The Agnostic That Admires Religious People

Recently at work, my older, male co-worker asked me what religion I follow. This is a really hard question for me to answer because I’ve been going to Christian schools my whole life, but as of now, I don’t really follow any specific religion. I usually say I am agnostic because there is no other word to describe my religious limbo. Whenever someone asks me this question, I get two kinds of responses on opposite extremes. The first group is very into their own religion and tries to convince that I’m going to hell for not believing in anything and are usually significantly older than me by ten or more years. The other extreme is an atheistic point of view, or agonistic, and accepts my answer and moves on.

You would think I’d prefer talking to someone from the latter group because of their lack of judgement for my little religious beliefs. Actually, I rather talk to someone in the former group. I admire their faith of believing in something they can’t see and can’t necessarily prove in a scientific way. They intrigue me with the way their eyes light up when they talk about their Holy books and how religion changed their lives. Though they may condemn me for choosing not to follow a religion, I appreciate their willingness to express the inner working of their religion, so I can understand what exactly appeals people to following these “holy” words.

This co-worker happened to be Muslim, which was new to me because most people that I talk to about religion are Christian. I have not met many Muslim people in my life and I was genuinely intrigued by his stories about the Qu’ran and his take on other religions. I didn’t even know that Islam and Christianity both believed Adam was the original man. Why is it that there always seems to be a war going on between these two groups when they have things in common? To make his point clear on how important religion is in one’s life, he showed me this video of Muhammad Ali talking about what he is doing after his boxing career is over. I can tell you now, it is not what you’d expect.

Whether you are religious or not, this video really does make you think about the concept of time and how you choose to spend the little time you have. As of now, I still don’t know what to believe, but I guess that is something that will become clear to me eventually.

Anna Sky, Contributor

5 thoughts

  1. Anna Sky, respectfully, you clearly have no understanding of Huxley’s principle of agnosticism, his methods, and especially his view that most atheist are too sure (Dawkins for example claims to be 99% sure) and his voiced position that most atheist are more offencive than most theist.

    My experience is, that theists and atheist often justify mockery, ridicule, dehumanization and even genocide based on claims to know or believe in things that can’t possibly survive scientific methodology. In contrast, the agnostic claims that what lies beyond phenomena is unknown, if you claim to know or believe, I’m compelled by reason to demand the scientific grounds you base your claims on. If you can’t do that, then you have absolutely no justification in condemning others for doing the exact same thing your ideology has been doing.

    Anna Sky if you’re looking for something other than the label theist or atheist to describe your personal philosophy, I’d suggest skeptic. It’s not commited to any one principle, method, or philosophy and as a label it’s innocuous to everyone but the most fanatical know it all. The word agnostic however was coined, defined and defended by Thomas Huxley, it has very specific parameters that I personally agree with but in no way do I compel you to adopt them. We only ask you do not perpetuate the misinformation asserted by the theist or the atheist regarding Huxley. Huxley’s works are all available, there is no reason (or excuse) for anyone to claim agnosticism yet not know it’s a noun referring to TH Huxley’s principle of agnosticism.

    1. Christ Centered Teaching – the Agnostic employes a method for determining what they accept as true or real. Our method is simple, what we claim to know or believe must be founded on scientific grounds. The Christian religion is not based on scientific grounds in fact, if Jesus ever existed at all (he probably did) then he barely resembled the God portrayed in the bible, and was certainly not the origin of the cosmos. In light of scientifically known facts, the Christ story is obviously a myth.
      If you claim to believe based on some subjective spiritual experience, so do Muslims and Hindus. So did the Greeks, Romans and the Egyptians. I can’t say your spiritual experience is meaningless perhaps you’re tapping into something, but your subjective experience certainly has no evidentiary value in my life.

    1. Levelheadedmuslim – Agnostic method requires that we apply what we claim to know or believe to scientifically grounded methodology.
      Your paper starts off mostly valid in that (assuming existence is intentional at all) humanity has no real understanding of our ultimate origin. However Islam in fact clearly asserts that Muslims infact do understand. If you want to claim some innate or inherent knowledge exist in every human being regarding an intended origin, clearly you haven’t met every human being, and you don’t know what they claim to believe.

      As an agnostic, I’m compelled to take the claims and beliefs presented me by others and subject them to modern scientific methodology. I do so because on such methods stand all the achievements of modern humanity. If you want to enforce Islamic laws and rules on others based on your claims to know or believe and you can’t (and clearly you can’t) demonstrate your claims on scientific grounds, then you and I are going to have some very unpleasant issues regarding personal liberties and natural rights.

      If you follow Islam, you can try and claim your religion is rational, however Islam clearly embraces the supernatural as real when such an absurdity is easily dismissed any number of ways. The agnostic principle is clear, what a person claims to know or believe must be based on scientific grounds. If that proves impossible there are but two possible dispositions; First the claims are so absurd as to invite dismissal. Second, that the claims are interesting, but because of human inability or lack of available evidence, the claims should be reserved (they still can not be used as a basis to claim knowledge or belief) until more information becomes available. Islam and Christianity are in the first category, as each are easily dismissed using agnostic method, you’ve embraced the supernatural, your claims and beliefs are no more real than those who worshiped Ra or Apollo. Now If you were just talking about whether or not the universe exist intentionally or not, such a claim can not survive scrutiny of scientific method, but can not be (based in some very interesting scientific observations) easily dismissed either. To such a claim the honest person recognizes their own ignorance.

      Note concerning agnosticism. Because Huxley’s principle of agnosticism also dismisses the claims and beliefs of atheists, atheists have so misrepresented Huxley’s principle of agnosticism and method that very few people have even a basic understanding of what Huxley’s agnosticism was created to represent. If you wish to study Huxley’s principle, insights and methods for yourself, let me know, I have links to his works.

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