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Ask the Patriarch 274
Am I A Good Fit Here?

from: Marisa

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I found your site when searching for churches for agnostics. I'm an agnostic - not an atheist or a believer in God and I'm not in some transition period. I believe that it is impossible to know whether there is or is not God/s or Goddess/es or whatever else. But I do feel that to believe in something without evidence is fine - that's what belief is all about. What I find to be weird are people who feel they have hard evidence to support their beliefs one way or another.

My father is an atheist and I disagree with his idea that things like evolution are evidence against there being God. My mother probably falls under being an apathetic agnostic - she just doesn't seem to care one way or the other. She feels she can't really know and she doesn't care enough to figure out what she believes in. She very rarely talks at all about religion except to poke fun at overly religious people.

Point being I agree with your doctrine of "I don't know..." I don't agree with the "... I don't care" part. I think that means that I'm not apathetic enough to join your church.

I usually consider myself a Spiritual Agnostic because I believe in the existence of something similar to a "soul" and I believe in ghosts - though I believe most "ghosts" on the TV are fake because I'm a skeptic like my father. I'm undecided on whether I believe there is an "afterlife" for our "souls".

Even though I'm agnostic I just feel like it's more likely that there isn't any God. If there is God(s), they definitely seem apathetic or maybe they decided the best thing to do was not meddle in our lives.

I feel the most at peace with the world when out in the forest or climbing a mountain or sitting on a log by the sea. I think I feel what might be considered a spiritual experience when I'm out there. In the city I only sometimes get that feeling when I see someone doing a kind a deed or bringing a smile to someone else's face.

I believe most people have good intentions but we evolved to be fairly selfish so most people will chose to help themselves first. I feel some selfishness is good / necessary and I disagree with people who vilify selfishness - the hard thing to figure out is the right balance between putting others above yourself and putting yourself first. I think a large part of living a happy healthy life is figuring out the right balance in all things and that balance is going to be different person to person.

I believe that to know is impossible but what matters is the search. It's like the idea of the journey being more important than the destination. I dislike the idea that the important thing is the afterlife - life is what's important, we should care more about the here and now and the future of the world in life not death. I hope there is an afterlife but even if there isn't it won't matter. I believe that we should always search for the unknowable. That to search for the unknowable is part of the fun.

So as I said I feel like I probably am not apathetic enough to be a part of your church. I worry that I won't fit in with people here. What do you think?

- Marisa

The Patriarch replies:

reply goes here


Thanks for writing.

I wouldn't make too much of the name of the Universal Church Triumphant of the Apathetic Agnostic or its motto. These date from a time when the whole concept was very tongue-in-cheek.

In any event the word "Apathetic" has always referred only to "apathetic to the existence of a deity." Nothing more. The 20 years worth of content on the web site, I think, demonstrates a wholesome lack of apathy otherwise. And as you note in your comments "If there is God(s), they definitely seem apathetic." It's seems to me we can be equally apathetic towards their potential existence, if nothing else.

I personally do not believe in the soul, nor in ghosts. I consider myself aspiritual. But your disagreement with me on those points does not disqualify you. You would not be the only one in UCTAA who disagrees with me on these things.

You feel a spiritual feeling in the forest, on a mountain, or sitting on a log by the sea. I visit those places regularly too, and I am awed by nature and the world around me. Are we just using different words to describe similar experiences?

From what you've written, I see no problem with you "fitting in." But that's not for me to judge. You are the one who judges whether the shoes you are buying fit you, not the sales clerk. And I'd ask you "What are you looking for in an agnostic church?"

After all, this, in many ways, is not what people look for in a church. No-one is asking for money (see previous question.) There are no meetings. We try not to take ourselves overly-seriously. The online discussion board is dormant serving only as an update notice board. About the only place to meet other members is on our facebook page, and that's mostly by checking out to see who "liked" something or other. As churches go, this is pretty low key. Is that what you are really looking for? If it is, then welcome.

John Tyrrell


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