I had a conversation earlier this evening that inspired me to write this post. Now, please bear with me. I haven't slpet much after catching a late show last night of Scott Pilgrim vs the World and so this may seem a little... is "rambly" a word? No, it's not. Rambling then. But I like "rambly". Can we all agree to use that word from now on? I hope so. Anyway, sorry, I'm being rambly.
Not too long ago I came across an article not unlike this one
. It was kind of eye opening for me because it really hammered out the distinction of what "agnostic" really meant. Essentially, you can be an agnostic AND an atheist at the same time. It's not the same as when Tom Cruise said you can be a Catholic and a Scientoligist at the same time, but you get my gist. Being an agnostic atheist is basically saying "I can't know for sure if there's a higher power, but I've pretty much concluded there isn't one."
I don't like the word "believe" when it comes to unprovable stuff. I believe that George Washington was the first President of the USA. I believe that because there are records to prove this that haven't been retranslated over thousands of years. I believe that World War II happened because I've seen the film footage and I've actually talked to people who fought in it?
But do I know for sure? No, of course not. I've been wrong about a lot of crap in my life. I thought Pete Rose was innocent, what the hell do I know? But the idea that there isn't a god makes more sense than the fact there is one, so that's what I'm going with.
But not being sure if there is or isn't a higher power doesn't, in my opinion, make you any less than an atheist.Do people even argue about this? I'm actually down with agnostic theists who say "I'm not 100% certain there is a god, but I think there is and that's what I'm going with." Sure, they're few and few between but they're out there.
Penn Jillette, a man I truly admire - not just as an atheist but as an entertainer and as a skeptic, did a great piece for NPR's "This I Believe" series about how he is for certain there is no god. And good on him. I'm about halfway there. I'm pretty much convinced like he is, but I'm not discounting the possibility that there's something out there. I just don't worry about it. As the Buddhists say "be here now." Which, oddly enough, is my favorite Oasis album.
I don't BELIEVE there is no god. I also don't BELIEVE there isn't a giant unicorn living on the dark side of the moon. I'm pretty certain there ISN'T on either count. But that's what freethinking is all about right?