Eric, at the Shoulders of Giant Midgets has refused me the right to self-identify as an Agnostic, comparing me to a racist who wants not to self-identify as a racist. Nice. I suppose it’s the difference between the law and philosophy (Eric being a lawyer) that such rhetorical moves (which even in the law is known as “poisoning the well“) may be thought to resolve the matter.
Eric says that “rights are normative” and “describe an enforceable relationship”, so I do not have that right. I guess lawyers can redefine terms to suit themselves. In philosophy, a right is a presumption that one is free to do some act.
So the question is not whether I have that right (which he concedes anyway), but whether I am right to do it. Now, I have argued, pulled out historical and technical sources, given justifications, rationales and considered responses, as to why I say that agnosticism is not the same as atheism, and how it is not. I think that this is something that rests on a substantive conceptual, political, social, and philosophical difference. I think it reduces confusion.
But because Eric says they are the same, I am like a racist. Yes, he’s a lawyer all right.
But let’s not think that some atheists are just like any other ideologs.