On Agnostic-Antitheism


I am not a fan of multiplying words needlessly, but consider the term agnostic-antitheism which I believe has not found much publicity yet.  I believe that this term could have its merits for the reasons which I will be pointing out below. I will also address the problems which I think might possibly arise with it, and how they might be overcome.

Definitions: agnostic as we know applies to the state of knowledge, while antitheism is “active opposition to theism”. How we may reconcile these two I shall soon explain.  As with agnosticism + atheism to form agnostic-atheists, one should not find agnostic-antitheism to be contradictory terms.  One is a statement of knowledge and the other describes a position of belief on the existence of God.

Like atheism, antitheism does not contain within itself the positive claim that “God definitely does not exist”, as might be implied through other atheistic subcategories such as positive atheism.  Antitheism is defined as active opposition to theism, and often implies opposition to organised religion or theism in general.

I think that such a position can be held in conjunction with an agnostic state of mind.  As far as organised religion is concerned, one need not know with certainty that the proclaimed gods do not exist to put in question the methods of religion.  Because religion puts faith and authority above scrutiny and evidence, one can see why an antitheistic position might be favourable.

One might argue that agnosticism by definition goes against active opposition to anything.  But not so.  Firstly as I have mentioned earlier, we can put in question the methods by which theistic/religious claims are achieved without positively asserting strong atheism.  More importantly, agnosticism by no means imply that you think that you have a 50/50 chance of being correct, as is popular misconception.  You could be 98% certain that “god” does not exist and still consider yourself an agnostic-atheist; the criterion for agnosticism is still fulfilled.  In other words, whilst your position is the null-hypothesis, you still have every right to put in question those who reject null on account of faith, etc., and to criticise their methodology as you see is false.

Where the term “god” is defined as particular mythological deities such as Zeus or Thor or Yahweh, whose existence can be traced as mere inventions of man, is it favourable to be an agnostic or a strong atheist?  Is it necessary to be agnostic to characters like Santa Claus?  Of course, we are inclined to say no.

But adherence to such a term like agnostic is not purposeless, nor is it an excuse for intellectual indolence, but it is vital in that it shows our unlikeness to many theists, who too often claim that God is the undeniable truth and so forth.  We encapsulate the humble state of mind whilst still expressing our censure to those who base their conclusions on questionable pseudoscience or on authority.  Agnosticism reflects our openness of mind, which I conjecture will serve us well in the future of this debate as it progresses into the age of reason.

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