As I wrote previously, I had a bit of a “falling out” with “mainstream” Atheist culture, in regards to Agnosticism.
To be fair, it was but a small microcosm of everyone in the label that I INTERACTED with, but if one does any amount of looking, one notices the pattern all over the place. Even some of my favourite youtube Atheists embrace this mainframe (JaclynGlenn) .
Others favourites of mine, I am not to sure of. For example, Dusty Smith (Cult Of Dusty) and TJ Kirk (The Amazing Atheist). I have heard TJ make reference to both Atheists AND Agnostics in a vid from a few years ago, but im not sure of his actual stance.
But as per the title of the post, can you name the Agnostic?
I begun a little game of this recently, after noting an interesting pattern.
When it comes to “icons” of the Atheist community, we come up with names like Charles Darwin, Carl Sagan, Neil Degrasse Tyson, Bill Nye and Bill Maher.
Ok fine, I threw in Bill Maher. He may not have the status of Bill Nye or Neil Degrasse Tyson, but he is an important figure to many in the community.
So I went to google and plugged in “Is *insert name* Agnostic?”.
I found the answer to be yes on all counts, with the exception of 1 (Bill Maher).
Keep in mind, that I did not go into this for the sole purpose of finding a web page that says “*so and so* is Agnostic”. That is intellectually dishonest in my opinion. So I focused instead, on quotes.
I wanted their own words on the subject, NOT an interpretation. And I was able to find such quotes for all.
The only outlier was Bill Maher. He does not identify as theist (obviously lol), but at the same time not an Atheist either. His views COULD be viewed as agnostic or deistic, but I am unsure. But I won’t be intellectually dishonest, and associate his name to either, without the evidence.
One interesting thing I noticed when it came to both Nye and Tyson, was resistance to being put “in a box”/categorized. It seems that fitting into the “mould’s” that are presented by language for these subjects is unimportant. Not only that, but being categorized or fitting into a category, seems unimportant to both.
But if you INSIST on attaching a label, they go with Agnostic.
So if you can think of a name that is popular in (or well referenced by) Atheist culture, try this little game. Ask google if they are Agnostic. BUT only use their own words as evidence, no 2ed hand “interpretations”.
If you come up empty, thats alright (they may skirt the topic for a reason). If you come up with an ulterior answer, then that is fine to (again, so long as its their words).
I did note one interesting thing with this experiment however. It seemed that whenever anyone was allowed to add their own 2 cents along with the quotes, they would have a different interpretation of the spoken quote of the person.
For example, I used yahoo answers for quotes from Charles Darwin and Carl Sagan (if they are there, they are elsewhere online. People copied them from somewhere. Hence why I considered them legit).
While the quotes from the 2 men were PLAIN AS DAY variants of “I am Agnostic”, the commenters did not agree.
In the case of Darwin, the person said that he was “basically an Agnostic Atheist”.
And for Sagan, they said that he was “A strong Atheist”.
Now, whats this about intellectual honesty?