What is it like to be an Agnostic?

Are Atheists properly represented in this artwork?

Are Agnostics properly represented in this artwork?

An agnostic is a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.

All Spiritual Orientations Warmly Welcomed to TROML!

If you are an Agnostic, would you write about Agnosticism and what it means and feels like to be an Agnostic? I am looking for open-minded, honest and reasonable people, like myself, to share their religious and spiritual experience, strengths and hope. I will post them on Personal Revivalist in the hope that we can unite as human beings and stop the senseless killing of human beings in this world.

I have read Carl Sagan’s book—The Demon-Haunted World—Science as a Candle in the Dark. I wonder if his views represent all atheists around the world.

1On Page 259 Sagan wrote: Occasionally, in retrospect, someone stands out. In my book, the English-born American revolutionary Thomas Paine is one such. He was far ahead of his time. He courageously opposed monarchy, aristocracy, racism, slavery, superstition and sexism when all of these constituted conventional wisdom. He was unswerving in his criticism of conventional religion. He wrote in The Age of Wisdom: “Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon than the word of God. It… has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind.” 2At the same time the book exhibited the deepest reverence for a Creator of the Universe whose existence Paine argued was apparent at a glance at the natural world. But condemning much of the Bible while embracing God seemed an impossible position to most of his contemporaries. Christian theologians concluded he was mad, drunk, or corrupt. The Jewish scholar David Levi forbade his co-religionists from even touching, much less reading, the book. Paine was made to suffer so much for his views (include being thrown into prison after the French Revolution for being too consistent in his opposition to tyranny), that he became an embittered old man.

I don’t want to become an embittered old man so while I am waiting for your guest contribution, here is more about Agnosticism from the Wikipedia website:

4Agnosticism is the view that the truth values of certain claims – especially metaphysical and religious claims such as whether God, the divine, or the supernatural exist – are unknown and perhaps unknowable.

According to the philosopher William L. Rowe, “agnosticism is the view that human reason is incapable of providing sufficient rational grounds to justify either the belief that God exists or the belief that God does not exist.” Agnosticism is a doctrine or set of tenets rather than a religion as such.

Thomas Henry Huxley, an English biologist, coined the word “agnostic” in 1869. Earlier thinkers, however, had written works that promoted agnostic points of view, such as Sanjaya Belatthaputta, a 5th-century BCE Indian philosopher who expressed agnosticism about any afterlife; and Protagoras, a 5th-century BCE Greek philosopher who expressed agnosticism about “the gods”. The Nasadiya Sukta in the Rigveda is agnostic about the origin of the universe.

Two quotes about Agnosticism:

5Who is more humble? The scientist who looks at the universe with an open mind and accepts whatever the universe has to teach us, or somebody who says everything in this book must be considered the literal truth and never mind the fallibility of all the human beings involved?” ― Carl Sagan

The Bible has noble poetry in it… and some good morals and a wealth of obscenity, and upwards of a thousand lies.― Mark Twain

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