I think that in philosophical strictness at the level where one doubts the existence of ma

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I think that in philosophical strictness at the level where one doubts the existence of material objects and holds that the world may have existed for only five minutes, I ought to call myself an agnostic; but, for all practical purposes, I am an atheist. I do not think the existence of the Christian God any more probable than the existence of the Gods of Olympus or Valhalla. To take another illustration: nobody can prove that there is not between Earth and Mars a china teapot revolving in an elliptic oribt, but nobody thinks this sufficiently likely to be taken into account in practice. I think the Christian God just as unlikely. -- Bertrand Russell ...it is wrong for a man to say that he is certain of the objective truth of any proposition unless he can produce evidence which logically justifies that certainty. This is what Agnosticism asserts; and, in my opinion, it is all that is essential to Agnosticism. That which Agnostics deny and repudiate, as immoral, is the contrary doctrine, that there are propositions which men ought to believe, without logically satisfactory evidence; and that reprobation ought to attach to the profession of disbelief in such inadequately supported propositions. -- Thomas Huxley *Atheism, therefore, is the absence of theistic belief.* One who does not believe in the existence of a god or supernatural being is properly designated as an atheist. Atheism is sometimes defined as "the belief that there is no God of any kind," or the claim that a god cannot exist. While these are categories of atheism, they do not exhaust the meaning of atheism-- and are somewhat misleading with respect to the basic nature of atheism. *Atheism, in its basic form, is not a belief: it is the absence of belief.* An atheist is not primarily a person who *believes* that a god does *not* exist, rather he does *not believe* in the existence of a god. -- George Smith To state it positively, alt.atheists, through reasoned study of the available evidence, have concluded that none of the gods proposed by major religions actually exist, to the best of our ability to determine. Beyond this disbelief in God[s], and thus in the supernatural authority of religious institutions, alt.atheists are as diverse as any other usenet population. -- Jim Perry Words mean different things to different people. Just because a person claims to be an atheist, agnostic or theist does not mean that that person conforms to your opinions of him or to the tendencies delineated here. In particular, many people believe atheism to be "the belief that no gods exist". Most atheists, however, seem to define the term as "absence of belief in the existence of gods". (The latter is a definition supported by many major dictionaries, such as the Oxford English Dictionary, so it is not unreasonable.) If you wish to argue against the "strong atheist" position -- "the belief that no gods exist" -- it is recommended that you explicitly say so in each posting. -- the alt.atheism Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) file --

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