This is a modern variation on the philosophy of Socrates I've been working on using a Functionalist approach. His famous dialogue method is the subject of future work, but this short chapter on agnosticism provides the core of the philosophy. Among other things Socrates believed moral temperament was more a question of divine bequest than up bringing which we might interpret today as a genetic predisposition but, whatever the case, the point here is to avoid bias in either direction. Socrates said, "True wisdom is knowing you don't know" to which I would add accepting our ignorance is how we really come to know anything. If nothing else we can always be certain of our uncertainty and, therefore, our ignorance. It is the source of whatever humility, creativity, and free will we might possess, but only to the degree we are both aware and accepting of our ignorance. As far as Socrates was concerned this was a simple fact of life. If you are not aware or accepting of the fact that you don't know how to swim, for example, you'll have limited wisdom when it comes to water. This "ignorant wisdom", or knowledge and wisdom acquired by becoming aware and accepting of our ignorance, is the heart of agnosticism. Agnostics possess the conviction that they don't know whether God exists and some additionally believe it is impossible to prove or disprove whether God exists. Like any stance people can take it is their convictions that define them as something other than merely being uncertain, undecided, or confused. A newborn infant might not know if God exists, but what distinguishes agnostics is they know they don't know and, therefore, hold the conviction they don't know. The insistence of many atheists and believers that agnosticism be defined as mere ignorance, doubt, or uncertainty (50/50 probability) is an attempt to deny the convictions of agnostics and deny that agnosticism presents a viable alternative. This is common in ideological disputes where one or both sides will go to extreme lengths to deny any sort of neutrality is feasible because its existence can harm their cause. It is the aggressive group mindset of you are either with us, against us, or undecided and ideologues will sometimes stop at nothing to discourage others from establishing a viable neutral alternative. The implied threat from both believers and disbelievers alike is one reason agnostics are not more often outspoken. For agnostics the unwelcome and uninvited attacks from both sides can be a poignant reminder of their struggles to cultivate ignorant wisdom in any aspect of their lives. A cyclone is a common Asian metaphor for this lifelong process of cultivating ignorant wisdom. All our expectations, preconceptions, and beliefs swarm in a wild cacophony around the calm center of the storm violently colliding with one another and the world. The deeper into the storm we venture after them the more confused and disoriented we become. Sometimes the storm will throw us back into the center and sometimes we deliberately work our way there, but once in the center we can shift our focus to our awareness including that of our ignorance. In those moments we present ourselves with renewed opportunities to accept, ignore, or reject our ignorance. Acceptance of our ignorance is the only requirement for obtaining ignorant wisdom or becoming agnostic with no beliefs, ideology, or methodology necessary. It can be a completely spontaneous act without regard for how we came to such a decision or any consequences it might entail. An instinctive affirmation of our own awareness that comes straight from the heart and often takes us in surprising directions. Strange as it might sound, as an agnostic myself I am truly grateful for my ignorance and, in fact, I can't imagine a loving God who would want it any other way.