I’m about as agnostic as it’s possible to be. I will never be the kind of person who eliminates every possibility unless there is definitive proof. Definitive to me means there are zero exceptions. If there is a hole, i will find it. I may keep it to myself. This just means that while I may appear convinced of a thing, my brain is always going, “But what if this other plausible but as totally unprovable thing as your thing is true instead?” I am constantly looking at the other side of the thing I’m being shown.
This has made me very envious of those who definitively believe in the unprovable. I confidently believed in a single g~d when I was younger. Until 2 things happened in my life: 1. I took an astronomy course at a private liberal arts university, and 2. I heard a rabbi, Rabbi Joshua Taub, speak on Genesis 1:1. These seemingly small life moments allowed me to explore in depth what I had been needing, for myself and the way my brain needs to operate, to explore.
In my astronomy course, I was presented with the same evolutionary theory that I had learned was an option. I knew the basics of the theory, and had always found the arguments against it flimsy at best. But the reason this course changed my thinking was due to math. We learned about star types and planet’s and distances and lots more I’ve forgotten since I haven’t spent the past 14 years as an astronomer, and then every day we did the math OURSELVES to show our understanding. I did the math, and my brain acknowledged that it worked. No exceptions, no special understanding, no magic.
The math worked. Maybe evolution was actually a better way of looking at things. Galileo did his math and so far he’s been right.
But what about God?
Two years later, I was working at a synagogue, playing piano for Friday Shabbat services. The Torah reading was the beginning of Genesis. I know Genesis. Anyone who grew up in my circle of friends knows Genesis. God created the earth and everything else in 6 days and took a break. Rabbi Taub had a perspective I had never heard before. He talked about the different theories, creation/intelligent design and evolution, and asked this question, “If g~d is all powerful, why would 6 days be needed to make everything? G~d has the power to create all of everything in an instant. Saying that it took 6 days actually takes power away from g~d.” Using my favorite thing, reason, he showed that it makes more sense for g~d to have created evolution, to have the power to start in motion the beginnings of existence. A plan. An evolution.
The reasoning stands. If I were truly to believe in a g~d, then why would I waste my time with one who needed 6 whole days to get the job done. Talk about an inefficient god.
These two things, and the way my brain is wired (or, the way g~d made me), are why I am an agnostic. The math tells my brain there is probably no god. The reason tells me that g~d maybe isn’t what I think g~d is. The result to me is simple: what works for me works for me, and it makes sense to me to never exactly have full belief in any of it.
Which is why I’m jealous of those who do. Monotheists, atheists, all have definitive belief in a thing that cannot be proved, and to me that’s amazing. It sounds so comforting to be able to look at the sky and thinking how beautifully the stars and planet’s make sense and do what they’re supposed to do. The peace of mind knowing that no matter how lonely you might feel, there’s a God up there who loves you specifically because He made you specifically.
I want that feeling of comfort and peace of mind. But I doubt I will ever believe them fully. I’m okay with that. It actually doesn’t matter what I believe. The planet will keep spinning, if g~d is there then my lack of belief doesn’t have the power to change that as long as g~d isn’t a fairie.
*clapping just in case*