Sen McGlinn's blog

                                  Reflections on the Bahai teachings

Agnostic Bahai?

The question was asked:

Im an agnostic but am considering converting to Baha’i.?
It is a major religion with 9 million members…. I’ve studied it for 1 year now and i think its the most logical religion on Earth, even though i still doubt the existence of a deity.

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9 million is a bit of a stretch. Adherants.com says 7 million. The official Bahai website at the international level says “There are currently more than five million Bahá’ís resident in some 100,000 localities in every part of the world.”

All the more reason to join – your presence can make a difference. Not in the numbers game, but because it is a relatively small and young religion (160 years old), and it’s exciting to be part of it while it’s developing. Imagine you could be a Christian in the Roman Empire of the second century.

Agnosticism is a perfectly reasonable starting position, if you are saying that the existence of God is not provable or disprovable by rational means alone. Most religious traditions including Bahai would agree. Rational arguments are at most a theory about what is over the hill: you don’t really need them, to go and see for yourself, and until you’ve walked the walk and smelled the roses, they’re academic. Religions give spiritual practices and devotions and rituals and service activities that you DO rather than rationalise about. In the case of Bahai, these haven’t grown willy nilly over the centuries, mixed up with cultural factors: the pattern of the Bahai life is in the Bahai scriptures, and you are free to understand them for yourself and shape your own Bahai life.

In religion, you have to do it to ‘get’ it.
In Bahai, you have to do it to get it.

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4 Responses to “Agnostic Bahai?”

  1. Pehn said

    “Rational arguments are at most a theory”? Really?
    How about the theory of gravity, or evolution?
    Fortunately, It’s this type of absurdity that is responsible for a high % of atheist among respected scientific communities.
    Slogans like “harmoney of science and religion”, or “equality of sexes” sound great, but according Aqdas, are nothing but feel-good slogans, and certainly not a part of this watered-down, customized version of Shi-Islam.

    The burden of proof is always with the believer.
    “To see by faith, is to close the eye of reason”

  2. Sen said

    To give the full quote, “Rational arguments are at most a theory about what is over the hill: you don’t really need them, to go and see for yourself, and until you’ve walked the walk and smelled the roses, they’re academic.”

    I stand by the words. A theory, or an argument, is an intellectual construct. Your experience is a solid reality. Other people are solid realities. Actual experience with the people and realities around us provides the grounding and test for what we think are intellectual realities. This is true in both science and religion.

  3. Pehn said

    I have no doubt you “stand by your words”. You and millions of others are willing to die for your inherited beleifs, while humanity continues to pay a heavy price for such religious convictions.
    Your inherited faith, has you programmed to dismiss rational inquiry, for you are forbidden to question the abundance of absurdity in Aqdas, but obligated to promote a handful of popular slogans as the only means to increase membership.
    Your brand of spirituality and your religious teachings is nearly identical to that of Sha-Islam, it’s almost frightening.
    Have you ever thought about what your beleifs would be, had you been born to different parents, or in a different country?

    Your “sold realities” differ based on geopgrophy. Middle Eastern nations, for example, have different definition of such realities compared to Scandinayian nations. Your errors result from your interpretation of “realities”.

    Harmony of science and religion? Our hard working scientific community deserves more respect. Much more than being compared to idiotic interpretations provided in out-dated books.
    Your realities are faith-based, while scientific realities are based on evidence.

  4. Sen said

    1) Actually I didn’t inherit my beliefs, I formed them myself, and converted to the Bahai religion.
    2) Can you point to an example of humanity paying a heavy price for the Bahais’ religious convictions? Peace, unity, the abandonment of prejudice, and the like are not harmful.
    3) Nobody has tried to forbid me from asking questions about the Aqdas. If you search my blog on the word “Aqdas” you will see that I do quite a bit of this, along with many other questions. Questions are a good thing: one of the months in the Bahai calendar is called “questions.”
    4) There are both similarities and differences between Bahai belief and practice and Shi’ism. There are also many different strands and schools of Shiah belief, and a huge variation in how Shiism is practiced.

    I entirely agree about the importance of evidence (and experience). That was the point I made, to which you originally objected. “Rational arguments are at most a theory about what is over the hill: you don’t really need them, to go and see for yourself, and until you’ve walked the walk and smelled the roses, they’re academic.”

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