Even working at a college, I deal with a lot of people who don't know what agnosticism is. Here's my standard spiel.

Okay, the Christian stands at his pulpit and pounds upon his copy of the Bible, "There is a God!" The atheist stands at his science lecturn, pounding upon his copy of Darwin's Origin of Species, "There is no God!" The agnostic points to all the conflicting religions in the world and quite humbly states, "I don't know."

But that's not a cop-out or a refusal to state a belief. Just because I merely refuse to state a belief in favor of or against the Christian God doesn't mean that I have no beliefs whatsoever, it just means I'm a little more cautious about throwing my faith to the wind.

Kierkegaard made a leap of faith towards Christianity, and I made one towards rationality, which is more of a mental practice than it is a belief system. The only real belief I have is in the Cartesian Cogito, namely that because I have thought I at least know that I exist as a thinking being.

I don't actually believe in the ontological existence of physical matter (after all, the Matrix is a logical possibility, however improbable) , but I estimate it to be of ~99.999% probability that matter is in fact real. So it's not something I really lose sleep over.

But the really difficult thing about agnosticism is the fact that you (to be truly intellectually honest) have to consider the possibility that any possible worldview might be the "one true picture of reality".

Some people think agnostics are wimps, but how tough did Thomas Henry Huxley have to be to hold on to his "highest-probable case" of Darwinian evolution over Christian creationism in the wake of the death of his five-year old son?


(Just for shits and giggles, I'm currently exploring the Australian aboriginal worldview that all life is a dreamer dreaming a dream-- and that the Christian god is merely a misnomer for the dreamer.)
The agnostic points to all the conflicting religions in the world and quite humbly states, "I don't know."

Agnosticism is the doctrine that the existence of God, or any ultimate cause beyond material phenomenon, cannot be known nor denied. It is not the absence of belief as to whether God exists or not. They are related though: an agnostic, by definition, must also state that he does not know whether God exists. However, a person that says they don't know whether God exists is not necessarily agnostic.

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