Letter to the editor


Dear Vanguard,

Adad’s editorial style is certainly irreverent, his outlandish use of simile is noteworthy, and his opinion of agnosticism is provocative to say the least (qualities that virtually guarantee success for a college newspaper columnist) but I still find it unbelievable that Adad expects anyone to take his opinion of agnosticism seriously. His argument collapses into incoherence because of the sloppy thinking so evident in its premises. He writes, for example:

“Regarding a belief in God, there are basically three positions. There are those who believe in God, those who do not, and those who cannot say. For this last group, the agnostics, the existence of God is certainly unknown and possibly unknowable; and the concept of God, as usually defined, is largely or entirely incoherent.”

Adad fails to relegate agnostics to the third, arbitrary group above because he fails to properly use the common word “believe” in a sentence (or, for that matter, the common word “agnostic”).

Rather than seem equally arbitrary myself, in response I’d like to quote four very brief definitions from Webster’s Dictionary:

(1) Agnostic: n. One who disclaims any knowledge of God but does not deny the possibility of God’s existence.

(2) Knowledge: n. 1. The fact or state of knowing.

(3) Know: v. 1. To perceive directly with the mind or senses. 2. To believe to be true.

(4) Believe: v. 1. To accept as real or true. 2. To credit with veracity.

Clearly, by definition, agnostics do not believe in God, thus occupying the second as well as the third of the “three positions” that Adad proposes above.

Finally, in all rational discourse, the burden of proof falls on the one who intends to argue an opinion. Adad’s statement, “There are many things that you can never disprove” is therefore not only obvious to everybody but completely irrelevant to his argument about agnosticism. The very idea of a “burden of disproof” is philosophically and rationally absurd. The day that Adad proves that God does not exist will be a landmark day in world history. The day that Adad proves any point of his at all will only come after he learns how to read a dictionary and think coherently.


Anonymous Agnostic