A Funny-Shaped Cross
With a Question Mark?
In a letter from a long time ago, a man by the name of Joe was asking about what the symbols were for atheism. In the letter he said that even agnostics have a symbol, the funny shaped cross with a question mark. I have never seen such a symbol and neither has Google image search. Can you help me locate this symbol if you have seen it before?
From: "Positive Atheism" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Lenny Blottin
Subject: Re: Question That's Killing Me
Date: Monday, 11 October 2004 6:02 AM
We've had a whole slew of "atheistic symbols" letters. I've tried to link them all together, but keeping up with them is no easy deal. I'll probably need to shorten the list by making two columns, like I did to the De-Conversion Stories (which is still way too big).
I'm probably (eventually) going to put all the symbolism letters together onto a single Forum file. This way, I can index it on Google and people will be able to go to a single source on our web site for this discussion. The problem is that I usually end up turning these letters into dialogues, which don't go well as Forum pieces: it looks tacky when the moderator responds to each "post," so making these individual letters appear as if they're just posts on a Forum page might not work, aesthetically.
You might be thinking of one of the ancient Pagan or Runic symbols. If so, then perhaps someone has recently apprehended one or another for various modern purposes that could have little or nothing to do with its original meaning.
Agnosticism, as such, began in the nineteenth century, and, by the way, more closely resembled "strong" or "hardcore" (antireligious; anti-Christian) atheism than today's indecisive, "Oh,-I-Jest-Don't-Know!" style (what I call weenie-agnosticism). That is actually called "symmetrical agnosticism," by the way, in that it suggests that the Christian (or whatever) god-claim as having a 50:50 chance of being true. True agnosticism, original agnosticism, suggests that the god-claims touch a subject that we can neither verify nor refute. Traditional agnosticism (Robert Green Ingersoll; Clarence Darrow) comes as close to shouting, "There are no gods!" as any atheist of the village variety.
My current history resource says that the book to consult for the Runic, Nordic, and Pagan symbolism is Northern Mysteries and Magic by Freya Aswynn. He says you'll probably find what you're thinking of in there, if it is of any significance. Searching for those terms and adding "symbolism" might bring up some web sites. In this case, if what you're thinking of shows up, send me the URL and if I (or we) know anything, I'll let you know.
I am either imagining or vaguely remembering an upside-down Christian cross (modern) with the top beam (formerly the bottom stake) curved into a question mark, and a stylized dot as the center of the cross-point.
But don't you dare quote me on the "remembering" part, okay?
(That's why the symbols below are copyrighted (c)2004 by Cliff Walker.)
Regardless and notwithstanding (and all that other gôôd gööëÿ guãñõ), here's what I have in mind, which probably has nothing whatsoever to do with what "Dave" (if that's his name) was thinking about (this is the Internet, you know!):
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Entering our 10th year of service
to people with no reason to believe