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Discussion 1 to Meditation 832
I'm still content with the first article

by: JT

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First of all, Christian, I want to make a point of clarification which probably is not necessary for you, but might be for the casual visitor.

UCTAA places no proprietary claim on the term apathetic agnostic. As stated in the history, I have encountered several who have independently come up with the term apathetic agnostic to describe their own positions on religious belief. It is quite understandable that there are differences in the details of what they understand the term to mean.

The Articles of Faith apply only to the version of apathetic agnosticism as practiced by UCTAA. Disagreement with those articles does not disqualify anyone from calling herself or himself an apathetic agnostic.

Let's get to your issues: the claimed unknowability of a Supreme Being; and the the lack of a definition for a Supreme Being.

To me, the issue of unknowability is the essence of agnosticism when we consider it as a firm position to take on religious belief. If it was in theory or in practice possible to know truly whether or not a deity exists, then agnosticism is only a way-station, a holding position - just a temporary opinion until certainty comes about. But I do see agnosticism as an end point. I have my certainty in my agnosticism, which comes from unknowability of any deity's existence as a basic principle.

As to the lack of a definition, I cannot see what end a definition would serve given the variety of religious claims about a Supreme Being. If believers cannot define what a Supreme Being is in such a way to satisfy all believers, why should we attempt the impossible on their behalf.

Let's take the Dawkins definition which you tried to modify to be something acceptable "A SB is '.. a superhuman, supernatural intelligence who deliberately designed and created the universe and everything in it.'" It seems to me that the key issue Dawkins is addressing here which you seem to accept without comment is the designing and creating the universe. But that's only one type of SB. Some claim their SB came into existence after the universe; some claim that their SB as a kind of cosmic consciousness which only came into being as a result of life developing self-consciousness.

If I were to rewrite the Articles of Faith today as a strict statement of my own current beliefs (thus excluding a number of people who accept the current Articles of Faith), I would not mention a Supreme Being at all. Rather it I would state that the existence of any and all supernatural entities and activities was unknown and unknowable. But as most agnostics come to agnosticism as a response to theistic religion, the specific mention of a Supreme Being in the Articles is more appealing.

I'll be leaving things as they are.

But still, nothing on this site is immune to criticism. You are welcome to follow up on this issue or take on anything else you disagree with.