Sunday, September 6, 2015

An Ungodly Trinity

Goodness times three intertwined!
Agnostic, Atheist, Secular Humanist, I am all three at once, and unlike the triple entity from the lore of my Christian upbringing, this three-in-one simultaneity actually makes deep, rational, ethical sense.

Many associate being agnostic with being undecided about the existence of a supernatural god, particularly one who is hiding out, unwilling to show clear evidence of itself in the present moment. That may be the waffling agnostic position, whereas I embrace the agnostic philosophy of questioning with integrity. Shedding that variety of faith that pretends to know something because of authority or ancient texts or of emotional conviction, is the beginning of a true agnostic journey.  By keeping an open mind as an agnostic, I consider all new and existing evidence before deciding if it holds up or should be discounted.

So is it a contradiction then that I claim the atheist moniker as well?In truth, we are all born atheists, with no belief in any of the hundreds of the god and goddess stories humans have passed down through history (simply because no one has told us those stories just yet). As a good agnostic I do continually question, still when sufficient evidence supports a position it becomes part of my evidence based world view.  One hundred percent proof of anything is never possible, and just as not knowing the perfect diet down to the atom doesn't prevent me from choosing healthy foods to eat, I also choose a world view that includes no supernatural being in it, in part, because all of the gods proposed in historical texts have insufficient evidence backing them.

Alas, not having a god at the top of a hierarchy in my world view does not prevent me from contemplating ethical behavior and integrating that behavior into my life.  As a secular humanist I have embraced a code of essentially doing "good for goodness sake," all while maintaining an integrity about being agnostic and atheist. For me this means constantly evolving and pushing the envelope on my imperfections and influencing the world to develop a landscape of well being for all, human and non-human.  Specifically, I have gravitated toward a position that includes pacifism, veganism, exploration and activism.  

And so my journey of contemplation without the presence of any perceived supernatural guidance continues.  Hopefully, my actions encourage others to pursue a similar agnostic, atheistic, secular-humanistic path, one that is full of mindful and positive integrity.

May the ungodly trinity serve you well!


6 comments:

  1. Loved this post, "questioning with integrity"! Enjoyed reading your explanation of your world view. Even though I don't define myself the same way, I see a lot of commonality, especially the intention to improve one's character (not your words, but what I'll choose to use) and also to make the world a better place.

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    1. Improving character is certainly a worthy component in bettering that matrix that is self, society and the whole Universe of which we are part. The challenge arises when others resist positive change and sharing of ideas countering with violence and threats.

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  2. Post Script: another flavor of agnosticism takes the position that some things are unknowable. Examples include the last thing Abraham Lincoln was thinking, how stinky my breath ranks relative to 7 billion other humans, and whether some Deist style being is integrally hidden within the fabric of the Universe.

    Those are fun ideas to conjecture about, alas the historicity of religious texts make it pretty darn clear that the god and goddess stories are the works of humans.

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  3. I really liked this post - we think a lot alike. My journey has led me to a firm belief in self-reliance, individualism, non-aggression, and human rights. I admit that I have not fully thought out non-human rights as much as you have - we likely reach different conclusions on that issue. As well we likely disagree on what an "ideal society" looks like - mine is one with a minimal government that does little more than ensuring basic rights. I'd love the chance to discuss these issues and others with you, and look forward to our future dialogues.

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  4. Brian, we are all on our own unique, ideally peaceful journeys. Forging a balanced society interweaving our journeys cooperatively is something to strive for.. Regarding non-human animal rights, I suggest reading my http://www.goodnessfirst.com/2014/10/wake-up-all-you-zombies-eat-more-veggies.html post as a starting point...if you can point me to an article where killing sentient animals is ethically and rationally supporable given our ability to secure tasty nutrition without imprisoning them, abusing them, and executing them, by all means please do. Journey forward!

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