Would it be uncharitable to refer to agnosticism as slothful?


No, I don’t think it would be. There is so much information out there to help a person grow in their faith. We also have prayer and the sacraments to help increase our faith. I think most agnostics don’t want to grow in their faith because it might make them guilty about their lifestyle and so they remain ignorant. Does that sound uncharitable of me?

Would it be uncharitable to refer to agnosticism as slothful?


Would it be uncharitable to refer to agnosticism as slothful?


Nope, I call agnosticism “lazy man’s atheism”. It takes work to be a bona fide atheist. Agnostics just shrug their shoulder and say “I dunno”.

Agnostics are lazy, uncommitted, indifferent, self-centered with no sense of humor…on a good day.

Your reply reminds me of a good article I read by the author of the book Persecution and brother of Rush Limbaugh. The title is
Does Atheism Require More Faith.

He’s a segment of that article:
They note, for example, that naturalistic biologists claim “that life generated spontaneously from nonliving chemicals by natural laws without any intelligent intervention.”

These scientists believe that a “one-celled animal known as an amoeba (or something like it) came together by spontaneous generation…” But we now know there is incredible complexity in “the message found in the DNA of a one-celled amoeba (a creature so small, several hundred could be lined up in an inch).”

“The message found in just the cell nucleus of a tiny amoeba is more than all 30 volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica combined, and the entire amoeba has as much information in its DNA as 1,000 complete sets of the Encyclopedia Britannica.” And “we must emphasize that these 1,000 encyclopedias do not consist of random letters but of letters in a very specific order – just like real encyclopedias.”

You get the point: Atheists have to have enormous faith to believe that such complex messages exist in the absence of intelligent design.

[quote=Scott_Lafrance]Nope, I call agnosticism “lazy man’s atheism”. It takes work to be a bona fide atheist. Agnostics just shrug their shoulder and say “I dunno”.

Agnostics are lazy, uncommitted, indifferent, self-centered with no sense of humor…on a good day.

Well, my dear husband, the agnostic, is uncommitted and indifferent about faith, true. He is not lazy, too self-centered and does have a sense of humor. But I see your point.
My husband was raised by his PHD (in metallugy) father and artist mother with nary a smattering of religion or faith. He became what he was raised to be. Now he finds himself married to an RC convert (I was as agnostic as he is years ago) and is not quite sure what to make of it. He does question me occasionally and argues with me so I take that as a good sign. For hubby, the leap of faith is very difficult but with many prayers ascending on his behalf, I have hope. I try to always remember that faith is a gift from God, and not to push it. If he is meant to come to God, he will. If not, I married him for better or worse so…:slight_smile:

catsrus has a point. I wouldn’t say that somebody admitting, “I don’t know” is a sign of laziness. It is true that these people do not have faith, but I have known many hilarious and hard-working agnostics, so I wouldn’t paint them all with the same brush.

I don’t know what Robin Williams’ religion is, but he strikes me as agnostic and nobody makes me laugh like he does.

don’t you think it’s much more difficult to get an agnostic to convert to faith than an atheist?

after all, an atheist is always ready to vehemently say- there is no god. thus there is a chance of talking to them and hopefully, getting through

an agnostic, on the other hand, does not care. it makes no difference to him/her whether god exists or not. if god does exist, why should he/she move even a little finger to acknowledge this higher being?

Justin, I am sure there are agnostics as you describe them. I know many other agnostics who spend a great deal of their time searching for answers. For them, there is no easy answer to what is the truth?

Would it be uncharitable to refer to agnosticism as slothful?


It puzzles me why you would say that. Stephen Hawking is an agnostic, does that make himn slothful?

It puzzles me why you would say that. Stephen Hawking is an agnostic, does that make himn slothful?

S****lothful in a spiritual sense, yes. Make a decision: either God exists, or He does not.

Hawking is one among innumerable brilliant people who are either waiting for some shred of proof/disproof from science (something which is inherently impossible), or refuses to commit to a decision on this greatest of cosmic questions in the interests of remaining purely objective and unbiased. A true scientist! Science and religion are on completely different levels. One deals with the material, the other spiritual; one studies the natural, the other supernatural. One realm (sensible) we can clearly perceive, the other (intelligible) we only know directly in our own minds; its operation and immaterial substance, and indirectly by its effect on the material (which can be sensibly observed).

