Complete Faith in Agnosticism

I watched the season finale of South Park this week and I loved it, as usual. The episode, entitled “The Poor Kid“, featured a family that would adopt foster children and force them to be Agnostic (Warning: episode will probably offend and/or disgust you). While I do not label myself agnostic , I basically am one. Or am I? This inability to say one way or another is exactly what the creators of South Park are making fun of, and it cracks me up. Here’s a short YouTube clip that gives a little taste:

Imagine the man forcing these “beliefs” down the throats of his adopted children throughout the entire episode…

Jokes aside, I am left wondering if this is even possible: Can one be agnostic and believe full-heartedly that his or her agnosticism is “right”? Doesn’t imposing your view, even if it is that nothing can be proved 100%, contradict the very notion of being agnostic in the first place? I think so, and I hope there aren’t too many people out there doing so.

Another question that comes up for me, assuming we can never be certain about a particular issue, is if that warrants whether or not we should talk about. The man in the South Park episode says there is no point to talk about things we cannot be certain of, and there are likely others who feel the same way. However, without talking about these issues (like religion and man-made climate change, to name a couple), we lose out on the ability to connect with other people and see how they view the world.

For me, that’s what it comes down to: what you believe dictates how you see the world and how you behave within it. Therefore, if we can never be absolutely certain about something, why not have beliefs that make you happy and cause you to see the world in ways that bring joy to your life and others’? Whatever that belief may be that accomplishes those two things, I say go for it! Even if it is that there is a giant reptilian bird in charge of everything.



About Dave K

Creatively solving problems by listening objectively to all sides, my goal is to advance prosperity by focusing on common ground issues and uniting leaders with solutions for tough problems.
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5 Responses to Complete Faith in Agnosticism

  1. Thanks for this post, Dave. As a pagan, part of my practice (like many other people, religions, and spiritualities) is having faith. Faith that i’m not the one in charge, at the very least. (Can you imagine?) i love the imploding self-referentiality of “agnostic”, thanks for an enjoyable read.


  2. Erich Sachs says:

    I have to agree with Patrick–it was a very entertaining read. One is able to talk themself down a rabbit hole. But to support your argument I shall quote Socrates, “The only true wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing.”

  3. Dave Rutherford says:

    Dave, I’m an agnostic/secular humanist/none/whatever. I have been for many, many years, and I’ll tell you what did it for me. I was born and brought up a Catholic. Religion classes were part of the regular school schedule, and what really turned me away was the fact that the simple act of asking a question branded you as an unbeliever. Faith relies on blind acceptance, and questions mean that you are thinking. Even if the purpose of the question was to seek deeper understanding it was trodden on, and the response to any question was “Because it says so in the Bible”. I can’t just accept anything because someone says so. I have to question and to investigate. Science prides itself on not making definitive statements or saying that something can’t possibly exist. No self respecting scientist will ever say that they are 100% certain of something, no matter how much data they have. So no, I can’t say for an absolute certainty that no deities exist, only that there is not one credible shred of evidence to support their existence. You may find these podcasts interesting. One of the main areas of investigation of the Center
    For Inquiry is the investigation of religion.

    • Dave K says:

      Dave- many thanks for sharing your story. I’ll point out the not-so-obvious fact that some people see science as a “belief” system like any other, and choose not to believe in it. Therefore, no lack of scientific evidence is enough to cause them to question the existence of their God. It may even strengthen their beliefs, and could lead to an even greater distrust in science overall. Anyway, you probably already know this stuff but I thought it was relevant to your comment. I will definitely check out the podcast, the program looks really interesting.

  4. Brent Cochran says:

    Dave K, a funny and humbling post all at the same time. Yes our beliefs drive our worldview, which drives our actions. I’m a “live and let live” person and seek to understand any and all forms of belief systems, because when it all boils down to it, as Erich and my man Socrates so eloquently pointed out, we (humans) don’t know shit. So to get on our collective high horse and preach any gospel as THE gospel is silly at best, and criminal at worst.

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