The Fence Sitter. #agnostic
by Jason Alan
To those who wonder why the agnostic does not call himself an atheist; why he, as one may put it, ‘sits on the fence’, consider this:
Before I start, just a quick note. If you believe in God, that’s fine by me as long as you live by what is actually right rather than what a book commands you to do. I don’t necessarily have a quarrel with you, it’s organized religion I have a problem with. I could write volumes about it, in fact, but I won’t get into it now. Also, this post isn’t really for believers, even though you might find it interesting or even mildly amusing. It’s pretty much for the atheists, wondering: why agnostic?
Throughout human history, we have, especially in the past few thousand years or so, held tightly to a pervasive hubris. Each generation, while learning from all previous generations and thereby gaining more knowledge, has firmly grasped the notion that we have pretty much everything figured out. That we, as a species, are so intelligent because we mastered fire to the point of melting metal to create swords and silverware and such. If you consider just that alone, how powerful you would have thought people are to have come up with such a grand idea. Crafting iron with fire. Powerful then, commonplace and some might even say boring today. Every now and then a really smart person would figure something out that hadn’t been thought of or implemented before, and we’d say hey, look at that. We’re even closer to having everything figured out. Surely now we know damn near everything, huh?
Some have done it with religion, which, if you ask me, is the easy way out. There is a God or gods, he has (or they have) a plan, here’s a book, read it, and most importantly, follow and obey, and done. Lather, rinse and repeat. All we need now is for someone to invent electric blankets and we can feel warm and safe in our beds. The atheist, on the other hand, has had to (in many cases) overcome these draconian teachings by stepping back, seeing that there is absolutely no evidence for anything they had been taught, and then rejecting it, as hard as it may be to do so. It takes a thinking, logical head to take what has been pounded into the brain since birth and say, basically, ‘fuck this shit’.
But, there is another level, my dear atheists. An enlightened view, if you will. Come up and sit on this here fence with me. Set a spell, as we say in the American south. Your feet are probably tired from standing up to those monotheistic monkeys who obviously have not evolved as far as the rest of us have. You see, if someone is pushed for a long enough period of time and doesn’t push back, and then one day they finally do shove back, they’re likely to do it rather forcefully. People who rebel against something (those who do it well, anyway) go hard. They don’t just get an earring, they get multiple piercings AND tattoos AND dye their hair green. Maybe, as a thinking, logical person, you have rebelled, which is ok considering that what you have rebelled against is wrong. But it wouldn’t hurt you to do the same thing with agnosticism as you did with atheism. Which is to say, quite simply, consider it.
I say the same to the atheists who have not rebelled against religion, but they just figured it out on their own. Either way, if you were pushed into religion or not, it surrounds us and you’ve more than likely heard the saying so much: a billion people can’t be wrong, or something similar. Well, that statement is as blatantly ignorant and false as saying there are no atheists in foxholes. Billions of people can be and are wrong. If one religion on earth is right, most of the planet is wrong. If atheists are right, same thing. That’s one good thing, at least, about being agnostic. You can’t be wrong if you admit that you don’t know. But allow me to continue…
Think about how far we have come in the last 100 years or so. In 1912, we could barely get two or three people into the sky at the same time. Now, we not only have huge jets that weigh tons, but we have gone to the moon and we have sent crafts to Mars, and even a couple of them have left our solar system. Now, consider how fast technology has rushed by in the last 20 to 30 years. It has been incredible. The computers we used in the ’80s and ’90s would be jealous of just the cell phones we have today. Now, considering how much we know today, you’d think we pretty much know everything, right? Not even close. You think that we have seen the smallest particles? We keep finding smaller ones, don’t we? Yes, we do. We keep seeing further into space, finding new life in the oceans and discovering more about this vast universe in which we reside, and there is no end in sight to how much we can learn.
Now that you have thought about that for a moment, consider this. Our technology keeps growing at the rate it has recently. Or even faster. Imagine 1,000 or 10,000 years from now (if we make it that far without destroying ourselves), our knowledge practically racing forward that whole time. Those future people would no doubt look back at us similar to how we view our ancestors, who were so proud of themselves for figuring out how to make and use crude tools. How quaint, they will say. They had jumbo jets, but we just blink our eyes and teleport to another galaxy. Cute.
If you had lived a thousand years ago, chances are you would not have even considered the possibility that we could maneuver huge chunks of metal at high speeds in the sky. Among the clouds, even! And that most of the time they would actually land safely, as they do. You, more than likely, would say that there is absolutely no way that human beings could one day do that. You would probably say it’s impossible. If you had lived a hundred thousand years ago, your primitive mind may not have even been able to grasp the concept of an airplane, let alone think that it could be achieved.
So, now that you have pictured that, imagine if we had another million, hundred million, or even a billion or more years of this type of technological evolution. If we could jump that far ahead and see them, those people would seem like magical beings. Yes, even to us, who are so smart and know so much.
Now, think about another civilization that could have done this, that started eons before us. Imagine the AI in their simulations and how complicated they could be, constructed by a race that is a billion years more advanced than us. Imagine their science projects, where they create virtual or even real universes and study them. If you think about it this way, we very well could have been created. And while it may still beg the question of who created them, it stands to reason that if they created our universe, it would not be a stretch at all to call them Gods. After all, what do many gods have in common? Creating the universe.
Add this, plus, oh, literally an infinite number of other possibilites, and presto! Instant agnostic.
Ok, so is it probable that there is a biblical Christian God, or any of the other almost 3,000 gods that man has made up? No, not probable. I would personally go far as to say that it’s a 99.9% chance (or higher) that there is NOT a God or any gods at all. And I would say the exact same thing for my scenario as well, but it is possible. And that tiny, infinitesimal chance that there is some higher force at work is the difference. There is a very thin(k) line between atheist and agnostic. In fact, that line is fuck near invisible, but it is there.
Besides, the weather is nice here on the fence. And the view is fantastic.