After a couple of years away
from this project, during which time I've changed jobs and moved a
couple of times each, not to mention acquired a wife and child, there
have been many changes in my thinking on various subjects covered by
this document. In addition, I've become associated with major portions
of the Freethought movement around the world, specifically including my
participation as an officer and director of the Internet Infidels, Inc., a Colorado nonprofit corporation.
While I've taken the first few rudimentary steps towards forming an Agnostic movement, I have not been devoting the time to it that I should have been, given my continued great commitment to the philosophy of Agnosticism and the need for an alternative lifestyle for otherwise non-religious individuals. Accordingly, I'm pledging to spend more time revising, updating, and moving towards an "official first draft" of the Agnostic Bible presented herewith.
As always, this document is open for comments from anybody. However, I don't make any promises as to what I might do with any comments submitted to me. I only have time for so many things in my life, as do all of us, and comments which are actually obvious wastes of time won't get much of my attention (if any at all). With that said, please feel free to send comments to me on this document. The purpose of my Agnostic movement is to seek "truth," and Agnostics by no means have any sort of monopoly on "truth." It is thus a consistent part of my philosophy to seek "truth" from even those who strongly disagree with me (and with other freethinkers, for that matter). But please do NOT write to convert me to your religion, and in particular, not Christianity. I spent a long time rejecting Christianity as not being any sort of "truth."
Most enlightening to me at a personal level have been my discussions with lots of different people about the nature of religion and why humans seemingly have an inborn need for religious affiliations. There is also a question as to why all of the popular religions began as oral traditions that were not recorded in any known writing until decades (or centuries) after their origin. More recent religious movements have been subjected to great ridicule because written records exist that show the founder or the doctrines in a poor light. The Urantia Foundation claims that its book was "channeled" from the spirit world, but Martin Gardner used textual analysis to prove the book was actually the product of the cult founder. The Scientology cult asserts impossible dates for activities of alien beings called "thetans" that cling like leeches to unwitting humans everywhere. Many other cults form around the beliefs of more traditional religions, such as Christianity (which is also related to the Urantia cult).
It seems everyone has a need to believe in something, and in times of weakness, they can be convinced to convert into followers of almost any doctrine that is available for them to cling to. Careful study of atheists clearly shows that they too cling with tenacity to their own belief systems, however much they might deny it.
To succeed in the long run, most cults resort to combinations of revisions to their dogmas and lies claiming no revisions have taken place. To them, the existence of some sort of "pure" revelation of "absolute truth" is necessary to win and hold converts. But the underlying dishonesty is usually found out, eventually. So one of the founding principles of the Agnostic Church is that no idea is incapable of revision. Everything is open for discussion in order to ensure that any errors will be corrected, and that the error correction process will be entirely open to the light of day.
"A long journey begins with the first step."1 Each revised version of the Agnostic Bible is one more step on the road to greater "truth." I welcome all who seek "truth" to read and comment on this latest revision of the Agnostic Bible.
FAIRFIELD, IOWA; JANUARY 1, 1999.
1 Generally attributed, in some form, to Confucius.
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