Re: Why atheism beats agnosticism (Was: Re: Contacting God)

T0Morrow (
Thu, 23 Apr 1998 10:20:30 EDT

<> writes:

> Indeed, atheism is (often) more than just saying "it's extremely
> unlikely that god exists", but also "it is not _desirable_ that god
> exists". It's about understanding that, certainly for a transhumanist,
> the existence of god is _not_ "neutral", but very, VERY bad. All our
> efforts would be futile. After all, don't we want to become gods
> ourselves? No such luck if the job has already been taken....

Structuring your worldview solely to satisfy your ideology strikes me as a
dangerous project. Gods may or may not exist at present. Most understandings
of theology make the question utterly unresolvable in a theoretic sense (thus
encouraging principled agnostism). Practically speaking, of course, sensible
people find it useful to assume that gods do *not* exist, and to act like
atheists in a day-to-day sense. But none of that justifies embracing
*theoretical* atheism from fear of the anomie that could follow facing
possible truths. Better, I think, to cut the bluff and learn to live with
limited facts.

> And I shall continue as a quite vocal atheist until someone can present
> sufficient evidence of god's existence and/or that this would not be a
> disaster for humanity and transhumanists in particular.

I take it that an atheist in fact asserts that gods do not and cannot exist--a
claim that cries out for positive proof. But, again, most understandings of
theology deny that scientific methods will suffice to resolve the question of
god's existence. Scientists typically agree that they have little to add to
theological disputes. Defending atheism thus take more than mere rejection of
theism; it calls for the sort of proof that, ex hypothesis, cannot obtain.

I used to think myself an atheist--until I decided that even denying the
existence of gods gives too much credit to theology. I now cheerfully admit
ignorance about whether gods exist . . . though that does not prevent me from
theorizing about what I might make possible.