Subject: Re: [questioningrel-83] Thoughts on "Recent thoughts from Doug"
Do not worry, no offense was taken at all. Believe me, I have gone from hardcore atheist to Christian to pagan... to a lot of different beliefs, and the only thing that I really know is that I am not a big fan of organized religion, in the sense that a hierarchy must exist.
As for some of your quotes:
"It is my quest to learn what the agnostic system of belief offers those who hold to this view point, especially since after examining myself during this time I found nothing of value in it for myself."
Well, being agnostic really is not a religious belief... I would consider it more a school of thought first, though I am sure many consider it a religious position if you simply believe in a creator, but you can be agnostic w/o believing in a creator. To me, agnosticism is a transitional state. Please excuse the chemistry talk. Transitional states, in chemistry, are structures in between reactions. So if you have a reaction from starting material A to form product B, the transition state may look more like A or B (A* or B*, respectively). These transitions states are not stable, they bounce back from form to form, and are usually difficult to characterize. That is really the only way I can describe my beliefs at times.
As for what value can be found by having a religious agnostic view? For me (and I am sure Mario will agree with this theme), I prefer the freedom I have to believe what I wish. The minute I call myself Christian (not that I am), everyone immediately thinks they know what I believe, no different then when I tell people I am a Republican... they automatically have a tendency to assume that I think George Bush was the greatest President and that I get off on torture (pardon my language, but a little pain never hurt anybody ;-) I kid, I kid). Anywho...
I would say believing in a more formless creator has some great benefits. One is that no one else can tell you what it is. You have no established doctrine, so there are no arguments. If I want to believe that Anubis is the male form of the creator, and Jean D'Arc is the female form of the creator, no agnostic person can say "you are wrong". Also, it allows me to take what parts I agree with from any religion. Because the Bible is the major account of who God and Jesus are, I really do not care for them (I find both divine beings, in the Bibles account, to be hypocritical). I can still believe that a sort of heaven and hell exist, but I do not have to believe that the god that is talked about in the Bible has anything to do with that. I do not have to believe in Noahs ark as being historical fact (something I cannot accept). It allows me to be able to believe in something, without having to get into a debate with an atheist about ridiculous things such as how you could build such an ark where the animals wouldn't kill each other and disease run rampant. I can believe, without scientific arguments being able to truely argue the validity, because scientific validity is still important to me. I can believe that Anubis is God, and not a single person can scientifically prove me wrong. True, you can believe in the ark, but science has a basis to argue why it could not have happened.
To me, being agnostic gives you the flexibility to believe in a creative force without being in conflict with ones scientific beliefs. In Christianity, I believe that is a little more difficult, especially when one believes the Bible to be the word of God (which I do not).
Please, do not take offense from my criticisms of a religion. It is important for you (and everyone) to know that as much as I believe in what I do, I also believe that others have the right to believe what they want, and I encourage that. In fact, I find myself defending many of my Christian friends, because I do think Christianity has gotten a bum wrap for certain reasons.
But I will also enforce, even though I may respect someones beliefs, it does not mean I agree with them, as I usually do not, but I will accept them as beliefs.
And so you know, I have read the Old Testament some time ago, and took a course in college on Biblical Narrative, because I believe it is important for me to understand others beliefs.
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