Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I Don't Believe, I'm an Atheist—I mean, I Don't Believe I'm an Atheist!

In addition to the Obama-vote inquiry ("Stuck on Obama?", directly below), the question has also been e-raised as to whether I'm a closet atheist.

The short answer is no, I remain an agnostic.

The long answer is no, I remain an agnostic, but one who is definitely sympathetic with the growing atheistic movement being spearheaded by the likes of such serious thinkers as Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins.

Most specifically, I'm an agnostic who sees absolutely zero convincing evidence of G-d's existence. Alas.

I'm also a putative Jew, having converted through the Society of Humanistic Judaism in 1999, but SHJ definitely is an atheist-dominated movement. If one equates simple non-belief with atheism, then I'd be an atheist by that elastic definition, for I see faith as being in direct conflict and mutually-exclusive with reason.

For those who are still unclear on what exactly agnosticism is, and most important, why it's not synonymous with or simply a euphemism for non-belief, this is a good definition: a stance that argues that the way nature seems to be structured, it is impossible to rule out or in the existence of a natural intelligence or consciousness that we normally refer to as G-d. As you know, the true atheist avers the impossibility of G-d's existence. But even I must grant the possibility of some intelligent force making itself undetectable by us, hence my nominal agnosticism. And yeah, I know, even that's a stretch. So I remain thoroughly dubious as to the likelihood any religion got correct what Michael Kinsley (and I) call "the central question of the universe".

But I could be wrong, and am always willing to be persuaded.


No comments:

Post a Comment