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Ask the Patriarch 180
What do you teach?

from: Allison

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I would just like to say I think it's great what you do. I only realized a few years back that there was a such thing as Agnosticism and I just learned today that you guys have organizations. People would call me Atheist and I was never comfortable with that and I don't need a label. However, I took this Internet test to see what religion would best fit me about 4 years ago and it came up with Agnostic. I had no idea what that was, so I did a lot of research on it and I do probably call myself an Agnostic.

I have always fought with my parents about God and Jesus and I never could understand why they believed so strongly in something they couldn't prove existed. Well thank you for all the wonderful information you guys have on your website.

I do have one question, I was a little confused as to what exactly you teach in your organization or church.. Because there is nothing that you believe in.


The Patriarch replies:

Dear Allison:

Thank you for your comments. I'm glad you have come to think of yourself as an agnostic.

But what do I teach? Well, if you look at the Commentary on the Articles of Faith, it opens with:

"This section contains all that is really important. All the rest of this extensive website is mere expansion on these fundamentals, or filler and amusements."

That one page contains the fundamentals of what I call Apathetic Agnosticism. That's what I am teaching. The rest is just an examintion of the implications.

Now, there is no need for you to accept even that. By calling yourself an agnostic, you are essentially saying that, as far as you are concerned, "The existence of a Supreme Being is unknown." But still, much of the website is still useful in expanding on that idea.

Now you say "there is nothing that you believe in."

I would not agree with that statement. Agnosticism is a statement about our knowledge (or lack of knowledge) on the existence of a deity. That's all. You could say that most agnostics do not believe in anything... anything outside of reality, that is. We have no belief in god, demons, angels, heaven or hell. But, most agnostics do believe in reality; while some do think that reality is an illusion, most don't. We believe the real world exists, and that through the scientific method, we can increasingly understand it.

Back for one final thought on your question: What I teach is ultimately irrelevant. What is significant is what you learn. Never stop learning.

John Tyrrell