Ready for some Intarwebs drama? The irony is delicious!
So as I was reading the articles of the latest Carnival of the Godless, I happened upon a particular one from the Socratic Gadfly which was making fun of the U.S. Americans of a recent poll, that were claiming Atheism and prayer at the same time. Now that’s all well and good as I’m all for making fun of inanity like that. However there was one comment that I saw that I felt I should respond to:
Hey, idiots. If you believe something, you can’t agnostic about it!
I decided to leave a simple comment, that this was incorrect and one could very well be an agnostic and a theist; Namely a theistic agnostic. I innocently assumed that my comment would help the Gadfly realize that he did a mistake and perhaps avoid embarassing himself in the future by calling people idiots, when in fact they are not (not talking about the “praying atheists” here of course).
For those not very familiar with the word [1. and who can’t be bollocksed to read the article I linked from it], the word “Agnostic” is greek and literally means “without knowledge”. As a result, one can be agnostic about a great many things, including deities. Indeed, there are various ways someone can be agnostic about Theism. A Theistic Agnostic specifically is both a theist and an agnostic and the definition is that he does not have knowledge about the nature of god(s) but believes he/she/they exist. Hell, one can even be a Christian Agnostic! It does not matter that he falls under the subgroup of theism, as the Gadfly insisted, they also fall under the subgroup of agnostics. So yes, you can very well believe in something and still be agnostic.
Anyway, I was not prepared that the Gadgly would stick to his guns and attempt to argue the point and I was wholly unprepared when not only was I told that I do not understand the meaning of the word, not only was I told that I am trolling but I was even called a theist!
Now, one would assume that before someone makes such a claim against someone, they would at the least have attempted to have a cursory look at the other’s profile before making themselves look like an even bigger ignoramus than they already are.
But alas, for the Gadfly the fact that I was supporting this definition of agnosticism was enough of a proof to jump to the conclusion that I must be a thest. The fact that I even had the gall to argue my point was further “proof” that I must be a troll, which only shows that further than agnosticism, the Gadfly does not even know what a “Troll” is. It is a tasty irony that someone who is complaining about cluelessness would himself prove how (shamelessly) clueless he is.
The cherry on the top? It seems that the only thing smaller than his knowledge is his temper. And thus we get to enjoy the Socratic Gadfly having a hissy fit.
Look, here in Dallas, I had a college philosophy professor claim to be an atheist, then talk about praying in the same breath.
I didn’t put up with his bullshit, and I’m not putting up with yours either.
Second, you’re lying, to me and to yourself, when you claim you don’t want to argue about this. You do.
Third, if I clearly presented your metaphysical self-definition to 100 people on the street, 99 would call you a theist.
Your Wiki link? It’s agnostic THEISM, you troll. It supports ME, not you.
Finally, it’s my blog, and I get the last word. Capiche?
If you don’t understand that, understand this: I just banned your IP, as you’ve gone past the edge of being a theist troll.
Well, unfortunately for you Gadfly, you may be able to ban me from your blog (I must really start keeping track of this) but you cannot ban me from speaking or pointing out how wrong you are, or how foolish you look.So I see your “Capiche” and raise you a “Nyah Nyah”! 😛
This was, however, unfortunate in a way. Not because I was banned when I wasn’t even trying to be offensive but because the Gadfly is such a prolific poster that it’s certain various people open to irreligion might stumble upon him and be horribly misguided by his ignorance. That, and he is just another excuse that not all Atheists are very bright or tolerant, but of course the Objectivists already help with that anyway.
UPDATE: Just to let people seeing this know that I’m currently continuing this debate with Socratic Gadly via email where he seems much more amiable. Perhaps it’s the public thing. In any case the basic issue we have at the moment is a definition one.
Namely he believes that Agnosticism equals “Agnostic Atheism” while I assert that it’s more open than that (as per Austin’s comment)