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Agnostic Anyone?


Spirituality & Religious Beliefs Contemplate your place and purpose in the universe.

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Old 23rd July 2017, 7:00 PM   #1
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Agnostic Anyone?

If you are agnostic, how do you feel others treat you if and when they find out?

In a lot of cases, I find I get a few odd looks ( many don't know what being agnostic means) and even some questions.

I admit that I'm always kind of chagrined when I hear christians, muslims, jewish people, et al who are upset because they feel they are not allowed to worship as they please and get angry when they see the religious symbols of others displayed in public places.

Sorry, but I have little to no sympathy for that, and these people need to get over themselves. If my family has to see The "keep christ in christmas" nativity display in the main square our town, if my kids are asked to sing christmas carols and learn about all the different religions and even express religious beliefs in our national anthem, then surely these people can see a menorah, buhda statue, turban or other symbol of someone's religious beliefs without needing to be offended or go into histrionics.

I have zero problem respecting religious beliefs, and I don't care whether you;re a pastafarian , christain, muslim, devil worshiper or you pray at the throne of the great porcelain god each Friday night, I will respect your beliefs and all I ask is for the same in return.
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Old 23rd July 2017, 7:13 PM   #2
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I agree with everything you have said, and I'm a Christian.

Unfortunately most of the disdain I see and have experienced in my life is from atheists or agnostics full of intolerance toward people of faith .
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Old 23rd July 2017, 10:08 PM   #3
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I'm not agnostic, but my beliefs aren't sanctioned by one of the "main" faiths or denominations either. Here's my take on it:

Where I live (Midwest/South US) there are lots of people who profess faith. It almost seems to be a pastime. Whether they actually live their faith is another matter, but it is part of the culture. The "Bible Belt" if you will. Even still, atheists and agnostics are very much out in public, and seem to feel pretty comfortable. Some people may be surprised or shake their heads about it, but they seem to be tolerated and fairly welcome. There is an expectation, though, that the predominant religious norms are Christian-based.

Actually, what surprises people around here is when they find out that I am a lesbian and that I am NOT atheist, agnostic, politically left-leaning, or whatever. We tend to get broadly painted with the same religious/political brush.

As for me, I could care less about seeing menorahs, bibles, pentagrams, or whatever. I don't want the government supporting or hindering any religious group. If I had children, I would want them to learn the whole truth of science in schools - for example, the evidence that supports the idea of intelligent design, and the evidence that supports the theory of evolution. I'm all about freedom! If your freedom doesn't hinder my freedom and my freedom doesn't hinder your freedom, do what you like.

One pet peeve I do have about religion or lack thereof - I wish people would say what they mean. Many people who claim to be atheists are not atheists at all. Atheism means that you simply do not believe in a god at all. Many are actually anti-theists, as in "I don't believe in God and you shouldn't either." They are militant. Then there are other atheists that are actually misotheists - God-haters. They secretly believe there is a deity and they hate him/her/it. A number of agnostics I have met seem to be less inclined to be "open" about the idea of God. In reality, they just don't want to address the issue at all, and would like to be left alone. I get that and I respect the desire to stay out of the conflict, but maybe we should be clear about that as well and come up with a name for that persepctive.
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Old 23rd July 2017, 10:29 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by CautiouslyOptimistic View Post
I agree with everything you have said, and I'm a Christian.

Unfortunately most of the disdain I see and have experienced in my life is from atheists or agnostics full of intolerance toward people of faith .
We athiests have a similar variety spread as most religious people.

I'm an athiest who believes that everyone has a right to their personal beliefs. When raising my kids, I didn't tell them what to believe. Instead, I let them find their own belief system and simply told them to not push your views on others..... and to not let others push their views on you either.

But then there's the athiest people who want to tell everyone that their way is the only way and everyone else needs to wisen up. This is the equivalent of the pushy religious person/missionary. Nasty behaviour all around.
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Old 23rd July 2017, 10:48 PM   #5
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I am agnostic, and being in the San Francisco Bay area, I don't feel like I am in a minority.

I don't know many people who attend church or other houses of worship with any sort of frequency.

My friends are largely "non believers" or skeptics of various sorts.

None of my co-workers are "religious" (one is Jewish by birth, none proclaim to be Christians)

And I never get questioned about my belief, or lack there of.
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Old 23rd July 2017, 11:32 PM   #6
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I am an Atheist. I do not go around advertising it and most never ask about my religion. If they do, odds are that they know less about their religion than I do. I studied the major religions of the world, wrote papers about them and attended their services.

Personally I do not care what people think about my disbelief of something that cannot be proved or disproved. They view faith as fact while I do not. It has never been a problem. Most who know me are aware that I am an Atheist. A few have a hard time understanding that someone who does not buy into their religion, is not worried about going to hell. Well, since I do not believe in a heaven or hell, what do I have to worry about.
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Old 24th July 2017, 6:13 AM   #7
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The one thing I will not accept is Christians and far right wing politicians who try and push their religious agenda into everything from our laws to what programs are run in our public schools.

Those on the religious right ramble on about Australia being a Christian nation. It would seem they have not realised that we live in a country which has separation of Church and State.

