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Is there such a thing as an agnostic?

February 25, 2008

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day and we were talking about me being an agnostic. First of all I have to say that I decided I was agnostic after reading an essay by Bertrand Russell. His argument was that an atheist would have to be able to prove that god doesn’t exist in order to call himself an atheist. Well I couldn’t prove that god doesn’t exist any more than I can prove that god does exist. So I decided that I was an agnostic.

Well along comes my friend and he put a different spin on it. He says that it doesn’t matter what you can prove or not prove because we believe in a lot of things that we can’t prove.  He says that what really shows what you believe is how you live your life because your beliefs about reality always show themselves in the decisions you make. According to him I’m an atheist because I live like there is no god. He says a thief can use an argument to prove god and may believe that god exists because of the argument, but if that person really believed in god then his life would look completely different.

You know what? It makes sense to me. There are many things that I can’t prove but I believe in. So what do you think? Is Bertrand Russell right or is my Christian friend right? Do our actions really expose what we really believe?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Ryan permalink
    February 28, 2008 6:19 am

    That sounds like an Aaron statement? I think he’s right. Or if it wasn’t him whoever it was who told you is right. The Bible has a lot to say about our true nature being revealed by our actions. I think you are an atheist. I know you struggle with the intellectual arguments on both sides but you live like you don’t really believe in God. No offense.

  2. March 1, 2008 6:20 am

    I think the real question is not whether a person believes in the existence of a god, but in what kind of god he believes. For instance, a person may be intellectually convinced of the existence of a god, but may believe that god does not care about his conduct; or if god does care about his conduct, the person may not believe that there are eternal consequences to his choices. I think most Americans fall into this category. They believe in a higher being, but don’t believe that there are any ultimate consequences for their sins. So, if this is the case, then maybe Anthropolis isn’t an atheist. His actions could be explained by the type of god in which he believes. That is, maybe he believes that god is passive or that maybe god just wants everyone to be true to themselves and find their own happiness.

  3. Ryan permalink
    March 1, 2008 1:27 pm

    Wait a minute, now I’m confused. So it wasn’t Aaron?

  4. March 1, 2008 3:31 pm

    It was. See what I go through! Always changing his mind about stuff!

  5. June 19, 2008 11:33 am

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Musclebound!!!

  6. June 19, 2008 3:11 pm

    Thanks for commenting. The point was that I may claim to not know whether there is a god but I live my life like there isn’t one. His point which I think is a good one is that what we believe affects how we act. If I really believe that people cause global warming and I really believe that global warming is bad, then I will change my behavior. If my behavior doesn’t change then I don’t really believe it even if I say that I do. Or maybe I believe that I contribute to global warming but that global warming isn’t bad so I continue to waste energy. So our actions prove our beliefs. If I really believe in god then it will be proved by my actions. Unless of course I am a sociopath.

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