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A Miscellany 456
PEW Report -- Agnostics Unrepresented

by: Shane K. Bernard

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I was disappointed to find that the new Pew report on how Americans view various groups did not include agnostics. (There is one graph in the study that shows how agnostics feel about other groups, but otherwise I see no reference to agnostics -- i.e., no references to how other groups feel about agnostics.)

I've complained to Pew (I think it was Pew) in the past for excluding or downplaying agnostics, and the explanation I received at the time was that

1) there were too few agnostics who responded to the poll; and

2) those agnostics who responded to the poll were included in the group of "atheists."

In regard to the first excuse, no agnostics need have responded to this new poll in order for others to state how they feel about agnostics (and in any event some agnostics did appear to have responded, because as mentioned one graph shows how agnostics feel about other groups -- but there is no info on how those other groups feel about agnostics).

In regard to the second excuse, I myself regard agnosticism as far from atheism as it is from theism -- so Pew might as well lump agnostics with theists! It would make about as little sense.

I guess what I am aiming at is that agnostics should be regarded as a noteworthy group, and also as distinct from atheism. What do you think?

Shane in Louisiana

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