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Discussion 3 to Meditation 832
The word "agnostic" is based on "not knowing"

by: JT

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I respect your choice to put your own twist on the word agnostic, but the very origin of the word as coined by Huxley is that we do not and cannot know. This is not something I came up with on my own (unlike the second and third articles of faith.) It is a core concept from the very origin of agnosticism. I'm sticking with it.

Let's look at your question:

Are you really saying that if a SB came to you, struck you with the blinding light of understanding and said "here I am, what more do you want?" that there was no way you would acknowledge (sic) its existence? You would say "sorry, you are unknowable, I must be hallucinating"?

I do so hope I would retain the presence of mind to understand that I was probably hallucinating. Consider a couple of people who think (and they would say they know) God has spoken to them that I have written about; Pauline Davis, the Peace Lady (Meditations 107, 109, & 724 along with following discussions) and Robert Weinland (Meditation 820). Surely their lives would be far better if their default assumption was hallucination rather than "God told me."

Personal revelation can never be proof of God; too often it is evidence of a mental instability, whether temporary or permanent.

I have at times questioned whether a god could indeed demonstrate his or her existence to the extent that we all would indeed know god and know that claims of supernatural powers were true. As an extreme example, suppose that over the course of 24 hours we saw all the visible stars in the sky change location until they spelled out the words "I AM" in every human language. Every person on Earth with eyes to see could see and believe. And clearly, the distance the stars had to move in such a short period would be evidence of the supernatural at work. But - would we have certain knowledge? As a counter-theory, it could be suggested that aliens from another solar system with a more advanced civilization had projected a holographic image around the Earth to mess with our heads (perhaps as a preliminary step to subjugation), and that the actual stars had not moved at all. I would hope that in the event the stars did seem to move in such a way, enough skeptics remained on Earth to develop a way to test for the natural theory rather than blindly adopt the supernatural one.

Finally, on the issue of you modifying Dawkin's definition. Yes, what I quoted was not what was modified by you, but I was referring to the fact you modified that definition (see item 4 in Meditation 832) to try to make your point. "So let's go weaker still and drop the omni-stuff and just use the rest of Dawkins' definition." That's modification.