Rational agnostic

I think my friends Bob and Liberty will agree that

All rational agnostics are atheist by default.

I guess they live their lives as if there are no gods and their position in relation to things supernatural is that we can’t know.

And I don’t think they are in the same boat with this rational agnostic who claims to have known god at some point.

Pascal’s Wager is not a great argument.

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

43 thoughts on “Rational agnostic

  1. Joel Reid says:

    I think you misread me:
    Pascal’s argument is indeed not a great argument for an atheist, but it is if you are already a theist.
    If you are an atheist that is taking an agnostic approach then Pascal’s wager can not apply because belief is not that easy. You may consider Pascal’s wager and understand it to make sense, but it would not be a valid reason unless you were willing to brainwash yourself to believe something… which is quite hard to do for most people.


    • makagutu says:

      Pascal’s Wager is not a great argument even for a theist.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Swarn Gill says:

      Pascals Wager is just not a great argument. It invents a premise. An invention so grand that we cannot deny it’s grandness. It argues that in case the thing I just made up is true, you are better off living your life believing in what I made up, in case the made up thing is true.

      As pointed out below this is problematic because I can A) invent whatever I want. I mean I think we can do better than eternal hellfire…what I about mental anguish too. What if, in addition to burning you are raped, oh and have to watch your children be molested, and then someone launches a spike in your eye. I mean we can keep piling it on so that if you don’t like Pascal’s Wager before, you might really like it now. So the grandness of the thing I invent is now determining how seriously take the wager. But it’s still made up. Furthermore I can invent a number of rules you have to follow if you don’t want to end up in hell. And those rules could be anything. I could tell you Jews are horrible and it’s okay to kill them. So now because you took the wager you are going out there killing a few Jews here and there, because you really don’t want to take that chance the thing that is made up is true. What is true is Jews are dead with absolutely no evidence why they deserved today, other than the fact that you were afraid something made up was true. Seems a pretty silly reason to just kill Jews. Because chances are you are wrong, and maybe not even that there is a God, but that Christian story is true (I mean there are 1000’s of other religions and Gods to choose from) you’ve just killed a whole lot of Jews (1 was really too many) for no reason whatsoever. And B) Building logic on unproven premises has no basis in reality. It’s just math. Without application it’s an exercise in imaginary space. Because when you replace the symbols in the logic with actual concepts of God and hell, and Christianity, it suddenly all becomes nonsense.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Have you ever heard of ‘Lil Timmy’s Wager? Here’s what it is: ‘Lil Timmy believes a giant frog is out there “somewhere” and it is going to, one day, eat all of us. His mom says, ” ‘Lil Timmy, that’s utter nonsense. There simply are no such things as giant frogs that eat people.” ‘Lil Timmy replies, “Well, being that you’re my mother and super smart and all, I mostly agree with you. However, on the slim chance that you might be wrong, and you must admit, there is ALWAYS a tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny chance you might be, I’m gonna live my life believing that giant frog IS out there and prepare myself for it eating me by forever walking about in a wet suit equipped with 17 years worth of oxygen tanks. Now, this may seem silly to you, but one day, when that giant frog eats us both, I’ll be the one prepared to live for 17 years, at least, in its belly, and you’ll be instantly killed. Who’ll be silly then, mother? WHO?!”

    Liked by 3 people

  3. renudepride says:

    This is a very interesting discussion. The only problem is, it is one of “reasonable” deists, agnostics and atheists. The unreasonable ones of all three categories are the ones who should be reading here and educating themselves. Great presentation, my Kenyan brother! Naked hugs!


  4. Oh, my goodness! Where shall I begin? First of all, the author in question, Joel Reid “The Rational Agnostic,” is neither rational nor agnostic. He is obviously a theist who (not so) cleverly is attempting to lure non-believers towards Christianity. He wrote:

    “As I said, I was not aware of Pascalโ€™s Wager, but at age 11 I had come to the same conclusion as Pascal. I determined that reason was not sufficient for belief in God, thus the wisest, most logical thing to do was to believe in God, or in my case, continue to believe in God.
    I had come to the realisation that reason was insufficient to claim a belief in God. I could not know absolutely that he existed, nor what he was like, however despite my not knowing absolutely, it made logical sense to believe that the bible provided that knowledge. I believe the bible contains knowledge on God, but also understand it does not provide evidence that can provide absolute proof that is not debatable. Other factors have to apply.
    I had become an Agnostic Theist.”

