I am an atheist. Let me be clear. I don’t believe in any gods or goddesses. I don’t believe in ghosts or ESP. I don’t believe in anything you might associate with the supernatural. Period.

 

Yet, there is a move often made by theists. It goes a little something like this:

 

Theist: Can you prove that (my) God does not exist?

Atheist: Not absolutely, no.

Theist: Then you should really call yourself an agnostic.

 

Many of us then go into a discussion of knowledge versus belief and the meaning of the terms, but I think we ought to do something else. Why not agree to call yourself an agnostic, but ask them for the same in return? After all, can they prove their God exists absolutely? Of course not. So, shouldn’t they really call themselves agnostic? Theist is just a misnomer, if they accept their own argument.

 

Check out my blog at http://foxholeatheism.com

 

Views: 71

Tags: agnostic, atheist

Comment by Wesley on July 29, 2011 at 9:58pm

Yep.. Father, Son, Holy Spirit or Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva....Pixies, Sprites, Fairies... Ghosts, Goblins, Gremlins...  I can't prove absolutely that any of these don't exist.....yet I see no compelling reason to propose that ANY of them Specifically do.

Comment by wisp on July 29, 2011 at 10:45pm

I usually avoid that argument by calling myself an agnostic atheist. Covers both bases.

Comment by Michael Gage on July 29, 2011 at 11:33pm

Agnostic atheist is the correct term for most of us, but isn't it more fun to show someone they don't even buy their own argument than to correct their understanding of the terms?

 

Comment by wisp on July 30, 2011 at 12:04am
It used to be... but living in the Bible Belt, it just became a headache. XD
Comment by Chris on July 30, 2011 at 12:12am

The problem is they think they know. You really can't win an argument on minutea with a faithist. I tend to just say "You are welcome to call me an agnostic, a theist, or a narwhal if it gets you past this. But nothing changes for me. Not one thing. So, anything else?"

Comment by Greg Gorey on July 30, 2011 at 12:48am

the way people use the term agnostic really a misnomer. it is a position of epistemology (knowing), not ontology (what exists). this means that it is not a seperate position, but an investigation of how you KNOW a position. One can be either an agnostic-atheist or an agnostic-theist.

 

If you say that I am not convinced there is a god or I do not know if there is a god, then you are an atheist. When the term agnostic is used to mean "I do not know", it is being misused to avoid an awkward conversation. 

Comment by Derek on July 30, 2011 at 9:59am

I'm sick of agnosticism, really-- what is the deal with it? I know we are all technically agnostics and we can be agnostic atheists but it's the pure agnostics that annoy me. It's the ones who say "atheists are as bad as theists in their certainty." According to an agnostic, we can't tell our kids there are no monsters under the bed, because we can't disprove it lol. We can't ever get the knowledge? WTF? And we must sit on the fence forever on the existence of those shiny zebras on the rings of Saturn, Well bolox to that! I will tell my kids there are no monsters if they ask. If there is no evidence whatsoever for a thing, why do we still say that thing might exist? -- no matter how unlikely. 

 

If we take this agnostic line of thinking and apply it to everyday life, we will see how absurd it is: giving credence to the existence of improbable things is a mistake imo. Why do we take this standpoint? This means that the planet of sex-starved women might exist and Harry Potter might exist, and Snow White might exist. Because after all, we will never know.

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