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Where Agnosticism Fails

28 April 2008

“That is why agnosticism has come to seem a more modest, skeptically open, and humanistically attractive position. Yet it does have one central flaw—it inclines us to a holding back, a contagious moral indecisiveness. As a spectator sport, agnosticism is at least understandable. Yet, every day, men and women have to go down into the arena of action. They must make decisions. There their actions fall under the principles of one theory—or else some other one. They cannot go on making decisions as if God does not exist, without having effectively made a pivotal decision about God. One can pretend to think as an agnostic, but the pressures of actually choosing how to act oblige one to declare one’s relationship to God. In action, there are no agnostics.”

Michael Novak, “Remembering the Secular Age,” First Things, June/July 2007.

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