Alex Payne is a writer based in Portland, Oregon.

since 2001, has served as his online home.


Steve Dekorte writes about atheism versus agnosticism:

“I personally don’t like the word agnostic because we don’t use similar words to make distinctions about certainty when it comes to matters outside of religion – so using a special word for uncertainty on matters of religion seems to grant it some special status which I don’t feel it deserves. After all, many people who are religious have doubts, but do they call themselves agnostics?”

I respectfully disagree.

I call myself an agnostic not because I’m unsure about whether or not I believe in a deity, but because I am absolutely certain that proving or disproving the existence of a deity is an impossibility. I’m an agnostic because I would not presume that my opinion about faith – and indeed, opinion is all one can have – is true. It’s a matter of intellectual honesty, not a lack of certainty.

I believe in what I can verify. I believe in what’s in front of me. I believe in other people. I’m a secular humanist.

Dekorte adds:

“I think the term exists to show special respect to religious belief and whether or not one finds it appropriate is a function of whether or not one feels religious belief is deserving of respect.”

With all the believers out there in the world, not at least acknowledging that many people reason from a position of faith is bull-headedly making things more difficult for yourself. Respect aside.


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