The meaning and origin of the name “Agprognostic”

The meaning and origin of the name “Agprognostic”In ancient Greek wisdom and philosophy, there was quite a comfortable understanding that it was impossible to know everything; in fact, you were better off saying you knew nothing.

Plato’s famous saying underlines this belief:

“I know that I know nothing.”

 A sentiment that was echoed by one of ancient Greece’s more obscure gods, the Unknown God “Agnostos Theos.”

Ironically, it was perhaps the belief in this very god that enabled the Apostle Paul to convince Athena’s elite of the existence of the Jewish-Christian god. As he had found a loophole where revelation could occur without challenging their beliefs.

This is said to have happened on his visit to Athens. Where upon seeing the altar dedicated to “Agnostos Theos” perhaps not quite understanding the subtlety, he declared their ignorance and claimed instead that what they were actually worshiping was the god revealed through his incarnation in Jesus Christ.

In effect, stating that, not only was the unknown made known, but that for this god, everything was known and could be made known.

The belief that everything can be predicted by someone who knows everything, aka God, came to a logical conclusion in determinism. The philosopher Pierre-Simon Laplace became perhaps the most famous philosopher to formulate this, in what became known as Laplace’s Demon. 

For almost two millennia, this belief had an apparent stronghold in western philosophy. We might have kept going with this belief, for the illusion is hard to shake off, if not for the dawn of quantum mechanics, which brought forward Heisenberg’s “Uncertainty Principle.”

In a nutshell, this theory proves that everything cannot be known, not because of a lack of ability to know but because an unknown factor is written into the laws of physics. Indeterminism became a proven and real factor in what could be determined.

Not only did this render the idea of knowing everything obsolete, it also changed the way cause and effect can be thought about on a fundamental level. 

Plato’s paradoxical declaration that knowing and not knowing are inextricably linked is illuminated by the “uncertainty principle.” What distinguishes one life form from the other, or one person from the other, is their ability to know.

In effect, making the individual a relative expression of the knowing and not-knowing.

From this accumulation of events and the reflection upon them comes the word “Agprognostic.”

A neologism of the words gnostic (knowing), agnostic (not knowing), and prognostic (the ability to know).

In its broadest sense, the term refers to “the unity of opposites in an individual’s ability.”

As such, the Agprognostic Temple becomes a temple that reinstates the unknown, not as a god but as a presence of being that, with the known, is expressed in the unique ability of each artwork shown.