Core to the belief of an agnostic theist is knowing that we do not know if God exists; we do not know of his involvement or lack thereof. Whilst we believe there may be a God, most do not attribute our fates to God.
Too often I hear people blaming God for their situation, for some let down of another. Agnostic theism in a sense does allow someone to blame God as they believe God to be; however, it is more common for an agnostic theist to be practical.
If a series of events happen it is more sensical for an agnostic theist to see things as they are. Blaming an invisible force often leaves us blind to reality. The same argument can be made to believing in luck, superstition, astrology and other invisible forces. One does not exclude their possibility however it is clear that in life there is normally a more factual explanation to hardship.
Let’s take something that happened recently in my life. My grandfather passed away from stage 4 cancer. I could blame God for it and I could blame God for not saving him. I could also thank God for allowing him into the world in the first place. A more practical approach is understanding that cancer is a cell mutation that can be caused by a number of things. Cancer can sometimes be cured and other times it cannot. Most importantly it is about understanding that there is probably no invisible force that had spitefully made my grandfather sick because I did not go to Sunday mass.
As an agnostic theist I do not need a supernatural explanation to a very natural thing. I also can acknowledge my feelings of grief, respect, love and the fact that I will never see my grandfather alive again.
When I lose a client or a friend; it is not God teaching me a lesson and if I cheat on my spouse it is not the devil luring me to do so. When I do something wrong I don’t blame God or his adversary; I blame myself. When the economy is bad I look for opportunities but I don’t blame God.
Knowing that I do not know God let’s me focus on the things I know and this is one reason why I am proud to be an Agnostic Theist.
Gnosticism vs Theism or Apple Vs Orange
So what is the difference between an Agnostic and an Atheist?
What is the difference between a soldier and an American? Both the word soldier and the word American are used as nouns in this case. Had I used the term American soldier that would change things slightly but let’s think a little here.
An American could be an American Actor or an American entrepreneur. A soldier could be an African soldier he could also be a young German soldier. The two nouns agnostic and theist or gnostic and theist for that matter mean two different things. Whilst over time words and meanings merge a little it is important to understand that belief and knowledge are not the same thing; they therefore do not negate each other but rather compliment each other to paint a clearer picture.
Many agnostic atheists frown on agnostic theists claiming that one cannot believe that which one does not know. This is however where things get a little tricky; most of what we think we know is actually belief. This is why many find it hard to understand that knowledge and belief when presented as the words gnostic and theist are as different as when we use common English wording.
A week ago my wife ran into the room and told me that there was a mouse in the house. I did not know or certain that she was saying the truth and most importantly I did not know that there was a mouse in the house. What I did know was that my wife had told me that there was a mouse in the house. I believed my wife; I prepared to face the mouse. Quite the sight was I as I made my way to the room where the mouse was last seen. I was tense and ready to fight, broom in hand ready to wield with might.
I opened the door and lo and behold was a two foot tall mouse. My daughter had gotten dressed up in a mouse costume and my wife had set me up for a prank.
Yes being an agnostic theist may open you up to a prank every now an again but so can being an agnostic atheist. To spend a life believing that there is no supernatural being of any sort simply due to the lack of evidence is akin to not believing in dinosaurs because you never saw them.
Agnostic theist – The activist, pacifist and other