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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Is Agnosticism Rational?

Professing atheists and agnostics, as well as theistic evolutionists and Deists (and I believe many TEs are actually Deists), tend to throw down against biblical creationists. That's expected from atheists, since they must believe in evolution. It should not be expected from theistic evolutionists, since they claim to be Christians, but elevate man-made science philosophies above God's Word.

Agnosticism has many characteristics in common with atheism, including the necessity of belief in evolution for many professing agnostics. But is agnosticism a rational worldview?
Modified from an image at Clker clip art.
Agnostics? Depends on what kind and what definitions are used. Some say simply that they do not think there is evidence to believe in God, much the way atheists make the same claim. (Well, I "lack belief" in a universe without God. Also, I lack belief that atheism, agnosticism, Deism, and theistic evolution are intellectually honest worldviews. How does that jangle your spurs, pilgrim?) Others say that there is no way for anyone to know that God exists, not realizing that they are making a positive stance for their belief. But many, if not most, believe in evolution!

I reckon that many who call themselves "agnostics" are actually atheists, rejecting evidence for God, creation, and spiritual matters out of hand. Agnosticism is very similar to atheism, and does not stand up under examination.

Religious ‘nones’, such as agnostics and atheists, are on the rise in many Western countries. The ‘New atheists’ such as Richard Dawkins have likely contributed to this trend—using so-called ‘science’ (especially evolution and deep time) to create uncertainty about God in a lot of people. Many people are aware of the rise in atheism, but less talked about is the rise of agnosticism. In fact, more people self-identify as agnostics than atheists. So what is agnosticism? And how can Christians respond to it?

What is agnosticism?

The term ‘agnostic’ was first coined by ‘Darwin’s Bulldog’ Thomas Henry Huxley in the 19th century. Fundamentally, agnostics are unsure about God’s existence. However, this comes in a few different forms.

The first is a personal stance: “I don’t know if God exists or not.” This is often called weak agnosticism. It doesn’t make any claims beyond what the agnostics themselves are uncertain of. They may think we can know in principle whether God exists or not, it’s just that they don’t know.

The second is a universal claim: “We cannot know if God exists or not.” This is often called strong agnosticism. It’s actually a claim to knowledge. It makes the claim that there isn’t enough evidence for anyone to know whether God exists or not.
To finish reading, click on "Agnosticism".