Because they might. This position of mine has recently come under fire by… wait for it… atheists! But my friends, gods *might* actually exist – I can’t demonstrate that they don’t. THIS is the agnostic position since, in my honest view, we can’t know gods aren’t hiding out in the fringes of the universe. I think anyone claiming they *know* such deities don’t exist is being dishonest… or lacks my imagination. Perhaps they limit “gods” to contradictory man-made god myths (yes those mostly refute themselves), but some variation of gods might still exist outside of human experience.
Regardless, this blog isn’t about those gnostic/ strong atheists, its about why I declare “gods might exist”. Primarily because I talk about gods and religion with believers and I don’t want to make claims I can’t demonstrate to be true. Believers already insist atheists MUST declare gods don’t exist to pass off the burden of proof to us. If you do make that positive claim, good luck proving a negative my fellow debaters! This info graphic contains my reasoning, clarifying how we can reject both positive claims.
An atheist, lets call him Jerry, told me that declaring “gods might exist, because I can’t know they don’t” is *believing* in them in a small way. He ended up insisting that I am a deist, no matter how clearly I followed up with “but I don’t believe for a second they do exist… I’m an agnostic atheist”. I’m hoping you find this hard to believe, because I felt like I was being punked! Jerry was stuck on claiming “possible indicates belief”. No Jerry, I can list a million things that can’t be disproven and therefore are possible, but not find a single reason to believe they are true. Gods fit into this group.
Another atheist I will call Bob, (siding with Jerry) took the stance that declaring “gods might exist” means that I can be only agnostic. He didn’t seem able to hear my belief position either. See, Bob defined his “true atheism” as “believing there is no possibility that gods exist” and that’s just wrong since an immovable gnosticism seems mashed in with it. Bob also felt “gods might exist” is conceding ground to the theist claim “gods exist”. Bob wasn’t very logically inclined I supoose. Somehow displaying skepticism toward both positive claims is supporting “gods exist” more than “gods don’t exist”. No Bob, sorry Bob. Btw these 2 also assessed “No evidence for gods ≠(does not equal) gods don’t exist” as faulty logic. Go figure.
Finally another atheist I will call Janet (an angry one) picked up Bob’s fallacious position and questioned my logic and HONESTY! I said “Janet… admitting gods might exist, because I can’t prove they don’t… IS DISHONEST?! “ Janet: “Yes. Very.” So I asked Janet “if I admit pink aliens might exist, does that lend to the evidence that they do in fact exist?” But apparently this simple anology was off topic, despite how clear it made things. Instead Janet reitterated “ppl like you give cred to the possibility that this nonsense could be real. which kills me.”. So now we are getting to the meat of it; Janet & Bob may be afraid of acknowledging reality. Does she think that declaring gods don’t exist *somehow* makes it more true?
Perhaps it is too disturbing to admit for some skeptics that *some version* of these baseless, mythical ideas *might* actually exist beyond our detection? Well, so might faeries, trolls, pink aliens and intelligent slime. All these things have EXACTLY the same evidence as gods (none) and yet we can’t 100% disprove them. (If you think you can, you are kidding yourself.)
So to be honest, I admit faeries, intelligent slime and gods could exist beyond human detection. Dont worry no theist can take advantage of a *might* which provides them with no validation or evidence. Not grasping it still? Try getting them to be honest and admit “gods might not exist”. It IS just as valid, but provides YOU with NO EVIDENCE to verify that gods don’t exist. It DOES make them look honest and open though, doesn’t it? And THAT’S a great reason to be honest about how “gods might exist”; believers might be more open to such honesty.
I admit though, belivers are usually quite insistant that atheists make a positive claim of “gods don’t exist” and the first step is correcting their conditioning. Its still better than being stuck trying to prove that ultimately unprovable claim. No thanks, I don’t need to abuse myself like believers fallaciously insist I must.
So to follow up… are there a bunch of atheists out there who think like Jerry, Bob & Janet? I found it surprising to be honest.
Thanks for reading! Find me on twitter @freeatheism … to weigh in on this further.