I wonder at the mentality that sees to propagate certainties of any kind, whether atheistic or theistic.
Where are you in this (flawed) diagram?
When challenged, the standard Dawkins-type atheist will seek to spoof their way to a position closer to agnosticism. I don’t buy it though – like Dawkins, atheists are usually too trenchantly fervid ever to be proper fence-sitters.
I wonder if rationality and atheism as popularly perceived are natural bedfellows:
From Collins dictionary: An atheist is a person who believes that there is no God.
From Collins dictionary: An agnostic believes that it is not possible to know whether God exists or not.
Wouldn’t it be more logical to link logic to agnosticism? In the popular mind, agnosticism = doubt while atheism = certainty.
Just as I struggle to take seriously anyone who assures me, categorically, that God exists; I also struggle to take seriously anyone who assures me, categorically, that God does not exist. My response to either statement is the same: how the hell do you know for certain? Since you don’t, I see little rationality in either believing or not believing.
The diagram at the link above attempts to shoehorn me into one camp or another. However, I neither believe nor don’t believe. Either position seems faintly ridiculous. As Heidegger notes, the best knowledge starts at the limit of understanding. The principle of preserving doubt against all the theory-vendors. Rationality is a little 3-card trick game we play. It’s practical, and gets stuff done, but ultimately it’s arranging pebbles on the sea shore, in the dark.
Apparently, c. 95% of the universe is comprised of dark matter and dark energy. The finest human minds can’t even locate it, never mind explain it. Based on current human knowledge, 95% of the known universe / multiverses is unknown and currently unknowable. And any scientist will tell you that our knowledge of the other 4-5% of the universe is patchy and speculative.
In other words, we know next to nothing about our universe. And while science has some decent theories about how our universe has evolved, not a single one of those theories even attempts to address the most fundamental question of all, namely why there is anything at all, instead of nothing.
Into this vacuum of knowledge steps passionate people with their little certainties.
My perception is that we’re like ants on a beach ball at the bottom of a coal mine. Occasionally, some ants jostle each other and gain a better, or worse, toehold on the ball. Such as an empire, or a dynasty, or a Brexit. Far above, a faint light gleams, mostly un-noticed. “We were born yesterday, and we know nothing.” Once you jettison the human urge for Descartian vantage points, once you move past the “hell of un-knowing” phase, once you make your peace with the corporeal limits of our “knowledge”, then that’s a state akin to enlightenment. Anything after that is mere semantics; and atheists v deists is but a distraction.
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