Atheism, Agnosticism, and Faith


Atheists and people of faith share at least one thing in common - they both claim to know something that is by definition, unknowable. Atheists claim they know there is nothing beyond the senses, no higher power than humanity, and no "divinity." From their point of view, the lack of evidence of these is all the evidence they need to draw their conclusion. Granted, I have simplified the basic arguments to make this easier to understand.

People of faith claim to know that there is something beyond the senses, some kind of higher power, and/or some divinity or (G)god. Their evidence is usually experiential or inferential. Their certainty bolsters their faith and their faith helps them to find certainty.

While there is nothing inherently wrong either faith or atheism, there is a place between the two, a place of skepticism and cynicism called agnosticism. This is a place of not knowing. In a culture that prides itself on knowledge and intellect, agnosticism is either ignored or seen as weak or invalid. Agnostics suggest that most things are unknowable and that we function by accepting the best ideas and the best evidence available to us. There may be a higher power but there may not be. Depending on which evidence you look at, your opinion may change and fluctuate. It's difficult to live in uncertainty which is anther reason why people of faith and atheists are so similar. They need certainty and absolutes. Agnostics don't look for absolutes.

Agnostics, in general, think more (I define thinking as the continuous asking and answering of questions). They ask more questions. When they get answers, they question the answers. They are suspicious of everything. Agnostics don't know much. As such, they constantly look f or more and better information, different answers, different data points, and different perspectives. For them, there is never a consensus, never a final answer, and never an absolute right and wrong. Everything is subject to re-examination.

I don't suggest this to everyone, but maybe you could become a bit more agnostic and challenge what you think you know!

#atheism #agnosticism #faith #religion #Christianity

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