Old forum member Shell_B has released a short horror story online as part of a competition. Download for free in ebook, Kindle, or PDF format!
Our server costs $25 per month to run. Please consider donating to help keep the site running. Help us gain new members by following us on Twitter and liking our page on Facebook!
 
Current time: 30th May 2015, 07:13

Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Atheism vs. Agnosticism
#1
Atheism vs. Agnosticism
Just out of curiosity, how would you all define atheism versus agnosticism? I'm just curious as to how the majority of people define it, because I encounter so many definitions on a daily basis. I consider myself both because I do not know that there is a god (key: I do not know that there is a god, not if there is a god; agnostic to me = "without knowledge") and I do not believe that there is a god (atheism to me = "without belief in god"). I'm more than willing to state that I do not believe there is a god, but I am not willing to state that I do believe there is no god. Some have told me that means I'm not an atheist, but I consider myself as much of an atheist/agnostic about god as I am about dragons, elves, and leprechauns. In other words, I do know what I believe, I do not believe in god, but I cannot say that I DO believe conclusively that god does not exist (although I strongly suspect that he, she or it does not). Anyhow, I'm just looking for thoughts on whether this makes me an atheist or an agnostic. Thanks!
Reply
#2
RE: Atheism vs. Agnosticism
It makes you an Agnostic Atheist, like most of us on these forums.

Check out this thread for a more detailed description: http://atheistforums.org/thread-3817.html
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. - J.R.R Tolkien
Reply
#3
RE: Atheism vs. Agnosticism
Welcome to the club, Tintin.
Reply
#4
RE: Atheism vs. Agnosticism
(27th August 2012, 18:18)pocaracas Wrote: Welcome to the club, Tintin.

Thanks!!!
... Escaping Delusion ...

"Dance like it hurts, Love like you need money, Work when people are watching." - Dogbert
Reply
#5
RE: Atheism vs. Agnosticism
Tintin:

Atheism is about belief. Agnosticism is about knowledge

The atheist says 'I don't believe' [due to a lack of credible evidence]

The agnostic says "I don't know" or "I think there is a god/creative source etc, but he is unknowable"

The agnostic atheist (which describes most atheists on this forum) asserts: I do not believe in god(s). However, I do not claim to KNOW.I concede I may be wrong,no matter how unlikely I think that might be. EG Richard Dawkins says he's 6.9 on a scale of 1 to 7.

The agnostic (or soft/weak) atheist makes no claims, so has no burden of proof,needing to prove nothing. The obligation is on the believer to prove his claims, not on us to disprove them.

The hard atheist asserts "'there is no god' or "I believe there is no god",sometimes even "I KNOW there is no God". These are positive claims and attract the burden of proof as much as any claim made by a believer. Hard atheists are in the distinct minority among atheists as far as I can tell..
Man is not so much a rational animal as a rationalising one.
Reply
#6
RE: Atheism vs. Agnosticism
Pad gives a very fine summary. As an example, I would be defined as a hard atheist in that I will gladly assert "there is no god"; however, I cannot honestly say that "I KNOW there is no God". I find a distinction here where others, not just Pad, may not. Does this mean I'm a weak/soft atheist? Perhaps. I would also put myself at 6.9 on Dawkin's scale, but keep in mind that as far as gravity and evolution are concerned, as facts, the positive statements and proof for each should only elicit a 6.9. This means that we can 'never' be absolutely sure regarding claims regarding our environment.

The one tenth left in reserve should never be interpreted as doubt, but rather the recognition that there are facts pertaining to any given subject that I'm not yet aware of. This is why I have a modicum of respect for deists that assign the idea of god to the causal agent behind the Big Bang. I just choose to suspend judgement until more is known; this is our only difference. I have no respect for deists that insert the 'spiritual/divine/burning bosom' argument.

Should our universe be proven to have been created by an 'intelligence', there still remains the question: "what created the intelligence?". People that adhere to a particular religion now have more work cut out for them; namely, to prove that this intelligence is the basis for their special book, creed, prohibitive rules, exclusionary mandates, etc. This is the basis for my avowed 'anti-theist' religious views, not a mere hatred for codified rules.

I digress. Anti-theism is better left for another thread.
Reply
#7
RE: Atheism vs. Agnosticism
(27th August 2012, 22:18)cato123 Wrote: Pad gives a very fine summary. As an example, I would be defined as a hard atheist in that I will gladly assert "there is no god"; however, I cannot honestly say that "I KNOW there is no God". I find a distinction here where others, not just Pad, may not. Does this mean I'm a weak/soft atheist? Perhaps. I would also put myself at 6.9 on Dawkin's scale, but keep in mind that as far as gravity and evolution are concerned, as facts, the positive statements and proof for each should only elicit a 6.9. This means that we can 'never' be absolutely sure regarding claims regarding our environment.

The one tenth left in reserve should never be interpreted as doubt, but rather the recognition that there are facts pertaining to any given subject that I'm not yet aware of. This is why I have a modicum of respect for deists that assign the idea of god to the causal agent behind the Big Bang. I just choose to suspend judgement until more is known; this is our only difference. I have no respect for deists that insert the 'spiritual/divine/burning bosom' argument.

Should our universe be proven to have been created by an 'intelligence', there still remains the question: "what created the intelligence?". People that adhere to a particular religion now have more work cut out for them; namely, to prove that this intelligence is the basis for their special book, creed, prohibitive rules, exclusionary mandates, etc. This is the basis for my avowed 'anti-theist' religious views, not a mere hatred for codified rules.

I digress. Anti-theism is better left for another thread.

Cato123, I definitely agree with you. My problem is that whenever I have been asked, "How do you know that there is no god?" by theists (for some reason, they love asking me this), I respond honestly, "I do not believe there is a god, but I do not (cannot) know that there is no god." This is always interpreted as doubt, which annoys me to no end!
... Escaping Delusion ...

"Dance like it hurts, Love like you need money, Work when people are watching." - Dogbert
Reply
#8
RE: Atheism vs. Agnosticism
When asked something like that you simply ask back: how do you know that there is a god?
Reply
#9
RE: Atheism vs. Agnosticism
(28th August 2012, 14:08)pocaracas Wrote: When asked something like that you simply ask back: how do you know that there is a god?

That's a silly question, pocraracas... Because the bible says so! My favorite book written thousands of years ago and cobbled together by people over a few millennia can't be wrong!
... Escaping Delusion ...

"Dance like it hurts, Love like you need money, Work when people are watching." - Dogbert
Reply
#10
RE: Atheism vs. Agnosticism
Well then,I put my faith in the Egyptian book of the dead.an older book written by even more people than your book.and it worked quite well for 4 millennia.
Reply


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Enlightened [Elitist] Agnosticism Dystopia 92 1853 3rd March 2015, 12:48
Last Post: robvalue
  Atheism, Scientific Atheism and Antitheism tantric 33 1186 18th January 2015, 14:05
Last Post: helyott
  Strong/Gnostic Atheism and Weak/Agnostic Atheism Dystopia 26 1885 30th August 2014, 14:34
Last Post: Dawsonite
  Question about atheism related with gnosticism and agnosticism Dystopia 4 342 10th July 2014, 18:52
Last Post: ignoramus
  Debate share, young earth? atheism coverup? atheism gain? xr34p3rx 13 1585 16th March 2014, 12:30
Last Post: fr0d0
  A different definition of atheism. Atheism isn't simply lack of belief in god/s fr0d0 14 4376 1st August 2012, 15:54
Last Post: Mister Agenda
  Why Agnosticism? diffidus 69 10429 1st July 2011, 10:07
Last Post: Rhythm
  Your view on agnosticism. eric209 19 2891 6th June 2011, 18:54
Last Post: BethK



Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)