Agnosticism: Religion or Disbelief?
Mark Twain, Albert Einstein and Marie Curie are all agnostics. In fact, 10% of America is agnostic (Robinson). There are hundreds of millions of agnostics out in the world (Adherents). However, the religion, agnosticism, is sometimes not taken as a true religion, when in reality it is essentially a real religion. This group of people is denied the acceptation from many gnostics and atheists as being religious. These gnostics and atheists are simply wrong. Agnosticism can even fit the definition of religion; therefor it must be taken as a serious religion. Not only that, but agnostics are very similar to what people agree as believers of an actual religion. Agnosticism must be a religion for fitting the definition of religion, relating to most other major religions, and even having ethics and additional characteristics that take hold in religions, such as belief and faith.
Agnosticism is a religion since it fits the common definition of spiritual religion. For example, a definition of religion is a set of beliefs concerning supernatural and divine. Although agnosticism does not believe in a set god or being like most religions, it still concerns things supernatural (Poidevin). Religion does not require that you worship, praise, or even speak to a god; it is simply a belief about super natural beings, according to a common definition. In addition, the definition of agnosticism is it is the doctrine that only material things can be known, and hence the knowledge of god, or for that matter anything supernatural, is impossible Hambly 2
(Hepburn). This may contradict what many theists and atheists may believe by saying that they do care if there is a god or ultimate being and are not merely taking the occupation of agnostic to dissipate any heat they may receive from non-agnostics. However, most agnostics actually take it seriously and came to the conclusion that ultimate knowledge of a god is impossible to know without proper evidence to verify or refute it through logical and rational thought. Granting there is some dispute; agnosticism is still a religion for the reason that it fits the common definition of spiritual religion.
Furthermore, Agnosticism is a religion, because religion is not limited to only supernatural beliefs, but also natural principles. For example, according to Hepburn, professor of Philosophy, to be religious about something basically means that a person is committed to it. This proves that a person does not even have to believe in a god to be religious. Being religious could be as simple as having a hobby or doing something weekly or daily; thus a religion would be a group of people who do the same thing or have the same beliefs. In addition, agnostics are committed to their belief that it is impossible to have ultimate knowledge of god (Hepburn). If agnostics are committed to the same thing, that would make them all religious about the same thing. That results in a religion, more specifically the agnostic religion. Because religions are groups of people with similar beliefs, agnosticism is a religion full of agnostics with the same notion.
Not only does agnosticism fit several definitions of religion, but it also relates to many major and minor religions by the way it formed as well as how it is grouped. For example, all adherents of a single religion usually share at least some commonalities, such as common Hambly 3
historical heritage and some shared doctrines or practices (Adharents). As stated previously, agnosticism is the doctrine that only material things can be known, whereas this definition states that adherents of a religion have a common doctrine. The commonalities between agnostics are more than enough reason to group them together. In addition, original agnostics all broke off from main religious groups to think for their own, such as 19th century agnostics who broke off from mainstream Christian churches (Poidevin). This brands them...
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