Tuesday, February 7, 2017
What is Agnostic Atheism?
After posting my previous message about Stephen Colbert’s interview with Ricky Gervais, I searched a bit more, and discovered that Ricky is not the only prominent atheist who is now calling himself “agnostic atheist”. Pretty much all of them are moving in that direction. There is even a Wikipedia article about it which can be seen here. After doing more research into it, I think I have figured out what is going on.
Once upon a time there were two classes of people, atheists and agnostics. The “atheists” were overtly anti-God and anti-religion. They were anti- any kind of “belief system,” and were not embarrassed to say so. The agnostics’ position was that “no one knows”. The existence or non-existence of God cannot be known by anyone. It is a matter of personal opinion either way. Many of these so called “agnostics” were actually closet atheists; but they were too intellectually refined to come out and declare themselves openly to be such.
This continued until some smart guy figured that atheism itself is a belief system, as much as theism is. If no evidence exists for either side, then whichever side you decide to jump, it is a belief system as much as the other. You are choosing to “believe” something for which there is no clear evidence. If anything, atheism is more of a “belief” system than theism is; because on the balance of probability, given the created order of the universe, the likelihood of there being an intelligent “designer” (however remote) to some degree exists; whereas atheism cannot boast even of that. It is a greater leap of faith (negatively speaking, a leap into the dark) to believe in the non-existence of God, than to believe in the existence of God. On balance of probabilities, the existence of an intelligent “Creator” is more likely (however remote the chance), than the non-existence of one. It is a greater leap of faith (a leap in the dark) to assume there isn’t a Creator, than to assume there is one. That made the position of the atheists untenable, because it is a self-destructive philosophy, a self-defeating ideology. It argues against itself. It is a belief-systen which claims to be anti-belief-system.
That sent the atheists into overdrive to try to find a way round it. And their solution has been to forge a new identity for themselves called “agnostic atheist,” which makes absolutely no sense to anybody except (possibly) themselves. They have gone and dug up some ridiculous obscure article from somewhere, and built all their arguments around that. Here is a quote from the Wikipedia:
Agnostic atheism is a philosophical position that encompasses both atheism and agnosticism.
Agnostic atheists are atheistic because they do not hold a belief in the existence of any deity and agnostic because they claim that the existence of a deity is either unknowable in principle or currently unknown in fact.
The agnostic atheist may be contrasted with the agnostic theist, who believes that one or more deities exist but claims that the existence or nonexistence of such is unknown or cannot be known.
One of the earliest definitions of agnostic atheism is that of Robert Flint, in his Croall Lecture of 1887–1888 (published in 1903 under the title Agnosticism).
“The atheist may however be, and not unfrequently is, an agnostic. There is an agnostic atheism or atheistic agnosticism, and the combination of atheism with agnosticism which may be so named is not an uncommon one.”
“If a man has failed to find any good reason for believing that there is a God, it is perfectly natural and rational that he should not believe that there is a God; and if so, he is an atheist... if he goes farther, and, after an investigation into the nature and reach of human knowledge, ending in the conclusion that the existence of God is incapable of proof, cease to believe in it on the ground that he cannot know it to be true, he is an agnostic and also an atheist – an agnostic-atheist – an atheist because an agnostic... while, then, it is erroneous to identify agnosticism and atheism, it is equally erroneous so to separate them as if the one were exclusive of the other...” (Flint, Robert (1903). Agnosticism: The Croall Lecture for 1887–88. William Blackwood and Sons. pp. 49–51.)
Good luck to anybody who can make sense out of that. They have even invented a new logo for themselves which looks like this:
Atheists are now migrating en masse to this new religion they have forged for themselves, apparently quite oblivious to how ridiculous and absurd it now is compared even to the previous one. The truth of course is that atheism is a religion, just as theism is. It is at the opposite end of the spectrum of thought concerning belief in the causation of things. As one of our late Apostles expressed it:
“There is a crying need for the identification of atheism for what it is, and that is, a religion—albeit a negative one, nevertheless it is a religious expression. It is the one extreme end of the spectrum of thought concerning the causation of things.” Link
Now that everybody has wised up to the fact that atheism itself is a “belief system,” every bit as much as theism is, all the atheists are lining up to adopt this new identity for themselves in the hope of escaping the charge of having a “belief system”. Well, it won’t work. They either have to abandon atheism altogether (including the various disguises of it), or else be honest with themselves and with everybody else, and admit that they have a belief system.