An ontological agnostic is simply a person who says they don’t know or have any idea of what the universe is fundamentally made from.

Interestingly it does not matter what you say it is made of you have to admit there is mystery.  You cannot even understand an atom fully.  You pick the thing you can understand the most or the best.  Give your energy to that.

If the physical is so puzzling then positing that there is such a thing as non-physical spirit does not help.  It is only making it worse.  Why not just say matter has mysteries and leave it at that?  You cannot pay much attention to spirit or declare it is even a valid thing to opine about when you cannot test or do anything with it.  It's just a guess.

Spirit as we say is not physical at all and thus has no parts.  Maybe a number of these spirit entities can come together to make some kind of functioning machine.  But that does not alter the fact that a spirit as spirit has no components. 

Now it is obvious we have no way of sensing a reality that has no parts.  None of the entities have told us, "I am real but I am not physical at all."  We don't even have a testimony.  And if there were no such thing we would still probably invent the idea of spirit.  It is  just a guess.  You cannot build God belief and religion on such an idea for it's too flimsy for that.  Yet that is what has happened.  An agnostic taking it seriously is lending it credence.  It does not deserve anybody saying it might be true or worse, is probably true.  A real agnostic does not believe an unbelievable thing is believable.  I am saying there is a bias that should not exist in the agnostic.

Part of the ontological agnostic's conundrum is that if consciousness is made of material stuff, something that is as physical as sand, then it seems we have no way of explaining how our thoughts fit in. They argue that "a thought is never like a stone. It's not explained by the physical. It's too different from the physical to be some kind of material stuff." But they admit that they don’t know what it is so how do they know that it does not somehow come from something physical or how the physical gives it birth?  Consciousness itself is a mystery.

The mystery is caused not by being aware but by how you are aware that you are aware.

The fact that brain damage wrecks it shows that you cannot really unlink it from the physical.  Just how linked are they?  Is the physical able to become conscious?

The argument that consciousness is a mystery is distorted by religion to allege that the mere fact that it exists may point to a miracle working conscious God. But we know far more than just the bare fact that consciousness is there and is real. We know the equally important truth that brain damage wrecks it and diminishes it. This does not support the idea of consciousness being like a ghost or spirit. So if there is a mystery it is not a religious type one. Leaping to God is an overreach.

Strawson said that, “All consciousness involves consciousness of that very consciousness”. It just happens. You don’t deliberately cause it to happen. Against that people say you forget you are conscious that you are conscious when you are absorbed in a good film.  But you still know it at the back of your mind.

This takes us back to the mystery of consciousness.  An eye cannot see itself.  Seeing itself in a mirror is not seeing itself but an image.  So how can we be aware that we are aware?  Are we?  Are we the eye that looks in the mirror?  YES!  That changes everything.

Consciousness feels odd and miraculous and other-worldly.  It is just a feeling.  You can be conscious of the cold when you are in fact not cold but merely watching a film scene replete with ice and snow.  Feelings have no place in philosophy.  Philosophy needs head work.  And so does science.

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