Is being agnostic reasonable?
I've heard the argument before that being agnostic is reasonable because both believing in gods and not believing in gods are assertions when we really don't know the truth. I disagree with that statement. Sure, a scientist must be open to whatever possible explanations there are. But for everyday practical reasons, there's just no benefit to believing that there are gods or a God.
The argument is almost always made by Christians as a way to whittle away at the sensability of an atheist. First, they want you to question whether a God could exist in the hopes that you'll eventually believe that their God is the one that exists. But sometimes the argument is made by people who just don't know where they stand on the subject. I think it's dangerous not to know where you stand on the subject because bad things happen and, because we're emotional creatures, we tend to look for answers. When there are none to be found, many people turn to the supernatural. I won't go into why I think religion is a bad thing in this blog.
The typical agnostic attempts to disassociate from other known religions. They posit that, sure religious doctrine makes no sense when you look at the big picture, but there are still many unanswered questions. That's fine for a scientist, a person who's career depends on being reasonable and open to possibilities. But for the everyday person, there's no reason to believe that there is a god. There's no benefit in doing so unless you make unecessary assumptions. Assumptions are what doctrinated religions are founded on.
What would be the benefit of believing in a god if you don't believe the current religions? Would it be that there has to be life after death? I would argue that you should get aquainted with the idea of death so that you might make the best of the life you have. Would it be because you need to believe that good always wins over evil? I would argue that it would be better to believe that good and evil are a manmade invention and that what is "good" is the greater good that wins in the long run even without divine intervention. Would it be that there has to be explanations for all the weird things that happen? I would argue that there are explanations that we sometimes don't know just yet but time and time again we find out that there are rational explanations. Also, when you account for all the things that happen in a minute, multiplied by days, multiplied by years, multiplied by how many people are in the world, multiplied by what they interact with, etc., it is statistically probably that weird things will happen. And because those things are odd, we tend to focus on them and try to find ways that they fit in with what we already know and expect.
For the practical person who wants to live a good life and strive for a utopian existence for mankind there's just no reason to believe there is a god that will be your buddy and do things for you. Any attempt to find some benefit in believing in a god relies on assumptions about god's nature and purpose. And I've touched on why accuracy is important for living a good life in a previous blog.
I'm trying to resist the urge to proofread and make changes for the next hour on this blog. Be proud of me. Nevermind... I failed.