While procrastinating this afternoon, I came across a facebook group called “Agnostic is Just Atheist, Spelled By a Retard,” (a title I find highly objectionable) and just as I was able to leave I found the following post (I leave all errors intact):
Exactly HOW ignorant do you have to be to start a group like this?
Obviously, you have been misinformed. Or maybe you are just a complete idiot. Who the hell cares.
I just LLOOVVEE the fact that a (mildly) functioning human being could assume agnostic and atheist are even similar. You must be one of those people who talks just to make sounds, right?
Also, if you are going to act clever and use spelling to compare two completely different things, try not to use the word “CUZ”
You should know, ATHEIST is the philosophical belief that there is no god. Now what does that remind us of? Oh yes, the presumptuous, assuming hardcore religions, that all say there IS a god. Do they both not seem a little presumptuous? Have you ever seen a god? Does that mean there is no possibility one exists? No, it just means there may be, or there may not. It’s not like humans can be sure either way, is there? Now what does THAT remind us of? Oh! That’s right! Agnosticism!
Now don’t YOU feel stupid?
We all are.
You just are way more.
This fellow seemed to be using the inexact definition of agnosticism (”fence-sitting atheist”) as opposed to the more philosophically correct use of the term (”I don’t know nothin’ about no God”), so I joined the group for the sole purpose of responding to this nincompoop (I know, I know: “Why bother?”):
I don’t feel too stupid yet. Here’s why.
Let’s use the Bertrand Russell teapot analogy. Let’s say that it is postulated that there is a small teapot in orbit around the moon. The teapot is too small to be seen from earth, and the chances of detecting it with a high-powered telescope are slim indeed. At the moment, there is no persuasive evidence that the teapot exists at all. But because the possibility exists, are you to declare yourself a teapot agnostic? Of course not. There is a possibility that there is a man living in my closet, and that whenever I open the door he magically disappears, but it is perfectly reasonable for me to go about my life as a closet-disappearing-man atheist rather than as an agnostic.
Just because many people believe in God does not make the existence of Yahweh or Allah or any other deity more likely. The burden of proof rests on the person making the claim (the believers), and until they bring some proof we may continue to declare ourselves atheists with intellectual impunity, while agnostics may continue to feebly sit on the fence as the pointed ends of the white pickets dig into their arses.
I am an a-leprechaunist, a-bigfootist, a-elvis-is-still-alive-ist, and a-teapot-ist. Atheists are not ruling out the possibility of the existence of God by declaring that they do not believe that he exists. They are making the most reasonable decision they can giving the compelling lack of evidence for God’s existence. An agnostic is simply a believer who doubts or an atheist who hasn’t fully thought through his position dispassionately.
My opponent responded with this highly literate, nuanced, and persuasive missive:
See that’s the difference between you and I. I don’t see a need to make “the most reasonable descision” on something I care very little about.
If everyone thought like you, and by “like you” i mean arrogant and assuming, would anyone really discover anything? I mean, imagine you live in the time of Issac Newton. Would you really beleive that the Earth is just sucking people towards it like some giant magnet? i doubt it. So that would make you a gravity-ist. See how little gets discovered this way? People end up forcing themselves to either one or the other side of “the fence” just so they can say they are one or the other.
And, Im sorry, you retard, but you have no idea what an agnostic is. Maybe your head is too far up your ass to see, but an agnostic is someone who knows that they couldnt prove or disprove even that one is more likely because humans learn from experiences, and the definition of a god is something a living person cannot experience.
I have no problem with you being an atheist, I mean retard, but please don’t force some “need” to make a descision on us agnostics. Why don’t you go get a real life? Hmmm…
Dah! See how he tricked me into thinking he was using one definition, and then BAM, rolled out the other one?
Much as I should have expected such a charming exchange of wit, I’m not one to simply walk away when I’m confronted with a total jackass, so I was faced with two options: to a) write a reasoned, mature response to his rebuttal, addressing the specific points that he had made, or b) order that he ought to perform some sort of lewd act on my genitals. As you can see, I wisely chose the former. Mostly.
Sorry about being so arrogant and assuming.
Unfortunately, I can’t help being retarded.
Clearly, you are the victor in this debate.
Kindly I withdraw my earlier statements.
Oh, incidentally, your Newton comment made no sense.
Newton based his discoveries on observable evidence.
Moreover, were I to not believe Newton’s theory,
You say I would be a gravity-ist.
But not believing would make me an a-Gravity-ist.
Agnostics are those who say that we cannot ‘know’ God.
Listen, you’re correct on that single definition.
Let’s concede that. But look at what you’ve written:
Super-hostile, self-contradicting, ad hominem trash.
Who says you can’t have your cake and [get eaten], too?