Thursday, December 14, 2006

Quote for the Day: Procedural Agnosticism

"Doctrinaire atheism is no more objective than doctrinaire Calvinism or Hinduism. A student of ritual who insists that communication with gods is impossible is like a physicist who insists that magnetism is impossible -- he will always be trying to explain the evidence away. The truly objective stance is what may be called 'procedural agnosticism'... To study people at worship, then, one does not have to believe what they believe. One may well believe that the things they do are primarily caused by political or economic factors the worshippers themselves do not fully perceive. But one must grant in principle the validity of their experiences; otherwise, one has no hope of understanding what they are doing or of making legitimate comparisons with other cultures or historical periods." (Peter Jeffery, The Secret Gospel of Mark Unveiled, pp 59-60)


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