Sunday, January 18, 2009

This one tries to be both evangelical and clever

I blogged this exchange on June 20, 2008, but I think it deserves a repost here.
My views and ideas have changed since(still not theist or religious), but this is funny shit.

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Adrienne ♥
Date: Jun 18, 2008 3:17 PM

i was wondering about the thing on ur profile that says that u r agnostic. i was just wondering wat that is cause i dont understand.

can u please send me a message back and explain it to me?

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Mo: stalker of humanity
Date: Jun 18, 2008 11:29 PM

Here's some info I found online. Please read it, it'll explain some things well.I'll explain more for myself after it.

"What Is an agnostic?

An agnostic thinks it impossible to know the truth in matters such as God and the future life with which Christianity and other religions are concerned. Or, if not impossible, at least impossible at the present time.
Are agnostics atheists?

No. An atheist, like a Christian, holds that we can know whether or not there is a God. The Christian holds that we can know there is a God; the atheist, that we can know there is not. The Agnostic suspends judgment, saying that there are not sufficient grounds either for affirmation or for denial. At the same time, an Agnostic may hold that the existence of God, though not impossible, is very improbable; he may even hold it so improbable that it is not worth considering in practice. In that case, he is not far removed from atheism. His attitude may be that which a careful philosopher would have towards the gods of ancient Greece. If I were asked to prove that Zeus and Poseidon and Hera and the rest of the Olympians do not exist, I should be at a loss to find conclusive arguments. An Agnostic may think the Christian God as improbable as the Olympians; in that case, he is, for practical purposes, at one with the atheists.
Since you deny ..God's Law', what authority do you accept as a guide to conduct?

An Agnostic does not accept any ..authority' in the sense in which religious people do. He holds that a man should think out questions of conduct for himself. Of course, he will seek to profit by the wisdom of others, but he will have to select for himself the people he is to consider wise, and he will not regard even what they say as unquestionable. He will observe that what passes as ..God's law' varies from time to time. The Bible says both that a woman must not marry her deceased husband's brother, and that, in certain circumstances, she must do so. If you have the misfortune to be a childless widow with an unmarried brother-in-law, it is logically impossible for you to avoid disobeying ..God's law'.
How does an agnostic regard the Bible?

An agnostic regards the Bible exactly as enlightened clerics regard it. He does not think that it is divinely inspired; he thinks its early history legendary, and no more exactly true than that in Homer; he thinks its moral teaching sometimes good, but sometimes very bad. For example: Samuel ordered Saul, in a war, to kill not only every man, woman, and child of the enemy, but also all the sheep and cattle. Saul, however, let the sheep and the cattle live, and for this we are told to condemn him. I have never been able to admire Elisha for cursing the children who laughed at him, or to believe (what the Bible asserts) that a benevolent Deity would send two she-bears to kill the children.
How does an agnostic regard Jesus, the Virgin Birth, and the Holy Trinity?

Since an agnostic does not believe in God, he cannot think that Jesus was God. Most agnostics admire the life and moral teachings of Jesus as told in the Gospels, but not necessarily more than those of certain other men. Some would place him on a level with Buddha, some with Socrates and some with Abraham Lincoln. Nor do they think that what He said is not open to question, since they do not accept any authority as absolute.
Does an agnostic believe in a hereafter, in Heaven or Hell?

The question whether people survive death is one as to which evidence is possible. Psychical research and spiritualism are thought by many to supply such evidence. An agnostic, as such, does not take a view about survival unless he thinks that there is evidence one way or the other.
How do agnostics explain miracles and other revelations of God's omnipotence?

Agnostics do not think that there is any evidence of "miracles" in the sense of happenings contrary to natural law. We know that faith healing occurs and is in no sense miraculous. At Lourdes, certain diseases can be cured and others cannot. Those that can be cured at Lourdes can probably be cured by any doctor in whom the patient has faith. As for the records of other miracles, such as Joshua commanding the sun to stand still, the agnostic dismisses them as legends and points to the fact that all religions are plentifully supplied with such legends. There is just as much miraculous evidence for the Greek gods in Homer as for the Christian God in the Bible.
Is not faith in reason alone a dangerous creed? Is not reason imperfect and inadequate without spiritual and moral law?

No sensible man, however agnostic, has "faith in reason alone." Reason is concerned with matters of fact, some observed, some inferred. The question whether there is a future life and the question whether there is a God concern matters of fact, and the agnostic will hold that they should be investigated in the same way as the question, "Will there be an eclipse of the moon tomorrow?" But matters of fact alone are not sufficient to determine action, since they do not tell us what ends we ought to pursue. In the realm of ends, we need something other than reason. The agnostic will find his ends in his own heart and not in an external command.
Do agnostics think that science and religion are impossible to reconcile?

The answer turns upon what is meant by ..religion'. If it means merely a system of ethics, it can be reconciled with science. If it means a system of dogma, regarded as unquestionably true, it is incompatible with the scientific spirit, which refuses to accept matters of fact without evidence, and also holds that complete certainty is hardly ever impossible."
from http://humanum. arts. cuhk. edu. hk/humftp/E-text/Russell/agnostic. htm

"Ultimately, the term "Agnostic" is something like "Christianity." Both refer to a wide diversity of belief systems, but in many cases, an individual asserts that their particular definition is the only fully valid one.

