What does it mean to be a Catholic agnostic?

Michael, I’m going to collect here a few of your statements from this page, and then ask you a question based on them:

Now, your handle above is “Nigerian Catholic Agnostic”, and I believe you told us publicly, several months ago, that you were taking catechism classes in the Nigerian Roman Catholic Church, with a view to becoming a member of that Church.

I’m having trouble squaring your earlier report that you were about to formally embrace Catholic faith with the things I’ve quoted above. If you really believe all the statements I’ve quoted above, doesn’t that put you in a very bad position to seek membership in the Catholic Church? Even if the Catholic Church would admit you with those beliefs (which I doubt it would, if you fully confessed them before your admission), why would you, holding such beliefs, want to be a member?

Please understand that if you have decided to abandon Catholic faith, I am not chastising you or condemning you. I’m just trying to understand the contradiction between what you reported about yourself a while back and what you seem to believe now. Could you give us an update on where you currently stand in relation to Catholic religious belief? For example, could you without scruple affirm everything that is in the Catechism of the Catholic Faith (on the Vatican website), or at least the majority of it? Based on your comments above, I would think it would be very hard for you to do so, but by all means, clarify the situation for me, if you would be so kind.

I would find it easier to understand your pattern of responses to Boris (some of them seeming like traditional defenses of religion, some of them seeming in the main to agree with Boris’s own position, minus his ferocious rhetoric), if I could understand where you currently stand in relation to Catholic faith specifically or Christian faith more generally.

This thread is for Boris, not me.

Deflection noticed. But I grant your point. It is off-topic. So if I start a new topic, along the lines of “Are the following statements compatible with Catholic faith?” and address essentially the same question to you, in a setting where the question would be on-topic, will you answer it? If not, save me the time of constructing a new post and simply indicate here that you have no intention of answering such questions on this site. I’m quite interested in your personal Catholic journey regarding faith/science issues, but if you don’t want to talk about it in public, say so now and I won’t pursue it.

Thanks for the frank answer. I will take your advice. Of course, you realize that by declining to answer the question, even on a properly dedicated thread, you leave it up to those who have read your statements to draw their own conclusions about the compatibility of your views with Catholic faith? And you realize what those conclusions are likely to be? As long as you are content with that situation, then I’m happy to leave it alone. Pax tecum.

FFS. ***

I would not open windows into men’s souls

Attributed to Elizabeth Tudor


Yes, I have long since drawn my own tentative conclusions. And I do not find any problems with the position that @Michael_Okoko takes.

At the least, I take him to be a cultural catholic. I’m not familiar with the cultural milieu in Kenya Nigeria, but it’s possible that being catholic is important in that society.

Sorry, I did miss it. I can scroll back but a link would be helpful.


I wonder why this thread exists, even though I requested it not be created?


Kenya is not Nigeria. Their capitals are a mere 5300 km (3300 miles) apart by driving.


Good point. I did mix them up.

How did you that to “Kenya”, the cancellation?

All I can tell you is that I did not create it. Maybe a moderator moved some of the posts over because they were off-topic? In any case, if you don’t reply to anyone’s comments, the topic will die a natural death, so you won’t be on any hot seat.

It took some guessing.

If you quote that line, and begin a reply, you should be able to see what I used. You can then cancel that reply without posting it.

(I suggest that way, because I don’t know how to include tags in a comment without messing up that comment).

I didn’t say you did. The notification shows it was @dga471

It shouldn’t be here in the first place.

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I’m sympathetic with anyone who finds himself facing a column that shouldn’t be here in the first place. :smile:

By the way, thanks for your peacemaking attempts on one of the other threads here – I greatly appreciated them.

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I guess I got a taste of my own medicine.

All good, but I hope you didn’t leave that thread with the feeling that the EES constitutes a serious challenge to current evolutionary theory. When I first read Laland’s paper some months ago, I noticed some of the strawmen impressions he and other coauthors had of current evolutionary like the belief that modern evolutionary theory sees evolution as nearly always occurring in small steps (gradualism). That viewpoint where gradualism is a dominant form of evolutionary change was overturned many decades ago, so Laland portraying it as if it were the dominant thought today shows he has not kept up with development in the field in the last 40 years. If you want to know what the EES is all about, you can read from the horse’s mouth in Professor Laland’s paper:


This is reminiscent of the annoyingly rife misunderstanding of the Central Dogma of biology and the so-called shoot downs of strawman versions of the dogma by new findings.

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