Agnostic! Are you sure? (The atheist delusion)

by ima sceptic, Wednesday, January 16, 2008, 18:49 (4520 days ago)

Having read the first couple of pages of this, I have a strong suspicion that the author is not agnostic at all but is in fact hiding behind that label to have a bash at athiests in general and Richard Dawkins in particular.

In my experince, the true (informed) agnostic is more open to reason and less likely to deliberately misinterpret others arguments in scoring points. (By saying "informed" I am leaving aside the large number of agnostics who hold that position simply because they haven't really bothered to think about the arguments and more importantly the evidence either way).

Dawkins himself states in the God Delusion (if I may paraphrase) that the only intellectually honest postion to hold is agnosticism because there is insufficient evidence to prove or disprove the existence of a god. He goes on to assess the probabilities that a god exists based on the available, verifiable, evidence (virtually zero) and concludes that the likelihood is very low. Certainly not the 50:50 choice that is presented by some opposing arguments.

Evolution while still described as a theory in scientific terms, is as close to a proven process (fact) as it is possible to get. Any truly open minded assessment of the evidence available would have to conclude this. That said, it is true that the origin of life is still a mystery and might remain so forever. I can live with that. I don't need to invent an imaginary friend to explain how life began (and if I did I would invent a much nicer one than any of the current favourites).

While the man made nature of most religions is blatently obvious from the way their holy texts are stuck in the time and place of their writing and their evolution over time, this does not necessarily disprove the existence of a creator. It does however undermine the arguments of organised religions, that their version(s) provide the answers. Science has repeatedly overturned strongly held religious dogmas over the last few centuries and if allowed to by the zealots, may well continue to do so.

So in conclusion, I agree with Dawkins that the only honest position is that of agnosticism. My agnosticism is of the type that rejects theism on the bases of insufficient supporting evidence along with significant evidence of man made origins. Deism remains a remote possibility but there are more plausible alternatives.

To the author, if you wish to attack Richard Dawkins arguments please do it accurately and honestly. Then you will earn his and respect and that of free minded readers.


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