorance and thus must reinforce your conscious choice to do so through “definitions”, insults, labels and mockery.
I mock (not necessarily) you as you once mocked me for my consumption of green tee when I say “far more the likely than heyZeus floatin’ down out’a the heavens on a white horse with a thousand angels to carry away the faithful thousands of cavernous spacecraft piloted by ravenous vaguely reptilian creatures repleat with horns and folked-tail. We did, afterall, invite them to “Come Eat”.” But does that sound any crazier than the apocalyptic christian worldview? I shock you when I say “animals, those insufficiently evolved, bow down to gods, Human Beings do not”, but I would far rather you didn’t exist to me at all… I am far more interested in understanding why there are California Wood Ducks on The High Desert for the first time in my half century and more memory than your inter-fairytale squabbles ‘ore whose non-existent dog has the bigger dick. And make no mistake, the jew/muslim/christian cult, the cult of Abraham, as with all other theisms – religions - is naught but a fairytale to sooth the adolescent breast, explain away the dark and keep the bed dry at night, yet one somehow, seemingly devinely manifest, capable of bringing about the end of the world my grandchildren are to grow up in.
As I have said here and elsewhere numerous times before, facing the challenges we today face we as a species, the human species, as a “race”, the human race, stand at a cusp, an iteration, in the evolution, in the maturing, of humankind, but if we don’t abandon – outgrow – this irrational dependency on adolescent fairytales we may very well not survive at all.
We are but fleas agitating the hide of a far greater organism.
In all our deliberations we must consider the consequence of our actions upon the grandchildren of our grandchildren. Red Sticks