Why I am an Agnostic
An agnostic is a doubter. The word is generally applied to those who doubt the verity of accepted
religious creeds of faiths. Everyone is an agnostic as to the beliefs or creeds they do not accept. Catholics are agnostic
to the Protestant creeds, and the Protestants are agnostic to the Catholic creed. Any one who thinks is an agnostic about
something, otherwise he must believe that he is possessed of all knowledge. And the proper place for such a person is in the
madhouse or the home for the feeble-minded. In a popular way, in the western world, an agnostic is one who doubts or disbelieves
the main tenets of the Christian faith.
I would say that belief in at least three tenets is necessary to the faith of a Christian: a belief in God, a belief
in immortality, and a belief in a supernatural book. Various Christian sects require much more, but it is difficult to imagine
that one could be a Christian, under any intelligent meaning of the word, with less. Yet there are some people who claim to
be Christians who do not accept the literal interpretation of all the Bible, and who give more credence to some portions of
the book than to others.
I am an agnostic as to the question of God. I think that it is impossible for the human mind to believe in an object
or thing unless it can form a mental picture of such object or thing. Since man ceased to worship openly an anthropomorphic
God and talked vaguely and not intelligently about some force in the universe, higher than man, that is responsible for the
existence of man and the universe, he cannot be said to believe in God. One cannot believe in a force excepting as a force
that pervades matter and is not an individual entity. To believe in a thing, an image of the thing must be stamped on the
mind. If one is asked if he believes in such an animal as a camel, there immediately arises in his mind an image of the camel.
This image has come from experience or knowledge of the animal gathered in some way or other. No such image comes, or can
come, with the idea of a God who is described as a force.
(Probably the most celebrated American lawyer of the 20th century, Clarence Darrow
worked as defense counsel in many widely publicized trials. He was notable as a defender of the underdog and civil rights.
He was a distinguished speaker on agnosticism, liberalism, free thought and humanism.)