[my emphasis]chewybrian wrote: ↑July 16th, 2018, 6:10 amA few important differences between the flying claim and the God claim spring to mind. First, it is pretty easy to disprove the flying claim. There are plenty of tall buildings around. Second, 60% of the world is not telling me they can fly. Third, I am very confident that I can not fly, which leads me to think nobody can. I am not 100% sure there is no God, so I am apt to believe others' claims of belief or disbelief as genuine.
There is more to agnosticism than the inability to disprove God. You can make all sorts of claims that can not be disproved which I might immediately dismiss as so unlikely that I would label them untrue. But, there is a sort of need for God. There is the idea of perfection which can not be achieved by man. And, there is the question of why anything came to be in the first place. I don't mean how did events follow on from the big bang, but rather why have a big bang in the first place; why have space, matter, energy at all? And, most of all, why did consciousness develop? Chemicals don't have hopes and dreams.
Something more is going on within us that speaks to the possibility of God. I don't see any need (or any way) to understand the nature of God to be agnostic. It is, for me, at least, the honest admission that I don't know everything and never will, and that God is a possible, even if unlikely, explanation for what I don't know.
Thanks Brian. You said it more clearly than I managed. I'd just qualify "God" as "something that some people have interpreted to be God".
The "idea of perfection" has been an ideal held by enough people in history to make it a phenomenon worth thinking about IMO. In today's pragmatic age the idealism manifests differently - in grumbling about societal problems, always seeing room for improvement but without believing perfection to be realistic. All of these things appear to be subsets of a general impulse towards growth.