Agnosticism: The perfect answer that can’t deliver

Agnosticism: The perfect answer that can’t deliver November 5, 2010

Based on the enduring lack of conclusive, objectively verifiable, purely empirical evidence, agnostics claim to simply not know whether or not there’s a God. As a rational response to the question of God, it’s an unassailable stance. All emotions, intuition, and inspiration aside—all subjective persuasions aside—the unadorned fact remains that we don’t know whether or not there’s a God. Struggle though so many do to muddle the two categories of knowledge, belief remains separate from fact.

So, since agnosticism is easily the most logical position to take relative to the question of God, why are there so few agnostics in the world? I don’t know anyone who doesn’t think of themselves as rational and logical. Yet some 95% of people believe there’s a God.

What gives?

The reason agnosticism fails to attract people is because its core truth is in direct contradiction to the actual experience of life. Agnosticism and reality go together like wax fruit and a hearty appetite.

Agnosticism is all about doubt, about being uncertain as to what ultimately rules or determines life. But the things that actually do rule and determine life couldn’t be more certain or clear. Like death, for instance. Talk about a firm, clear reality. Death is as definite as it gets. As is being sick. As is being pregnant. As is being born in the first place.

Family. Stress. Joy. Taxes. Hunger. Getting evicted. Falling in love. Losing your job. Getting cut off on the freeway. Tripping on the sidewalk. A dog attacking your ankles. All of our lives are utterly dominated by conclusive, objectively verifiable, purely empirical facts and truths.

Life consists of a lot of very clear, very definite stuff. And that stuff brings up very clear, very definite questions.

And such questions demand very clear, very definite answers.

“I don’t know” is about as unclear and indefinite an answer as can be. You can’t do anything with it. It’s like bringing a ping-pong paddle to play golf with. No good.

The core of agnosticism is ambiguity. But life is anything but ambiguous. And that is why so very few people find agnosticism satisfying.

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