Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Why I Am Agnostic

2003, I discovered the term 'agnostic' and it was indeed an huge epiphany for me for I then realized that there was an actual word what my beliefs and that I wasn't alone. It was a great day. Since then, I've been pretty much "out" and vocal about my non-beliefs and my stance on it and hope, if nothing else to educate folks on it and hopefully kill some misconceptions about non-believers and enlighten them. Yes, there are non-believers who are black and young. No, we don't worship the devil. No, we have no trouble dating or making friends. And no, we are climbing in numbers.

So in short, I am agnostic and this is a few reasons why (and I really hope I don't lose friends or readers over this):

  • I don't believe in life after death. I don't believe anyone truly knows what happens after death so all is speculation. Without life after death, there is no need for salvation, a savior and the idea of judgement, heaven and hell or sin. I believe all living creatures are given one life with a beginning, a middle and an end. I believe the end is death, of which we'll all meet the exact same destiny; an eternal death.

  • I don't believe in the biblical god. I think its a completely man-made concept. I think its possible that there is an ultimate force that keeps everything in the universe aligned and balanced but I don't believe in an ultimate being whose image we'd been created in, watching over us, judging us, listening to and answering our prayers and putting specific care into our lives. I believe, in the vast great scheme of the universe, our mortal lives are pretty insignificant and we only believe it to be great because we have the ability to think and reason, ponder and speculate. Without this ability to think for ourselves, we'd be no different than animals. And there would be no religion.

  • I don't believe in the biblical Jesus Christ. I think there is a good chance that the entire nativity story is the greatest story ever sold. There are just too many holes in the story, and not enough evidence or first-hand witnesses. If there was such a person as Christ, I believe he was probably a normal, mortal who may have performed some good deeds, and for whatever reason, people chose to create a messiah out of him. I believe the biblical Christ to be a myth.

  • I don't believe in worship. I see no reason for it. What would be the point anyway? To create an entire species of living beings, then to to hold their dying devotion and gratitude to you over their heads for their entire lives so that they may get a chance to meet you one day? And if they don't, eternal damnation in the pits of hell? Where is the love there? I believe a loving being would not require ultimate devotion over any other thing to get love in return.

  • I don't believe in sin. It's a completely religious term to me and I believe it was created to regulate rules and instill fear in people to act "morally" based on morals set by a bunch of dead, white guys some eons ago. Half of those so-called sins are merely normal, human reactions. I don't need anyone to define right and wrong for me. I was taught by my parents, I can observe for myself and decide for myself, what it right or wrong.

  • I don't believe the bible is the word of god or that any god had anything to do with it. It was written by man, in a successful attempt (in my eyes) to scare the shit out of people to act a certain way. A way, in which the writers deem acceptable. It is not my way. Or even one way. It is merely the ideas of a group of white men, who have passed it on as divine words. And people have chosen to follow it.

  • I don't believe ANYONE knows how we got here, what the meaning of life is and what happens after we die. No the preachers, theologists, the Pope, nuns, deacons, ministers, none of them. I believe ALL religion to be theories and the theory of a god unknowable. I don't believe there is really anyway to prove or disprove a god, but all theories point to a no, for me. At least not in the neat definitions defined by religious heads.

  • I can't put my faith into any religion. I believe that if there was a god, Jesus Christ, trinity or what have you, it would not require faith for its existence, it would be concrete like the air we breathe, the sun that rises and sets daily, the water we need for our bodies, the gravity to hold the earth's possesions together etc. It would be an absolute, positive truth that did not rely on belief. IT WOULD BE FACT. And you dont have to believe in facts. They just are. Think about it. If you were a god and created an entire planet and species of living beings, would you not have concrete proof of your existence? Would there be only speculation about you? If you have omnipotent power, how would you allow it to be that there is no real, hard trace of your existence? Why would you allow people to come up with their own conclusions knowing that over half will get it wrong, that there ignorance will spread and spin-off theories and beliefs might prevail. What if everyone has it wrong. Would you want them to know, particularly if their souls depended on it, the right way?? Would you remain silent, allowing them to decipher your messages through vague signs?? I believe there would be NO speculation if this were real. There would be ONE WAY and it would be irrefutable. I mean we would be talking about the creator of the entire universe!

  • I believe what people refer to as a 'soul' is also a myth. Obviously, if we really did have souls that lived on after our bodies died, we'd need for it to go somewhere and that is where salvation comes in. But I highly doubt it. I believe what people call their soul is only their living consciousness and once the body, the heart and the brain has died, so has the consciousness. And the person does not actually live on, except within the vivid memories of their loved ones.

*sigh* I could go on, but this blog is lengthy enough. But I just wanted to get my general thoughts and ideas out there. But also say, you can be moral and good and just without worshipping a diety. I do understand why some choose to believe and understand how it gives them hope and fulfilment in their lives. I don't hate on them for it. But I hope they don't hate on me, because I've tried it and it did not work for me.

Instead I found peace of mind in knowing that this life is all I have and that my heaven and hell exists right here on earth. My choices and decisions can define my future and its really in my hands. I have to depend on me.

And that's good enough for me.


Rashard G. said...

