I Don’t Know About Agnosticism

Not knowing about agnosticism is like saying, ‘Deja vu? Haven’t I met you somehwere before?’

When you think about it agnosticism is really a no man’s land. It is a country you pass through, a stage on a journey, and never a destination. The human heart hates a vacuum, and the emptiness of agnosticism cannot last forever.

In conversation today with Chapman the Younger, three types of agnosticism emerged from the fog of our minds: There is a healthy type of agnosticism which is really a sort of open minded-ness. This is a cheerfully ignorant sort of agnosticism in which the person admits they really do not know enough to make up their mind, and as a result they cannot honestly hold an opinion. So, for example, I am agnostic about the theory of evolution. Did the world we see evolve from a simpler existence? I really don’t know. I’m not a scientist. I am woefully ignorant. I’m happy to be agnostic, and if push comes to shove, to take the word of the experts.

The second type of agnostic is simply lazy. It’s easier not to decide to believe because belief might demand obedience. It’s easier to remain undecided because to decide might mean you have to do your homework. The lazy agnostic remains in his state out of torpor and lethargy, and the devil will keep him there as long as possible.

The third type of agnostic is not an agnostic at all. He fights against belief and holds on to his ‘undecided’ state like a baby clutching his security blanket. The hound of heaven is at his heels and he denies it forever. This agnostic is no agnostic at all, but simply a rebel. There is a sub-type of this conscious agnostic which may be termed the stoic agnostic. He does not lower himself to fight against God and belief, but his lofty, stubborn retention of his agnosticism is just as determined as the more vocally resistant fighting agnostic.

All three types of agnostic are transitional states. The cheerfully ignorant agnostic will eventually (consciously or unconsciously) drift into a form of belief of denial. Similarly, the lazy agnostic will eventually drift into a state of belief or denial–usually sadly, he will drift into the sort of atheism which denies God by default and lives a casually bestial life devoid of God, devoid of prayer, devoid of anything but love of his own ease. The third type of agnostic has the most chance of salvation, for his fight against God and against belief is real, and so his submission is the one that is most likely to be real.

Agnosticism is a transitional state because humanity has been given the ability to perceive what is good, and to be aware of God’s revelation. It’s like the ability to see. The spiritual person sees and wants to see more. The agnostic has his eyes closed, and to remain agnostic is to keep your eyes tightly shut in the presence of that light by which we see all things.

About Fr. Dwight Longenecker
  • bernadette

    Did you hear the story about the Agnostic, Insomniac, Dyslexic man ?He lay awake at night wondering if there really was a dog.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12160692717572191491 onionboy

    “US Blogs and Links”"UK Blogs and Links”Nothing for Canader, eh? Pity.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11583896062297706545 TomBombodil

    You wrote: The cheerfully ignorant agnostic will eventually (consciously or unconsciously) drift into a form of belief of denial.I wonder why this must be so? Take your own example, the theory of evolution. It is quite possible that you will live your entire life on the sidelines of this great debate and you will not enter on the side of belief or denial. You will always be in a state of doubt.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12373317560249811006 Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    That’s why i said (consciously or unconsciously)he will drift into a state of belief or denial. I’ll wake up one morning and say, ‘I guess that evolution stuff is probably right.’ or vice versa.


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