Wikipedia defines the English term as:
Agnosticism is the view that the truth values of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, as well as other religious and metaphysical claims—are unknown or unknowable. According to the philosopher William L. Rowe, in the popular sense, an agnostic is someone who neither believes nor disbelieves in the existence of a deity or deities, whereas a theist and an atheist believe and disbelieve, respectively.
The only part I’d omit in the above would be “or unknowable”. I don’t know that either. :)
It’s not that I believe that there is or isn’t a greater force at play out there, it’s just that frankly, it just isn’t relevant to my life. Well, it is in the sense that if there is one, be it God or Evolution, I wouldn’t be here without it. But I also didn’t think of that before I decided what to eat for lunch today. Nor when I decided to have a family. Or for right after I die.
Whatever that force is (again, ranging from God to Evolution, pick your poison), I don’t think I have any control over it in any way, nor means to “communicate” with it. It, on the other hand, is ultimately responsible for my being here. And I’m grateful for that. But remember, I don’t think I can communicate with it, so I nod, smile, and keep going with my life. Which I think is fine.
From the future and “what if?” angles on the theology front, my stance is that as with everything else in life, I’ll deal with death when it comes, and until then, it can kiss my non-metal-yet-still-shiny ass.
My point is that I try hard to live the best life I can, every day. I try to be the most helpful to others I can. I try to work as hard I can. I try to play even harder. I’m not a crook. I’m not a murderer, nor a rapist. I love and support my family. And so on. In other words, I try to be the best human I can be, for me, as well as those around me. So if there’s something after death, I should be pretty set in my book. And if I’m not. Well. So. Be. It. It’s called dealing with the consequences of your choices. More people should probably give a try at the latter. :)
Evolution, nature, etc makes a lot more sense to me as the source of everything, at the moment. It’s a strong theory, has been accumulating proofs upon proofs following the scientific method, which I think is accurate.
But I don’t see evolution and having a greater force at work being mutually exclusive, in the grand scheme of things. We’re pretty sure what we do know so far about the universe is scientifically accurate. But as scientists, we must also accept by design that we only know what we know so far. There’s tons still to discover, and prove, about the universe. Is our known universe part of a flake of skin on some guy’s armpit when scaled [n] trillion times? I have no idea. And I’m pretty sure no one else does.
Which brings me to why I’m not “religious”. There are two angles to that question:
- I’m not spiritual beyond being very thankful and respectful to whatever is responsible for my being around.
- I cannot stand [for] organized religion, which I view as the most successful scam in mankind’s history, even over governments, banks, and insurance companies.
My firm belief is that anyone who tells me they’re in contact with or represent “god” is a little crazy, being duped, or wanting to control me or mine. And to this I say “nobody’s perfect, that’s ok, friend” to the first, “uh, wake up, friend” to the second, and “go die in a fire, useless waste of air” to the third.
Has there been a few people in history who through some fluke have been able to communicate “through universes” with “someone” else, “somewhere” else? Who knows? But what believe is that it’s none of the people who are currently claiming to be.
“But what about the good the Church does?”: to that, I look at history and present alike, and what I see is that all religious institutions have been responsible for just about as much good as evil. So not a very valid argument to get on about with yours truly, because I have dates, history books, and I’m willing to use them! ;)
Where it gets very complicated for me are scriptures. I think some [parts of some] scriptures, from some religions, have been fantastic general life guidelines for mankind in long-gone times. People’s own Wikipedias of yesteryear. A lot of it is great advice, as a person, or people. But like Wikipedia, all of them have had plenty of chances to be tempered with, actually seen less peer-reviewing than the same Wikipedia when authored and translated throughout times, etc.
To me, what’s good in the scriptures of any religion is what we universally still know right now. We [almost] all accept killing each other isn’t a great strategy. That make sense. Let’s keep that part. But by the same standard, that stoning thing in the Bible is starting to sound a little against that, right? Yeah, let’s just skip that part, assume it was a prank edit by some scumbag a few hundred or thousand years ago, and move on, shall we? I don’t think taking scripture literally makes any sense.
And for those religions claiming scriptures were written by some magical sky daddy. I don’t think so. Just good old fashion men and women, at their best, and at their worst. Think of that, then see if you still want to believe. Would you believe everything you read on the Internet?