Agnosticism and the Fear of Atheism (was re: Vital Essence)

From: E. Shaun Russell (
Date: Sun Jan 23 2000 - 12:31:04 MST

        Upon reading some of the responses to Max's original post on God,
arrogance and belief, it strikes me that there seems to be a sort of fear
of commitment to the term "atheist." In my experience, many who call
themselves agnostic and cringe at the word "atheist" have a deep rooted
fear of possible repercussions from taking a firm stand on such a
self-description --almost as if the slightest percentage of a possibility
of God Itself (usually in the traditional 'image of man' form) condemning
one's soul to eternal damnation is enough to leave the loophole in their
belief systems.

        Quibbling over semantics is not the real issue; the real issue is why many
rational thinkers cannot trust their rational beliefs enough to call
themselves atheists. With all due respect to the self-proclaimed
agnostics, I find such a belief position weak and compromising, with the
underlying fear of commitment to one's most rational desires and thoughts
as its basis. The bottom line is this: either there are gods (or God, if
you prefer) or there are not. I cannot prove one way or the other, but I
have a tremendously strong, rational belief that no God or gods exist. For
those who take such an either\or, compromising view as Agnosticism, I would
not put much weight on any other view which they claim to support either.
This is the same reason why many like-minded individuals could have a far
friendlier conversation with a fundamental Christian, Buddhist --whatever--
than with a non-committing Agnostic.

E. Shaun Russell Extropian, Musician, ExI Member <KINETICIZE *YOUR* POTENTIAL>

*The creation of the future is in the creation of the present*

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