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Old 05-08-2011, 01:35 AM   #1
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An open letter to agnostics

This thread deals specifically with Judeo-Christian theology, nothing else.

Dear agnostics,

Every once in a while when I decide to dwell upon the concept of religion, I cannot help but note those who sit on the fence and refuse to accept one side or the other. You hold the belief that there is no way to definitely prove one side or the other, so instead of choosing a side, you simply wait idly to see if you're right (or wrong). For various reasons entailed below, you try to maintain a sense of neutrality in which you assure yourself you are approaching religion objectively, but in truth, you are only setting yourself up for ridicule from both sides.

First, let's briefly discuss some of the reasons you choose not to choose (note these are claims and by no means factual): there's insufficient proof for both sides, God may exist, but I'm not sure, and most importantly because you're scared. While in most situations binary thinking and absolutes often lead to disaster, religion is one concept in which there are only two answers: right and wrong. Now, I will further discuss why being indecisive has no benefits and only negatives.

Firstly, consider Christianity. Isn't it true that the only ones allowed into heaven are those who accept Jesus Christ as their savior? If this is true, doubting his existence will not allow you into heaven, because the only way to get into heaven is through unquestioned faith. Sure, there are probably other ways such as being pure of heart, but when was the last time you saw someone who didn't break one of the ten commandments on a daily basis, or at the very least, was free of sin? Would you, the agnostic, have anything to gain from doublethink: believing god could be real, but not sure? According to the Bible, no. Many theists like to claim that God/Jesus forgives all who is willing to accept him as their lord and savior, but, then, why even outline actions people should not do, if committing them is inconsequential in the end?

A very popular argument from you is that there's no way to not prove God's existence. That argument seems to be your Great Wall. Yes, in theory, it is impossible to disprove that something that has never manifested itself is fake, but you also forget what the burden of proof is. The burden of proof lies with those claiming God's existence, not those who doubt it. If someone tells me that the trees don't grow from seeds and I say they do, are you automatically going to believe person A simply because I cannot visibly show you that a seed sprouts into a tree? You can liken it to the popular question, "If a tree falls down in a forest, and no one hears it, does it make a sound?" Now, consider the premise to that question when phrased into a religious context: "If a God exists, but doesn't ever prove himself to anyone, is he really there?" Your answer may vary, but my answer is no.

Now, theists might be quick to mention that God proves himself to us all of the time. Number one, this thread is not about you (you get enough attention). Number two, something that can be explained by simple biology is not "God's work". It is, in fact, the work of nature. We will not play catch-up and prove where everything came from, read a biology and history textbook if you're interested in that information.

Now, let's look at agnosticism through the eyes of an atheist. To us, you're someone who cannot make up their mind because they fear being wrong. Agnosticism is not about doubting evidence, it's about the inability to choose a side. As explained before, in the end you will be wrong either way. So, if a God exists, congratulations, you proved those filthy atheists wrong, but your place in hell is no less secure than ours. Even if we are wrong, we will die what we believed, similar to a theist. You, on the other hand, will die not knowing what to believe, and for that, you will be a weak person.

An atheist will also be quick to point to the example of Russel's teapot. If I told you a teapot was in space, but it was too small to see with any telescope, would you believe me? The underlying situation is, of how much consequence is the teapot in your life. Does it matter to you whether or not the teapot exists; does it have a significant impact on your life? Think of Russel's teapot like God: does it matter if he exists or not? If you answered yes, you are in fact a theist in denial. If it doesn't, you are not agnostic, you are simply irreligious. Once you've decided on being irreligious, you can now stay that way, or go a step further and decide you will not let the existence of a deity influence you.

Just in case theists feel left out, here's a little quote for you, "Once you realize why you reject other gods, you'll realize why I reject yours."

So, while I accomplished nothing but ramble on, I hope I at least gave you some perspective so you can seriously consider your stance.

Sincerely,
Astu Piddasol
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Old 05-08-2011, 01:43 AM   #2
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I personally believe in God. I never really thought about why agnostics were agnostic, but yeah, you're right...it's a pretty simple minded belief. It's like not knowing rather you prefer beef or poultry. How can you not know what you, your own self, prefers?
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Old 05-08-2011, 02:17 AM   #3
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I personally believe in God. I never really thought about why agnostics were agnostic, but yeah, you're right...it's a pretty simple minded belief. It's like not knowing rather you prefer beef or poultry. How can you not know what you, your own self, prefers?
Yes, if I could have summarized this thread in two lines, this is what I would have said. And this thread really isn't about proving/disproving anything, it's more like finding out why someone thinks the way they do. I don't consider religion a game, I think it's great if someone believes in God, and just fine if they don't. I suppose not holding beliefs makes that decision easy to make, as I really don't base religion on whether I like someone, it's not a factor.

At the very least, though, they need to have the capacity to think. And that requires that they understand why they believe the things they do. In this case, I don't see a strong case for agnosticism on any front, so I want to see why exactly would someone choose to be agnostic instead of theistic (of any variety) or atheistic.
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Old 05-08-2011, 11:46 AM   #4
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As long as you don't let your beliefs get to your head like those Islamic radicals who fight to impose Sharia Law upon all, now that's dangerous!
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Old 05-09-2011, 02:40 AM   #5
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As long as you don't let your beliefs get to your head like those Islamic radicals who fight to impose Sharia Law upon all, now that's dangerous!
well, he's talking about Agnostics. Agnostics are people neither believe in God nor deny him.They technically have no belief that can get to their head in the first place.
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:37 PM   #6
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They choose to be agnostic because neither any monotheistic belief or Atheism can refute their ideology. I'm not speaking for the whole Agnostic group and I'm not representing their ideology sumarilly, but to my understanding Agnosticism doesn't necessarily mean you bury your collective head in the sand just because you choose not to believe either side.
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:29 PM   #7
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I have a friend who's agnostic, and I can't understand her reasoning. She dosen't know and dosen't care enough to consider the possibility. This is one thing I've learned about agnostics, they simply don't care.

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Old 05-10-2011, 01:07 AM   #8
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I don't understand agnostics.
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:32 AM   #9
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Agnostics are people who aren't confident enough to have an opinion.
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:23 PM   #10
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Eh, it's a complicated thing... I don't think it's as simple as "can't disprove either way." There's such a huge variety of religions in such a large number of cultures that some would say that's not coincidental, and perhaps there is a basis of truth behind the whole organised religion mess. Maybe it's their way of being religious, but without conforming to any organised religions or beliefs... since it can't be disproven there's no point in denying that it's a possibility. Then again for the same reason there's no point in even entertaining the idea that it is a possibility, since there's not a shred of evidence for it :/ there are a lot of natural reasons for human behaviour, mostly concerned with social adaptations... so basically agnostics are probably on the fence because they worry that it could be true but want to enjoy their one short life rather than punishing themselves for being animals.
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