Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Agnostic or Athiest?
As I stumbled through some of the "linky love" that Mixter has on her site I eventually came upon some You Tube videos, that featured the Rational Response Squad. Then I did some surfing and found that they have an actual web site with blogging.
The article that caught my attention, and I think that you might find it interesting too Mixter, is about whether one would call themself either an atheist or agnostic when it comes to issues of faith or a belief in god.
"A good deal of people consider themselves to be 'agnostics'. By this they mean to identify themselves as doubters on the question of a 'god's' existence. They usually hold to this position of doubt because reason compels them to doubt the existence of any 'god', yet they resist calling themselves atheists because they also want to hold to their disbelief tentatively. Their expressed reason for this is clear: while their reason leads them to doubt the claims of theism, reason also demands that they keep an open mind on the question of 'god'. If you are one such person then it might interest you to know that your doubt actually makes you an atheist, not an agnostic. Why is this so? Because the word 'theism' simply implies a belief in a god. Therefore, if you find yourself identifying yourself primarily as a doubter of the existence of a 'god', then you are an a-theist... someone who does not hold to a belief in a 'god', someone who does not accept the claims of theists. That's all the term means - a position of non acceptance, a position of non belief."
I guess, after reading this explanation, that I would classify myself as a doubter as an a-theist. I do not hold on to or accept the claims of theists. I may be tentative in this belief, but if I were to stake a claim on something it would be rationality and reason.
"But you still seek some sort of middle ground, right? Something between theism and rejection of theism. Well relax, because the atheism IS your middle ground. "A-theism"' implies everything that a rational doubter means when he declares himself an 'agnostic', for while it's a common misperception that atheism implies a denial or rejection or active disbelief in the very possibility of a god, this is not so. In fact, we require a special term for those those who hold to such beliefs: "Strong Atheism". The rest of us doubters simply don't hold the belief... we're all atheists, whether we are doubters or outright rejectors of theism. So the missing 'middle ground' that you are looking for, rational tentativeness, is already included within the term 'atheism'."
The more I read and research and watch & listen the more I find that I am skeptical and a doubter. I watched some good videos of the Rational Response Squad as they deabted with Kirk C ameron, of the former TV show "Growing Pains" and a well known christian, Ray Comfort.