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Agnostics vs Atheists, FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!

“Normal Bob,
I found your site a couple weeks ago and I find it almost addicting. I’ve been reading through the hate-mail section and it’s so fascinating to read the give and take between yourself and the people who believe in God and Jesus and all that.  I really like the way you respond to them with a combination of logic, sarcasm, teasing, and parody.

But I’ve noticed that there doesn’t seem to be much discussion about agnostics and that seems strange to me because to me being agnostic makes much more sense than being an athiest or a believer in any notion of god put forth by any of the religions.

On the one hand, all organized religions are based on flawed thinking, as youhave pointed out so well.  It’s easy to see that religious beliefs are based on wishful thinking.  We all would like to believe that there is some benevolent god that will reward us eternally if we live good lives.

On the other hand, I can’t follow the reasoning of athiests who believe that there is no god whatsover.  How can they be so sure?

Here’s my view.  As humans, we see the universe through the framework of time and space.  Everything has a spacial relationship to everything else, and everything has a time relationship to everything else.  My body is a measurable distance from the empire state building.  The empire state building is a measurable distance from the moon.  These distances flucuate, but they are measurable.

Likewise, there is a measurable amount of time that elapses between the moment of my birth and the moment when I taste my first beer.  There is a measurable amount of time between my first beer and the death of Julius Caeser.

Everything we know about the universe can be fit into these frameworks of time and space. But that leads to the mystery of infinity.  If everything has a relationship to some great cosmic timeline, where is the start of the timeline?  If everything has a place in the universe, where does the universe begin and end?  No matter how far back in time we go, we can always go farther.  And no matter how far we travel in the universe, we can always go farther.  It hurts my brain to think about the infinity of time and space.

I have to conclude that the existance of the universe and everything in it cannot be explained by science.  Science may be able to determine that there was a ‘big bang’ that resulted in the formation of the galaxies, but where did the ingrediants of the big bang come from?  There could never have been a ‘time’ when absolutely nothing existed, because how is it possible for something to come from nothing?  So I’ve concluded that the answer lies outside of the framework of time and space.  We owe our existance to something that cannot be defined physically.

But I have no idea what that something is.  I just know that it is beyond the understanding of human beings because it does not fit into our framework.  That’s why I call myself an agnostic.  I believe there is some ‘force’ or supreme being that caused the universe to exist, but I accept that I have no way of comprehending its nature.

As an athiest, do you believe that there is no such supreme being/force?  If so, how is it that we exist?  To me, it seems impossible that the universe just came literally out of nowhere. Something caused us to exist, that seems certain to me, but I don’t believe that any human being has any real concept of the nature of that ‘something’.  I believe that the most honest answer one can give to mystery of our existance is, ‘I don’t know.’ ”
William Bell

William,
To me the answer to this seems so simple.

Do you really believe that indefinable thing you’ve postulated is a living being who we’re meant to worship? That’s what a “god” is, and it’s something I’m utterly convinced is make-believe.

For instance, let’s say instead of a living being creating the universe, it’s somehow evolved up from something minute. Or perhaps the universe is a perpetual exploding/imploding process that has no beginning or end and is just a repeating cycle. Do you consider these explanations godly, to be worshiped on hands and knees, prayers, thankyou’s, offerings, the works? Of course not.

Or how about if aliens made us in an experiment. Are they gods we’re to be worshiping? If aliens made us are we to build churches to them and adore them? Make them our gods? Again, the answer seems an obvious “No.”

In fact, how about this? Let’s say a wizard type character actually did invent us, and plant us on planet earth and he’s watching us scramble about tripping on rollerskates, wearing wigs, burning down each others houses and eating everything we can get our hands on. Is he the god we’re meant to be submitting to? Ass in the air/nose to the pavement, loving & worshiping as a god? Once again, I say, “Nuh-uh.”

My atheism is directed at the gods, which I believe is the most common use of the word. And that goes for the word “agnostic” as well. Because there seems to be nothing more clear, more obvious than there are no gods demanding we worship them, and the idea that there are is absolutely a man made concept, and nothing more. From everything we know, that we know here on planet earth, gods are make-believe, 100% of them, therefore I confidently call myself an atheist.

I mean, am I wrong? Do you think we’re supposed to be worshiping something, we just haven’t figured out who or what it is yet, therefore you call yourself an agnostic in regards to the gods?

Bob