My friend: “Damn! I miss my evening prayer (Sholat Isya in Moslem term),”
Me: “It’s OK dude. Your holiness must understand it if you are really forgot about it and will forgive you if you didn’t do the same thing again (pun intended honestly)”.
My friend: “Damn man! To hear that from an atheist guy like you. You’ll probably an agnostic not an atheist. You believe in God but didn’t believe in the way to worship him. You’re still looking for a suitable religion for you.”
A conversation between me & my friend in some restaurant after watching some concert in Bandung 2005
That conversation was my first encounter with the term “agnostic”; of course it’s intrigued me (a lot, since I’m determined to google it). So, after google it, read it, etc, I came with some simple and easy explanation of “agnostic” from Bertrand Russell’s (a 20th century philosopher, no pun intended for Harry Potter and that stone of his) 1947 pamphlet, Am I An Atheist Or An Agnostic? (subtitled A Plea For Tolerance In The Face Of New Dogmas), he ruminates on the problem of what to call himself:
As a philosopher, if I were speaking to a purely philosophic audience I should say that I ought to describe myself as an Agnostic, because I do not think that there is a conclusive argument by which one can prove that there is not a God.
On the other hand, if I am to convey the right impression to the ordinary man in the street I think I ought to say that I am an Atheist, because when I say that I cannot prove that there is not a God, I ought to add equally that I cannot prove that there are not the Homeric gods.
Well, the main reason why I wrote this is cuz I think that it is very annoying, at least for me, that how the concept of God have to be associated with specific religion? Is the question wrong or weird? Maybe for some people, but for me, to questioning everything is the proof of life, the proof of existence, the main reason I survive to live this pathetic life of mine (might as well dead if I just accept everything without questioning things, kinda like take for granted right?).
Religion, to be specific I take the three religion, Catholic, Protestant, Islam, by most people associated with how we communicate with God, attached by rules, protocol, sanction, etc. If you ask me, I think we, no most people, worship second-hand God. We just take follow a stepping stone set by our ancestor, which is weird cuz history taught us how those three religion birth in the first place, to fix the error of the previous religion animism and dynamism. First birth Catholic, with it’s variant which is a lot, then some “rebel” of Catholic, Protestant, which some said more prefer the new testament than the old one, and then came Islam, who said to be the version 2.0 of the previous.
OK, that is some simplistic, idiotic generalisme, sorry if I offended someone. To be blunt, the reason those religion going on different direction is cuz politic, didn’t believe me? Well There is Roman Catholic, and also others non roman (see the politic issue). Then there is the bible or the book, first is Torah, then Psalm, Bible itself and then Qur’an. Each, in order of appearance said that the latest fix the problem or the error of the previous (is there error in context of religion? Well to up-grade or up-date the previous book). So, why did the majority embrace Islam? Well, cuz the last prophet (Islam and Catholic and Protestant share the same prophet and book, with exception Qur’an though) Mohammad ain’t Jewish (see how politic it is?), so they ignore or neglect Islam (what is to ignore or neglect? God’s order or something?).
I guess that’s why I became agnostic (sorry for other religion that I didn’t mention here), cuz I think that is ridiculous to see the fact how those religion claimed to be the better or up-grading the previous one, I mean, why we just sat and waiting for the latest version or the ultimate version of it to come (it feels like a computer that needed to be up-graded every once in a while). No, that’s not ridiculous, what ridiculous is the fact that all those religion forbid every other religion that come after them, I mean they claim to be the up-graded of the previous but when the newest up-grade arrive, they ignore and neglect it.
Of course, just to ignore and neglect is OK, but what made me furious is the fact that there’s a faction of fundamentalist, extremist or whatever they / we call them thought that they have the rights to terminate every other kind of religion that stand in their way, or at least not making sense with them (this is other ridiculous part where religion taught us to be kind to other but in reality religion is a justification to hurt other, it must be politic, not religion but the religion part is too big I guess).
So, that’s where I left as an agnostic. Knowing first hand how cruel religion competition is (my parents religion are different (don’t ask how they get married, it’s play by the rules as far as I can explain), I felt that I was an outsider for both religion (though I was a Moslem, my father forced this, like some sort of pre wedding clause). So, son of both world always be an outsider for both? I guess, I’m not atheist cuz I believe God, but I didn’t know, yet, what religion to worship him (or what religion is suitable to my taste ^_^).
But then again, as a chronic gambler, I never turned down any card that was dealt for me, no matter how bad it is. I always go for it, even when I know that I’ll lost from the beginning. So, as the only way that I learn from the beginning, which is Islam, I guess I’m a moslem then. Hey, maybe I’m not atheist, I’m a secularist ^_^.