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Ask the Patriarch 137
I'm doing some research about Agnosticism

from:Mona

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Hi,

I'm Mona from Thailand. Actually, I'm not agnostic but I am really interested. And I'm doing some research about Agnosticism too which I'll have to present to my classmates soon. I've learnt about homosexuality because in many religions (including mine) it is a sin. but in Agnosticism it is OK, right?

Now,I have some questions to ask:

  1. Is Agnosticism considered as religion?
  2. Birth Control and Abortion,are they okay?
  3. Is pre-marital sex prohibited?
  4. 4. You do not pray or have any superstitions as you do not believe in god. So what is your social obligation? Like Christians meet at a church on Sunday, something like that.

It might be too many questions but I'd really like to know. Hope you'll answer and educate me more.

Yours sincerely,

Mona

The Patriarch replies:

Mona:

You are not the first to write with a school project, and for a wider perspective than the questions you have asked, I suggest you read the following articles to see what I have told others:

Now, for your four questions:

1. Is Agnosticism considered as religion?

It really depends on what your view is of a religion. Some people may consider it a religion, others would not.

But it is a religious viewpoint. It is a statement about God - specifically that we do not know if God exists or if God does not exist.

2. Birth Control and Abortion, are they okay?

Agnosticism in its purest sense says nothing about morality. It is only a statement about our knowledge of God. Morality is up to the individual. Overall, we feel decisions on ethics and morality should be determined through a personal intellectual process rather than blindly following rules set down by any Church. However, as a simple rule it is suggested that if you do right by others, you will do right by yourself.

In my opinion, the vast majority of agnostics agree that there is nothing immoral about birth control. There may be a few who think otherwise.

Most agnostics would think that abortion is acceptable. However some do have strong opinions against it. And some of those who support a woman's right to obtain an abortion would impose limits, such as no abortion in the third trimester unless the woman's life is in danger.

You might argue that an abortion is not "doing right" by the unborn foetus. But, the intellectual question is "When does a foetus become a person?" Many agnostics (as well as many believers in God) consider a foetus becomes a person when it is born, not at conception.

3. Is pre-marital sex prohibited?

Again, there is no official agnostic position on sex outside of marriage. It is a personal decision. Most agnostics would regard pre-marital sex as acceptable.

4. You do not pray or have any superstitions as you do not believe in god. So what is your social obligation? Like Christians meet at a church on Sunday, something like that.

There are no social obligations for agnostics. Some do meet to discuss common interests in freethought or humanist organizations. But, to be an agnostic, it is not necessary to attend meetings.

You also asked about homosexuality. Some agnostics do regard it as wrong, but most of us think that what consenting adults choose to do with each other is their own business. So consensual homosexual acts, whether between men or between women are considered acceptable

Best wishes,