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Talk:Milton Friedman

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I have made the decision to place Friedman in the atheist category, even though he states that he is agnostic and specifically rejects the atheist label. Perhaps this will be a controversial choice, but it's what I call the Carl Sagan Dilemma. Carl Sagan lacked a belief in a God because he felt there was insufficient evidence. However, he rejected the label atheist because he believed it professed certain knowledge of the non-existence of God. In other words, he believed the word atheist implied gnostic atheism. Not only is this not always the case, it's actually almost never the case, as gnostic atheists are few and far between (actually, I've never once found one). There's also this idea that one must be either atheist or agnostic, which is not the case.

I believe Friedman belongs in the atheist category. Well, technically he would belong in both the atheist and agnostic categories, but we should probably just stick with placing people in the highest level of doubt category, since otherwise it will get really messy if we have to include a large percentage of the atheists in the agnostic category as well.

I believe Carl Sagan should be placed in the atheist category as well. However, it's my opinion that at the bottom of their listing should be a (NOTE: explanation) which explains the decision to post these people in a category which they have rejected.


- This is an unresolved issue on this site. Past editors didn't place people in the atheist category if they denied the terminology, even if the celebrity was using an incorrect definition for atheism. I have usually honored the decisions of past mods here and gone by that decision, however I am torn as like you I agree that one doesn't need to accept the term atheist in order to be one. In the case of a person who declares themselves agnostic but is clearly an atheist I would prefer to put the person in both categories. I personally consider myself to be an agnostic atheist and believe people can be both in fact I believe almost every atheist is both. I'll add him to agnostic in addition to atheist for now. --Sapient 20:00, 28 November 2010 (UTC)