Debating the Unicorn's Horn
by: John Tyrrell
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What do we know about the unicorn's horn? Is it, as for some animals, an extended tooth? Or is it a form of hair? How long is it? Where is it situated? On the forehead? Between the eyes? Just below the eyes? Midway along the nose? Or just above the nostrils. Is the horn straight, or is it corkscrewed? If the latter, is the twist to the left or the right?
Strange questions about just one element of the anatomy of an imaginary beast. But, if we gave the same credence to the existence of the unicorn as most people give to the concept of a god, then these questions are equivalent to theological studies. The deepest minds of the past five thousand years would have expended untold effort in developing answers. Wars would have been fought amongst proponents of differing views. And still, no-one would have seen a real live unicorn.
Theology is a difficult complex subject. And some of the greatest minds in history have studied it and written extensively on theological issues. They study the characteristics of god, god's intentions, wishes and desires, the nature of demons and angels, the interpretation of scripture, to give just a few examples. Yet, in the end, theology gives us no real answers. Because there is no credible evidence of a real god. This leads me to suggest that, considering all the effort and study, theology is just a monumental waste of time. Just like considering the unicorn's horn.
Last year, one of our members wrote me requesting to visit. I wrote back agreeing to have a coffee with him if he was passing though town. He replied that was not what he had in mind; rather he wanted a full week with me to learn from me everything there was to know about Apathetic Agnosticism.
This presented me with a problem. I have always had a fear of being considered some kind of guru, and the Church of the Apathetic Agnostic being seen as some kind of cult. And the thought of an acolyte coming to sit at my feet to obtain my wisdom just played into those fears. Besides, I have the charisma of a damp dishrag -- a week with me would not reinforce his agnosticism. Further, I cannot imagine having enough new to say to fill a couple of hours, let alone a week.
As it says on the Articles of Faith page, that one page contains everything of importance. The rest, including this meditation, is just expansion, filler, or amusements. And to be honest, the three Articles of Faith are just an expansion of our motto.
Unlike god-based religion, we don't need theology. We don't debate the unicorn's horn.
So I rather brusquely turned him down, saying there is nothing to learn from me that is not already on this web site. Like studying theology, spending a week with me discussing agnosticism would be a monumental waste of time.
Agnosticism is different. It's simple. It can be explained in less than 5 seconds. "I don't know." Apathetic Agnosticism is a little more complicated requiring perhaps 7 or 8 seconds. "I don't know, and I don't care."
Either way, it answers all possible questions arising from theology and god, and also answers everything you need to know about the unicorn's horn.
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