Well, here I am back after a short break.
Someone asked if we think there is a soul. There was a long discussion. I got in at the wee end. Here was someone’s response about that question that actually got me interested:
The soul is generally considered the immaterial and immortal part of a human. By that definition souls are immeasurable and infinite, which means a soul is unknown and unknowable. This is the root of agnosticism. A theist says yes, an atheist says no, and the agnostic says you can’t know. I’m an agnostic atheist so I say, we can’t know (and there are an infinite number of universes where there are, and aren’t souls), but I believe that souls do not exist.
I can’t let that pass without responding. He could have fared better if he said he was a believer.
I don’t have a problem with believers; just because they believe and say they believe things without evidence. It is the agnostic’s position that upsets me. For an agnostic claims a little knowledge of science and even claims s/he is being fair.
As a group — as a group of humans — we are expanding the frontier of knowledge. Even though we aren’t aware of the latest developments we do know what we know as what we now know. We cannot feign ignorance as if it was a magnanimous act.
Unfortunately, that’s the attitude some take to outwardly appear as fair but implicitly they are indeed feigning ignorance. That’s going no where. Make up your mind either way; that’s for most issues. For example, if someone says there is a pink unicorn somewhere, then one cannot feign ignorance forever.
Based on how survival of species works, what we know of what species existed before, and now have gone extinct, and how species have evolved on this planet, one can easily invalidate the idea of a pink unicorn. Unless, of course, someone does shows, against all odds, that such a species exists or existed. But let’s concede that such a scenario is very unlikely.
However, saying that the scenario of a pink unicorn existing is equally likely to its likelihood of ever existing on this earth is a deceptive and ignorant position. It isn’t a respectable position. At least, in my mind.
So, here is my response to the agnostic’s response on the existence of a soul:
Well, leave alone what we know about the evolution of the universe and evolution of life on earth, just looking at history itself shows that man invented the concept of soul from nothing. It was a convenient, and might I say an obvious figment of imagination, to explain that some thing immaterial survives a person so s/he can live beyond death. Without soul there is no after-life. But treating the made-up concept of soul which has no basis in reality as equally valid to its non-existence is conceding too much; and that’s where lies the folly of an agnostic.
Being fair is good. But I don’t see any value and neither do I see it desirable when it comes to the potency of ideas. In fact, being unequivocal when it matters the most is being unfair to the humanity, and its progress.