Friday, November 28, 2008
This a space for shorter comments on some of the issues raised at the main AskWhy Books website and elsewhere. Thus an anti Atheist made an great issue about whether an atheist had to believe that God did not exist. The agnostic sits on the fence, thinking it is a question that is impossible to answer, and so it is, so that everyone ought to be agnostics in logic. Believers in God are, of course, not logical, and many happily admit it, but think it necessary to prove to their own satisfaction that atheism is just as illogical. The word "agnostic" is a Victorian neologism, and before it was coined by T H Huxley, the appropriate word for none believers was "atheist", whether they were sure God did not exist or they just thought it unlikely. "Atheist" itself, from the Greek, simply means "without gods". Certain belief in God's nonexistence is irrelevant. The atheist lives their life without any need for gods. It is a practical matter. The Romans considered the early gentile Christians as atheists, not because they disbelieved in any God, but because they rejected Roman gods. So, the Christians were atheists but believed in a god -- God! No one needs to "believe" there is a god except to give themselves an excuse for living properly as a social animal. Decent human beings need no such excuse. We would not be human if we were not social animals, and morality is just caring for other people. That is the whole point of religion. It is a psychological imposition of social mores on to people who are too selfish or unreasonable otherwise to see the sense of them.
Posted by AskWhy! Blogger at 8:19 PM