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Wednesday, January 11, 2006 

Agnosticism + stupidity = Nihilism

This notion of people who can't make up their mind about anything, due to certainty being impossible, is monumentally indigent. The lengths that these would-be-atheists go to in order to maintain some sort of "centrist" position on the philosophical landscape shows a clear deficiency.

Let's look at a few commonly diagnosed, and oft true, reasons why people claim to be only agnostic:

  • to appease closed-minded family members who maintain religious leanings
  • scared of the atheist label and the harsh stereotypes that are entailed
  • is genuinely a moron
  • truly has a belief in god that he/she is ashamed of
There are probably a few more reasons but that covers the most important, I think. Now, before you go off saying this is some arbitrary list from a miserable atheist, know that I speak from experience as I used to be one of these mental dwarves.

With that out of the way, let's now look at what agnostic actually means in terms of atheism and theism. I'm going to borrow the explanation from an article at Inquisitive Atheists as it aptly describes what I know. It shows that agnosticism is not a third option to atheism/theism but merely an epistemic descriptor.

Theists:

The gnostic theist believes there is a god, but it doesn't stop there. The GT, usually just referred to as a theist, sees whatever data is present (i.e. the bible and supernatural events) and adds to that belief the claim to know that god exists.

The agnostic theist believes there is a god but doesn't claim to know based upon the evidence.


Atheists:

The gnostic atheist - the strong atheist - lacks a belief in god and knows there is no god based upon contradictions with god and material reality. Amongst other things.

The agnostic atheist - weak atheist - lacks a belief in god as well, but doesn't know if god(s) exist from a lack of evidence.

A person can't be just agnostic. To say that is the equivalent of saying you're a human being who uses critical thought to evaluate things in life. Everyone uses agnostic thought processes, even Christians. It's time for undecideds to grow a pair, even the women, and realize that they either have a belief in god or they don't. Agnosticism deals with knowledge, not belief. It's a completely different aspect of the whole god-concept.

Now here is where my redundant equation in the title of this post comes into play. If the person then claims to not know whether he or she has a belief in god, well you'd probably do best to just stop your interaction with this person and walk away slowly. It's a good bet that this person is a nihilist; whether they know so or not. There is no reasoning with this sort. Nihilists will shout their idiocy, I mean 'lack of knowledge', from hilltops as long as you are willing to listen and then some.

As for agnosticism, hopefully this post explains well enough that it is not a third option to atheism and theism.

I'm very sorry to post this in your comments section but I like your blog and think you may have a good chance of getting listed at our blog directory, "High Class Blogs."

Contact me at ethan@highclassblogs.com if you are interested.

Ethan Potter

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