Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Rant: Agnostic Is Not An Answer
You may think you're above it all by labeling yourself "Agnostic" in regards to the conversation about gods and deities, but in reality, you are answering a question that no one asked. Now, there are those who take a nuanced approach to agnosticism that encompasses both knowledge and belief, allowing themselves to be engulfed in a well structured system of fence-straddling nonsense that crumbles when the slightest bit of pressure is applied to it. Neil deGrasse Tyson did what I call the mother of all dances around the subject, and basically described himself as an agnostic, but ultimately defined himself as an atheist... an agnostic atheist. That's what bothers me the most about the assertion of agnosticism... it usually means atheism, but a type that runs from the word.
It makes atheists like myself -- even though I would be classified as an igtheist, but try explaining that to the general public -- look like hard-lined, intolerant assholes... and some of us are. But saying "I'm agnostic" when posed with the question of belief is straddling a non-existent fence, because -- and I'm sorry to say it -- there is no middle ground. You either believe in a god or you don't. But whether or not you claim to know a god or gods exist (Gnosticism/Agnosticism) is on a different plateau from whether or not you believe in the existence of a god or gods (Theism/Atheism). Or any form of a higher power... it doesn't have to be "gods", and that's probably the main reason I am an igtheist: when one claims a god exists, I want the definition of said "god", otherwise the entire concept is useless to ponder.
The fact of the matter is, I do see the label of Agnosticism as a convenient cop-out. It allows one to take on the benefits of being a nonbeliever, but none of the baggage that comes with being an atheist. After all, Agnosticism is the Bisexual of the coming out process with atheism. It allows those around you to believe that you have some form of belief, so there may be hope for you. But then again, there are those of you who are agnostic and still believe in a higher power of some form... and that makes you an agnostic theist. That's why agnosticism answers nothing... because it applies to both theists and atheists, and is often misapplied to the question of belief/lack of belief.
For all intents and purposes, I could be classified as an agnostic atheist in the sense that I don't claim to know of the existence or nonexistence of gods but don't believe any exist, but I could also be classified as a gnostic atheist because I do assert that the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim god (as well as most "mainstream" gods) do not exist, as they are all based on the same logically absurd god of Abraham and the real claims made about it do not hold water... in other words, it doesn't exist because it can't exist. However, since I do not waste my time with the probability or improbability of badly defined deities, I am ignostic, and won't even take up the conversation unless the god can be defined logically.
Hop off of the fence, and have the intestinal fortitude to know where you stand, instead of taking dishonest stances to avoid labels you think will get you shunned by your family. Or at least have the balls to admit that you're adapting a pussification of atheism just to avoid the scrutiny.
Okay, I'm done.
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