My Warrant for Stating Agnosticism is an Epistemological Position not a Psychological Stance.
By Alan D. Griffin

By Alan D. Griffin
By Alan D. Griffin

Agnosticism is a Epistemological position not a Psychological stance.
We do not suspend judgment psychologically we have psychological stances on every proposition, concept, idea, we are presented with we do not psychologically leave anything in “limbo”. We do not leave blanks.

“Did you know that your brain regularly fills in for missing information, much of the time without your even knowing that this is going on? It’s one of the marvelous little efficiencies of the magnificent organ beneath your skull. Since it happens so very quickly and without conscious knowledge or intent, it can be difficult to identify this quirky capability.” – Sara Rosenquist, PhD

.

 

” What happens when we don’t have all the information? We assume, we guess, we suppose, we interpret, we read between the lines, and we form our own conclusions. As would be expected, these conclusions, which are derived from limited knowledge and a limited perspective of the event that has then been filled in with our own imagination tends to result in thinking that is largely irrational.” -Psychological and Mental Health Resources
.
We have the capacity for rationality and reason.
We can make intellectual judgments and can determine certain propositions are lacking proper justification needed to determine if it can properly be evaluated as true or false.
We are more than capable of suspending judgment intellectually as a matter of reason.
.
We can hold to the Epistemological Position that we cannot know with any certainty if the proposition is true or false.
.
Psychologically, It is simply the case that we are hardwired to interpret sensory data and information about the world through patterns and categorization.
.
Our brains are constantly seeking patterns and categorizing information.
.
This need to seek patterns and categorization is why we cannot suspend judgment psychologically speaking. We will lean one way or the other on every proposition we are given psychologically. We will have an opinion, we will hold a belief towards the proposition.
.
We are not wired to suspend judgment psychologically we will fill in the blanks it may be a preliminary or superficial categorization but we will categorize it.
.
There are some people which claim to suspend judgment psychologically.
.
That they have no mental state concerning the question or proposition they have been presented with.
.
It seems this is done out of pretentiousness and the need to appear as rationally superior or out of fear they will appear to be irrational.
.
So the safe thing to do is claim to not have an opinion, to claim that they do not hold any belief towards the proposition noteven at the most superficial level.
.
That they are a Tabla Rasa towards the question or proposition.
.
But, as we know from human psychology the mind abhors a vacuum, and we have extreme anxiety associated with the unknown.
.
Since this is the case we will fill in the blank, we do lean one way or the other, belief is ultimately binary, we will psychologically conclude that the proposition is more likely to be true or more likely to be false. We do this involuntarily even if we understand rationally that neither position is sufficiently justifiable for such a belief.
.
Some beliefs are very superficial and you can be persuaded differently quite easily with only a bare minimum amount of justification provided to alter your psychological stance.
.
Other beliefs are deeply held with strong emotional attachments which could also be a foundational belief in which many other beliefs are dependent or contingent upon. These beliefs need an enormous amount of justification to alter someone’s psychological stance away from such beliefs. There are also other psychological obstacles to overcome to alter these deep seeded beliefs such as the primacy effect, confirmation bias, and cognitive dissonance. These obstacles are extremely difficult to overcome and become near impossible if the belief in question is foundational for a person’s entire set of beliefs.
.
It also seems that Doxastic Involuntarism is the case. It seems quite evident that we cannot simply choose what we believe. We cannot simply Will ourselves to believe anything. We simply believe what we find most reasonable to believe based on perceptions of experiences and the world, and warranted by our deeply held foundational beliefs many of which formed very early in life normally before the age of 5.
.

“Beliefs are energy saving shortcuts in modeling and predicting the environment. Beliefs are our brain’s way of making sense of and navigating our complex world. They are mental representations of the ways our brains expect things in our environment to behave, and how things should be related to each other—the patterns our brain expects the world to conform to. Beliefs are templates for efficient learning and are often essential for survival. The brain is an energy-expensive organ, so it had to evolve energy-conserving efficiencies. As a prediction machine, it must take shortcuts for pattern recognition as it processes the vast amounts of information received from the environment by its sense organ outgrowths. Beliefs allow the brain to distill complex information, enabling it to quickly categorize and evaluate information and to jump to conclusions.” – Dr. Ralph Lewis M.D.

.

“Although you’re wired to solve problems, you’re not wired to accurately define them. In the fight for survival, which determines your inherent characteristics, the ability to make a quick decision was more important than making an accurate one. You’re wired for speed and not precision. Imagine your ancient ancestor observing the rustling of the grass approaching him on the prehistoric Savannah. This was either a saber-toothed tiger or the wind blowing the tall grass. The ancestor who made a quick decision to run was the one who survived, passing this trait on to you, the one who stayed to determine the source of the rustling grass was more apt to be eaten by the tiger. His genes and aptitude for problem analysis, were taken out of the gene pool long before modern times. Speed of thought is in your genetic makeup. It served your ancestors well in life threatening problems, but now causes you to misdiagnose the not-so -life threatening problems you now face” – David Kord Murray
.

The only actual agnostics are those who have never been presented with the proposition ” God Exists” or have never been presented with a concept of “God”

.

Those that self-label as gnostic as a psychological stance are simply exaggerating their certainty in what they believe.

.

Those that self-label as agnostic as a psychological stance are simply exaggerating their uncertainty and denying they hold any belief whatsoever.

.

Which from Human Psychology we can deduce that this is simply not the case.

.

Psychological stance are concerning the thinking subject ( you, me, whoever in which the proposition is presented) not the object of thought ( the proposition and a proper evaluation of it).
.
Epistemological positions are not concerning the thinking subject ( you, me, whoever in which the proposition is presented) but the object of thought ( the proposition and the proper evaluation of it.).