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Agnostics are Nowhere Men

Posted: 02/07/08 04:42 PM ET

If you understand that there is no evidence, absolutely no evidence, no evidence of any kind, not even a scintilla of a suggestion that there might be some evidence if we only knew where to look, for the existence of anything you might call god (or indeed anything of any supernatural kind) then you are an atheist, not an agnostic. And if you think there is such evidence, then you are a theist, not an agnostic. Let's see, that means the place for agnostics is ... nowhere.

Being agnostic is a bit like voting for the Iraq war and then saying later that you only did so because of the dodgy intelligence. Knowing all along, that you could have known at the time, that there wasn't dodgy intelligence, there was in fact no intelligence, the war was going to happen because of the beliefs of the PNAC crowd. Or like pretending that there was no difference between Gore and Bush. Or like being a little bit pregnant.

Either you believe that something supernatural called god exists, or you don't. There isn't any half way house in this element of human culture. There is no spectrum of proof for the existence of a supernatural being ranging from no proof, through sort of more or less suggestive proofs, through to strong hard evidence. If there was such a spectrum, then an atheist would be one who believed that none of the proofs were any good, a theist thought all the proofs were really believable, and an agnostic didn't think there was hard evidence, but thought that some of the suggested proofs had some merit. But there isn't. Accepting any of the so-called proofs for the existence of god makes someone religious, not agnostic, and accepting none of them makes someone atheist, not agnostic.

So no room for agnostics, and it's time they declared themselves -- are you with us or against us (now who said that before)? If you are not on the side of the atheist angels then you are on the side of the evangelical devils. And there is a battle coming for the soul of the Enlightenment, for rationalism, and humanism, and a return to secular societies. If you are not on the side of the humanists, then you are on the side of the people who strapped remote-controlled explosives to two women with Down's syndrome and exploded them in a crowded market place. Or on the side of the woman protesting at the SAG awards, holding up placards saying Heath in Hell, and Death to Faggots.

So come on, you "agnostics", which way are you going to jump from the fence, and which side of the barricades are you going to land on? There are only two sides, not three, to the question of religion, and if you aren't part of the solution you are part of the problem. Come on down.

Or as Thomas Otway in 1683, and the Watermelon Blog in 2008, say - "These are rogues that pretend to be of religion now! Well, all I say is, honest atheism for my money."

 

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