Atheism and Certainty

Atheism and Certainty March 2, 2014

I’m not 100% certain that there is no god. I AM certain that there is no god, but not 100%. However, I’m 100% that Yahweh, Allah, or the historic gods such as Amon Ra don’t exist.

I dislike the attitude of people like Jonathan Haidt, and I find it an annoying, simplistic, and superficial fad. Which is to claim every “certainty” is bad, that people are either fundamentalists or spend their entire life in a state of constant uncertainty and suspended judgment.

People like Haidt are very certain about certainties. Not every certainty is ill-advised. We should see if that certainty is really based on a dogmatic principle or not. Even if you are an agnostic who says “I don’t know if there is a god or not”, then you are certain that the Abrahamic God doesn’t exist, because he is a very particular god with very particular characteristics, so he’s impossible. If you say “We don’t know – and cannot know – who’s behind that door”, then saying “Jim who hates masturbation but approves of raping young girls is behind that door” is certainly wrong. You cannot say that you are not certain. Even if the atheist who says “there’s no one behind that door” is wrong, and you disapprove his/her certainty, you cannot disapprove his certainty that those who claim there’s a particular person behind that door are wrong.

Or to use another analogy: we are not certain if there is an alien species or not. But if someone says that he knows aliens have their asses on their heads and every time they fart their eyes pop out, then we can be certain that person is wrong, and our certainty is not dogmatic, but only rational.

Uncertainty makes sense up to a point. Agnosticism inherently implies that religions are certainly wrong, therefore the disagreement between an atheist and an agnostic boils down to merely a deistic god. Therefore going on a high horse makes no sense here. Agnostics are more certain that they like to pretend they are. People like Haidt too.

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment