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Can you be an Agnostic and a Pantheist?
Darwin's great ally Thomas Henry Huxley gave the following classic definition of agnosticism: "Agnosticism simply means that a man shall not say he knows or believes that for which he has no grounds for professing to believe." Agnosticism was also Darwin's own preferred position.
If you are an agnostic, it's very likely that you have some degree of skepticism about the central claims of traditional religions. And it's also very likely that you are a person who does not accept grandiose claims without solid proof.
Does that mean that as an agnostic you can't have any kind of spirituality, that you can't satisfy those complex needs that religions fulfill - community support, remedies for grief and anxiety, a sense of one's place in Nature and the wider Universe? Could there be an agnostic religion, or a religion suited for agnostics?
How would you feel about a spirituality that does not ask you believe in anything other than the natural world that your senses reveal to you every day? A spirituality at whose core lie deep feeling of belonging in Nature, of reverence for the Universe, of concern for planetary and human survival?
Pantheism means, basically, reverence for Nature and the wider Universe. Pantheists move beyond the unanswerable questions and deal with what exists – the Universe that our senses and sciences reveal to us. While we respect the findings of science, we don't claim to know the ultimate origin of the Universe or Multiverse – perhaps no-one can answer that question, perhaps there is no ultimate origin.
For us, the Universe just is. And it is so immense, powerful, beautiful and mysterious that we feel reverence, or if you prefer, wonder and awe, for it.
There's no requirement to prove or disprove the existence of some invisible being. There's only the question: Does it seem right to you to feel reverence for the universe, love and concern for nature and human rights?
Maybe Pantheism answers the questions you need answering, leaving unanswered those that you feel cannot be answered. If you would like to explore this possibility further, then please check out World Pantheism.
We have global and local mailing lists, a magazine Pan, and a growing number of local groups. We have lists about scientific and philosophical ideas, as well as about practical ways of developing our naturalistic spirituality. You can find links to these on our main page.