Believer? Atheist? Agnostic?


Do you believe there is no God, or are you just not certain of His existence? My friend, don’t confuse yourself, both of the above are vastly different stands on a question as old as time.

The first line of belief, that there is no God, is called Atheism, while the second, uncommitted stand is that of Agnosticism. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary –

Agnostic : a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (such as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God.

Atheist : a person who does not believe in the existence of a god or any gods; one who subscribes to or advocates atheism.

Believer or not, we should definitely know the correct labels in our times, when, if you are not labelled, you are not known. Well, that is a belief too, though one with which I personally disagree.

I have seen many people turning from believers to non-believers once they enter the Biology lab and look at beings inside out. Then there are those who lose faith when things go south for them, or when they suffer the loss of a loved one.

The matter of faith, of whether God exists or not has always been a point of contention between believers and atheists, with agnostics wondering what the fuss is all about. It is a sure topic to turn up the heat at any gathering, because faith or the lack of it is such a deeply, intrinsically personal thing, so entangled in our identities and upbringing that we cannot be objective about it.   

What I personally believe and advocate is a keener, deeper look at all aspects of an equation. Debate is a good way to dig into your ideas and evaluate what you know, believe and think. Research is another way to challenge or cement your notions. Atheists, look into every religion with an open mind, maybe you will come across something that persuades you be open to other possibilities. And if you do not, you will know your stand is an unshakeable one. It is not a notion, but a belief.

Those who believe in God, challenge your ideas too. Learn about other religions, beliefs, systems and see if your faith is unshakeable. Is it an internalised product of your upbringing or a conscious choice? Is the path you were raised to walk towards your maker, the right one? Do you even believe in a maker? Find yourself.

If you ask me, I just think we are all human beings with limitations. Most are probably only in our mind, but there are definites and variables like birth, death and nature that we cannot control. This consciousness of limitations and the absence of total control, makes me an agnostic. I don’t really know about the existence of God, and may be I never will, but I do know that we are not controlling everything, some other force is at work. And I am at peace with not knowing.

I hope you find a stand that you can be at peace with, or the strength of conviction to make peace with what you believe in.

Till then, keep thinking, keep asking and stay curious.