Saturday, December 25, 2004

Neither Agnostic nor Gnostic Mean "Undecided"

After reading really STUPID BLOGS by STUPID ATHEISTS as well as STUPID CHRISTIANS (in the spirit of Christmas), I want to make a few comments.

For one, I'm upset that people confuse "agnostic" and "gnostic." This upsets me partially because they are very much different things, but a big reason why it upsets me is that it shows that few people actually know what a "gnostic" is.

The point of this post is really to stress that being agnostic DOES NOT MEAN "being undecided" or "being on the fence." Being agnostic means believing that the existence of God is equally as unreasonable as the non-existence of God. Being agnostic means believeing that there is NO REASONABLE ARGUMENT EITHER WAY. Being agnostic means not devoting ANY resources to belief in any number of deities as the choice of number is completely arbitrary. Being agnostic means NOT WANTING TO EVER BE ASKED "Do you believe in God?" ATHIESTS, MONOTHEISTS (Christians), and POLYTHEISTS are all EQUALLY SILLY to an agnostic. If an "agnostic" looks down on anyone, she looks DOWN on ALL THREE GROUPS.

Merriam-Webster's Definition of agnostic
a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and prob. unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god

AGNOSTIC comes from the Greek for UNKNOWABLE. It's not that agnostics believe that they'll decide on this issue later; it's that agnostics are not going to decide on the issue. They don't believe a decision exists.

It's like saying... Do giant purple elephants speak with an English accent? Well, there seems to only be a "Yes" or "No" answer to this. An atheist would tell you that it's an ELEPHANT so the answer is NO because it doesn't speak. A Christian would tell you that it's a PURPLE ELEPHANT so we know nothing about it, so because WE KNOW NOTHING about it, we'll assume that it DOES speak with an English accent. An agnostic sees this is a silly question and will not dignify it with an answer.

Now, someone who is "on the fence" and hoping to jump from one to the other is NOT AGNOSTIC but is actually TRULY one or the other. You cannot "pick" your beliefs. That person believes one thing but sees opportunity to be wrong and is uncomfortable with that.

An agnostic isn't on the fence. She's not even on the farm.

Merriam-Webster's Definition of gnosticism

the thought and practice especially of various cults of late pre-Christian and early Christian centuries distinguished by the conviction that matter is evil and that emancipation comes through gnosis

And a gnostic is completely different.

A gnostic believes that the world was created by the DEVIL when GOD wasn't looking. This is an extremely attractive suggestion. Think about all of the arguments against there being a "creator" that is all good (e.g., existence of evil); assuming that the "creator" is all bad does not suffer from the same holes.

Regardless, asking someone "Do you believe in God?" seems to be similar to asking, "Do you believe in a God in the Abrahamic sense?" After all, isn't it just as reasonable to assume that a creator exists who believed that those who enter heaven are the ones who did not need a god to form their own moral values? In that case, those going to "hell" would be those who needed to believe in God.

So it's a dumb question. Don't ask me if I believe in God. You wouldn't UNDERSTAND my answer.

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