I was reading a book by Mark Vernon the other day called: "Science, Religion and the Meaning of Life". Here's what he had to say:
If god talk can avoid getting hung up on "proofs", then it can become a way of critiquing human knowledge. Examining what people take to be divine is baluable because it reminds them that they are made lower than gods and that aspirations to god-like knowledge will remain just that-aspirations. Then, if this can be stomached, the attitude it nurtures itself becomes a valuable source of insight, for religious humility is the product of embracing the human condition. With it, the vain attempt to "overcome" is ditched, and the challenge to understand is taken on. And this, in turn, is what makes life worthwhile. It produces the best kind of human beings, people who are not merely ignorant, but recognise the ways in which they are. To this extent, they become wise and lovers of wisdom. To put it another way, the unexamined life is not worth living, negatively because it would be deluded, and positively because examining all those other things in life- character, intuition, friendships, loves and fundamentally "who am I?" gives life shape and meaning.
What? First off, what's with all this anthropomorphic crap? Why is this man, former Christian, turned Atheist, now agnostic defending agnosticism using anthropomorphic gods? How does he know? So far, he has been citing "god" as being some "supernatural" being who thinks and acts like humans, with human emotions and human desires. He claims to not know or will ever know if god exists, yet he talks as if he believes god exists- "examining what people take to be divine is valuable because it reminds them that they are made lower than gods." That's assuming gods even exist! He's contradicting his agnosticism just with that one sentence, nevermind the whole paragraph!
He claims that religion is the key to opening that door that lets out our inner philosophers. What about me? I agree that examining and questioning the world around you gives life more meaning, but I don't need to believe in a "god" to humble myself and try to understand who I am. I see belief as being a sort of target in the dark for insecure people to aim for. I'm happy for some people who have broken away from "mainstream" religion, but to grasp on to agnosticism to keep you afloat seems to me to be even more futile then focusing all your energy into an actual religion. I mean, good for them that they see something wrong with religion, and I'm sure it's difficult trying to explain to people what being agnostic means. But I'm pretty convinced only 30 pages into his book that it just sounds like agnostics are just trying to find an easy way out.
*Sigh* I'm not going to stop with Mark Vernons opinion though. He has a lot of interesting things to say about philosophy, which means "love of wisdom" by the way. It sounds like this guy is taking Socrates words and twisting them until he gets a theistic meaning out of them. It's ridiculous!