Monday, November 15, 2010
Are you spiritual, religious, agnostic, or atheist? Do you think there is one path to God, or many?
I would say that I am not religious. However, I am unwilling to state with certainly that no God exists. I don’t have faith – that is, I don’t believe without evidence in the existence of a God, Judeo-Christian or otherwise. But by the same token, I can’t say I have enough (in terms of quantity or quality) evidence to dismiss the idea of divine being. This position is often hard for my friends to come to terms with, so I thought I’d explore it a bit more in this post. I think I am best described as an agnostic, and I don’t feel any particularly spiritual devotion except to the idea of human agency (which is itself non-falsifiable).
I believe quite strongly that anything that is imaginable is possible. Possible doesn’t mean probable, but it does mean not easily dismissed. So, despite a perfectly reasonable explanation for the universe without divinity, I can’t say for certain that divinity doesn’t exist. Critics of religion will often draw out Occam’s Razor, the principle that among many hypotheses, the one that requires the fewest assumptions is best, but I don’t trust that line of logic. I do act in my practical life in accordance with Occam’s Razor – less assumptions mean less things *have* to be true, and therefore generally those scenarios are more likely. But that’s a question of predictive power, and I’m not considering divinity or religion to need predictive force to be able to something meaningful.
Since this question is about belief, I believe strongly that the Truth, such as it is, about the structure of reality is certainly not well-known to us simple humans, so the possibility still exists that something non-falsifiable (the existence of God, for example) is True. I think the most important question about religion, spirituality, and faith is why a person believes the way they do, and I certainly can never have that conversation with a person if I start out by denying their belief.
Anyway, a lot of run-around to say simply, I believe in not discounting what is possible!