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Ask the Patriarch 87
Taking issue with the motto

from Ryan S.

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I have one positive comment and then a question about this site. First off, I'd like to say that I really enjoy this site and read the articles posted frequently. I admire this site for having the courage to make a definitive statement on agnosticism and invite controversy.

I have thought about becoming a member because I am certainly apathetic AND agnostic, however, I take issue with one statement. It's your motto, "We don't know, and we don't care." I'm in total agreement with the not knowing part, but not CARING to know? I for one would very much like to know wether or not a god exists. And I think pondering it's existence or non-existence is a worth-while pursuit. It seems rather callous and ignorant to just say I don't care. Does this make me unfit, in your opinion to be an apathetic agnostic?

The Patriarch replies:


I do understand where you are coming from on this Ryan, but it seems to me that "we don't care" is the reason we identify ourselves as Apathetic Agnostics rather than simply as Agnostics. Besides which, it is part-and-parcel of the tongue-in-cheek attitude we try to maintain.

In joining us, there is no requirement to accept the motto. However, we do ask those who wish to join or be ordained whether they understand and accept the three articles of faith - and the third article of faith states "We are apathetic to the existence or non-existence of a Supreme Being." So we are pretty locked in to the idea of not caring about whether or not a deity exists.

Whether or not you are fit to be an Apathetic Agnostic, as we define it, depends on how comfortable you are in signing off on the articles of faith. There is no inquisition on the matter other than selecting the correct "Yes" or "No" radio button. If you cannot accept the articles, there is absolutely nothing preventing you from considering yourself to be an apathetic agnostic on your own terms. We don't claim to exclusive ownership of the term.

From a membership viewpoint, all that means is that you won't get a free degree. You can still join and participate fully in our message boards independently. Also, if ordination is what interests you, we do provide an alternate path through the Worldwide Church of Agnostics for those agnostics who cannot accept the articles of faith.