Over the years one of the things I have noticed is that many of my friends (and I doubt my friends are unique) like to box me. To my Islamic friends I am Christian, to my Christians friends I am an Atheist, and to my Atheist friends err, well it does not seem to have come up. The point is I have always resisted being boxed like this, and frequently claim to be agnostic.
The problem is I have become increasingly dissatisfied by this idea. My main issue being how is being an agnostic different from being an Atheist. This weekend I found the following video on YouTube:
In some sense the distinction makes a lot of sense. The problem is it misses out one critical factor. How much do people care! Although Laci (the person who made the video) describes herself as an agnostic atheist she clearly cares about it. I expect (although I would hate to speak for him) that Richard Dawkins is a gnostic atheist and he clearly cares. Most people on the other hand I expect do not care. People who do not care will typically answer, when asked, that they do, or do not, believe in God, but otherwise take no action.
This still does not help me though, because I still object to being in the atheist, or theist box, and all I just did is create another two. I would still say I do not care, but I do not care because I have decided that whether God exists or not I'm going to live the same way, rather than not really thinking about it. My flawed thinking goes as follows:
- If God exists and is the wonderful all forgiving God Christians believe in then I really do not think he would send a good person to hell just because they did not believe in Jesus.
- If God exists and is like the jealous God of the old testament then I want nothing to do with him because he commits mass murder, created us so we could worship him, making us his slaves. These are things I consider wrong, even for God.
- If God does not exist I would not want to spend my life worshiping something that does not exist.
- All good things comes from God
- All bad things come from the Devil
As a result I will put myself in the following boxes:
- agnostic about God
- a humanist