Believing Beliefs

What do I believe in? I do not know. It’s a difficult question to answer. Belief is difficult to define with precision and ample clarity. One attribute of belief, which I believe is constant, is that a belief itself is not constant.

I believe that no religion represents complete truth. Why I believe so is because I lack complete knowledge. What is complete knowledge? Is it ever possible to have complete knowledge? I don’t know how to answer these two questions. However, just to continue with my blog post, I will define complete knowledge as the ability to speak sub specie aeternitatis.

Whether one can speak “under the aspect of eternity” is a question to which I definitely have no definite answer. 

I, therefore, believe that due to my inability to perceive sub specie aeternitatis, I cannot claim the veracity of any given religion, be it Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Taoism, Shintoism.

From a more scientific perspective and given our current technological standing, I believe it is not possible to quantify and give a numeric value to the veracity of any given religion. Religious claims simply cannot be measured.

Do I believe in the so-called “scientific method?” Only insofar as it works, allows me to live my life on a day-to-day basis and is capable of making experimentally verifiable predictions. I do not endorse scientism or any ideology about the universality of a specific methodology. I am a through and through agnostic.

In fact, I see agnosticism as a belief itself. It is a belief insofar as its claim about the unknowability of God’s existence is itself uncertain. I do not have enough knowledge and experience to determine whether the existence of God can ever be not determined.

There may exist some sophisticated line of reasoning or some profound spiritual experience which may prove the existence of Allah beyond a shadow of doubt. However, since I am unaware of such a methodology, I adopt the default agnostic position. 

I hope to learn more in the days in the come…

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2 thoughts on “Believing Beliefs

  1. I like the 2×2 distinction available with (agnostic, gnostic) x (atheist, theist). The first has to do with knowledge, the later with belief. I used to be an agnostic theist (I believed in God, but did not claim to know for sure), but now am an agnostic atheist (I do not believe in God, but I still do not claim to know for sure). A gnostic theist believes in God and claims to know for sure that God exists, while a gnostic atheist does not believe in God and claims to know for sure that God does not exist.

    Knowledge is related to evidence you can defend. Belief is which side you fall on if forced to decide based on whatever evidence you have at the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing the 2×2 distinction. I agree with what you’ve said about the 4 possible positions that can be taken with respect to believing in God.

    Other than that, I think it’s really difficult for me to speak with sufficient clarity about the distinction between knowledge and belief. Part of it is due to my philosophical proclivities. As you’re well aware, there’s a whole branch of philosophy called epistemology that deals with the nature and scope of knowledge.

    There’s also this perspective of viewing knowledge as “well-justified true belief”, making knowledge a subset of belief. We run into further philosophical problems with when trying to define “justification” and “truth.”

    The scientific side of me, therefore, just decides to settle for an “operational definition” of a given term within a discourse. And, in case of this specific blog, I’ve chosen to define “complete knowledge” as “an ability to perceive from infinity’s point-of-view.”

    Anyway, I guess there is no end to debates of these sorts and we can only, perhaps, get caught up in sandstorm of a million words and concepts. 🙂

    Like

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