As a full time student at a Catholic institution, I have the privilege to be able to get many different views on religion and worship from many different people. I have absorbed the information and opinions given to me by professors and students alike, and usually a religious discussion in a Catholic surrounding is a pleasant experience in itself. Despite corruption, which is prevalent in almost every religious sect, usually all religious views on ethics and morality are good natured. But there is one area that I realized has been slowly shifting from apathy to annoyance, and that is the field of agnosticism.
Being an agnostic myself, I have come to realize that devout and non-practicing Christians as a whole usually tend to view agnostic people as taking the easy way out. This is shown when the word agnosticism is used, and the inevitable eye roll comes from several different religious scholars. They view the stand on religion as lazy, and that most agnostics are “taking the easy way out” of making a huge life choice.
I am not one to speak for the masses myself, but I know my motives for being an agnostic, and none of the choices I have made in regards to my spirituality root from laziness or any other derivative of the word. I know that many people who claim to be agnostic may just be attempting to avoid religious conversation with people, or may even be weak-hearted and not ready to commit to anything. Many people just choose not to think about such matters as well. These may be the people the eye rolling is aim toward, but that is definitely not why many people choose to claim agnosticism.
It is my belief that a vast number of Catholics merely believe what has been regurgitated to them from childhood. They believe that there is a transcendent and omnipotent man in the clouds that created everything. They believe that this man in the clouds sent his son to earth thousands of years ago, and we must worship him as well. I for one am not necessarily inclined to believe this. Simply because a man dressed in a funny white robe every Sunday tells me that the wafer I am eating underwent transubstantiation before my eyes, does not mean that this small piece of unleavened bread is anything but a small piece of unleavened bread.
This does not also mean that I do not believe in a greater power in the universe, nor does it mean that I am refuting the claims that we were created in the likeness of a greater being. That is not what agnosticism means. For me, agnosticism is merely a point in my life where waiting becomes a priority. I have spent many a sleepless night wondering what lies beyond death, and I have yet to come up with an answer that satisfies my mind. I would be willing to believe in any religion, but logic merely points me in another direction.
I also do not want to believe in a greater power in fear that I will go to hell when I pass. If I am going to believe, then I wish to believe in reverence, respect, and love, not merely because of fear. That for me is the greatest downfall of Christianity. Many Christians believe in their God simply as an insurance policy. That simply does not cut it for me.
The scriptures also say that the path to heaven is paved with good deeds, and the bulk of Jesus’ teachings are based upon ethics. This only leads me to believe that if a person lives a virtuous life as a good person in general, why in earth would that person be sent to hell?
There are many other factors that come into effect when considering Christian beliefs. What happens to a person who is legitimately insane and kills somebody? Insanity is no person’s fault, so why would they be held accountable for this? Would a person that killed someone because they are insane be allowed entrance to heaven? Could anyone justify saying that they will burn in hell?
There are simply too many unanswered questions when taking into account any religion. These are questions that I believe at some point I will come to a conclusion on, and will live my life according to this conclusion. No doubt the thought of death being the end of existence frightens me to the furthest extent that I can be frightened, but again I cannot bring myself to believe in a power out of fear.
Until my epiphany or my moment of revelation brings itself to light, I will continue to ponder my existence. This is the true meaning of agnosticism.