- Religion and Philosophy»
- Atheism & Agnosticism
Why I am Agnostic
In my entire life, religion has played a fairly insignificant role, and yet has been something I constantly wonder about. I guess at some level though, we all do. I was born into a religious family, but started neglecting religious practices early on, mostly because it was all boring to me. As a child, I didn't really consider things like god, the after-life, or the soul in any depth. And let's face it, which child does? We are all born and raised a certain way, with beliefs bestowed upon us from our parents, teachers, and other influential authoritative figures. When I was finally old enough to think for myself, I quickly abandoned religion altogether and decided I was an Atheist. At that time I was around 11 and came to that conclusion based on one thing: I do not want to follow any religion. Since then, I've learned a lot more about philosophy, science, and life itself. However, my core beliefs are the same. The only thing that has changed is that I know consider myself an Agnostic. In all honesty, I don't even really know the difference. From what I understood, atheism is just the flip-side to religion, and rejects everything of the sort, whereas agnosticism is a maybe. Is that true? I don't know, and I really don't even care what the label is.
All I know is, that everything for me is a maybe, and my beliefs are centered around the possibility of anything, as such; the impossibility of nothing.
Why I Rejected Religion
What is Life? What is Death? What is God? What is the soul? The answers to all of these questions are uncertain. Many theories (religions) offer answers to these, but I can only take them with a grain of salt. Why should I choose one over the other? They've all been presented as the one word of god, the one answer, the one way of life, etc... What gives me the power to be able to pick which one is right? Everyone in the world is born into different religions, so if there is only one true religion, does everyone else have to obtain the wisdom to convert on their own? How can I even decide which religion is right, it's not like I can test them against each other. There's no way I can possibly verify that any book was in fact sent down by god, anything I hear or learn will be from another human being. That human being, has learned his ways from another human being, and so on, and so forth. I can't verify when in the timeline god came down and bestowed his wisdom upon which human being, or if god came down himself, or whatever else happened. Why didn't god just tell everyone directly himself?
The point is, I can't judge what's real and what's not and in the end, and I'm sorry to say but no one can. You cannot confirm 100% that your religion is right above all. It's a matter of faith, and to people who have it, it's great for them. I'm not saying religion is a bad thing, it encourages good morals and it's overall goal is the fulfillment of life. For me though, I think I already have a strong set of morals, and I've learned the good and the bad from all religions equally. I've learned what's right and wrong from experience. Will I always be righteous in whatever I do? No, of course not. But I can only try and be a good person, with my own definition of good and with what I learned as the definition of good.
What Can I Possibly Want Out of Life?
Many people wonder what agnostics look forward to if not the after-life. I'll discuss my views about the after-life in a different article, but the gist of it is that I think we were given this life to live as our own. I don't know, it could be a test, and it could not be. Logic shows that it's better to treat it as a test because then you can live a good material life, as well as a good after-life. So fine, let's say I decide to treat it as a test, what path should I take? As I mentioned before, there's really no way of deciding what path to take, but the end goal is the same. All religions encourage you to be a good person, etc... The way I see it, if I do no major harm to anyone, and if there is a heaven, I'm probably going there. God being all righteous as he is will not send me to hell because I didn't pray or because I ate meat or whatever. I just want to enjoy life, I don't want to be caught up in worrying about things beyond my control or knowledge.
How Do I Answer Life's Questions?
As I said before, maybe. I don't need or want answers. There's some things we just don't know. No one can know everything, it's not humanly possible. What I mean is, the sheer amount of knowledge already AVAILABLE to humans is so vast, that there isn't time to worry about the knowledge that ISN'T available. There's always scientists looking for answers to the things we don't know, and of course they're always expanding the pool of knowledge for all mankind alike. Even those things that scientists have proven I can't take for certain. I don't mean to sound like a crazy philosopher, but at some level I do have a belief that nothing in life is certain. Things can turn upside down any time, any day. However, for the time being I accept reality as what I perceive it to be. It's just simpler that way. The things that I don't perceive, I don't really bother stressing out over. In the end, everything is just a maybe to be.
- Is there a god? Maybe
- Is there life after death? Maybe
- Do aliens exist? Maybe
- Is this all a dream? Maybe
Who cares though. You won't find out until you're dead anyway, and even then, that's a maybe.