Monicks: Unleashed

Thinking Critically

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So, surely you’re agnostic?

That’s the reply I got to this tweet:

Sigh…

Because it does not matter how many times people explain this, or how many blogs have this topic somewhere featured, there’s always room for another Atheism vs. Agnosticism explanation. Hopefully one of these will, at some point, stick with you!

If you ask me about my religion, I will say: “None, I am an atheist.” But I won’t tell you that I’m also a Skeptic, a Humanist — a Secular Humanist, a Freethinker, a Rationalist, an Egalitarian, and also an Agnostic.

The misconception is unbelievably widespread and I have addressed it before, more than once, in different contexts and mediums. Atheism and Agnosticism are not mutually exclusive.

Let me break it down for you:

Atheism is about (lack of) belief.

Atheists The existence a god (any deity) is improbable, atheists find no reason to *believe* a god exists.

Agnosticism is about knowledge.

Agnostics: The existence or non-existence of god (or any deity) is unknown and possibly unknowable.

So in this sense we are all agnostics, because nobody can prove (yet?) the existence or nonexistence of a god, therefore nobody can *know* for sure. That, technically, makes you, by definition, an Agnostic. That’s how we get Agnostic Atheism and Agnostic Theism.

Now, if you consider yourself an agnostic, that means (to me, anyway) that your belief in the existence of a god is, to say the least, very weak so, you’re almost an atheist in my book. (◕‿~)✿

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Just in case!

monicks.net-Pascals-Wager

Pascal’s Wager: ‘Cause devoting your life to something you don’t really believe just in case you can pick the right religion and fool an omniscient deity seems like a pretty smart bet.

 

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What lesson can we learn from atheists?

Chassidic literature can be inspiring. The story goes like this:

The Master teaches the student that God created everything in the world to be appreciated, since everything is here to teach us a lesson.

One clever student asks:

❝What lesson can we learn from atheists? Why did God create them?❞

The Master responds ❝God created atheists to teach us the most important lesson of them all — the lesson of true compassion. You see, when an atheist performs an act of charity, visits someone who is sick, helps someone in need, and cares for the world, he is not doing so because of some religious teaching. He does not believe that God commanded him to perform this act. In fact, he does not believe in God at all, so his acts are based on an inner sense of morality. And look at the kindness an atheist can bestow upon others simply because he feels it to be right.❞

❝This means,❞ the Master continued ❝that when someone reaches out to you for help, you should never say ‘I pray that God will help you.’ Instead, for the moment, you should become an atheist, imagine that there is no God who can help, and say ‘I will help you.’

 

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