What's remarkable about this post is he likens himself to a doctor in an insane asylum and atheists are the patients with delusions and psychological problems. Seriously? I mean, really, seriously? How many people in an insane asylum are there because they believe that there are evil squirrels out to kill them? I couldn't quote statistics, but it is likely more than the number of people in an insane asylum because they don't believe that there are evil squirrels out to get them. Or how about the number of people there because they believe aliens are manipulating the weather patterns and one day will take over Earth? Again, I don't have the hard numbers in front of me, but roughly more than the number of people there because they don't believe.
And yet, Ray, by your own admission, you believe that a magic man is manipulating weather patterns and will one day take over Earth. And I should be there because I don't believe that? The role of the doctor at such a hospital is to serve a dose of rationality and get them to see that they are delusional and anything they point to is simply coincidental, confirmation bias, irrelevant, or better explained by something else. The doctors are the only people in the insane asylum who don't believe such fantastic claims of the supernatural, delusional, and magical variety. Like so many other things, Ray, you get the definitions all wrong. The person claiming that aliens, the government, witches, warlocks, or magic are manipulating the weather patterns aren't called the doctors; they're called the patients.
He concludes the entry by pulling out his classic gem of ignorance:
Any thinking person who denies God’s existence will admit that he doesn’t know for certain that there is no God, because someone in the universe (in the evidence he hasn’t yet come across) there may be ample evidence to prove that He does exist. He is therefore forced to say "With the limited knowledge I have at present, I have come to the conclusion that there is no God, but I really don’t know." So he cannot truthfully say "There is no God." He’s not an atheist. He’s actually an agnostic--someone who doesn’t know if God exists.It's not that hard, Ray. Allow me to be the twenty millionth or so atheist who has tried to get these simple, basic definitions and distinctions through your skull:
Theist (n): one who believes in a god or gods.If you'd like some extra credit, Ray, Iron Chariots has a nice, brief article clarifying the two terms.
Atheist (n): one who lacks the belief/doesn't believe in a god or gods.
Gnostic (n): one who claims to know that that which they claim to believe is true/knowable/provable.
Agnostic (n): one who doesn't claim to know that that which they claim to believe is true/knowable/provable.
Atheism and agnosticism are not mutually exclusive as they have basically nothing to do with one another. One addresses one thing while the other addresses another thing entirely. Agnosticism is not unsure atheism. Everyone, theists and atheists, should be agnostics. You can combine these terms into four labels:
Gnostic TheistRay likes to define atheism as "knowing there is no God" so that he can build up a straw man to beat down with his whole "only God is omniscient" shtick.
Belief and knowledge are two different things -- epistemology 101. Let me consult my handy dictionary for you Ray, something you should really invest in:
belief (n):And let me submit something to you, Ray. You do not know the Christian God. You believe he reveals himself to you, speaks to you, answer your prayers, etc. But you can't know that it is really the Christian God doing the revealing, speaking, and answering, though. How could you? Because he tells you that he is Jesus/God? You can't verify it. While Jesus/God would tell you that it is him who is revealing, speaking, and answering to you, it would also be the sort of thing a prankster alien, a prankster spirit, or a demon would say to you as well. And since you have no way of verifying or "knowing absolutely" (as you would put it), you can't possibly know. Therefore, Ray, you are not a theist; not a believer. You are "actually an agnostic--someone who doesn’t know" if your Christian God exists.
1. something believed; an opinion or conviction: a belief that the earth is flat.
2. confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof: a statement unworthy of belief.
a (1): the fact or condition of knowing something with familiarity gained through experience or association (2): acquaintance with or understanding of a science, art, or technique b (1): the fact or condition of being aware of something (2): the range of one's information or understanding
knowledgec: the circumstance or condition of apprehending truth or fact through reasoning : cognition d: the fact or condition of having information or of being learned
Your analogies are as ridiculous as your logic is faulty.
Other Blogs on this Topic
About.com's Atheism / Agnosticism (over atheism vs agonosticism)
Of Microbes and Men