The Lie of Neutral Agnosticism

You hear often from folks who claim to be agnostic that their world view (that of rejecting any unproven assertion of a religious nature) is a ‘neutral’ position. They posit that they oppose unproven claims about the nature of reality, or the way in which we should live our lives. This is a lie. It’s not a personal or malicious lie to be clear. It’s not that agnostics are seeking to deceive when they say this. In fact those who are agnostic are often the most truth seeking of folks in the general population. They tend to hold in high regard that which is ‘provably true’ and care so deeply about that truth that they are willing to admit they know less, until they feel they can know it for sure.

But they are deceived by the culture of our modern world into making very non-neutral choices, and their outward expressions demonstrate this clearly.

What is Agnosticism?

Generally speaking in a religious context, someone can be understood to be agnostic when they simply claim to be unsure of what they wish to believe. This can be for any number of reasons. There is the option that someone could admit to being confused; that with many choices of religion, they are unsure of which to follow. But most often it seems, at least in ‘the west’ agnosticism is synonymous with a form of personalized scientific doubt.

Most western agnostics do not claim to be confused and in the process of ‘figuring it out’. They rather point to the scientific method’s requirements for evidence in materialist studies as an axiomatic rejection of a mysterious religious belief. They believe that we should not follow any religion unless it can be shown to be ‘true’ in the material sense. They want evidence, they want to see God under a microscope, they want the peer reviewed studies. Until they can see material ‘proof’ of God, they will refuse to participate in anything related to him.

What Evidence Suffices?

But most world religions are explicitly focused beyond the material world or make claims about things which human scientific prowess is ill equipped to handle.

To understand what I mean by this, consider for a second that the proposed God of Abraham is in fact real. This is a disputed fact by many to be clear. On the basis that evidence would need to be provided for this God in order for their belief to flourish. But if you take a step back and imagine this God to be certainly real, how then would in that scenario, modern human science prove his existence? There are limits to modern science (although many in the “I love science” crowd might not like to admit this). You would not find the God of Abraham under a microscope. Or sitting in the clouds looking down at humanity and wagging his finger. In fact the God of Abraham is explicitly depicted as being the beginning and end of everything that is; to say he is “outside the universe”.

To this end, it is not so confusing that it seems in the revelations of many religious traditions, worship, belief, and trust in God (or gods) is expected without material evidence in hand. Certainly there exist many strong arguments in favor of the existence of much beyond the realm of the immediately visible universe in space and time. Our best understanding of the universe today is that there is much beyond what we know. But that there is mystery is not unexpected.

We can’t really expect to be treated differently either. An all powerful creator is far beyond us than our most advanced civilizations ever have been beyond our least advanced. Yet when explorers took advanced technology around the globe, it wasn’t a given that they would explain in detail how it all worked to everyone they came across. That an all powerful God wouldn’t give us a detailed explanation for everything we see follows even our own behavior towards our brothers and sisters. Far from it that we should expect anything different.

The Demand of an Explanation

To this end, the agnostic refusal to follow a religious observance can be found to be something much more sinister and non-neutral than first understood. It is not a ‘logical’ ‘neutral’ position. Rather the demand for an explanation is found not in any religious tradition that places the heavens above man, but only in the modern humanist mind that:

  1. Expects humanity to be capable of observing & understanding the divine
  2. Demands an explanation of and from the divine

You cannot expect to understand God without first thinking yourself at least similar to God. You also cannot expect to trap God in a lab, and to this end must assume he will choose to come and give his explanation to you. This demand for an explanation, predicated on the belief that humanity is ready for it, is dangerously Luciferian in that it places God’s ways below man’s.

An Alternative Path

Following from the above, it is clear that the only reason to sit in agnosticism is to worship the power of man in expectation that man should be able to trap the divine in a lab (or see God’s starship through a telescope, etc), study the divine, and understand it. This is certainly not neutral. The question that really should be asked by all undecided folks is what is the ‘right’ thing to do. It is not right to worship man over God, especially if God does in fact exist. But frankly, even if there is no God, to worship the state of man today over a higher and more divine alternative is still clearly wrong and brings only moral & developmental stagnation at best.

If you’re not certain about what path you should take, at least take some path. Determine if that path is healthy as you best can understand it, and do not fall into a dangerous and destructive belief system. Be willing to be open to the possibility that there is more going on than can be seen under a microscope or tested in a lab. Hopefully one day humanity is able to become far more advanced than we are even today. Maybe in the future we will unlock the secrets of the universe, but you certainly won’t live long enough to see that day.

To this end the question is simple, do you worship the power of man? Do you think man’s ways are above God’s? Should God submit to your questioning? Or can you through your own sense of moral rightness determine that the revelations of the divine here on earth are good and just? If you see health, justice, goodness and truth in the revelations of the divine – in any particular religious tradition, take it as a sign that there is something good to be followed. There’s nothing wrong with seeking truth of course, but when you refuse to consider truths outside of those you have the power to control, you limit yourself to where you already sit.

About the author

Professional hacker & security engineer. Currently at Google, opinions all my own. On Twitter as @zaeyx. Skydiver, snowboarder, writer, weightlifter, runner, energetic to the point of being a bit crazy.


  1. Hey Ben
    I fell on your blog as I was researching scrypt and bcrypt. Then started reading about hacking (not really my thing, so sorry to say, didn’t stay long).

    Then wandered into your “modern apologetics” artices, like this one (about Agnosticism and how its premise is faulty in trying to put God under the microscope and hence allowing oneself undeserved and haughty greatness).

    Very well said, thank you for sharing

    God bless you brother

    – Ramez
    A fellow Christian from Canada

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