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I spent much of the last decade as a practicing Pagan. So when I came across an article entitled Agnosticism is Lazy Thinking, I figured I would check it out. I do not really consider myself agnostic, but what the author describes as agnosticism is close to where I am.
The author of this article believes that any good faith system should be able to explain everything.

Any good worldview should have explanatory power that relates to all of the things that can be observed in the universe. This would include the material universe: the nature of matter, energy, and time; and the immaterial universe: logic, truth, justice and morality. In other words, a good worldview will be able to adequately address both science and philosophy.

He goes on to say Greek Mythology fails this test because there was no god of quantum mechanics. This is actually laughable to me because the Greeks had no understanding of quantum mechanics and many Christians actually reject most of the research that comes out of physics, but as a pagan, I feel qualified to say that Apollo as god of math and science would also be the god of quantum mechanics. I don’t really feel the need to beseech a god too often about physics, but if I did, I would be ask Apollo for assistance.

An Agnostic states that they do not know how to explain both science and philosophy in a unified manner. Implicit to Agnosticism, however, is that they reject all of the alternative worldviews.

This is not lazy. In order to reject these answers we have to be presented with them first. Many agnostics search endlessly for answers and simply do not deem your answers satisfactory. That is not laziness. I have read probably 500 books just to help me understand where I stand in the past 5 years. That is more books than many Americans read in a lifetime. Just because I cannot find a unified theory, does not make me lazy. Physicists still haven’t found a unified theory, but that doesn’t mean they, like many agnostics aren’t searching.

I think the rub for the author is the latter part of the agnostic equation, agnostics reject “all of the alternative worldviews.” This means they reject his worldview. I know this may be unfathomable for the faithful, but for some intellectuals, your faith doesn’t make sense. That doesn’t mean I haven’t researched your faith, participated in your ceremonies, prayed to your god, and in general tried to understand. It takes a lot more effort to have to justify constantly why you have rejected the faith of your family than it does to embrace what is offered to you.

I reject the notion that because agnosticism isn’t positivist, you can’t criticize it. In fact, agnostics often analyze their beliefs, particularly when new facts are offered up. Agnosticism is flexible and accepts that we will never have all of the knowledge. We will never know everything. That is okay. We work with the information we have in order to shape our understanding.

Finally, I reject that “it is also the duty of the critic to show how some other system better explains the facts.” If you want me to believe want you do, you have to show how it offers answers to my questions. So far, my conclusion is that we have insufficient knowledge to create a unified theory that makes my spiritual beliefs in a higher power with our current level of science. This is more consistent to me than rejecting science outright so I can cling to belief or rejecting the possibility of a higher power just because science as I understand it doesn’t require a god. If you can present me with evidence, particularly evidence outside of your religious texts that help to me to formulate a unified theory, I will be grateful. My understanding of the universe is constantly changing and I appreciate those who help to fill in the blanks. Maybe I am not a “traditional Agnostic” any more than I am a “traditional Pagan” or ever was a “traditional Christian,” but my agnosticism is not lazy, it is formulated around a pursuit of understanding and an acceptance that there is always something more to learn.

photo credit: IronRodArt – Royce Bair (“Star Shooter”) via photopin cc

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