The ramblings of an Eternal Student of Life
. . . still studying and learning how to live

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Saturday, December 18, 2010
Religion ...

There’s a nice little post on the Psychology Today site about why atheism can’t replace religion. The author makes a good case that atheism cannot slake a certain thirst within the deepest corners of the human psyche. Well, the atheist will probably claim that there are no such deep corners of the human psyche thirsting for ultimate meaning; or if there are, it’s just an incidental side-effect from the survival value gained from our ability to spot trends and patterns.

Personally, I agree that atheism will never replace religion, but for another reason: atheism is just another faith system. It works well for certain people, but for the masses, it does not meet the needs that religion meets any better (however unenlightened those needs might be), and thus isn’t worth the time and energy needed to make the intellectual change.

My question, however, is whether something totally different would do a better job in improving our society and our lives. What I propose is a form of agnosticism, but not just any old agnosticism. I embrace a form of hopeful and engaged agnosticism, an agnosticism that cares even as it admits to the possibility of ultimate emptiness.

I’ll have more to say on that in the future!

◊   posted by Jim G @ 7:30 pm      

  1. Jim, I think you are on the right track. My tho’t is that every person, in the end, forms his/her own belief system or spirituality, whatever that turns out to be. Well, that is those persons who are secure enough to do just that, who do not have a need to follow the “rules” somebody else sets down. I’m referring here to positive things, not negative things, of course.

    Your consideration of an “engaged agnosticism” is something I think would be very worthwhile in that it is your sincere attempt to think through and develop your own spirituality, your own hopeful belief system. I see the word “engaged” as crucial in this study of yours. Look forward to hearing more. MCS

    Comment by Mary S. — December 19, 2010 @ 8:22 pm

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