Why Be Agnostic About Gods?

An article at Radical Atheist asks Why be agnostic about gods? There are some specific questions at the bottom that I will directly address.

If you consider yourself agnostic in matters of theology, and if you believe that as an agnostic you have no opinion on whether or not gods exist, what would you accept as evidence one way or the other?

I don’t believe agnostics can hold no opinion on whether or not specific theistic gods exist since I think there’s enough evidence on each one to make a personal ruling on it. Following agnosticism as the method, I do follow Socrates with ‘Try all things, hold fast by that which is good.’ Examining the religions of the world I see the work of man and an obvious fiction to try to simply define the magnificiantly complicated universe we live in. The honest agnostic cannot hold these defined religions as likely and so I believe it to be right to be atheistic towards each of these religions and definitions of a creator.

I would have to not see the work of man or byproducts of the natural world in anything that would be considered true evidence of a god. DNA is one piece of evidence that gives me wonder as to the possibility of an intelligent creator but does not provide support for any of the specific religions I know about or even that an intelligent creator was required for DNA to come to exist. I do have to admit it leaves open the door to such a possibility.

If you’re theistically agnostic, do you consider miracles, signs, predictions and religious visions possible?

I do think such things could be possible, but any time I’ve personally examined such stories I see the work of humanity, the byproducts of our natural world, or just a blind faith attempting to put meaning to random events.

Would you be just as comfortable having someone pray over you for a healing as you would visiting an emergency room if your appendix burst?

No, I have never seen prayer work directly so I don’t believe in it. Prayer may coincide with the eventual events but that is not proof of its abilities. I know doctors can work and have seen repeatable results from the medical field so I trust in their abilities.

If you don’t use skepticism in order to reach defensible conclusions (not absolutely right answers, though) then what good is it doing you?

I do reach defensible conclusions with my skepticism and agnosticism. I could probably just as easily call myself atheist and be done with it but I still see being agnostic as the most important label of my beliefs because it directly speaks to my method of belief. It also speaks to the limits of my knowledge and that I don’t claim to have the answers many people are looking for. The most important thing is that I do not really know why or how the universe is here or even if there is a why. I do believe that there could actually be a reason why we exist that none of us are capable of understanding. I believe the agnostic label indirectly speaks to that belief.

I do possess perpetual wonder and probably a perpetual amount of ignorance about the biggest questions religions claim to answer. I don’t see it as eternal indecision though since I have most definitely decided on the bounds of my knowledge and belief. I have found peace in stating the fact that none of us really know why we are here or if there even is a why. The reason I won’t go back to the atheist label is that I believe it implies that there is no reason for our existence or at least the existence of the universe that spawned us. I can’t say that I know that as a fact. There could be a reason and there could be a higher intelligence that caused this universe to be. I just firmly believe that understanding such things are so far beyond our intellect and abilities that agnosticism is my best answer.

I see clearly and I believe this to be my endpoint of belief. Throw any current religion at me and I clearly say that I’ve rejected each of them as lacking evidence for their beliefs. I am atheistic about all of the defined religions. Speak generally about the concept of creation and the possibility that there was something we would called intelligence behind it then I have to remain firm in saying I honestly do not know. I am an Agnostic.

Why Are There So Few Agnostics?

An article asks the question: Why Are There So Few Agnostics?

For the record: based on the lack of conclusive evidence either way, agnostics claim to simply not know if there’s a God. Atheists flat-out say there isn’t a God. Okay, so why aren’t there more agnostics? Without question agnosticism is the most logical position to take relative to the question of God.

I also believe agnosticism to be the most logical position and this is why I cling to this particular label for myself. Why don’t most people gravitate towards this same view? I think part of it is because there are so few evangelical agnostics that spread this very honest idea that we have no clue about such things. The article believes it has to do with the idea itself.

The reason is because the core truth of agnosticism is in direct contradiction to the core truths of the Actual Life lived by everyone in the world. Agnosticism and reality go together like wax fruit and a hearty appetite. Agnosticism is all about doubt, about being uncertain about what it is, ultimately, that rules or determines life. But the things that actually do rule and determine everyone’s life couldn’t possibly be more certain or clear. Take death, for instance. Talk about a firm, concrete reality. Death is as definite as it gets. As is being sick. As is being pregnant. As is having rickets.

Family. Stress. Joy. Taxes. Hunger. Getting evicted. Falling in love. Losing your job. Getting cut off on the freeway. Tripping on the sidewalk. A dog attacking your ankles. All of our lives are utterly dominated by real, physical, unavoidable, universal facts and truths.

It’s all very real stuff. Real stuff brings up real questions. And real questions need real answers.

Agnosticism is a very real and honest answer to very real and important questions for many people. It’s that Actual Life that leads so many to jump to a conclusion, any conclusion, so they can believe they have an answer. Just because we desire fact and truth doesn’t mean we’re capable of getting it or understanding it. I believe such things are beyond us.

“I don’t know” isn’t an answer people can use. It doesn’t help them with anything.
Agnosticism = Ambiguity.
Actual, Physical Life = The ultimate in unambiguous.
Bad match.

Agnosticism = Honesty.
Actual, Physical Life = Begs for simple and structured answers, but creation and first cause are outside of our physical lives so why try to impose the rules of the physical universe on them?

“I don’t know” is an answer I use every day. It helps put me in my place. I am a person on this planet of this universe. I am part of this human family and society. I must function within the universe I know. People that are pretending to know anything about gods or a lack of god do not really know and I know this as a fact. It is my agnosticism that gives me the right vantage point for dealing with such beliefs and how I should view them. I reject the mystical notions that people know God and what their God says I should do. I also acknowledge with great wonder and awe the mystery of the universe and our existence. I believe I am smart enough to know the limits of my knowledge and am happy to live within those limits.