Some agnostics are just as bad

I have been debating an agnostic in YouTube's frustrating 500 character chunks. An agnostic atheist, though he is almost as bad as a theist. I'll call him Azure because AzureFlameElk is a mouthful.

As an aside, where do people come up with these channel names? This one sounds like a cross between a flaming virgin and an antlered ungulate. I daresay that it has an interesting etymology.

(I'd better explain - a flaming virgin is not a tragically foolish Muslim girl (very sad thought, that) or an expletive about a girl who's clinging to her viginity. It's actually an alcoholic drink that has been ignited. Why would anyone want to burn off the alcohol?)

Back to Azure. He starts out with "Anyone rational is agnostic." This, of course implies that anyone who is not agnostic is irrational. (Matters get worse — he believes that everyone should be agnostic about everything. I'll get to that later. Azure has an unfortunate fondness for categorical statements, given his certainty that all is unknowable.)

"Anyone rational is agnostic" reveals more about his ego than the truth value of this claim. As an atheistic atheist, I am not in the least insulted by this provocative, categorical claim, largely because I think that it is incorrect.

Admittedly, we ought to be agnostic about proclaiming knowledge of anything for which there is no possible evidence. That's the broader definition of agnosticism, particularly as applied to theistic claims.

However, some claims, like Russell's Teapot and religion have clearly been invented for a purpose. Many claims are falsifiable — the metaphysical claims in the Bible, for instance. Once such claims have been falsified, honest theists retreat into "it's allegorical" excuses, while dishonest theists simply resort to denial of the falsification. There are lots of both types around, and if Azure wishes to call non-agnostic and gnostic theism "irrational", then I am in full accord.

One point about deities, whether they have been protected by an invented cloak of supernaturalism or not, is that they are not worth worshipping if they cannot manifest in the physical. Animistic deities were a personification of physical manifestations such as drought, flood, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and such like. Myth inventors should have stopped there.

The second point is that it has been consistently demonstrated that all our mental and life processes are associated with the physical — including love and other emotions, such as appreciation of beauty. This monism makes it irrational to claim that we comprise dualistic body and supernatural-mind divisions. Monism denialists generally resort to ad hoc pseudoexplanations in a vain attempt to get around this huge problem.

Obviously, the dualist claim has two sources — pre-scientific difficulty with comprehending the relationship between matter and mind, and the religiously- and emotionally-motivated desire to believe in an afterlife. (If one sucks up to Jesus enough, hell is the exclusive destination of one's enemies.) be continued...

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