I guess it goes back to what I said about how I'm OK with whatever you believe as long as you don't push it on me or mine. But when they start pushing, I will push back.
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Old 24th July 2017, 10:18 AM   #8
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I'm agnostic and have been judged for this from religious folks and atheists alike.

I just want to look for meaning, and love to sponge ideas from any religious/spiritual/non-religious movement that I can learn about, but I would love people to leave me alone to find my own interpretation. Actually that's what I dislike most about religion (and even in anti-theism) - the social herd aspect. My way to look for meaning of life is in peace and quiet, any evangelical attempts actually push me away from this search.
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Old 24th July 2017, 10:26 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by basil67 View Post
The one thing I will not accept is Christians and far right wing politicians who try and push their religious agenda into everything from our laws to what programs are run in our public schools.

Those on the religious right ramble on about Australia being a Christian nation. It would seem they have not realised that we live in a country which has separation of Church and State.

I guess it goes back to what I said about how I'm OK with whatever you believe as long as you don't push it on me or mine. But when they start pushing, I will push back.
This continues today. Contrary to some, there is no persecution of christians in the West. What the christian RIGHT claim as persecution is essentially a more defiant resistance towards policies the RIGHT have been trying to push on ALL of society for some time. They are threatened by the challenge and intolerance of their hypocrisy, so they claim persecution.

It is common knowledge that the RIGHT does not believe in the separation of church and state unless it suits them.

I am an imperfect believer. I have friends from every POV regarding religion and have never been ridiculed for my belief. Challenged yes, but not ridiculed.
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Old 24th July 2017, 11:30 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by CautiouslyOptimistic View Post
I agree with everything you have said, and I'm a Christian.

Unfortunately most of the disdain I see and have experienced in my life is from atheists or agnostics full of intolerance toward people of faith .

Faith can be a wonderful thing. It can give meaning to life, and help explain situations that can be really difficult to understand. Personally so long as someone's religious beliefs bring them comfort and promote kindness to others, I'm fine with it. I don't even mind the jehova's witnesses or mormons coming to my door, as they really believe they are whelping, and it's coming form a good place.

That doesn't mean I have to agree with them. Better to just politely say I'm agnostic and not interested, thank them for their concern, and they can move on.
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Old 24th July 2017, 11:33 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by No_Go View Post
I'm agnostic and have been judged for this from religious folks and atheists alike.

I just want to look for meaning, and love to sponge ideas from any religious/spiritual/non-religious movement that I can learn about, but I would love people to leave me alone to find my own interpretation. Actually that's what I dislike most about religion (and even in anti-theism) - the social herd aspect. My way to look for meaning of life is in peace and quiet, any evangelical attempts actually push me away from this search.
In another age, you might well have been considered a philosopher.
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Old 24th July 2017, 11:35 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by simpleNfit View Post
This continues today. Contrary to some, there is no persecution of christians in the West. What the christian RIGHT claim as persecution is essentially a more defiant resistance towards policies the RIGHT have been trying to push on ALL of society for some time. They are threatened by the challenge and intolerance of their hypocrisy, so they claim persecution.

It is common knowledge that the RIGHT does not believe in the separation of church and state unless it suits them.

I am an imperfect believer. I have friends from every POV regarding religion and have never been ridiculed for my belief. Challenged yes, but not ridiculed.
Sadly, this isn't true...at least here. There has been a dramatic increase int he number of cases of vandalism of religious buildings ( usually synagogues or churches) and even cemeteries.

It's really sad.
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Old 24th July 2017, 12:45 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by wmacbride View Post
Sadly, this isn't true...at least here. There has been a dramatic increase int he number of cases of vandalism of religious buildings ( usually synagogues or churches) and even cemeteries.

It's really sad.
I don't doubt that. Canada, right? I wonder how much of the attack on synagogues and certainly mosques are not, in fact, sectarian, and not by non-believers. We, in the USA, have had attacks on churches, synagogues and mosques. The attacks on churches have mostly been to black churches by racist unbelievers or racist 'christians.' Attacks on the synagogues and mosques is simply good old fashioned, sectarian bigotry and hate.
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Old 24th July 2017, 2:23 PM   #14
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Where I live (Midwest/South US) there are lots of people who profess faith. It almost seems to be a pastime. Whether they actually live their faith is another matter, but it is part of the culture. The "Bible Belt" if you will.
Sadly true. I like to call them rotary clubs with a dash of religion. LOL

Honestly, being an agnostic makes sense to be if you aren't religious. Of course, we believers cannot prove that God exists. Neither can it be proven that no god exists.

So if one doesn't want to practice a faith, it would seem being an agnostic would be the most intelligent and logical choice.
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Old 24th July 2017, 3:00 PM   #15
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I was raised Catholic but no longer practice it for a truck load of reasons I won't get into here.

I spent many years searching for another fit only to realize that I don't need to identify with any one single religion to be happy and to be a kind, generous, loving person.

These days I define myself as spiritual rather than religious. I have come to believe that organized religions in general are dangerous as too many leaders often have their own personal agendas they're trying to promote rather than that of God's or whatever you want to call it.

And don't get me started on the rampant hypocrisy among self proclaimed Christians! I'm continually gobsmacked at how judgmental they can be despite their own closet full of skeletons.

My religion? Live and let live. Live a good life. Be a good person. Do good things. Love with all your heart. The rest of it is non of your damn business
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