My Agnostic Beliefs

Posted on October 1, 2013

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I had a conversation with an atheist that went downhill rather quickly. It started out well enough. I complimented on her intellect, and how people with higher IQ’s tend to lean towards atheism. (Something I learned from an article in Free Inquiry magazine) After admitting my agnostic beliefs, her response was unabashedly, though unsurprisingly, degrading: “Only people without balls lean towards agnosticism.” Naturally, I was completely offended. It was not only a challenge of my belief system, but also of my masculinity. Two birds with one stone, you might say. So, how did I respond? I lost my temper, unfortunately; said things I don’t normally say to a woman. 

Shame on me. But oh well. Anyway, the reason why I had found her response unsurprising was because, through my reading of atheist literature, (Free Inquiry magazine, The Humanist magazine, “Secular Humanism and its Commitments,” which is a compilation of the supposedly best articles from Free Inquiry) and interactions with atheists, I’ve concluded that they tend to be rather pretentious and close-minded. Sort of contradictory, considering it’s coming from individuals of such high self-proclaimed prestige. You’d think that people of supposedly high intellect would be more apt to debate than ad hominem, or an attack on the individual, rather than the belief itself. 

Of course, I, myself, am committing a sort of character assassination. I’m generalizing atheists as being a bunch of pretentious windbags. I know they’re not. One of my friends is actually an atheist, and hasn’t made any attempts to belittle my ‘middle of the road’ beliefs. I respect that. There needs to be more acceptance in the world, not discord. 

Back to my conversation with this all-knowing, infallible, atheist girl. She considers agnosticism to be an ‘opt-out.’ I couldn’t disagree with that. You could essentially look at it that way. Though, I would hardly describe my choice in being agnostic as being too afraid to pick a side. This is despite all the ‘evidence’ that she claims to support there is no deity. (She failed to give any examples of this ‘evidence’) I’m just uncertain. At one point, atheism appealed to me, but there are just too many unknowns in our world that science can only hypothesize about. 

Take a recent National Geographic documentary on the Bermuda Triangle that I watched recently. Scientists did their best to explain the unusual occurrences and mysterious disappearances. The theories ranged from electronic storms caused by the sun, sudden bursts of methane hydrate bubbles from the ocean floor, and rogue waves. In the end, it seemed that the explanation was, simply, coincidence. The people who disappeared on those ships and planes just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Possible? Of course. Probable? The scientists couldn’t say for sure. But then, maybe that was for the ratings. Only doing an extensive amount of research yourself could give you a clue. 

My point is, whereas science seems to hold all the answers for some, for me, it doesn’t. But neither does religion. So why not settle for something in between? Or does it all have to be black and white, believe or don’t? Well, I know where I stand, and I can respect the beliefs of those standing on either side of me. I just wish we could all do the same. 

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Posted in: Essays