Dogmatist in the manger

If Anna Freeman (Letters, 11 December) means by agnosticism "believing that we cannot know whether God exists", then I agree that this is dogmatic, though no more so than a statement such as: "Sex discrimination is wrong." But if agnosticism means simply "not knowing if God exists", this is merely an expression of one's present position and is not dogmatic.

With regard to her assertion that believers reject 99 out of 100 gods, and that atheists merely reject the remaining one, the 99 "gods" are the strictly limited deities of primitive religions and cannot possibly qualify as the omniscient and omnipotent God of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, who by definition cannot have rivals. I suggest to Ms Freeman that a reflection on the ontological argument would be fruitful.

Alan Pavelin
Chislehurst, Kent

This article first appeared in the 01 January 1999 issue of the New Statesman, An earthquake strikes new Labour