Faith, in every sense religious and not, is belief in the most basic sense of the word. It does not rely on proof; indeed, it is the very lack of proof that faith demands for its definition. It is the essence of religion and the antithesis of science, though this does not necessarily make them enemies, because religion claims to know what the scientific method cannot discern (and does not seek to).
Agnosticism is an impure mix of faith and non-faith. It asks that in order to legitimize atheism, proof must be presented for the lack of a god, or gods. It asks for what science asks, yet in the service of faith.
It is impossible -- or terribly near -- to prove something does not exist. Nowhere else in humanity's body of knowledge do we "hold off" on something's existence until its existence is "disproven."
Nowhere in atheism (except perhaps among its most fundamentalist) does it say that it is closed to evidence contrary to its principles -- should it present itself. There is simply, at this moment, no evidence; ergo, no occasion for persuasion.
The idea of agnosticism, with its chosen distinctions, creates the mistaken notion that it is somehow distilling the atheistic principle into something finer and purer. Acknowledging that one could, in the future, be wrong does not mean we need a new name for it, a new ideology.
It wrongly implies that science is rigid and dogmatic. Science tries to know what can be empirically proven and demonstrated -- but it can change and on countless historical occasions, it has. There has never been a separate creature that was Science with an Asterisk. To suggest otherwise is erroneous and dangerous in its ignorance.
That is why agonosticism, on every occasion, provokes my scorn and contempt.
posted at 3:57:08 pm
2. As "Americana" defines itself as artefacts of American culture, "Gloriana" consists of the artefacts of my culture.
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