I don't have time to respond but I'll share the rest of that article. Thanks for your replies. However, Mad may want to start a thread of your own on your distaste for Dawkins & evolution. This thread isn't about that. Okay. I did see that South Park episode & was going to share it here but considered the sexual parts of it disgusting & decided against it. I was disapointed with that episode.
To claim that "gods could exist" is possible, one must attribute some meaning to "god" in order for this proposition to be meaningful. To say that "gods cannot exist", from this semantic viewpoint, is to say that there can be no referent to "god", because the word "god" is meaningless.
But the agnostic has no knowledge about "god" from which he can attribute it meaning. Therefore agnosticism contradicts itself on this crucial issue.
A number of arguments can be proposed in favour of agnosticism. I will now examine the most important arguments.
* Argument from the limits of human reason
Based on Huxley's equivocation between a judicious use of reason and agnosticism, some thinkers have proposed that atheism oversteps the boundaries of human reason. I have already pointed out that this is unreasonable. If it is true that human reason cannot discuss theology, then the atheist arguments must be shown to be invalid. It is not sufficient to simply declare it without evidence.
* Post-modernist argument
A more fundamental argument can be built on the grounds of post-modernism. According to this school of thought, all of our positions and beliefs are determined not by truth, but by our upbringing and social context. Children raised from Christian parents will be naturally biased to become Christians. Children raised from atheist parents will be naturally biased to become atheists. Only agnosticism escapes this bias, by stepping outside of positive positions and claiming moderation.
However, this argument not only suffers from the same flaw than the previous argument, in that it is not sufficient to claim that atheism is biased but it must also be proven, but it is also open to the standard refutation of post-modernism. Being a positive position, post-modernism itself is also subject to upbringing and social context, and therefore must be rejected out of hand, if we follow the argument.
* Antirealist attack
An even more fundamental argument has been recently elaborated by agnostic Bill Schultz. In his article "A Formal Justification of Agnosticism", he proposes that agnosticism is valid because logic is invalid in cases where we do not observe facts of reality directly. Since we cannot observe gods directly, we cannot make any knowledge claim about the god question.
Unfortunately, the fundamental nature of this argument means that it is extremely vulnerable to the flaws exposed above. First of all, it is not sufficient to claim that logic is invalid in cases where we do not observe facts of reality directly. This claim must be proven. There is no functional difference between facts of reality that we observe directly and those we observe indirectly : in both cases we must use logic in some form and to some extent.
Secondly, if logic is not applicable to cases where we do not observe facts of reality directly, then this also applies to the truth or falsity of agnosticism, which is not observable directly. Following this argument, all we can do is say that agnosticism is untenable.
Finally, if the god question is special because its object is not observed directly, then this also applies to any other absurd entity. We do not observe Santa Claus, unicorns, giant space waffles, or angels directly. The antirealist attack would have us suspend judgment on all these entities also. But this is an absurd position.http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/atheism/106355