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Why I Chose Agnosticism

Updated: Jun 10

A young woman

(Note: This article discusses agnostic atheism. For more on my reasoning in that regard, click here)

Agnosticism, or the uncertainty of divinity, is probably the most realistic conclusion one can reach in an age where, despite modernity, it is still not possible to prove divinity in scientific terms; Where logic alone is insufficient to prove anything that also has to require further evidence.

This is why scientific experimentation is insufficient. Assuming divinity as true is purely spiritual, and science cannot prove it because it is confined to the physical realm exclusively. It deals with physics, biology, chemistry, and so on—all of which are constructs of physicality. It is illogical to conclude that science has disproved divinity because it is not its field.

Just as a musician can play his piano good without being an expert on music theory, a fisherman doesn't need to be a marine biologist in order to catch fish, and so on.. Science, as such, is limited by its own present expertise.

And where science is limited, we are left with philosophical speculation that might as well never reach a definite conclusion.

When it comes to logic, it alone cannot prove anything in existence as it requires additional knowledge to support it. Do we have evidence that there is an external layer of reality, called the "spiritual realm"?

Some may find it logical to believe that when death ends, an afterlife begins. And yet, necromancy, the magic to resurrect, is but a myth. Have you or I ever experienced what happens after we die? It is a question that has occupied me for around a decade, but regardless of answers, it will remain a theory, whether or not death is final or but a "gate" to another world.

Faith and knowledge are not the same thing. There is no need for faith to know that it will rain tomorrow, as you can tell by the weather forecast. Certainty is not the same as trusting that something is real. If you had knowledge, faith would not be necessary, as faith is loyalty or subscription to a claim that you hold dear to your heart. If we actually knew that divinity and spirituality are real, there would be no need to believe in something that we know is there.

What do we need to determine the existence of gods and other spiritual concepts? We would need tools that we can be certain can assist us in our quest for such realization. A "meta-science", if you will, but not to be confused with an actual term for something else. In essence -- a science that exceeds the limited physical realm.

For example, we would need to be able to identify and track the consciousness of people after it disappears, and follow it beyond the now-dead body. We would need to somehow break the space-time continuum, to somehow make mythical beings such as ghosts and demons communicate with us just as any other human being we meet in the streets... Anything that would allow us to truly know, and not just believe, that this "meta reality" exists, and that there is not just the physical realm in all of existence.

There are many claims by believers that certain situations they or others have experienced necessarily indicate the existence of divinity. However, as long as coincidences are just as possible in theory, it would be hard to believe they are right. Because in the end, many things happen purely because of processes that are confined to the physical realm, or to reasoning that can be independent of divinity.

(Note: I may use anacdotes as well in my writings. However, using anacdotes does not necessarily mean that they are intended to remove, or cancel, other forms of present, additional evidence. In other words, anacdotes alone do not necessarily oppose deductive reasoning. They are only canceling when isolating said evidence from the reality they attempt to portray).

The birth of a child, for example, is easily explained without resorting to divine claims. The sperm reached the egg and this union led to the slow development of a new human being in the womb. It is not necessary that a sperm was "chosen" to be the "victor", as it simply was the fastest, nothing more, theoretically. You were not necessarily "chosen" by a divine being to be born, when you could've just been the fastest sperm to reach the egg. Claim otherwise and you may find yourself committing Ockham's Razor.

It is unknown whether or not the universe formed by design, because even if logical, logic without sufficient knowledge is still insufficient. Even in the 21st century we still have a lot left to know. Should we fail to open up our minds, we may see falsehood as reality, due to our confidence in our knoweldge.

It's like the belief in sentient aliens. It is reasonable to believe that there are aliens of similar intelligence to us due to Earth-like planets, but we have yet to actually witness, let alone interact with, an actual alien. How then, can we confirm that we are or aren't alone in the universe?

Because of these reasons, I once again resort to an honest confession of my uncertainty. I suspect that some would like to discuss this matter with me. Regardless, I am not expecting you to think like me on this matter after reading this article. I am expecting you to have broaden your understanding of agnosticism.

In short, I will only change my agnosticism if I witness a god as I witness any other being, and know that it is not a "prank" or any other type of deception. Because in the end, an unproven theory is just a theory, no matter how many people believe it to be true. I suspect that such an examination will only be possible after death.

Mr. Joseph Bright's Feedback

The term "agnosticism" was coined by Thomas Huxley in the 19th century. Huxley, a biologist and a staunch advocate for Darwin’s theory of evolution, introduced agnosticism as a stance against the dogmatic certainties espoused by both religious believers and atheists.
He argued that claiming certainty about the existence or non-existence of God without adequate evidence is intellectually dishonest. Huxley's perspective was deeply influenced by the empiricist tradition, which emphasizes knowledge derived from sensory experience and evidence.
David Hume, an 18th-century Scottish philosopher, is another influential figure whose work laid the groundwork for agnosticism. Hume questioned the rational basis for religious beliefs, suggesting that human reason is inherently limited and incapable of proving the existence of God. His skepticism extended to all forms of metaphysical speculation, arguing that many religious concepts are beyond the realm of empirical verification.
Hume's critical approach to religious doctrines emphasized the need for evidence and reason, aligning closely with the principles that Huxley later articulated in his formulation of agnosticism.
Additionally, Immanuel Kant, an 18th-century German philosopher, contributed to the agnostic perspective with his critical philosophy. Kant argued that human perception is limited to the phenomenal world (the world as we experience it) and that we cannot have direct knowledge of the noumenal world (the world as it is in itself, including the divine).
This distinction reinforced the idea that certain metaphysical questions, such as the existence of God, are beyond the scope of human understanding.
These influential voices collectively underscore the foundational principles of agnosticism: a commitment to evidence-based reasoning, an acknowledgment of the limitations of human cognition, and a cautious approach to metaphysical claims. Their contributions have shaped agnosticism into a robust and respectful philosophical stance that values open inquiry and intellectual humility.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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