Am I a Agnostic Buddhist?

Like Sam Harris, I don’t like putting labels on my belief and faith. But this is very close to what I subscribe to:

“So what would be the
features of an ‘agnostic Buddhist?’ Such a person would not regard the Dharma
as a source of ‘answers’ to questions of where we came from, where we are
going, what happens after death. He or she would seek such knowledge in the
appropriate domains: astrophysics, evolutionary biology, neuro-science etc.  An
agnostic Buddhist would therefore not be a ‘believer’ with claims to revealed
information about supernatural or paranormal phenomena, and in this sense
would not be ‘religious.’ An agnostic Buddhist would look to the Dharma for
metaphors of existential confrontation rather than metaphors of
existential consolation. He or she would start by facing up to the primacy
of anguish and uncertainty (dukkha), then proceed to apply a set of
practices to understand the human dilemma and work towards a resolution.  An
agnostic Buddhist would eschew atheism as much as theism, and would be as
reluctant to regard the universe as devoid of meaning as endowed with
meaning.  (For to deny either God or meaning is surely just the antithesis of
affirming them.)  Yet such an agnostic stance would not be based on disinterest.
It would be founded on a passionate recognition that I do not know.  It
would confront the enormity of having been born instead of reaching for the
consolation of a belief. It would strip away, layer by layer, the views that
conceal the mystery of being here at all.”

Stephen Batchelor, The Other Enlightenment Project

Thanks to Ottmar for the link.

Comments (2)

  1. Dave wrote::

    Good stuff. Batchelor’s Buddhism without Beliefs and Faith to Doubt are two of my favorite books.

    Friday, January 4, 2008 at 4:17 pm #
  2. Captain Pants wrote::

    Sorry, but if you don’t think it is reasonable to claim a god exists, you are an atheist.

    What you just described is an atheist who knows about buddhism and metaphors.

    Wednesday, November 2, 2011 at 9:43 am #