Thursday, May 1, 2008


I would fall under the category of agnostic. I cannot say definitively that there is not a God and every attempt I have made to understand God and religion has ended up with accepting it on faith. I have tried to define God ostensively by looking at existence and life, however even though it seems statistically improbable that life as we know it exists by chance, I cannot perceive a causal link to God - there is only acceptance by faith.

Epistemologically faith is not a proper method of knowledge, it should be a temporary state of uncertainty that will be resolved when more facts are known. A belief system based on faith is ultimately arbitrary. No matter how true or false the conclusions of a faith-based belief system are, they cannot be proven or understood objectively. Take for instance stealing. Many individuals would agree that it is wrong because of religious and/or faith-based moral reasons. However while the conclusion is true the individual in question doesn't know it. Before he can fully understand stealing, he must first base his ethics in perceptual reality.

Ethics is a code of values accepted by choice that guide man’s choices and actions. Life is the fundamental value and a requirement for all other values. Stated generally, all things that lead to life are good and all things that lead to death are evil. Since life and death are well-understood and observable, they are solid concepts to use as an ethical foundation and make arbitrary value-judgments impossible. Any healthy, thinking individual regardless of his or her religious beliefs, upbringing, or social disposition may determine what is good or evil by practicing rationality. Therefore to understand why stealing is evil, one must know it’s relationship to life.

Survival is the action that supports life. Like all actions, survival is a choice that man must make in order to sustain his own life. Time is the price paid for survival. To obtain food and water man must spend time performing activities (such as hunting) to obtain fuel for his body. Savings enables us to keep a stock of unconsumed goods which can buy time, which is the price paid for survival, which is the action that supports life. Therefore, to take unearned property (savings) is immoral because it disrupts the process necessary to support an individual’s life. If I don't understand the concept of stealing objectively then I leave myself open to accept "moral" justifications for stealing (Socialism, Robin Hood as a hero, or even capital gains taxes).


thadgauthier said...

"I cannot say definitively that there is not a God and every attempt I have made to understand God and religion has ended up with accepting it on faith" -MY

-Be careful, this statement is skeptical. "How can one really know anything for sure?"

If you believe that reason is the only proper way to gain knowledge then you can say definitively that there is no God. By your own account you state that faith is the only way to accept it. If you have no reason to believe then why do you consider yourself agnostic? Remember, you cannot prove a negative.

myucha said...

Agreed. To restate your point another way: the onus of proof is on the person claiming knowledge - not the one asking for proof :)