Michael Battalio


Saturday, June 21, 2008

A Change of Persuasion

After a lot of thought and deliberation, reading a lot of books, I have decided to amend my philosophic persuasion. Don't freak out on me; it isn't as drastic as you might be thinking. I will continue to be a Roman Catholic. While I am Catholic mostly because my grandparents were Catholic, I have come to independently believe in Catholicism as well, but as I get older I no longer have to live exactly by the tradition of the Battalio family. (Interestingly, I have an uncle who used to be a Dominican [I think] brother but left because he thought that the changes made by Vatican II were too extreme. He's still Catholic, just not a brother.) I have a more developed sense of self. And I think that I have become a more thoughtful person. As a consequence, I must include an extra identifier to my system of believes besides Catholic. But, do I still have faith? Yes. (Most of the time.) Am I still Catholic? Most certainly yes. However, I also must face what reason suggests.
For a theory to be scientific, it must have repeatable, testable outcomes (hence why string theory is very controversial). Scientifically, there is no way to prove God. God is not a scientific theory. (Although some may argue otherwise.) In this way I must also now face that I am an agnostic as well as a Catholic. I have faith that He exists, but I believe there is no way to scientifically verify this. Thus the term "agnostic Catholic" encapsulates both my religious affiliation and my scientific affiliation. I feel that any person of science or reason should, if they claim religious affiliation, also claim a scientific persuasion. Obviously you cannot claim a religious affiliation and also be an atheist, but you can differentiate yourself between Agnosticism, arguing that God cannot be proven, arguing that there is a way to prove God or believing that science and religion are two separate entities that have no business even considering one another.
Given my definition of Agnosticism, many of you are probably agnostic. In fact, I bet many of you consider all of this a statement of the obvious. Obvious or not, one needs to have a firm stance on where they are philosophically, even if it is just an expression of ignorance, as my philosophy usually is.
I have ideas for about seven or eight more blog posts, so I will hopefully get out at least that many before the semester begins.

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