Re: The pool we're trying to paddle in

From: J Corbally (
Date: Sun Apr 15 2001 - 07:39:56 MDT

>Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2001 17:22:10 -0800
>From: Lee Corbin <>
>Subject: Re: The pool we're trying to paddle in
>J Corbally wrote
> > Most atheists I've met would not say "god doesn't exist", they
> > would say they don't believe it exists. They're well aware of
> > the problem of making such sweeping claims. By default, atheism
> > is merely a lack of god belief. It can also be a form of
> > "assertion of nonexistence", but this in my experience is much
> > less common, and atheism tends to be described
> > that way in order to strawman it.
>Well, I'll say it flatly: God does not exist.
>Would you say that Santa Claus exists? Or would you be discreetly
>non-commital? After all, can you prove that Santa Claus does not

I have no belief in Santa Claus. I'll believe it when evidence is
presented for it. Until then I'll lack belief in him.

>While agnostics are people who don't have a strong claim in the
>matter, most are really atheists under the Santa Claus test.

In so far as they lack belief yes. I'd agree on that. What's known as
"weak" atheism is quite similar to agnosticism. Neither are blanket
statements of non-belief. Their agnosticism relates to their opinions on
the God matter solely. Each claim is considered on its' own merits.

>They are merely unwilling to say so for some reason. They no more
>believe in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy than they believe in God,
>but are merely "agnostic" about the latter (for some arcane reason).
>Yet they do not hesitate to express their strong belief that the
>former do not exist.

I've not yet met an agnostic who's agnostic with regards to Santa Claus or
the Tooth Fairy, they're generally "athiestic" about them. But they don't
define themselves as agnositic by their stance on St. Nick or Fairies.

>The truth is, we can't prove anything.

Yup, and that's why I simply lack belief in these kinds of claims.

>An educated 21st century
>person with good judgment has to stand by the statements that
>the Earth goes round the sun and God does not exist.
>Lee Corbin

"If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and
crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures
to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it's not for the timid."
-Q, Star Trek:TNG episode 'Q Who'

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