- Published on Wednesday, 24 November 2010 06:27
- Written by John Draper
- Hits: 4027
It is common for atheists to be confronted by angry fundamentalists - it's to be expected when each thinks the other is out to lunch. But an agnostic accusing an atheist of being arrogant? Why? Maybe it's unique to Canada where a confrontation style is disliked.
I was discussing the "Existence of God" with an agnostic friend and he took the position that since it could not be proved 100% that God did not exist that it was unreasonable to deny the existence of god. We simply don't know. The problem with this of course is that we live our lives based on probabilities - we are never 100% certain that lightning will not strike us dead in the next 5 minutes so we live on the assumption that it won't. We are not 100% certain that Santa Claus does not exist so we proceed on the basis he does not. But when applied to God, it seems that this agnostic friend thought I was being arrogant by asserting that there was no God!
It did not help that he used a weird argument (supposedly an irrefutable one) that said: "You cannot deny the existence of any object if the object isn't there in the first place. You have to have an object to deny. So you must recognize the object....in this case God....before you can deny it. " So because I deny the existence of God, I am already conceding that God exists! Talk about circular logic. I guess I should not have told him that he was being irrational....
He went on to tear into all atheists who "spend one helluva lot of time and energy ranting and raving about an 'object' that you cannot prove doesn't exist ..... anymore than your other firm and fixed belief brethren, the fundamentalists, cannot prove exists." He also thinks atheism is as much a religion as fundamentalism. Sigh.
I have reported on this because I am a strong believer in trying to understand what makes people think as they do. If one agnostic thinks this way, then there will be more. And there are - you can get a bumper sticker like the one at right if you want.
Maybe this is why people cling to being agnostic and don't go the next step to becoming atheists - they think atheists are a bunch of illogical people clinging to a faith. The ultimate insult. If you thought that, why would you want to call yourself an atheist?
But stop and think about it. Agnostics are saying that they don't know and not only that, nobody knows or can know. So they are being just as arrogant as they say that fundamentalists and atheists are.
A Google search for militant agnostic came up with this definition: One who is sick and tired of how absolutely "certain" everyone else is that they're right and everyone else is wrong. Sounds good except that virtually all atheists are not 100% certain - I just have not seen any evidence yet and I don't see any need to believe in a God.