I doubt you will lose any believer friends over this, they may even respect you more for speaking your mind in such an articulate way. Religion, like Coca-Cola, Budwieser, and Marlboro, has benefited greatly from sly advertising aimed at misleading the naive masses. The more good-natured, honest, well spoken non-believers like you and I speak, the better enlightened the uninformed will become. Keep it up.

Erika 2004 said...

Penn of Penn & Teller once said that religion is one of the biggest scams. And when you see who some televanglists are living, it's difficult to dispute that. BTW, did you hear about the church near downtown that brought their pastor a Bentley??? But they can't pay the church bills and do nothing for the community in which their church resides. Most so-called religious people are the most hypocritical and inconsiderate people that I have ever met in my life.

Anonymous said...

I fully respect your beliefs, or non-beliefs. But as I re-read your post, you seem closer to an atheist than an agnostic. Why do you chose agnostic to describe yourself?

The Girl From Park Heights said...

Very good question and I should have mentioned this in the post. I don't consider myself an athiest because the bottom line is I don't believe we can make hard decision as to the existence or non-existence of a god. If there were some evidence, I could probably believe but I think that is unknowable and we'll probably never know, even after we die. So there's room for error since we can't prove everything and I'm not ready to staunchly say there definitely is NOT a god, when in fact, I really dont know that. I think evidence is highly probable that there isn't, but not definite. We don't really have a definite on this.

So that leaves me in the 'maybe there is, maybe there isn't, who could say' camp.

Skinny Black Chick said...

You might not have scared any of your friends, but you damn sure scared a couple of mine! Lol.

One of my homies who's unfamiliar with the blogger site came upon this blog because she thought it was one my posts. I had people texting me asking if I was agnostic. I'm like "Huh? Where did that come from?" Lol.

Great post though. I think it's important to stand firm in who you are and what you believe in despite the pressure to conform. I'm also glad you spelled it out because a lot of people tend to lump non-believers into one big category, when there are clearly some differences.

Anonymous said...

As long as women worship me, I don't care what they believe in. B)


Anonymous said...

I hear you. Although I define myself as a Christian, I have forever had some of the same thoughts as you, although I am a firm believer in the after-life. I went to a Catholic college and believe it or not was encouraged to think out the box with regards to religion and found that the more of the bible i learned and we discussed, the more issues i had. furthermore, i just had an issue with the picture that God would want us to sit down all day and pray to him rather than spend that time going out and doing good. i know too many alleged christians who are stingy, mean and judgemental while there are many "spirtiual" people who aren't devout who do more to change the world for teh better. heck, wars are still started today based on our religious differneces (no matter what they say). i have issues with giving ties (forgot the spelling) and a certain percent no less. God doesn't need your money and if you want to help the church do good work for the community then that donation should be voluntary (ATMs in the church just astound me). Anyway, I have had difficulties finding a church I enjoy b/c of how we as a people behave. I think if we simplified it all, we'd be better off. Follow our hearts and our own connections with God rather than a preacher or a minister or a priest or a pope. To me they are sidetracks to what really matters. just my two cents.

abe said...

What veracity spews from your mouth... I must say that I'm touched by the insight, sincerity and thought put into this blog. You've encapsulated all of my theories (and some) and delivered it in electronic format for the masses to digest. Knowing (and having experienced) the potential backlash to be sustained by sharing such thoughts, I have to commend you for doing so nonetheless.

While I can't say with absolute certainty that there is no omniscient, omnipotent diety overseeing our daily affairs (and marking us off as "naughty" or "nice" as if he were the most famously fabricated fat white man in the history of time), but it is so comforting to know that there are others who "just don't know for sure" -- one way or another. Hearing from people such as yourself and Rashard always put me more at ease with my beliefs (or non-beliefs, however you choose to view them).

The ability to reason is one of the greatest powers a human being has... so where is the harm in using it? As long as you do so constructively and don't dump on others for not sharing your belief (which is unfortunately something that happens all to often), then feel free to think free.

Great blog.

WendyB said...

Wow, lady! I totally agree with every single one of your points. Great, well-written post.

Anonymous said...

Hey, it's Monique. I don't want to sign up, so I will be anonymous... :)
I consider myself a Gnostic Christian. Many of the same rejections based on common sense. But I do believe in an all loving God, not the vein (sp?)god, with human qualities, of our ever so popular Holy Bible. I believe Jesus (or whatever his name may have been) exsisted (along with others) and had an important message to send us. Through man and his Dogma, the messages are being sent they way man wanted it portrayed, messing everything up.
Based on my life experiences, I do believe that our soul was here and there before and lives on.
I am also confident that there is no Hell, Satan or whomever, and Sin- no. All scare tactics. There is common sense, there are personal morals, we have impulse control, and there is good and bad. Life is not as complicated as religion makes it.

Oh, and a "Christian" told me recently that I was going to Hell because I did not believe Jesus died on the cross. Come on!!!

P. said...

I am a strong Atheist. I don't believe in gods, angels or sweet white jesus anymore than I believe that monkeys are going to spontaneously fly out of my butt. I'm sure that you can imagine how well that, especially the sweet white jesus thing, goes over with the sistahs.