Analogies can be dangerous, especially mine. I love the simplicity and clarity they purportedly provide, but must confess when pressed they usually degrade into pretentious gibberish. Again, especially mine. At the risk of gibber-dome, I offer this example:
Fishing is a religion, and there are atheists, agnostics, and believers.
Fish atheists are clear in their belief: They simply do not believe in fishing. The reason may vary. It may be derived from personal moral standards of life, death, and torture; it may be based on environmental concern for the unnecessary consumption of limited resources; or it may be philosophically rooted in a constitutional desire for the separation of fish and man. Some fish atheists are extremely helpful in their communications. As an example, raise a question on any backpacking forum about the best places to catch fish and you will most likely find yourself receiving a very thorough analysis of your moral fiber and detailed recommendations on how to reposition your head from its current location.
Fish agnostics are not nearly as clear thinking as the atheists. In fact, you might question whether they are committed to a cause at all. They probably do not fish, or if they do it is a form of social fishing, simply to be polite. Fish agnostics are easily distracted. For example they may prefer actually sleeping to fishing, something completely unfathomable to the true fish believers. When pressed you may find a fish agnostics secretly hoping for the fish to escape, not on moral grounds like a fish atheist, but rather to avoid the whole unpleasantness of gutting and cleaning.
Fish believers are active participants in the epic battle of man versus wild. Human intellect, advanced technology, and years of honed specialized skills versus, well… a fish. Okay, but not just a fish. The fish is merely symbolic of our greater battle against adversity, our ability to face potential death from starvation with confidence in our own self reliance. The fish allegory could easily be replaced by one of say a small rodent, but clearly not as tasty and frankly harder to catch. True fish believers acknowledge a higher power, a provider of sorts, which makes available the bounty for our harvest, assuming of course we paid for and are carrying the proper fish and game license.
In the Tasting
The proof of the pudding is in the tasting and I think it is clear I have provided an insightful bowl of instant. Regardless of your status as a fish atheist, agnostic, or believer, I think you all will agree with my original premise… my analogies are in fact pretentious gibberish.