I couldn’t get past two or three pages of responses to Danny’s Forum Topic “What if there is a god?” without encountering the great contradiction/misunderstanding I find in almost every discussion of this topic: agnosticism.
I maintain that there is no such thing as agnosticism.
The only reason this “concept”or “word” exists is the sloppy way we use our language.
Allow me to begin my argument with Wikipedia’s entry that someone quoted in Danny's forum:
"Atheism can be either the rejection of theism, or the assertion that deities do not exist. In the broadest sense, it is the absence of belief in the existence of deities.
Even Wikipedia gets it wrong. Atheism is not...”the absence of belief...” It is the absence of FAITH.
Belief is not the same thing as faith. Theists and atheists share most (if not all) beliefs... like: the sun will “come up” in the morning, or, if you drop a brick, you move your toes. Those are beliefs that all humans share. Faith is not engaged to exercise a belief. Faith is a mechanism activated for those “things” for which there is no evidence.
You either have faith or you don’t. It’s like being pregnant, you’re either pregnant or not pregnant. You have faith or you don’t have faith. There is no middle ground. That is the essence of faith.
To say something like: “Well, I don’t know whether there is a god or not” is an admission of a lack of faith. If you possessed faith in the existence of a deity you would never say such a thing.
Statements like: “Well, I can’t say there is a god anymore than I can say there is no god” is meaningless.
God is an object of faith, and if you can’t say “I have faith in the existence of God” then you are an atheist, and A/N is the right site for you. If you say “I don’t know” then you are saying that you lack faith, and you are an atheist.
Atheism is an abandonment or lack of faith in the existence of a deity.
If you do not embrace “faith”, then you are an atheist, not an agnostic, and it leads me to the “belief” that there is no such thing as an agnostic.
You have faith or you don’t.
My suspicion is that self proclaimed “agnostics” are those who are reluctant to abandon faith itself, not just faith in a god.