It is quite simple: the intelligible is observable by the intelligible, and the sensible by the sensible. Since our current intelligible realities (intelligent minds subjected to sensible bodies) are restricted to outside observers who are all in the same way restricted, anything outside of ourselves which is purely intelligible is unobservable. To clarify: we cannot physically see into one another’s minds because our only tool for seeing anything outside of ourselves are our eyes, which are sensible and can only observe other sensible realities; yet we do not assert that our own minds are the only existing intelligible realities. We do not, because of our inability to physically see other minds, say that they do not exist. This is the limitation of scientific observation, which is itself wholly limited to the sensible, the physical, the material.

No amount of arguing about the origins of the universe is going to have even the slightest effect on something that is fundamentally a matter of faith, hence to make the leap we have recourse to reason; to philosophy. Man has been pondering this question since the dawn of his intelligent awakening, and no idea currently held is a completely new one. Some either accept both material and spiritual realms, or they (like Kant) take a purely spiritualistic view, distrusting all sensible reality as a product of the intelligible mind observing it (there is no physical universe). This errs on the side of illusionism. Atheists completely deny any spiritual reality, adhering to a purely materialistic world-view, which I can respect, insofar as they are committing to something, despite some of its blatant irrationalities and limitations. All that is sensible (the universe) is filtered through the intelligible (our own minds). To deny the intelligible realities is to deny our own existence, much less that of God! (see: Descartes’ “Meditations”).

In conclusion, not everything that exists can be perceived by our 5 bodily senses or tools made to enhance them (not everything is sensible). You can never prove the substance of my thoughts or dreams (intelligible realities) purely from scientific observation. You can never prove the intelligible substance of the universe purely from scientific observation; you must either simply accept or deny their existence. Yes, the electricity in my brain is an effect of my thoughts and dreams. Accept or deny that I have thoughts or dreams? The universe is an effect of God. Accept or deny that there is a God? The material effect can be scientifically observed (electricity and universe), the spiritual cause cannot (thoughts and God).

some good reading:

Uh no. Agnosticism says you can’t prove god’s existance. Not that you won’t do it.

What the? I write all that for a one sentence reply?

No philosophy can prove God’s existence. Agnosticism is indecision.

The need to group all agnostics into a single, easily dismissable category strikes me as slothful. I hope I’m not being uncharitable by pointing this out.

I made sure to use my words carefully. I referred to agnosticism as slothful. Not agnostics.

I wouldn’t say agnosticism is slothful at all. Maybe for some people it is a result of being spiritually lazy, but for many others it’s the best they can do. They study the issue of God’s existence and cannot find compelling enough arguments on either the theist or atheist side of the issue. They simply are saying - this is something I can never know. That’s actually very humble, compared to the way some atheists are. It’s very uncharitable to condemn every agnostic as slothful when you don’t know them all and their motivations for their belief. You should pray for them instead of issuing sweeping, unfair, judgments over them.

Also, everyone of us is agnostic about some things in life besides the question of God. I’m agnostic about alot of philosophical issues, such as exactly how the mind and body interract, that other philosophers are adamant there are answers to. I’m not lazy; I’ve studied this issue for years, have found no compelling arguments for the various answers to the question, and have concluded that it’s something we just cannot know the answer to, period. It’s a mystery. This is how thoughtful agnostics see the question of God (not all agnostics are thoughtful of course!)

1 a )One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God.

1 b) One who is skeptical about the existence of God but does not profess true atheism.

2 One who is doubtful or noncommittal about something.

I had to look it up because I thought it refered to somone who did not believe but had not determined that God did not exist. ( defenition 1b).
Looking at these three definitions only number two seems to have some hint at sloth. The others could refer to people who are honestly searching with due diligence.
Could StThomas have been considered an agnostic at one point?

GK Chesterton:“You can only find truth with logic if you have already found truth
without it.”

GK Chesterton seems to think that reason cannot prove God but the person who does not yet believe does not know this

The CCC says something to the effect that agnosticism reflects spiritual sluggishness. The way I see it, this is so important that shouldn’t you make up your mind before you die? My gut, after living with agnostics all my life, is that deep down they do believe, but (1) don’t want to appear foolish, (2) have sins they know they’ll have to own up to, and so (3) basically hide from God. With all the distractions in life–TV, movies, music, sports, politics etc–it’s easy to put it out of your mind.

Let’s face it,some of us got it and some of us don’t! :cool:

[quote=Bob Baran]Agnostics are lazy, uncommitted, indifferent, self-centered with no sense of humor…on a good day.

Hmmm:hmmm: My husband is now a strong Catholic but he used to an agnostic, mostly because his parents couldn’t decide what religion they wanted to be and kept changing their mind from Jehovah Witnesses all the way to holy rolling Pentecostals.

He was uncommitted, and indifferent, probably spirtually lazy but not at all self center (and he did and still does have a great sense of humor.:smiley: )

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