This is my first post on here and I have a rather simple question for you all. I do not know how maany of you willl be able to answer this , but I have wondered why some people choose to be an "agnostic" rather than an "atheist". I myself am an atheist and i have just always wondered why some people have chosen to be agnostic over atheist.
The very fundamental essence of belief is based on accepting without complete knowledge. That is FAITH. If it was complete knowledge, then they wouldn't need to call it faith.
An uncertain person is not an atheist. As another friend just emailed me... "I will not call myself an atheist because atheists close the door on faith, I leave the door open because no one has ever come back from the dead to prove atheists right".
She fails to understand the concept of burden of proof when it comes to knowledge.
No one cant be an atheist while being a theist but you can be an agnostic of either side
One can also be an atheist of certainty. Either by logical fallacy or by direct physical evidence.
Its not my picture so im not going to defend it much but to say i thought it might illustrate the diametrically opposing ideals and how they relate to knowledge and certainty. Yes i know there is no degrees to disbelief.. but it does what i intended if you dont get nitpicky.
Just imagine the left side has no extension and stops at the 0 axis if it makes you feel better.
The beauty of the scientific method is that it has the ability to catch past mistakes. Huxley made a huge mistake when he placed the word agnostic in his speech and begath a long history of misuse of the word.
Faith requires lack of knowledge.
To go about shouting to the world that one lacks knowledge to decide either way is not a useful position.
No atheism is an absence of belief. It doesnt mean i know there are no gods. It can mean that.
The best example i have heard to explain it is its like the Guilty not guilty ruling in a court of law.
If you believe someone is guilty then you believe you have evidence without a doubt.
This is theism. If you say someone is not guilty.. that doesnt mean you believe they are innocent.. just that you dont believe there is enough evidence to say yes they are guilty. Agnostic jurors would be the people on the jury who arent quite sure that the guys innocent but there is enough doubt they wont say guilty. They are still atheist jurors but they are agnostic atheist jurors. Someone that says oh yea im sure there is no god is a gnostic atheist. They are certain that guy is innocent. The guy who in the jury room says im not sure hes guilty but ill vote that way anyway to hedge my bet is an Agnostic theist.
Im pretty sure i heard this on Atheist experience at least and its the best analogy ive heard
Certainty... absolutes... all a waste of time to me and I refute the utility of those words to discuss delusion. It's about practicality. What drives your daily life? Reality or illusion? Refusing to admit the obvious is simply swimming middle waters in appeasement of peers and public opinion, a refusal to commit. As much as I'd get rid of the word "god", I get rid of the word "agnostic". Its fundamental essence is thinking that the imaginary "might" be real or "could" be real, and the act of clinging to that belief "just in case".
It's why invisible pink unicorns was invented.
Hence, me saying "...know / believe..." as opposed to just "know."
Have we all forgotten how to read?
Yes i believe at this point you have lost ability to read.
The part that is the problem isnt know/believe its the following part that says no gods.
Atheists dont know or believe there is no god(s)... We dont know that there is a god. The difference is subtle but very important in meaning. Atheism is a lack of belief. nothing more nothing less.
Its how been explained a dozen or so times quite lucidly in this thread. Your accusation of other peoples reading ability is laughable and shameful.
I think this has already been made clear by serveral posters.
Atheist and agnostic are not mutually exclusive and in actuality relate to two separate but complimentary stances one of belief and one of certainty.