Stef (firecat) wrote,

theism, atheism, agnosticism

This is from a comment I made in [personal profile] xiphias's journal, where there is a discussion of the concepts "theist," "atheist," and "agnostic."

A quote I like on this subject:
For T. H. Huxley, who coined the term in 1869, agnosticism was as demanding as any moral, philosophical, or religious creed. Rather than a creed, though, he saw it as a *method* realized through "the rigorous application of a single principle." He expressed the principle positively as "Follow your reason as far as it will take you," and negatively as: "Do not pretend that conclusions are certain which are not demonstrated or demonstrable."....Huxley called it the "agnostic faith." -- Stephen Batchelor, Buddha Without Beliefs
I'm very much of two minds. Intellectually I'm scientifically oriented and don't believe in things I don't have evidence for. Emotionally, on a subconscious level, I often have a feeling that the universe is benign ("of a kindly disposition"), although I don't really imbue it with personality so I wouldn't call it belief in deity.

I've tried various ways of balancing these things. My current solution to this two-mindedness is a Buddhist practice with no belief in deity and with a goal of bringing me into better contact with whatever benignity does exist (in me and other beings).

This entry was originally posted at, where there are comment count unavailable comments. I prefer that you comment on Dreamwidth, but it's also OK to comment here.
Tags: language, religion, science
  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded