Hello...I'm one of those dreaded agnostics.

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Randy the Atheist's picture
Disagreement does not equal

Disagreement does not equal enemy. It is a healthy and necessary way to develop knowledge by accumulating alternative points of view and not only the views from like-minded individuals.

While this thread was indeed side-tracked, the core idea that can be obtained from this is that people do not have to necessarily substantiate their baseless assertions....

.... unless they want others to take them seriously.

Best of luck Frank.

kevvyd's picture
Hey guys,

Hey guys,

Atheism speaks to belief and agnosticism to knowledge.

I'm brand new to the site and saw this thread and found it interesting. I've not been able to read every single reply, nesting and what have you being what it is, but I thought I'd add my own $.02 to the atheism/agnosticism discussion. Forgive me if I'm repeating what someone else has already written.

The terms atheist and agnosticism refer to different things, and I think you have made a common error in misconstuing them as degrees of the same thing, like a scale of belief, as if there is atheist at one end of a spectrum, believer at the other, and agnostic somewhere in the middle. To take agnosticism first, it simply means "without knowledge" from the original Greek. I can be agnostic about lots of things. Cricket for instance utterly baffles me. I am agnostic about cricket. "Atheism" on the other hand simply refers to the rejection of the belief in a deity or deities and says nothing at all about *knowledge*. I don't know for a fact that there is no God/Allah/Thor, but I choose for whatever reason to not believe in it, therefore I am an agnostic atheist. If Thor floats on high this sunny afternoon and I can find no other explanation for his appearance, I'm the world's newest Thor believer! I expect that most people on this forum who claim atheism would accept that they are the same.

I noticed in one response above that you can't both believe and not believe at the same time, which I believe to be true. However, to apply the term "agnostic" to uncertainty is a misuse. You are probably like most of us dirty atheists and just can't prove Thor's non-existence. I don't expect many atheists can.

Cognostic's picture
@kevvyd: Atheism VS

@kevvyd: Atheism VS Agnosticism -
Yea, we have gone over it a hundred times with the original poster and he just thinks he knows better. Take your time and read the thread if you get the time. Perhaps he will get it after your post but I doubt it. Welcome to the conversation!

Sapporo's picture
The problem I have with the

The problem I have with the agnostic position ("I do not know if gods exist or not" etc.) is that it is about as meaningful as the statement "I don't know whether or not the world only exists when I am awake."

It makes an active declaration when none is needed.

(My post might seem incredibly cruel caricature - I do not mean it to be that way! I think agnosticism is a perfectly tolerable position, just one with the wrong emphasis).

fresco's picture
H Frank,

H Frank,

I see you departure from the Catholic priesthood is still bothering you sufficiently to constantly seek self reinforcement by incessant discussion of the word 'agnosticism'. I merely remind you that like all concepts 'existence' boils down to 'what works for humans'. "Gods' work for many so they 'exist' for them, but they don't 'work' for 'atheists'. Calling yourself 'agnostic' simply means that you are blind to that ontological point. for the lfe rationalization reasons suggested above.

Have fun,

Cognostic's picture
Everyone is "Agnostic" All

Everyone is "Agnostic" All Christians are agnostics. All atheists are agnostics. All believers and non-believers are Agnostics. Calling yourself Agnostic is akin to calling yourself human. You have said nothing. You do not know the meaning of the word.

Atheism is about what you "BELIEVE." Do you believe in god of gods or not. "Yes" you are a theist. "No" you are an atheist. "I don't know" and you are either lying or confused.

Agnostic is about "KNOWLEDGE." Is there any valid, verifiable , repeatable. concrete knowledge about any God or gods? "NO" If you are asked to provide knowledge of god or gods and you have none, you are Agnostic. I have never met anyone with any knowledge at all that can stand up to critical inquiry. There is no KNOWLEDGE concerning God or gods. There is only belief.

You are an Agnostic Believer or an Agnostic non-believer.

Sheldon's picture
"the fact is, I have no

"the fact is, I have no "belief" on the specific issue of, "Do any gods exist or not.""

The very definition of an atheist. Agnosticism is defined as the idea or belief that nothing is known or can be known about the nature orexistence of something. In this context it could be a claim about a deity.

It is of course possible to be an atheist and an agnostic. Indeed I always wonder when I see people confuse these definitions why anyone would believe anything they admit they can know nothing about.

I am an atheist as I lack belief in any deity or deities. I am an agnostic about all unfalsifiable claims, and can't rationally be otherwise.

It goes without saying I find it absurd to belief any claim which no one can know anything about. I don't include anecdotal subjective claims that they can demonstrate no objective evidence for, as this isn't knowledge in any objective sense.

xenoview's picture
Welcome Frank!

Welcome Frank!

I'm an agnostic atheist.
Do you believe in zero gods?

Anonymous's picture
I think of agnostics like

I think of agnostics like those who, a day before the election, still haven't decided if they're voting Clinton or Trump.

Or like a woman who has a baby, and three weeks later, still hasn't named baby.

Or like the One who says, "I'm not political."

Or like the married man with a daughter, who is "dating" his girlfriend with two of his children, and still can't decide whether he should get a divorce.

Riding fences is natural, but living on fences isn't very comfortable. Sooner or later, you fall asleep and drop either forward or backward.

christ almighty, make a decision, why doncha???

Sheldon's picture
Why Do people think

Why do people think agnosticism is a third choice between theism and atheism?

Agnosticism is the belief that nothing is known or can be known about the nature or existence of something (deity).

Theism is the belief a deity or deities exist.

Atheism is the lack or absence of the belief a deity or deities exist.

The first agnosticism is a knowledge claim.

The other two are a belief claim (theism) and the absence of that belief (atheism).

I don't understand why people keep making this mistake about agnosticism, as if you choose to be agnostic instead of either atheism or theism. Atheism and theism are logical negation of each other, you either hold the belief or you do not, there is no third option.

Agnosticism says nothing about the belief, it is purely an assertion about knowledge.

I am an atheist because I don't believe in any deity or deities, and wherever theology makes unfalsifiable claims I am also an agnostic. It's not that complex surely?

Jack6's picture
@Magnificent Beast

@Magnificent Beast

"Riding fences is natural, but living on fences isn't very comfortable. Sooner or later, you fall asleep and drop either forward or backward."

An apt analogy. The agnostic simply chooses to stay awake. Try not lulling your intellect to sleep with specious rhetoric.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ quip

@ quip

"Try not lulling your intellect to sleep with specious rhetoric."

Nearly lost me licorice tea again...but for the Third Commandment (Arakish)

Oh squidling the sheer irony of your posts is a joy to behold...Do you have a mirror at your house by chance?


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