Atheist AND Agnostic

Apparently, Ricard Dawkins admitting that he is agnostic is news. Holy crap, who knew? [/sarcasm]

The Daily Mail Online has this breathtakingly stupid article titled: "'I can't be sure God DOES NOT exist': World's most notorious atheist Richard Dawkins admits he is in fact agnostic"

Professor Richard Dawkins today dismissed his hard-earned reputation as a militant atheist - admitting that he is actually agnostic as he can't prove God doesn't exist.

The country's foremost champion of the Darwinist evolution, who wrote The God Delusion, stunned audience members when he made the confession during a lively debate on the origins of the universe with the Archbishop of Canterbury.

This is NOT news. Not especially when the same book, The God Delusion, that propelled Prof. Dawkins to becoming the "world's most nototrious atheist" also has him describing himself as a 6.9 atheist on his own scale. So if anybody was stunned then it's obvious none of them knew what Prof. Dawkins actually said about himself.

So let's go over the distinction between Atheism and Agnosticism that I've gone over before.

Theism and Atheism: Theists believe the claim that there is/are god(s) and an atheist rejects the claim. A gnostic has knowledge of god(s) and an agnostic has no such knowledge.

These 2 definitions permit for 4 permutations: gnostic theist, agnostic theist, gnostic atheist and agnostic atheist.

Check out Wikipedia articles on Atheism and Agnosticism

Weak & Strong Atheism & Agnosticism: The atheist and agnostic can be distinguished further between weak and strong versions.

A weak atheist only rejects the theistic claim of the existence of god(s) while a strong atheist not only rejects but also makes a positive claim of the non-existence of god(s).

A strong agnostic holds the view that the knowledge about the existence of non-existence of god(s) is unobtainable. A weak agnostic holds the view that such knowledge have not been acquired but still possible to acquire.

These sub categories allow for what is the position of most atheists: weak agnostic weak atheist (the agnostic atheist). In general, atheists who ask for scientifically valid evidence for the existence of god(s) holds that position. Science do not have absolute knowledge; a position based on scientific evidence do not permit the strong position for either atheism or agnosticism.

This is also what Prof. Dawkins has indicated is his position. He does not absolutely know there are no gods (weak agnosticism) and he believes the evidence does not support the claim that there are god(s) (weak atheism).

Referring to the scale used in the God Delusion, Prof. Dawkins melts the two scales together. This gives a skewed scale where only the two extreme ends (1 and 7) are the strong positions for theism/atheism and gnosticism/agnosticism. The middle (4) is the agnostic who knows shit about probabilities. And everywhere in between is the weak positions. Prof Dawkins indicates that he's a 6.9 which means he's an agnostic atheist with such confidence that he borders on holding the strong position.

What's so damn new about that?