I do not understand what it is about human nature that allows us to make such a damning mistake in rational thought as we do when it comes to religion and the gods. I would dare to say that in no other field of knowledge do we allow ourselves to be so completely engulfed within a sea of posturing, circumstance and guesswork. As a rational and thinking being, possibly the only such being on the planet, we have evolved into masters of our universe. In the 21st Century we stand poised, after millennia of trial and error, to control nature, Life, and Death themselves in a way our ancestors would have believed to be magical. The only way we’ve been able to get so far in relatively such a short period of time has been our ability to rationally and reasonably account for every force and action that occurs in our universe.
Yes, we’ve made some mistakes in reason over time (i.e. Plutos not a planet anymore? Dang) but these mistakes are to be expected as we are testing a limitless universe with grossly under-qualified cognitive abilities. yet we do it. There is no subject, NONE, that you may place a human being under obligation without evidence. yet we do it. We hold ourselves and others accountable to things and gods that, empirically, do not exist. There it is, I said it. And not only are we all accountable, but we wage wars for these Absent Rulers, we estrange family members and sever relationships with those who do not believe the same thing we believe. I often shudder at the audacity to suggest that YOUR unproven ideas are any greater than my unproven ideas. Now granted, every man needs to be able to give reason for the faith that is in him. However that man can never impose his self-discovery upon another and commit the sin of deying that person the right to Know For His or Herself.
This takes me to Agnosticism.
Please tell me if you agree with Sir Charles Darwin who once penned: “the whole subject [of God] is beyond the scope of man’s intellect.” Seems to be a pretty forthright assessment of the situation as we know it to this day. No matter the faith, the religion, the doctrine, the belief system; we all have to submit to the underlying fact that, despite our meteoric rise up evolution’s ladder, we are still not yet capable of comprehending even a glimpse of the universe’s glory. And that, in a nutshell, is what Agnosticism is about to me. It is the ability to free yourself from the shackles of controlled thought and say to the world, “I don’t know.” Not knowing is not such a bad thing. You see, until you are able to admit that you do not know, you will never be able to fully and unconditionally receive the answers. I’m reminded of an old martial arts flick where the Master pours a glass of water half-full and says to his new student who was an accomplished warrior of his own, “This is what you already know.” Then he takes a full glass of water and says,” This is what I have to teach you.” He pours the full glass into the half-full glass and of course all of the water begins to overflow. The Truth is waiting to fill you up, but cannot until you make room for it by first saying “I Don’t know.”
I find that Agnosticism is the first step for the truly spiritual, truly religious being; for it is at the point of saying “I Don’t Know,” that we open ourselves up to the possibilities of the universe.