Friday, August 10, 2007

Agnostic Confusion

If you aren't confused enough yet over the various definitions and flavors of atheism, check out the Wikipedia article on agnosticism. Good stuff! There are strong, weak, apathetic and other kinds of agnostics. I found a great quote there by Bertrand Russell:

As a philosopher, if I were speaking to a purely philosophic audience I should say that I ought to describe myself as an Agnostic, because I do not think that there is a conclusive argument by which one can prove that there is not a God.

On the other hand, if I am to convey the right impression to the ordinary man in the street I think I ought to say that I am an Atheist, because when I say that I cannot prove that there is not a God, I ought to add equally that I cannot prove that there are not the Homeric gods.

I'm glad to see I'm on the same wavelength as him.

The article also has a description of one my favorite labels in this area, "ignosticism." I see that some philosophers think it is impossible to be an ignostic and an atheist or agnostic at the same time. Hmm. The link to Theodore Drange led me to his essay here, which was probably the best discussion of the various challenges in defining these words that I have read yet. I highly recommend it.

Maybe I could rename this blog "that noncognitivist with regard to god-talk guy's blog"!

1 comment:

J. K. Jones said...

I think you should be able to define your own view of the world in your own way.

I do not think that labels do much good in personal discussions.