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Discussion 4 to Ask the Patriarch 151
Three Articles is enough

by: JT

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I think you are overthinking the issue.

I don't decide what people identify as. They determine that for themselves. A person who believes, yet who admits she does not know for certain, is generally going to identify with her beliefs. We don't have to worry about her trying to sign up just because beliefs are not mentioned.

The Articles of Faith are intended (in addition to being an implicit joke) to be a simple guide to what constitutes Apathetic Agnosticism as I see it, not a rigorous attempt to exclude those who vary by an iota from a canonical standard.

Attempts to find rigor take you from, say, the 9 Articles of Faith of an 1806 Baptist convention to the 20 which many Baptists use today; or to the 25 Articles of Faith of some Pentecostals; or the 39 Articles of Faith of the Church of England; or the Book of Concord of the Lutherans. Each article added serves to make everything more complicated, serves to exclude, and serves to bring about schism. And it still does not solve differing interpretations. In my view, three is a good place to stop.

A person who identifies himself as a Catholic, apathetic or otherwise, would not identify himself as an Apathetic Agnostic. By identifying as a Catholic, a person would be rejecting all three articles of Faith, individually and collectively; explicitly and implicitly. Catholicism, like any other variant of Christianity says that god meddled in the events of the world the past, meddles currently, and will go on meddling in the future. If a Catholic chooses to re-identify as an agnostic (with or without a modifier), then that inherently involves a determination that Catholicism is wrong.

A person who identifies herself as a weak atheist might also choose to identify herself as an Apathetic Agnostic. And might not. And I don't particularly care which way she decides.

A person with a weak belief in deism (a category I don't think you covered in your most recent question, though you brought up deism in the original) might also choose to identify with us. That does not seem anything to get worked up about either.