    An “Agnostic Theist,” eh? That is analogous to a scientist who cannot prove the Easter Bunny exists, but believes it does exist simply because he read so in a fairy tale. There is no such thing as an agnostic theist.

    Furthermore, Reid’s use of terminology is way off the mark. A “Rational Agnostic” is a contradiction within the context of belief in god(s). Rationalism (i.e. logic based reasoning) is closely associated with atheism, not agnosticism. Empiricism (i.e. evidence based reasoning) is closely associated with agnosticism, not atheism. Agnostics, who have sufficiently thought out their position, cannot make absolute statements of fact without supporting evidence. Therefore, they cannot assert that a creator-god(s) does not exist until scientific evidence is discovered which explains both the origin of our universe and the nature of the cosmos. And, neither can agnostics believe in god(s).

    I also find Reid’s “fence-sitting” criticism of agnostics, which he quotes from Richard Dawkins (a self-described “de facto atheist” by the way), rather amusing because it’s the same criticism used by New Atheists.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Swarn Gill says:

    Well if Dawkins did say that he is wrong at least at a logical level. Because you cannot disprove God, simply because no such notion has been proved in the first place. It’s an idea for which there is no evidence to support. It could be true, and thus it is safe to say “We don’t know whether God exists because it is not proven.” To me there is no intellectual cowardice in saying “there could be a God.” There could be a lot of things. Cold fusion could be possible, traveling faster than the speed of light might be possible. The difference is, I’m not going to act like they actually already exist. I believe Dawkins here is being misquoted because I think he was referring more to a personal God that is espoused by religions. One who interferes in the everyday lives of humans and occasionally alters the physical laws of the universe. To this I think we can provide some pretty strong evidence that this isn’t the case. An indifferent creator that is just sitting back having a smoke and watching it all go down seems the best possible type of God that’s out there, but the universe looks exactly the same with our without such a creator. So I say who the hell cares. But from a purely logical point of view, you can disprove the null hypothesis.

    This is why I subscribe to Michael Shermer’s definition of agnosticism and atheism. He describes agnosticism as purely an intellectual position. He describes atheism as a behavioral position. You live your life as if there is no God. A true agnostic just doesn’t know and thus does not adjust their behaviors based on what has not been proven and thus is atheist behaviorally.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. tildeb says:

    Just as a heads up and before anyone else makes the same mistake I did, Joel moderates and discards comments… for whatever ‘rational’ reasons he might believe. I detailed a comment to him explaining where his reasoning goes astray. Imagine, spending time and effort on this ‘rational agnostic’. My bad He is a waste of time.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Carmen says:

    The hope is that JOEL learned something in this thread. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Liberty of Thinking - Moshe Ben Yehuda says:

    Agnosticism is kjaskjn ksjfkj jn jnndqjdn kalknwn hbnkdwkn jnd aqndn kjdjjnd, while atheism is aefkjnfnmkm llknel lkkl kl mk kjnelnd lklkl lkweqdqwdkk lknlkf kkknkn, kjsdejnkehqw lkokl.
    I conclusion, wejbijwelk nnkkmkmds kknk knk dqdqwdkjbdkd lkjnn.
    And I mean it…๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ˜œ


  9. Really beautiful posts!!


  10. I just wrote a blog post about being agnostic. and to be honest, I don’t really understand why we have to compete for who has the best set of believes. I like to say a line that i’m hoping will become my mantra at some point: “My interpretation of reality does not affect your interpretation of reality, nor does it affect reality itself.” so why bother arguing about it? why not just exchange views and leave it at that. If someone explains to me how his live is improved by believing in god that’s cool. But if someone is completely against the idea of anything bigger and more powerful than us humans that’s cool too. That doesn’t mean that I have to abandon my believes or make someone else adapt them.
    I’d be happy if you checked out my post about it or even my blog itself.


    • makagutu says:

      It’s not competition for belief. It is actually an attempt to agree on a common language. We want to be talking about the same thing when we say so and so is an atheist or so and so is a Muslim or a Christian though some of that will be hard to do.

      Liked by 1 person

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