The Religion of Vague

Author: Kerby Rials
Subject: Philosophy
Date: 11/09/2006

In my 41 years of wandering on this planet, I have occasionally run across an adherent of a religion that highly values being vague.

This religion is a lot like agnosticism (e.g., “I don’t know if God exists”). However, they are certain about one thing — absolutely certain: they say it is impossible to know the truth, so why try? I call this religion “Griswoldism.” (This is after somebody I know like this).

Griswoldism is a kind of a fatalistic, “que será será” approach to the great questions of life. If life were an exam, they would leave their answers blank.

Griswoldists may prepare like any other sensible person for the future. They will get an education, get jobs, save money, buy houses, prepare for retirement, and so on, always looking to the future and wanting to know what will happen and what they should do. But when it comes to investigating the afterlife, whether there is a God, a hell or a heaven, they have all the initiative of a slug. They are totally unprepared for death, and they like it that way.

Such persons delight in vagueness. If you ask them for some evidence that supports their position you will get a shrug of the shoulders, a knowing smile, and comments like, “I don’t have any evidence” or “I don’t know.” Griswoldists find it amusing that anyone would ask such questions. At the heart of this religion is the conviction that they are of a precious enlightened few who have figured out that you can’t figure it out.

Any presentation of evidence to add some backbone to their evasive wet noodle world concept is met with indifference or comments regarding the many religions, how are we to know which one is correct, and so on. Griswoldists are not interested in proselytizing or winning new converts to their faith. They are content to live and let live. They are not really concerned if you are trapped in what they view as religious delusion.

There is no attempt to save you from this “error,” because caring enough to share convictions (“evangelism”) is an absolute horror to a Griswoldist. They respond to those with convictions that “religion is good for those that need it.” (This comment is often used to deflect religious comments while slipping in a barb that a religious crutch isn’t necessary for healthy people, e.g., them).

Down deep though, if you can ever pry a Griswoldist loose from his or her evasiveness for a moment, they will admit that theirs is the true faith and that all other people are stumbling boobs in the vast night of religious prejudice, ignorance and superstition.

Griswoldists often find it helpful to stock up on statistics about the errors of religion: religious wars, hypocrites, shysters and frauds. They dust off these stale arguments and fling them at any one who tries to convert them in the hope that the person will go away.

Griswoldism has many advantages to its faithful believers. It has no moral codes, so you can’t violate them. No sin, no guilt, no pain. It allows its followers to continually pose in the guise of a seeker, which lets them flow in any context, whether it be Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist or hedonist. Griswoldism is politically correct. It is patently inoffensive and fits in well with a secular humanist viewpoint.

Since Griswoldism has almost no points to make, it can’t be refuted. It is an ideal religion for those who want to live for pleasure without the restraints of conscience or the irritations of proselytizers. The great irony of Griswoldism is that its followers believe it is the only intelligient, sensible religion, the only really intellectual religion, while in truth they have absolutely no evidence to support it, and don’t want any.

Somehow they think ignorance is intelligence when it comes to the spiritual. Griswoldism is rope-a-dope religion. It can take all you can throw at it, all the greatest thoughts of the greatest men who ever lived, all the miracles you know of — the whole of God’s creation — with a shrug and a smile, and walk away into eternity, unknowing and uncaring what awaits.