By Lesley Hazleton
A largely well-liked author on faith celebrates agnosticism because the such a lot vivid, engaging—and eventually the main honest—stance towards the mysteries of existence.
One in 4 americans reject any association with prepared faith, and approximately half these below thirty describe themselves as "spiritual yet now not religious." yet because the airwaves resound with the haranguing of preachers and pundits, who speaks for the hundreds of thousands who locate no pleasure in whittling the sweetness of lifestyles to an easy yes/no choice?
Lesley Hazleton does. during this provocative, amazing publication, she provides voice to the case for agnosticism, breaks it freed from its stereotypes as watered-down atheism or amorphous "seeking," and celebrates it as a reasoned, revealing, and maintaining stance towards lifestyles. Stepping over the traces imposed by means of inflexible conviction, she attracts on philosophy, theology, psychology, technological know-how, and extra to discover, with interest and fervour, the very important position of puzzle in a deceptively information-rich global; to invite what we suggest via the hunt for which means; to invoke the humbling but elating standpoint of infinity; to problem bought rules approximately dying; and to reassess what "the soul" will be. encouraged and encouraging, Agnostic recasts the query of trust now not as an issue to be solved yet as a call for participation to an ongoing, open-ended experience of the brain.
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Extra info for Agnostic: A Spirited Manifesto
Of course, it’s tempting to take a stronger line here, and say that only insofar as we actually experience this continuation of life does it count as life at all, much less the same life, but the issues here are both sufficiently confused and sufficiently exotic so that we can better talk about naturalized spirituality without them. What interests me is spirituality in life. I would be interested in a reincarnated or heavenly soul only insofar as it has the same essential attributes as a flesh and blood person who is still enjoying his or her original, earthly existence.
This is what is so very impoverished in those “philosophies of religion” that would reduce faith to beliefs, propositions to be “proven” (or at the very least, rendered “indefeasible”). While I do not doubt that philosophers who practice this sophisticated craft are as devout as they claim to be, I sense a severe disjunction between their theological efforts and their devotion. Most religious beliefs are more like club passwords or code words than propositions that can be explicated or defended.
The facts of the world remain pretty much as they were before. Nevertheless, everything changes. The world is born anew. This is not to say that we are in the realm of mere wishful thinking, much less self-delusion. In religion, it has often been argued that one gains faith by having faith. This doesn’t mean that God suddenly exists, nor does it imply even the weaker (and still dubious) claim that God comes to exist for you. It is important to hold onto the common sense distinction between something’s being true and simply believing or having faith in something.