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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 538)...

    I understand your stance regarding God or gods, that "the only thing I can say about the gods is that there is no way to discover their number. That knowledge is simply not obtainable." But do you conclude from this that God does not exist? Or do you consider yourself an agnostic?

    ...and the response:

    To reach the conclusion you suggest would contradict the premise from which it was drawn. Look at it: I assert that the number of the gods cannot be determined by any means. If I conclude from this assertion that God does not exist, then the number of the gods is zero (and the assertion is therefore false).

    I'm simply saying that I'm unable to put myself in any camp with regard to the existence of God. I can't join the atheists (who assert that there are zero gods), I can't join the monotheists (who assert that there is one god), and I can't join the polytheists (who assert that there are many gods). Nor am I an agnostic; I'm not saying I DON'T KNOW whether God exists, I'm saying this knowledge is UNOBTAINABLE. It's not that I don't HAVE it, it's that it's NOT THERE to be had.

    Or you could put it this way: God's existence is an object not of knowledge but of belief. It's possible to BELIEVE that there is no God, one God, or many gods, but it's not possible to KNOW any of these things. I should add that, while it's POSSIBLE to believe one of these things, it's not NECESSARY to believe one of them. One is to FREE to choose one of these beliefs to embrace, but one is not COMPELLED to choose one.


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