Where are you on the bridge? What are YOU doing there?
For many years I have thought of agnosticism as a bridge - a metaphor for the means of completing the journey from the delusions of religion to the safe uplands of secular freethinking.
A) someone who has found that there may be a way out the stranglehold of religion and tentatively tries just a few steps to ‘test out’ the strength of the bridge.
B) someone who is firmly on the bridge and is quite happy to stay there for ever and has given up testing because it “seems fine at the moment”.
C) Someone who has crossed the bridge , seen the benefits of freethinking and is willing to go back over it to help as many people as possible cross over.
I make no apologies for using metaphors because that is the method the prophets have used quite successfully and certain people can only think in this way.
The only answer I really want is “Is the metaphor useful? ”
I think the metaphore works. Even though the words themselves (agnostic and atheist) are really referencing two different things. I can see agnosticism as a path, or bridge in your metaphore, to atheism. I think that's how it worked for me. From my previous religious point of view, atheist seemed too definitive at that time. Agnostic just seemed to acknowledge that I didn't have all the answers. And it seemed more palatable. Once I felt comfortable saying I was agnostic, I could view religion with an open mind and investigate the idea more freely. The more I learned, the easier it became for me to embrace atheism.
I'm on a different bridge now--at the helm of the ship of my own mind, where religion has no place. As my avatar proclaimed: "My own mind is my own church," and "The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion."
Not a bridge to me. I don't know about going back to help others cross over. Maybe this is work everyone needs to go off and do on their own.
Every time I start talking about this stuff with others, sharing my view of life and the beyond, either people agree or they retreat to whatever tradition or culture they're committed to. No one says, Hmm. Let me consider this. Usually, it's a topic to be avoided. More often I hear, Oh shut up about it already.
As a bridge that must be crossed alone, there isn't much room for helping across. Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but that's been my experience.
I am definitely C - I have firmly crossed the bridge and am happy on this side, but also willing to meet some folks halfway when they tentatively put a foot on the bridge and need a helping hand crossing over, or just want some company enjoying the view, from a point of looking at both sides. I do think the term "agnostic" is a helpful bridge word, between believers and atheists.
If the metaphor is useful to you, that's all that matters.
I'm an atheist. If asked, I have no problem explaining my position.
While I detest religion and truly wish people weren't insisting on being
delusional, it's not my job to bring anyone to logic and reason.
I've learned you can't anyway. They've got to come to those realizations
on their own.
I'm also an anti-theist want truly want all belief in gods and religion to stop.
It's harmful for believer and non-believer alike.
I'm none of the above.
I don't see myself as C, because that is proselytizing, which I detest. What works for me doesn't work for everyone, and the goal is internal peace with your own rationale... Completely silent and within your own head.
I'm not B, because I am open to "testing" and further self growth. I've learned so much in the past year.
Obviously not A.
https:// The only answer I really want is “Is the metaphor useful? ” https://
If used outside of ones personal context, than no. Though it can be a bridge for people, one should not feel obligated to cross it fully to be considered a free thinker. If anything, this flies in the face of the whole concept of free thought. Unless atheism is a substitute for free thinker.
Is it helpful? No.
I don't care where you are on the non-theist spectrum. I just want you helping to move the needle.