The one principle linking all meanings of "Agnostic" is that God's existence can neither be proved nor disproved, on the basis of current evidence. Agnostics note that some theologians and philosophers have tried to to prove, for millennia, that God exists. Others have attempted to prove that God does not exist. Agnostics feel that neither side has convincingly succeeded at their task."
As currently defined, an agnostic usually holds the question of the existence of God open, pending the arrival of more evidence. They are willing to change their belief if some solid evidence or logical proof is found in the future."
Agnostic atheists: those who believe that it is very improbable that a deity exists."
from http://www. religioustolerance. org/agnostic. htm

I am humanist as well.
"Secular Humanism is a non-theistically based philosophy which promotes humanity as the measure of all things. It had its roots in the rationalism of the 18th Century and the free thought movement of the 19th Century.

Some factors that most Humanists share:

Either they do not believe in the existence of a deity, or they don't really care about the topic.
They believe that excellent codes of behavior and morality can be created through reason.
Humans created the Gods and Goddesses in their own image.
They are very concerned about human rights and equal opportunities for all.
They tend to be at the liberal end of the spectrum on such controversial topics as abortion access; equal rights for gays, lesbians and bisexuals; same-sex marriage, physician assisted suicide, separation of church and state, etc."
Being secular Humanists, they reject the concept of a personal God,"
a rejection of a created universe in favor of the theory of evolution and an uncreated universe that obeys natural laws.
a rejection of divinely inspired ethical and moral codes in favor of codes derived by reason from the human condition."
They feel that religious groups' "promises of immortal salvation or fear of eternal damnation are both illusory and harmful."
They accept democracy and reject both theocracy and secular dictatorships as political systems that are dangerous to individual freedoms.
They value freedom of inquiry, expression and action. They have a history of combating bigotry, hatred, discrimination, intolerance and censorship.
They are energetic supporters of the principle of separation of church and state.
They tend to have very liberal beliefs about controversial ethical topics, like abortion, corporal punishment of children, death penalty, enforced prayer in schools, homosexuality, physician assisted suicide, etc.
They believe that "moral values derive their source from human experience." Since most believe that an afterlife is non-existent, they regard life here on earth to be particularly precious. They are highly motivated to alleviating pain and misery around the world. Many are active in refugee, human rights, anti-death penalty, environmental groups, etc.
Generally speaking, they do not believe in
a personal God, a Goddess or a combination of Goddesses and Gods."
Humans are an integral part of nature, the result of unguided evolutionary change.
Ethical values are derived from human need and interest as tested by experience.
Life's fulfillment emerges from individual participation in the service of humane ideals.
Humans are social by nature and find meaning in relationships."
from http://www. religioustolerance. org/humanism1. htm

I add:
I think that God of the holy bible cannot exist, as science and the bible itself has proven. A belief in a god has been found to be a genetic inclination, and healing through prayer a placebo.
Many cultures have used gods to explain what could not be explained, and science eventually found explanations; the people gradually accepted these.
I do believe that a spiritual force is highly possible, one that exists in much the same way as gravity, time, space, or magnetism.
Science has yet to explain and discover many things, even things we do not know of yet. I choose to accept this fact rather than using a primitive explanation that has been disproven or discredited several times over.

All that I believe was gathered by plugging facts into reason and thinking through. I only researched and read about different belief systems to know what to call myself and gain insight from different viewpoints after I had formed my ideas. I'm not done yet, as new knowledge is always being gained. I don't neccessarily expect you to accept my belief system, because you've been taught that your truth is absolute, and to not let anything sway you. Frankly, Christianity and church are brainwashing, and few people ever allow themselves to experience freethinking.

If you have any questions, I'll be leaving for vacation the 22nd and will be back the following Sunday. Hopefully, my keyboard will be fixed(I'm using the on-screen keyboard, which is very tedious) when we get back and I'll be able to explain better.


first of all no i DO NOT accept ur belief system mostly bacause it is WRONG!!! and yes i KNOW that Christianty is absolutly, 100% right and true!!!!!! and no i am not "brainwashed" into thinking that God is real but i KNOW that He is, and if u dont believe that then i am really going to miss u in heaven. i dont kno wat made u to think all this is true btu it is not!!! im praying that u will realize that God is real and that He loves u even tho u r doubting Him He still loves u!!!

My bestie Jen is awesome:

I for one commend you for being so honest and straightforward about your beliefs. I used to have "agnostic" posted on my profile but took it down when people started giving me a hard time. Maybe I should fix that.

It's really a shame that some people are so intolerant of others' beliefs as to verbally assault someone for expressing their opinion (an opinion which, to top it all off, was asked for.) Also, I loved the part about "I'm not brainwashed, I KNOW it's true." Perhaps a correct statement, but still the worst argument I've ever seen. To the commenter: Sweetheart, what exactly do you think "brainwashed" means?

As a fellow agnostic (I'm what's sometimes called a Spiritual Agnostic. We believe that there is some kind of god, but we don't assume to understand what it truly is.), I give you kudos for providing quick access to this information for anyone who wishes to better understand Agnosticism.

Posted by Benihime on June 20, 2008 -"

More comments at the original post.

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