Posts Tagged Agnosticism

Agnostic or Atheist?

I used to call myself an agnostic, but more recently I’ve been calling myself atheist. However, I think I should be reviewing this position again.

The problem with atheism, as I see it, is that you are either trying to prove a negative (that God doesn’t exist) or taking the non-existence of God on trust – which is a faith position. In my mind the only position a truly rational being can take is that the existence or otherwise of God (or gods) is, by its very nature, unknowable.

I’m not convinced that the approach taken by Richard Dawkins et al is the right way to go. He can be very confrontational and seems dismissive of other people’s beliefs. I’ve seen this described as “fundamental atheism” and it certainly seems to upset religious types.It doesn’t seem to be a very constructive approach; people are on the defensive and often, in that position, become more dogmatic and resistant to change. He also can come across as smug – not something you want when you’re trying to bring people round to your position. His position has also been described as being religious but without God (like the Church of England then!).

While it is fairly certain that religion has been responsible for a fair few wars and other atrocities, this should not be a reason to vilify everyone who believes in God, and I’m sure that had there not been religion something else would have been found (see Gulliver’s Travels for example) for people to fight over or persecute people for.

One thing is certain though, it is important to question your beliefs and positions regularly.

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