Agnosticism is, in the first place, psychologically self-contradictory upon its own assumptions.
Agnosticism wants to hold that refraining from thorough epistemological speculations is reasonable because they cannot lead to anything. Nevertheless, in order to assume this attitude, agnosticism has itself made the most tremendous intellectual assertion that could be made about ultimate things.
In the second place, agnosticism is epistemologically self-contradictory on its own assumptions because its claim to make no assertion about ultimate reality rests upon a most comprehensive assertion about ultimate reality.
The alternative is not between saying something about ultimate reality or not saying anything about it, but that the alternative is rather between saying one thing about it or another. Every human being, as a matter of fact, says something about ultimate reality.
It should be noted that those who claim to say nothing about ultimate reality not only do say something about it just as well as everybody else, but they have assumed for themselves the responsibility of saying one definite thing about ultimate reality.
They have assumed the responsibility of excluding God. We have seen again that a God who is to come in afterward is no God at all [i.e., a finite God undermines traditional Christian doctrines and the possibility of human rationality].
Agnosticism cannot say that it is open-minded on the question of the nature of ultimate reality. It is absolutely closed-minded on the subject. It has one view that it cannot, unless its own assumptions are denied, exchange for another. It has started with the assumption of the nonexistence of God and must end with it. Its so-called open-minded attitude is therefore a closed-minded attitude. The agnostic must be open-minded and closed-minded at the same time. This is not only a psychological self-contradiction, but an epistemological self-contradiction. It amounts to affirmation and denial at the same time. Accordingly, they cancel out one another, if there is cancellation power in them.
Incidentally, we may point out that, in addition to being psychologically and epistemologically self-contradictory, the agnostic is morally self-contradictory.
His contention was that he is very humble, and for that reason unwilling to pretend to know anything about ultimate matters. Yet he has by implication made a universal statement about reality.
He therefore not only claims to know as much as the theist knows, but he claims to know much more.
More than that, he not only claims to know much more than the theist, but he claims to know more than the theist’s God.
He has boldly set a bare possibility above the theist’s God and is quite willing to test the consequences of his action.
It is thus that the hubris of which the Greeks spoke so much, and upon which they invoked the wrath of the gods, appears in new and seeming innocent garb.