Letter From An Agnostic
Date: Tuesday, December 22, 1998 2:41 AM
Subject: PA-via What is Positive Atheism?
I'm an agnostic, and I always find atheists' ideas as unconvincing as those of theists. How do you disprove the existence god? There's no question of moral sincerity when it comes to atheism, in fact I find some atheists to be more moral than many theists. But do you believe of some transcendent, deeper dimension of life -- that which the superficialities of religious rituals, fanaticism and dogmas do not even come close to?
From: Cliff Walker <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: PA-via What is Positive Atheism?
Date: Tuesday, December 22, 1998 3:04 AM
An atheist is someone who lacks a god-belief, not necessarily one who "knows" there is no such thing as a god. An agnostic who thinks there is a god but that men and women cannot know any more than that about the god is a theistic agnostic. An agnostic who does not know if there is any such thing as a god lacks a god-belief (not knowing). This person is an atheistic agnostic, and thus an atheist (though agnostic).
An atheist makes no claim. It is on the one making the claim (in this case, the theist who claims that a god or gods exist) to prove.
Some atheists declare that there is no such thing as a god, but these are in the minority. Most of us simply do not believe the claims of those theists that we have encountered. Most of us probably rarely think on the subject at all.
If I told you that a "fodacki" exists, you could not disprove my claim. Why? Because you don't know what a "fodacki" is. You would first have to ask me what a "fodacki" is, and then deal with my explanation.
The same holds when a theist tells me that a god exists. I have to ask "What is a god?" Since I cannot search the entire universe for a god, I have to use other methods for determining if this person is making sense, and if so, whether this person is telling the truth. Often, I must suspend judgement and remain agnostic. But as such, I lack a god belief, and thus remain an atheist.
As for any "deeper" reality, I am satisfied to know myself and those within my environment. To me, the ulitmate quest is the quest for truth -- in everyday matters as well as for metaphysical Truth.
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