“The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us; and I for one must be content to remain an agnostic.”
I want to point out to many atheists that while I support a critique of the metaphysical doctrines of religion (transcendant God, afterlife, original sin), I don’t find that I can be certain of the non-existence, or existence, of that which is beyond our knowledge and understanding.
Much of atheism has the difficult work of clearing space for thought from religious doctrines. A healthy skepticism here is worth much more to me than the terrifying certainty of true believers. I do not have faith in a God where my reason fails me, but rather, I am not certain reason itself can prove God’s existence or non-existence successfully.
I don’t think I’m seeking comfort here, nor a way out of the moral obligations of Godlessness, but rather I’ve found the reasoning is deeper than I suspected.
Here’s a quote from Betrand Russell:
“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.”