Weak agnostics are simply without belief in God. They make no claim and thus have nothing to defend. Strong agnostics claim that nobody can have rational belief in, let alone knowledge of God’s existence or non-existence. That is a robust claim in need of supporting arguments. I meet a lot of ignostics on social media […]
Do Lacktheists have a Burden of Proof?
One of my many pet peeves: self-described atheists who are at pains to insist they have no burden of proof. That also applies to those who claim they ‘lack belief’: ?
A Conversation on Atheism Etc. with Caffeine Corner
Michael Shermer describes his own disbelief in God as follows: “I once saw a bumper sticker that read ‘Militant Agnostic: I don’t know and You Don’t Either.’ This is my position on God’s existence: I don’t know and you don’t either.” Shermer is right to call that position “militant”. To claim that nobody can know […]
Why do some agnostics call themselves atheists? And should we care?
Over the years, I’ve written several articles on this unfortunate semantic innovation. Now here is my definitive video statement on why agnostics shouldn’t call themselves atheists.
A simple way to rate the skepticism of atheists and agnostics
Ask your atheist or agnostic friend to consider the following scenario and then consider at what point she would conclude that God had answered the prayer and thus that God exists. So here’s the scenario. Your friend calls you up to say that she just received an unexpected bill for $4353.43 which must be paid […]
I find a significant lack of clarity these days among self-described atheists and agnostics about the use of these terms. With that in mind, I tweeted this morning about the importance of an atheist being able to articulate what it is they don’t believe in and why. This spurred some conversations, as you can imagine. I am […]
Sweeping agnostic claims are anything but humble … or wise
Yesterday, The Atheist Missionary posted the following comment on my blog in which he declared his commitment to metaphysical agnosticism: “Agnosticism with respect to metaphysical truths is not only the ‘smart’ position, it’s the only logical conclusion. That is why the only thing I believe with religious certainty is that there are dimensions, truths and […]
96. Those Without Religion: Cory Seibel on the Nones
When they are asked to provide their religious affiliation, they reply “none”. Religious free agents, free to be secular or spiritual. But they definitely aren’t religious. And their ranks are growing. Over the last two decades the numbers of people disaffiliating with any religious tradition has continued to rise. But what should we think of the […]
Why I don’t like agnostics calling themselves atheists
These days, a growing number of self-described “atheists” describe their cognitive state not as the belief that God doesn’t exist, but rather as the lack of belief that God exists. The problems begin with the fact that this definition effectively collapses atheism into agnosticism, and that represents a deviation from historical usage. Here’s Paul Edwards from the entry […]
Debating God: The Rauser/Schieber Debate is Up!
Big thanks to the University of Alberta Atheists and Agnostics for funding the video and to Epicurus for volunteering untold hours to edit the raw footage. Here is the debate:
The Assertive Agnostic. The Dogmatic Doubter. The Sure Skeptic.
Ed Babinski emailed me a link to a message board discussing the topic “Most annoying Christian and atheist claims”. On the board Ed offered his own two cents and it starts like this: “The most annoying Christian and Atheist claims occur whenever a particular Christian or Atheist discusses subjects concerning the distant past, everlasting future […]
Peter Boghossian’s Manual for Wasting Paper (Part 6): Defining Agnosticism
Thus far we have seen Peter Boghossian to be utterly inept at defining basic terms: “deepity”, “faith” and “atheism”, he’s flubbed ’em all. So it is little surprise that his incompetence continues when he attempts to define “agnosticism”. Before we consider Boghossian’s proposed definition, and the problems with it, let’s consult a few philosophical dictionaries to […]
Neil deGrasse Tyson’s incredibly confused comments on atheism and agnosticism
Tyson begins by noting that he is often asked if he is an atheist. He then offers a reply: “You know, the only ‘ist’ I am, is a scientist.” He then goes on to say he has nothing to do with movements and he thinks for himself. Hmmm, one might think that makes him an […]