Following National Ask An Atheist Day (yesterday) is today’s Regional Ask an Agnostic Day. As a devout and practicing agnostic, I’ve solicited questions in order to raise awareness and acceptance of absolutely obnoxious pedants like me. Thank you all for your thoughtful questions. RAAD is all about creating understanding by demanding others comment on your special snowflake of a worldview.
On to the questions.
Is an “agnostic” just an atheist that gets invited to fewer parties? – Tim_inBurbank
No, Tim. Unless fewer means none. “Atheist” is a term that provides useful information about one’s beliefs that people actually want to know. “Agnostic” is a term describing how one approaches answering belief questions… which nobody would ever ask about.
Why did you become an agnostic? Do you just hate Charles Darwin, Aristotle, and Jesus? – CherryT
Well Cherry, it’s mighty hard to hate someone we can’t prove existed, like Aristotle and Darwin! It happened organically, once I realized it was an option to deny knowledge exists in order to not be responsible for thinking very hard about anything. An agnostic is only required to judge others for thinking and forming logical conclusions. Judging is way easier than thinking, take it from me.
If humans are just chemical bags formed by mechanical laws without meaning or purpose, why do we feel bad about eating the last piece of pizza? – KikiW
I knew the pizza question was coming. It’s always in there. Science and philosophers would have you believe that the physical mechanisms of our origins and workings explain how wonderous, meaning-seeking creatures like us came to be. But since scientific inquiry is imperfect and incomplete, that’s probably just bullshit. There’s no meaning. Eat the last piece. If you eat the last two pieces, they’ll know you’re an agnostic.
What happens after you die? Also, what happens before you die? I haven’t kept up with your blog at all. -Doug_Groote
Hopefully, my spiritual successors will continue my legacy of pouring the philosophical molasses. Also, I’d like to have my remains shot into space. I think my fans would like that; they’ve even suggested I do it before my death.
Did men really walk on the moon? Follow-up: did men really drive a little car around on the moon? How can we be sure? – Melody Thoren
Well, there’s overwhelming physical evidence and witness testimony plus no plausible counter-explanation.. so it seems like only the most ardent imbecile could deny it. But then again, we might live in a universe with a trickster god who plants “evidence” just to confuse us… so there’s no way to be sure. But nobody was driving a little car around; as we all know, manual transmissions don’t work in space.
During hard or stressful moments in life, do you ever question your commitment to ignorance and elitist fence-sitting? – John O. Pearce
Quite the contrary, John. The hard times are when we need to be smug and unburdened by thinkery the most.
What if you’re wrong about not being sure? – KingMissal
Philosophers call this query “Pascal’s Hangnail” because it’s a pointless irritation that you can’t remedy. If I shackled myself to being responsible for consistently weighing the evidence for and against things, I’d not be an agnostic in the first place!
Where did boysenberries come from, if there may be no God or Darwin? – Waze_otMaster
A long, well-documented process of evolutionary change by mechanisms we still observe today. Plus a bit of artificial selection. Unless we’re in a matrix and they were all created 5 seconds ago. So we can’t know. And it’s important to always insist that we can’t know. Everyone needs to be reminded of it constantly, this is why agnosticism exists. Sure makes checkout at the grocery store awkward, though, I can tell you!
That’s probably it for this year (no way to be sure). See you next RAAD! Or not. Can’t be said really.