LOL, the cartoon is titled “let me rephrase that…” but there’s definitely some truth to this one. When it comes down to it, all of us unbelievers are both agnostic (without knowledge) AND atheist (without theism). The important thing for “freethinkers”, “unbelievers”, etc. is that we don’t blindly follow ancient religions.
I’m a weak atheist and strong agnostic. A weak atheist is a person lacking in a theistic belief. A strong atheist would be akin to an anti-theist and a belief that it is proven that there are no gods or a creator of this universe. I’m a strong agnostic and believe that we don’t know about anything supernatural since we are natural and possibly aren’t capable of knowing the true origin and nature of the universe we live in. I assert that even if the big bang is provable that it is an incomplete view of the origin of this universe because it is from within this universe after the event occurred. I don’t believe we are intelligent enough to figure out what may or may not be outside this universe from our vantage point and that we may never know what truly happened in the first moment of existence.
If someone asks me about my religious beliefs then I view my weak atheism as the lesser trait and my strong agnosticism as the dominant trait since I value knowledge over belief. A label of me as the atheist unbeliever just doesn’t adequately describe me. I prefer the label of the unknowing agnostic and I would assert that it best describes us all. I believe agnosticism should be shared as a universal truth. It makes more sense to speak to god believers in terms of what they don’t really know instead of the simply contrary view of “I don’t believe you and you shouldn’t believe it either”. Agnosticism is more of a philosophical methodology that can be used to frame your beliefs and examine the supernatural instead of just using atheism as a lack of belief. What is the rejection of belief based on other than to say the burden of proof is on the believer? I see my weak atheism about defined religions as a result of my active use of agnosticism. Some people trace their movement to freethought as moving from not knowing (agnostic) to not believing (atheist) as two different beliefs. I first thought of myself as an atheist because I stopped believing and after further reflection decided agnosticism was the reason for my rejection of the defined religions.
Here is where we get into the main difference between myself and the typical atheist and where the atheists accuse me of heresy to “their belief”. I have the agnostic nuance of saying that even though all of the defined religions I know about appear to be fiction when critically examined, I do not fully reject the possibility of a creator or gods we don’t know about. Theists jump on that statement and think they can convince me of their nonsense, but I think even if there were a creator or gods then we’re unable to understand such a thing and it or they have no dealings with us as far as I can tell. If there is a god and it cares about me then let it interact with me directly instead of through my fellow humans. None of you can be trusted to give me the correct truth about something so important and bigger than our insignificant existence. I’m still waiting for the gods to speak to me directly but I’m smart enough to not hold my breath in anticipation.
The main point of this post is to say that I’ve given creation itself some more thought lately and I’ve come up with a possible god hypothesis to support my reason for not being a complete anti-theist. I have to consider the possibilities of an infinite physical universe, multiverses, the big bang of this universe, string theory, m-theory, the theory of everything, etc. I’m just an average person and read a little here and there about these things but I think there’s enough there for a basic god hypothesis that I’ll call the Rube Goldberg Machine for Creation of this Universe.
If infinity, mulitiverses, origin theory, etc. is capable of randomly creating our one specific universe as a subset of all of existence with the right conditions to evolve the human intellect, then the infinity, mulitiverses, origin theory, etc. could have been capable of randomly creating an intelligent being capable of creating our one specific universe as a subset of all of existence.
So I think that if there were an intelligent creator of this universe then it was just something that arose within the entirety of existence and only created our one universe and wasn’t the cause of all of existence itself. This creator wouldn’t be all-powerful and all-knowing and would just have to be powerful and intelligent enough to create RNA, DNA, etc. and code macromolecules for life. I don’t believe that such a being is necessary to create us and Occam’s razor suggests the extra step of an intelligent designer for our universe is an unnecessary addition of complexity. This is why I call the hypothesis the Rube Goldberg Machine for Creation because it throws in an extra creation step just to make it more interesting. However, if you’re being intellectually honest and believe that we could arise from randomness and think and create what we are able to create then a singular being or beings that could intentionally or unintentionally create the building blocks of our life could also be a possibility. I still firmly believe that we don’t know and are generally clueless about the true origins of our universe. I still believe it’s all a big mystery and I choose to remain firmly agnostic.