I guess what I’m saying is that, out of respect for the rather large majority of thinking, reasoning, good human beings who believe, I’m willing to go to greater lengths to keep my mind open about the existence of a personal God than that of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I think the collective belief of millions adds up to evidence that I’m willing to consider despite the fact that it’s not empirical."[s]
Response: Courtesy is fine, but being courteous is not a good argument for agnosticism over atheism. It is merely a guide for conflict-free human relations. Courtesy is not a particularly good argument for religion either, because the adoption of any one set of religious beliefs is to deny all other beliefs. Even polytheism is discourteous to monotheists, if you wish to carry the argument for politeness to its logical conclusion.
The fact that the Judeo-Islamo-Christian God has prospered over unicorns and Flying Spaghetti Monsters speaks only to The Clerical Publicity Machine and is not an argument for the existence of the purported deity claimed by that machine. It’s a fallacious “argument to popularity” to hold that the fact that many have been taught to believe in this Judeo-Islamo-Christian conception signifies that the teachings are valid.
If the prevailing publicity structure had instead insisted upon the existence of the Great Unicorn in the Sky, on which we would all Ride to Heaven, then priests (presumably adorned with uni-horned hats) would be extolling the virtues of this Mythical, Supernatural, All-Loving Creator of Humans.
On the basis of logic alone, it could be argued that the agnostic view, which holds that it simply is not knowable whether or not whatever deity exists, is more philosophically rigorous than stating that there is no God.
However, certain *falsified* falsibiable claims are made about the Judeo-Islamo-Christian God, so the *falsification* of these claims, coupled with logical explanations of empirical facts, renders Atheism the most rational conclusion.
I grow tired of being polite to people merely because they have been brainwashed into collective belief in a non-existent, demanding, invented deity.