So I wrote a post about atheist writing yesterday and I’ve received a few comments about it. One in particular caught my eye so instead of replying to the comment, I thought I would address it here. This comment could probably use at least 2 posts to adequately respond, but I’m going to try and keep my thoughts linear and hopefully be able to logically respond in just one.
The first part of the comment is about those that call themselves agnostic atheists and that it’s just a disguise. Here’s the text:
I claim that the self-description of “agnostic atheist” is logically meaningless.
And anyway, it’s just a trick to try to disguise their agnosticism by stapling it to the word “atheist.”
I’ve never referred to myself as an agnostic atheist although I know many atheists that do. There are also plenty of people that call themselves agnostic, although I’m not sure they know what that really means.
Well, why do people refer to themselves that way would be a good starting point I think. An agnostic is a person that thinks the existence of God not able to be known one way or the other. It’s a non-committal stance. God may or may not exist. Simply put: they have no opinion one way or the other.
An atheist is someone that does not believe in the existence of any god(s). That’s it and is simple to understand.
So when someone describes themselves as an agnostic atheist, what are they really saying about themselves? I have no opinion one way or the other but I don’t believe in the existence of any god(s). Huh?
I looks to me the commenter is spot on here in that it is absolutely logically meaningless. A person cannot not hold an opinion and have an opinion at the same time.
The second part of the comment is something I had to stop and think about for a while because I really haven’t given it a lot of consideration in the past:
Also, I can demonstrate irrefutably that god does not exist in fact and cannot exist even in principle.
Want to shoot some holes in this bulletproof logical demonstration?
An atheist doesn’t believe in the existence of any god, but if asked to show that there cannot be any god or gods, would any of us be able to prove it? This is an interesting problem for me because as most other atheists, I’m on the other side of the argument wherein those that claim there is a god are asked to prove its existence. Of course they’re unable to without referring to some holy text, or the writings of apologists that use the same text for their justification.
An irrefutable demonstration would be shattering to those of any religion and I would really like to see this demonstrated. I’m not saying it can’t be shown, I’ve just never seen anyone make an absolute claim like this. So yes, I’d like to see it demonstrated and then be able to shoot some holes in it if I’m able. As I’m writing this, I’m trying to think of where this demonstration would even begin. I’d be happy to publish it here as a guest post.
So, lets get with it. There might be a Nobel Prize or two here or even better, some nasty comments including death threats from some believers.