Agnosticism is the most prideful of all philosophical standpoints.
Thats a pretty frank statement and I can totally see how it might be a bit offensive to some. I am not a person who likes to snap and make mean arguments, and my goal here is not to offend someone, or to pour forth some irrational religious emotions. The goal here is an honest and humble sharing of ideas.
A person who is an agnostic is one who claims that they neither believe nor disbelieve in God. It is a person who does not know what God is like and who does not believe that anyone can know what God is like. To an agnostic, the whole conversation about God and the meaning of life is futile, so lets just not talk about it.
According to the Oxford American Dictionary, pride is “the quality of having an excessively high opinion of self or one’s importance”. Here are three reasons why I think this description matches the heart of agnosticism:
1. It assumes knowledge that is superior to any knowledge that comes after it
By stating, “I don’t know, and no one can really know” a person is essentially saying, “What I don’t know right now, can never be known by anyone else”, which is essentially saying, “My knowledge is the highest kind of knowledge there is or ever will be”.
Is this not a high view of self?
2. It is focused, not on knowledge, but on the absence of knowledge
To add to this, the person who claims that “no one will ever know” has most likely not done an in-depth study of every philosophical viewpoint that exists. As a matter of fact it does not seek to give serious thought to any other worldview, precisely because it starts with the conclusion that they are all wrong.
The agnostic is not interested in any conversation on any one propositional truth because if that truth turns out to have some substantial argumentation – they will have to subject to it and surrender their cherished middle ground of doubt.* In order to truly reject something, an agonistic has to prove it wrong, but if he does that he ceases to be an agnostic! Thus they say, “I don’t know.”
True, honest knowledge requires humility because it forces you to subject your mind under a fact that is independent of you. Pride is the opposite of humility.
3. It is focused on the cultivation of a personal, customized worldview
This brings us to our third point. Why doesn’t the agonistic want to know anything? If we embrace the claim that there IS no truth, than the whole subject is up in the air, and your idea is as good as any.
This virtually puts every person in the position of being in charge of their own little universe – truth and meaning is whatever is true and meaningful to you. The implication here is that everything in life revolves around you and your opinion of it. Agnosticism does not seek for a God around because it has already found the god within.
If this not an ‘excessively high view of self’, than I don’t know what is.
So what? What’s wrong with that? Thats just the problem – we aren’t God, nor do we have any reason to think we are. We are little people in a gigantic universe that is largely outside our control or comprehension.
Romans chapter 1 points out that that these facts point us to the reality of the One who infinitely supersedes us. It also presents the fact that our pride is the greatest offense against this One, and the greatest barrier which prevents us from seeing His supremacy over ours. Agnosticism epitomizes this principle more than any other worldview.
* A half decent answer is better than a non answer. The agnostic does not have an answer, they just have questions. Thus, their position is intrinsically weaker than the position of anyone who does have some sort of idea which contains substantial foundation to it.