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

T0Morrow (
Fri, 24 Apr 1998 17:41:01 EDT

Lee Daniel Crocker writes:

> [T]he label "agnostic" does not
> imply any disrespect for others' religious beliefs . . . .
> When someone calls emself "atheist", I expect that such person
> might actually distrust openly theist folks, to entirely discount
> the opinions of clergy and even ridicule them, to actively oppose
> religious-based laws and practices, to oppose prayer and teaching
> creationist nonsense in schools, etc.
> It is for this reason that I call myself "atheist" even though
> Tom's more logical definition might not apply. . . .

Oh, well then, I'd say you qualify not as an atheist but as a militant
agnostic. Heh.

FWIW, and in contrast to your views, I harbor close relations to many, many
theists. Although I find their judgements about matters theological quite
dicey, that by no means prevents me from respecting their opinions about other
things. Sometimes I even think that their theological notions merit
respectful treatment. Think that's heretical? Get this: I even know and
respect many *statists*!

I suppose that tolerance for ideological differences varies widely; I often
find that I enjoy the frisson that comes from rubbing up against different
opinions (even woefully misguided ones). When it comes to intellectual
companionship, I would rather talk with someone who gets things wrong in
interesting ways than I would with someone who agrees with me in