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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

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Agnostics? - May 11th 2016, 04:15 AM

Is anyone else an agnostic? Is it weird that once in a rare while when im worried i will pray? Im never been much if a praying person so i dont know to correctly go about if im agnostic.
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Re: Agnostics? - May 11th 2016, 05:53 PM

It's possible that you may be an agnostic theist, however, I wouldn't really say that just because you pray that you're religious or not agnostic. Prayer can be used as a form of meditation, and has a very powerful placebo affect on the psychology. I am agnostic, and sometimes I pray when I am anxious, as well. Even if it's something as simple as a test. Realistically, however, (and I think is where it makes a difference from someone who is agnostic vs. agnostic theist vs. theist) I know that my prayers won't be answered. It's more-or-less me lying to myself to put myself at ease.

The way I think about it is like when you watch a really tense movie. You might feel stressed, worried, or angered when something it happens that you didn't want to. For example, maybe your favorite character died. You might even feel sad. But, the truth is, you know they're still alive (assuming they are in real life), they just might not be in your show anymore. They call this suspension of disbelief. From wiki "The term suspension of disbelief or willing suspension of disbelief has been defined as a willingness to suspend one's critical faculties and believe the unbelievable; sacrifice of realism and logic for the sake of enjoyment." It's typically applied to entertainment, but I think you could see it being applied to prayer, as well.

Also realize that you can be a spiritual person and yet agnostic. There are people who pray to the Universe, yet disbelieve in any deity.

So really, it depends. Do you believe in deities or a deity?

The other thing that I'd also like to note is that opinions can change over time. It's really existential. Who you are one second, might not really be you another second. There's this line from a band (mewithoutYou) where he says, "You don't know where you came from, you don't know where you're going. You think you're you, but you don't know who you are, you're not you... you're everyone else." The point is that self-identity isn't really consistent. Just take a simple example, maybe you're reading this at your job being a clerk. At that moment you are a clerk, but what about when you clock out? Are you still a clerk? That is, we get caught up in saying, 'we're this' or 'we're that', but really you can't claim to be anything permanently but only what you are at a specific moment in time. The truth is, when you leave your job, you aren't a clerk (in that moment). It may seem kind of moot, pointless to think about, silly, and REALLY existential (and it is), but it's kind of the truth when you think about it....

Applying that to your question is, maybe when you pray you believe in god, but maybe the other 99% of the time when you're not praying, you don't. Maybe you're a theist for a moment, and an agnostic other moments. So to state it blankly, things aren't black and white. They're gray. So don't worry too much about whether you believe in god or don't on a permanent basis. Just be you in the moment.

"For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love."
- Carl Sagan
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