I’ve talked about this a while back, and it’s talked about elsewhere on the blogosphere at great length and to great depth. However, it needs repeating, because among the rank and file of the droning God-worshippers out there, there’s still a certain perma-moderated reader that needs to understand the terms he’s using, as he’s wholly ignorant of the different axes on which atheism and agnosticism lie. He is also wholly unaware that both sides are capable of dogma, that those of us in this argument that specifically disbelieve in his Abrahamic god are not doing so dogmatically, and somehow thinks that his dogma is not in fact dogma but is rather scientific in itself. Video and more rant below the fold.
I am an agnostic atheist. I have said so a number of times, the earliest being here. That means that I know it’s impossible to disprove the merest possibility of a deity that started everything (if “started” even makes any sense — more on this when I get to my Big Bang post). Because it’s impossible to disprove a potential deity, I cannot gnostically claim that there is definitely no deity, no more than I can gnostically claim that there is definitely not a china teapot halfway between Earth and Mars, or that there is definitely not an invisible pink unicorn in this room (though this is a small room, it could be a likewise very small unicorn). Because I cannot say that these are definites, I cannot call myself an gnostic a-teapot-ist or gnostic a-unicorn-ist. Likewise, I cannot call myself an gnostic atheist, nor should you. The reason why I can’t call myself that? Dogma.
Dogma is when you say you know something, others are to also believe that thing, it is never to be questioned by anyone, and evidence to the contrary is to be thrown out without being examined. Since science itself is the process of studying reality, figuring things out about it, making predictions, and throwing out the predictions that turn out to be wrong, one cannot call science dogmatic as it is expected that every hypothesis in science be questioned until the law of diminishing returns kicks in and someone says, okay, you’ve questioned it so much and have done no damage to the hypothesis, that maybe it should now graduate to a theory.
When enough people get together and say “yup, still no damage”, then the greater scientific community accepts it and uses it as foundational to other fields, fields that would collapse or end up being wholly incorrect and make wildly inaccurate predictions if the graduated theories were wrongly promoted. As the theory of evolution has resulted in the entire field of genetics and is propped itself up by archaeology and geology and plate tectonics, and it all fits together in such a nice neat little way with very few gaps remaining, we’re squeezing out room for the Abrahamic Yahweh that willed the world into being and created each creature ex nihilo.
Meanwhile, those of us who say there is probably no god, do so because the probability of it is extremely low. At least, the probability of any particular god that has any sort of meaning in this universe — interventionist, voyeur, supreme moral being, or cosmic stoner who dreamed up the platypus while smoking some good reefer — all of these are extremely unlikely. The probability of a god that exists outside the scope of the universe, that knows nothing about the universe, that exists in some other dimensions on some other plane of existence, or some other brane, ehhh… not enough info to form real probabilities here.
Therefore, we leave that door open a tiny crack. God, whatever it might be, can only exist there, and there, is outside our universe and means absolutely nothing to us because it’s outside of our universe. He/she/it/they can’t have any effect on us, and probably doesn’t even know about our existence, much less is going to judge us individually and send us to eternal bliss or eternal torment. And frankly, the existence of any such Abrahamic god would trivialize this universe, of which we are a part — as we are made of star-stuff, and we are here to observe this universe.
Meanwhile, those that believe in the Abrahamic god believe this universe is tiny, mostly fake, and entirely created for humans’ benefit. And they do so because a really old book said so, and that really old book convinced some really old people, who taught this same book to their kids, and to their kids, etcetera, so on, and so forth, for ages.
That’s right, Zdenny. Your belief in the god of the Bible is dogmatic, because it is based on a foundational idea that must never be questioned, much less put to any sort of test or forced to make predictions. So when you say things like:
As a Christian I can look at the popular theories and think they are a possibility; however, if they do not align with the Scripture we have to keep on moving forward since we haven’t put the puzzle properly together yet.
That means you’re being dogmatic. Closed-minded. You’re ignoring any evidence that works against your chosen “theory” (and I use this term differently here than the scientific meaning), and only looking for those parts of science that don’t directly conflict with scripture.
So, I have to say, once again, to Zdenny specifically and to all gnostic theists generally that think “intelligent design” is actually science: Fuck you very much for trying to co-opt the best parts of science, kidnapping the scientific method and dressing it up like Princess Leia to your god’s Jabba the Hutt. You can’t do that because you don’t know the difference between atheism and agnosticism, you don’t know what gnosticism is even though you’re an gnostic theist yourself, and you use the word dogma without really understanding that it describes perfectly your arrogant assertions that any knowledge that does not conform to scripture must therefore be incorrect.
You no more know for certain that your God exists, than you know for certain that Thor or Zeus or some deity that gives not a shit for thee, doesn’t. Period.
God damned gnostics. Every one of ’em can go to hell.