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: 81

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 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.

Comment by Jason Kristian Clark on November 4, 2014 at 1:18am

I'm a pure, Huxley agnostic. If you can't prove there isn't a monster under your bed, then you need a lesson in scientific method. If you can prove the Deist God that created everything and left, doesn't exist, then I'm impressed. Likewise for an ancient Greek sect that described Gods as something like aliens, from the stars. Likewise for ancient cultures who were deifying great leaders and heroes, which definition would make Jordan and Elvis actual Gods. You need to get a solid definition to a proposition, that isn't full of gibberish, to prove it false.

"Agnosticism is of the essence of science, whether ancient or modern. It simply means that a man shall not say he knows or believes that which he has no scientific grounds for professing to know or believe." ~ Thomas Huxley

Yeah, scientific method definitely sounds like an absurd thing to apply to everyday life.

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