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Discussion 1 to Ask the Patriarch 86
If we don't have faith in it, we exclude it

by José Barreto

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Thank you for your reply.

You say: "Agnosticism is a very simple concept". If it was simple I would have understood it by now, but it's not the case and I like to think I'm not a dummy. The difference between atheism and agnosticism hasn't ever been clear to me.

You say: "No. I do not believe in god. But, nor do I disbelieve in god."

It seems as if you are playing with words. That's what I called being evasive. If you DON'T BELIEVE in god, you DISBELIEVE in god. You are apathetic to the existence of a supreme being. You don't care about the whole subject. But, if I ask you the question and you answer that "no, I don't believe in god", then you can't say that you don't disbelieve either, as if you were open to persuasion, waiting for proofs or admitting the pure possibility... We know you aren't, right? So you should logically say you disbelieve in god.

You say that if I had any "evidence for the existence or the non-existence of gods", I might submit it to your site for publication.

Well, I don't have any evidence for the existence of gods and I don't have any faith in supreme beings either, that's why I DISBELIEVE in gods. There isn't evidence of life outside our galaxy, but we must admit its possibility. What happened in this planet of the solar system could have happened elsewhere inside or outside the Milky Way. Even if you don't care about it, you must admit that the possibility exists. We may believe or disbelieve in it, but we must admit its possibility. The case with gods is quite different. We may believe or not believe in gods, but if we don’t, why should we rationally admit their existence?

You said you don't believe in gods. Now I put you a new question. Do you admit their existence? You neither admit nor exclude it - is this your answer? That will be evading the question again, in my view. If we don't have faith, why should we have to admit or why shouldn't we exclude the possibility of a god? We don't need to get evidence to prove the non-existence of something that is only a matter of faith, something that belongs to the world of subjectivity. If we don't have faith in it, we exclude it, even if we are the most tolerant persons in the world.

Thank you for your attention
José
Portugal