Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Why I'm an agnostic

Arguments between theists and atheists make me think they're both missing the point. People have belief systems. If yours doesn't make you hurt anyone, it's fine by me, and it's even better if yours helps you do good things. Some of my favorite people are theists, some are atheists, and some are agnostics. Two of my favorite bits of Christian wisdom are Jesus's "Ye shall know them by their fruits" and James's "Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works."

Agnosticism was coined by Thomas Huxley, so any discussion should keep in mind his definition:
Agnosticism, in fact, is not a creed, but a method, the essence of which lies in the rigorous application of a single principle … Positively the principle may be expressed: In matters of the intellect, follow your reason as far as it will take you, without regard to any other consideration. And negatively: In matters of the intellect do not pretend that conclusions are certain which are not demonstrated or demonstrable.
That works for me.

That said, Steve Brust makes some fine points in Steve vs St. Thomas, which he just characterized on Twitter as "New blog post: Why I'm not an agnostic."

ETA: Because I just love to quote Malcolm X: "Since I learned the truth in Mecca, my dearest friends have come to include all kinds — some Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, agnostics, and even atheists! I have friends who are called capitalists, Socialists, and Communists! Some of my friends are moderates, conservatives, extremists — some are even Uncle Toms! My friends today are black, brown, red, yellow, and white!"