Agnostic Worldview and Its Corresponding Ethical Theory

Bethany Landers Ethics 121-176 Professor Erica Lindberg 4/10/10 Agnostic Worldview and its Corresponding Ethical Theory Being Agnostic I do not fully believe that a God or Gods exists, but I’m not in complete denial that it could be a possibility. I believe in science and what it can prove. I am very skeptical in nature and crave substantial evidence of all things. I would like to think that there is some type of divine essence supporting human’s purpose on Earth, but no one can know for certain. The origin of our Universe is best explained by the Big Bang Theory.

It states that our universe began some 13 billion years ago from a primordial point containing millions of particles that are still expanding today. Through the scientific method and observations, we can conclude this is the most accurate explanation of how everything started. However, I also believe that it’s very coincidental that this universe ever had a chance at surviving. Science can explain that if there had been one less or one more particle out of the millions and millions that produced the big bang that out universe would not be able to support life.

This idea gives me hope that there is a purpose of the human race and that our universe may not only made up of material matter but possibly something mystical as well. The human race has evolved over time. Darwin’s Theory of Evolution can show us how we have developed from much simpler things. Throughout time, we have been able to progress by the mutilation of genes. We can expect that we are advancing in intelligence and strength as our bodies hold onto the genes that make us stronger, and rid themselves of what is no longer needed for survival.

I am agnostic not atheist so there may be a possibility of an afterlife. I don’t know if our physical bodies contain a spirit of any sort that may enter into either rebirth or be placed into a heaven or hell. There is no way for me to know what happens after death because I have not experienced it. A common belief among individuals that a body may lose a small portion of weight at death and this is supposed to represent the weight of our soul. There have been highly scientific studies conducted that hope to determine if this is accurate. Ethical Egoism is a theory fits with my agnostic worldview.

This theory states that people make decisions based on how they will benefit from the outcome. People act out of their own self interest and make decisions based on selfish motives. Even when a particular act may produce a positive outcome, the reasons behind doing it were self indulged. Sometimes people have strong morals because of how they were raised but overtime those values may change or diminish. New morals may be made to help rationalize actions that need to be taken to achieve a certain result. This shows that morals are based on what you want and how you will get it.

Although humans act selfishly, it doesn’t mean that our motives are set out to hurt someone so we can gain something. Certain acts may be done with a selfish motive but the outcomes may actually have a positive consequence for others. Ethical Egoism fits best with my agnostic worldview. I don’t know if there is some divine power that is judging my actions on a day to day basis. I don’t know for sure if there is a God so I don’t choose to follow any specific religious rules. I don’t know for certain that I would benefit at all from following religious guidelines.

For myself personally, I get pleasure out of doing good deeds and working hard. I choose to live my life this way because I just don’t feel good about myself when I’m putting someone down. I work hard to get what I want out of this life and to become successful. If my actions cause me to “miss the boat” to a “heaven” I’m willing to take that chance. I just want to be the best person I can be while I’m on this earth, and I hope to make some type of positive dent in humanity. I choose to do this because I’m selfish and hope that my good deeds and hard work will somehow pay off in this lifetime.

I grew up Christian and was taught right from wrong based on the Bible. As I grew older my faith diminished. I became more educated, and learned a lot about our world and how it began and evolved. I realized that people around me in the church were hypocrites and didn’t really live their lives based on their religious beliefs. The phrase “practice what you preach” comes to mind. This caused me to adopt a new approach to life. An agnostic worldview encompasses the possibility of all fate. With scientific findings changing what we know about this world, I cannot determine an absolute truth.

I try to be rational in thought and this is what has shaped my views and ethical conduct. I think that many people who follow religious rules do so because they are afraid of punishment. This doesn’t exactly make them ethical, it makes them obedient. Even with obedience, religious followers do so out of egoism because they believe they will be rewarded for their actions. I choose to make my decisions based on what I will get out of it, but I do so with honesty and integrity. If all I get out of it is a good reputation, then I’m ahead of the game.