Hello. I'm going to share with you all a conversation that I just finished(?) having with a fellow on a different message board. I would like some feedback about my handling of the situation, especially
if I'm wrong. Thanks!
Agnostics are the only ones who just say “you know what, I dunno”. And me? I dunno. I have always thought that science offers a lot of conjecture and “proof” and, if you have the gall to question it, people just say “you just don’t understand it, you are ignorant”.
Also, don’t call Dawkins a self-satisfied bully, because Athiests really HATE that Me:
My problem with agnosticism is that it creates a false dichotomy, and Michael K provides a great example of how the dichotomy allows the mischaracterization of atheism.
Science thrives on being questioned. That’s how it improves. That’s how we’ve come to learn everything we know about the natural world. When a claim is presented, it’s expected to carry with it a semblance of evidence, which is to be scrutinized repeatedly until a consensus is formed.
The idea of theism is so baseless and unevidential that it can safely be discarded in the heap of things that are so wrong, they’re “not even wrong”.Fellow:
How did I mischaracterize athiesm, Michael S? It is the BELIEF that god doesn’t exist. Not the proof, not the scientifically proven theorem, the belief. Agnosticism isn’t a dichotomy, its a single fact. I Don’t Know, FACTMe:
There, you did it again. Atheism isn’t a belief. It’s the lack of belief.
The false dichotomy is this: Atheism = There’s definitely no “god”, Agnosticism = I don’t know whether or not there is a “god”.
A true atheist doesn’t claim to KNOW there is no creator. The idea of atheism is that, until there is sufficient evidence (as opposed to ZERO evidence) of a creator, there is no reason to accept one. In that way, atheists ARE agnostic.
It’s like if I were to say that when no one was looking, I levitated and flew around my room. No one could say that they KNOW that it didn’t happen, but it wouldn’t be arrogant or closed-minded to say “I won’t believe you unless you prove it”.
(note: My use of CAPS isn’t with the intention of talking like an asshat, it’s just a substitute for italics.)Fellow:
no, Athiesm is the BELIEF that there is no god. Fellow: I won’t believe you unless you prove it”
So, what were you saying?Me:
My head just fell off.Fellow:
Ok. Do you Believe that god does not exist? simple question. no sophistry, no twisting of words.Me:
Thats sophistry. Thats also very lame. You know full well that, as an agnostic, I am not promoting any one believe system over another, so just answer the question.Me:
You're using semantics to help your point, but I think I explained my position pretty clearly.Me:
My belief in any supernatural higher-power is equal to my belief in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.Fellow:
what?!? YOU just avoided the question. Yes, or no. Your position must be pretty shaky if you can’t answer a single simple question.Me:
I don’t believe in a god. Fellow:
Not the question, as you well knowMe:
You deliberately worded your question in such a way that forces me to state that I do “believe” a negative, as you well know, and without being able to further explain (as you also requested), the statement alone wouldn’t be completely accurate. It’s a game, and I won’t play ball.Fellow:
Its not. You cannot prove a negative, therefore… you can only BELIEVE you are correct in your assumption. You say “The idea of atheism is that, until there is sufficient evidence (as opposed to ZERO evidence) of a creator, there is no reason to accept one” but thats bullshit. You choose to live your life as rigid and hidebound as any orthodox, holding your book and praying to all powerful Atheismo. You have your prophets, your idols, and you tout them like scripture. You think Christians and agnostics are less than you, because you feel superior to them. I am a great example of a false dichotomy? You are a great example of a fundie with nothing to back up your claims. I am so done with you.Me:
What idols did I tout? What about my life is rigid and highbound? What did I say that implied a Christian or an agnostic was less than me?
Furthermore, I didn’t make any claims.