If I am to be classified on my belief on the matter of religion or spirituality, then you can say that I’d follow the path of Agnosticism.
So this page is my thoughts on agnosticism and religion.
So, what is agnosticism?
Agnosticism is a word that was only relative recently coined in the 1860s, by Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895), usually referred to as T.H. Huxley, an English biologist.
The word agnosticism was actually derived from the Greek word for gnosis, which means “secret knowledge” or “knowing”, which was core belief of the early Christian cults, known as Gnosticism. By Huxley prefixing the letter “a-” to “gnosticism”, the new word has the opposite meaning to gnosis; hence agnosticism (or agnostos) means “no knowledge”, but I’d prefer to use the definition as “unknowable“.
However, agnosticism is often confused with atheism, and in many ways, the two seemed to be the same thing.
There is idea that I’ve posted in a couple of forums, which I would like to post here, and elaborate a little to which category do agnosticism falls under.
Imagine yourself in a large tract of land, with green field. And on this land, a tall, long fence divides the field into two. On the one side of the fence, there are the believers, people who follow religions or spirituality. I refer to the believers as to those who follow monotheistic religions, such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam, or those who follow polytheistic religions, such as the Hinduism, Buddhism, Shinto, Wicca, and all other pagan religions or cults. On the other side of the fence, are the unbelievers, which fall into the category of atheism.
On the one hand, believers firmly believe in the existence in God or gods, and on the other hand, atheists believe just as firmly there are no gods and reject all existence of spiritual beings. Both sides would advocate for their belief or disbelief.
So which side of the fence does the agnostics standing on?
My answer would be “neither”; an agnostic would be sitting on the fence.
The biggest mistake Christians and Muslims have on agnosticism, as well as on atheism, is that atheism and agnosticism are themselves religions. I find these observations to be absurd.
Agnosticism is not theism. Agnosticism (and atheism) doesn’t depend on nor follow any creed or dogma. In fact, to be agnostic, you don’t need to read or follow any writing of Huxley, or literature from other agnostic authors/philosophers. Agnosticism is not a religion, plain and simple. Agnosticism is more of “concept” than a religion.
Agnosticism is a concept of which we can neither prove nor disprove the existence of spiritual beings, such as God. Agnostics simply rule out any final judgment of whether God exists or not cannot be made, and that such question is ultimately unknowable or unanswerable. I supposed this is more like a “suspension of judgment”.
Another mistake is in believe that something is “unknown” or “unknowable” means “ignorant”. It’s not.
Despite the scriptures, such as the Torah or the Jewish Bible known as the Tanakh, the Christian Bible and the Qur’an, there are many mysteries in regarding to God, which all three religion professed to believe that they know the whole truth. People have been making assumption about God, and interpret scriptures the way they want to, and seeing more in the texts than that is actually there.
Another mistake Christians and Muslims make in regarding to agnosticism is they assume being agnostic would mean that I am impartial and fair; that I wouldn’t have any view on religion.
Of course, agnostics would have view on religions and on atheism. It also doesn’t mean that I am not curious about religion. I have a great deal interests in religion. But curiosity doesn’t necessary mean “belief” or what I would call “faith” in any of the scripture.
When I can, I seek to learn, however, I cannot take everything that I read on blind faith; I can’t accept without questioning. Unfortunately, some would say that this questioning as criticism, and that some would say that agnostics are merely another name for skeptics, but I believe that this would be misleading. Skepticism doesn’t necessarily apply to religion; skepticism can be applied to any issue.
The last question would be “Am I happy being agnostic?” I am neither happy nor sad being agnostic. I am contented to remain as agnostic, until it can be proven if God exist or not. I am open to learning about religion and other culture, but life is too short to brood too much on the issue of God.
Reaching a destination is only a quarter or one-third of the fun in a life’s journey, so I will try to enjoy the journey along the road, and not just the end of the journey.