www.whyville.net Nov 30, 2008 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

Agnostics: Not Undecided

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My name is Kalei and I am an Agnostic. And let me tell you, we Agnostics are decidedly NOT undecided.

In last week's article, Cobd presented an argument against the existence of a God. She also stated that Agnostics were "undecided" on whether or not a God existed. However, this is simply not true. If Cobd had consulted a dictionary, she would have seen that an Agnostic is defined as "a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in a God."

This is very different from being "undecided." Agnostics are not in a state of transition between theism/deism (I'll go into the difference between these two a little later on) and atheism; we have already made a decision. We have simply decided that it is impossible to prove or disprove the existence of a God.

Think about it for a second. Disproving the existence of God is like disproving the existence of mermaids. You can point to a lack of credible evidence to support the existence of mermaids, but that doesn't DISPROVE their existence, it just makes it unlikely that they do exist. And if it is only unlikely that something exists, it is still possible for it to exist and you end up in the same position as you were in before.

Approaching the problem using the scientific method doesn't help much either. First of all, science never allows hypotheses to be proven, only supported, because no matter how much evidence you have to support a hypothesis, there is always a chance it will be disproved. And you can't really disprove God using the scientific method. After all, "God" isn't testable hypothesis. How would you set up a repeatable experiment? What could you possibly have as your control? This is clearly impossible.

Now, as promised, I'll explain the difference between deism and theism. Though Cobd stated that theism is a belief in a God, it is a little more complicated than that. Theists believe in a personal God. A being that not only created the universe, but that interferes in it. Most major religions (Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, etc.) fall under this category. Deists, on the other hand, believe something slightly different. Though they believe in some sort of creator of the universe, they do not believe this creator directly influences events within the universe. There is a slight but important difference between the two.

I hope reading this article has left you a little better informed, a little more curious and a little more open minded.

Author's Note: For any readers that were offended, you do not have the right to be offended. People are going to disagree with you throughout your life, so you'd better get used to it now. You do, however, have the right to engage in polite, well-researched reasoned debate in the BBS, hopefully without the use of ALL CAPS, an excess of exclamation points!!!!!!, sw3@r!ng, name-calling or poor spelling.


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