Updated: Jul 15, 2018
According to the philosopher William L. Rowe, "agnosticism is the view that human reason is incapable of providing sufficient rational grounds to justify either the belief that God exists or the belief that God does not exist".
Because we know we don't know, we do what feels good or right to us - that doesn't make atheists or agnostics amoral. As a self-described Agnostic, I hold as deep ethical standards and moral judgements as anyone who ascribes to a religious practice, and I question dogma.
What does it look like to worship without believing in God?
I worship creation in a variety of ways; through respect of nature and the autonomous agency of other beings, through gratitude and service. I'm a worshiper of free will and critical thinking who devoutly tests the efficacy of a variety of spiritual ideas and practices. Because I'm not confirmed in any religious sect, I attend and practice in a variety of traditions; I go to Dances, and Buddhist meditation, a Sufi study group as well as a Tantra study group, I practice yoga and I study translated ancient texts.
I notice the common thread in several religious or spiritual practices, that we can have a personal relationship with the divine, and the connection is within each of us. I see the all in one aspect repeated across a variety of teachings; we all are each like fractal beings as powerful in ourselves as the whole, but on a smaller scale - drops in a vast ocean. I worship a divinity that abides within the order of the laws of physics, and acts through coincidences of our daily experience. I believe in phenomena that I've experienced which have not yet found explanation through the intellect of humankind.
Surely coincidences happen for no reason all the time (correlation is not causation after all), but what fun is that? Does it seem ridiculous to notice and make meaningful a "sign," or the impact of an unrelated decision or an action? Perhaps, but what if the mere act of tracking and acknowledging an unknown connection could give fulfillment to an otherwise frustrating or dull life?
The experience of identifying divine intervention in the mundane coincidence brings me a feeling of validation and guidance from the universe. Last week, I received an invitation from a potential business partner immediately after making an internal commitment to putting my 100% all-in for self-employment, and daily activity based personal practice. Again today, right after I admitted to one of my online support groups where we were discussing a dip in new client intake that I hadn't done much of my own marketing, I received a phone call off of this website...
Oddly, putting things in the hands of a God which I can't know for sure exists reduces my anxiety. I don't try to control things as much. I can live in a state of worship, gratitude and wonderment without denying science. "Magical thinking" as it were, assuming that there could be a greater and benevolent consciousness of something, anything, loving, guiding, and protecting me gives me comfort. Even if I don't believe my prayers will be answered as granted wishes, I do believe "what you think is what you get." I think the coincidences are meaningful and that brings me joy. I don't need to get all caught up in believing the world is a cold and dangerous place out to take advantage of me.
It's a lot more fun to have an imaginary friend than to think that other humans are the highest consciousness outside of my own thoughts available.