Of Atheists and Apophatics…

An interesting article recently appeared in the New York Daily News, by one of the "celebrity atheists," Daniel Dennett: The Unbelievable Truth: Why America has become a nation of religious know-nothings. In this article, Dennett argues that non-believers — agnostics and atheists — are, generally speaking, more knowledgeable about religion than are those who believe.I'm not quite ready to accept the triumphalist way in which Dennett interprets his data. He suggests that atheists know more than … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

Monotheism believes that in the end all shall be well and all riddles will be solved. For this we need that patience or tolerance which will save our lives. Agnosticism lacks such endurance and is concerned with our concrete situation without eschatological promises (hallucinations or mirages). God may know all, but we are not God and certainly do not know all, not even in the most elementary things. We have to confess ourselves a-gnostics because we do not have the divine gnosis, the knowledge … [Read more...]

To be “open and free” with one’s views?

Longtime readers of this blog know that I am fascinated by the atheist critique of Christianity. Sometimes that gets directed at me specifically, as in this comment — by a skeptic who posted several comments here at the Website of Unknowing, and then made the following observation about this blog on the Darkness Forum: One of the things that bothers me about this blog and many others is that there is no real discourse between spiritualism and scepticism. Many of these people are deluding t … [Read more...]

Holy Agnosis

Something that I keep mulling over is the relationship between gnosticism and agnosticism and how both of these categories relate to contemporary Christian mysticism and Christian spiritual practice.We know that Gnosticism was the first great Christian "heresy." But we also know that early mystics like Clement of Alexandria and Origen spoke of a holy gnosis as an essential part of the Christian experience. In our day, Christian wisdom teachers like Cynthia Bourgeault and the late Valentin … [Read more...]

Nasty

The other day I took a walk with a friend of mine, about my age, who is going through a spiritual transition. He was at one point a very devout Christian, going to seminary with the hope of becoming a missionary. But a crisis of faith cut that journey short, and launched him on an unexpected trajectory of criticism toward organized religion that has finally resulted in his declaring to me, just the other night, that he has begun to wonder if perhaps he is an atheist. It became clear from our … [Read more...]


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