Monday, May 25, 2015

Agnostics Say Nothing Is Absolutely Knowable. They Are Wrong.

I am not absolutely certain about very much, but I am absolutely certain that agnostics are unbearable. I am absolutely certain that they are wrong when they claim that they have grasped certain aspects of knowledge which have escaped all of the rest of us, atheists as well as religious believers. I am certain, without reservation, that their smug sense of their own intellectual superiority is mistaken. I am absolutely certain that that smugness masks a subconscious insecurity about their intellectual prowess, and I am absolutely certain that that that insecurity, although unfortunately subconscious, is well-justified.

And I am as certain that I have no need whatsoever to prove any of the above, as I am that Bertrand Russell had no need to prove the inexistance of his hypothetical teapot:

"Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time."

Spot on, old man! Spot on! Well done! So wrote Russell in a magazine piece first published in 1952, in response to demands that atheists prove that God does not exist. A demand that I should demonstrate that agnostics are icky, horrible, unloveable motherless bastards with halitosis and bad manners is every bit as unreasonable. Anyone who has ever been unfortunate enough to meet an agnostic, any atheist who's ever been cornered by one of them and made to listen to him recite things which he, the atheist, went over long ago in his own mind before moving on, anyone who's listened to an agnostic swelling with unjustifiable pride as he goes on and on as if he'd just come up with an ironclad, easily-verifiable unified field theory, knows that I'm going easy on them.

They're the worst! All the rest of us, atheists, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Orthodox Jews, Sikhs, Bahá'ís, Southern Baptists, ironical Episcopalians -- all of us can agree about that!

Stuff it, agnostics! Nobody wants to hear it (again)!

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