I feel that agnotisicm is the personification of PASCAL'S WAGER.

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If someone claims to be an agnostic they are not making a claim to know anything. They are admitting that “God is unknowable”. To this extent all atheists and all theists are agnostics.  

I am an agnostic atheist. I have no knowledge of any god and I also have no belief in any of the gods I have heard about. A theist is also an agnostic because they too have no knowledge of the god they are claiming to be real. They just take it all on faith and any “evidence” they think they have is just their own subjective opinion.

To enable their subjective claim to be deemed “knowledge” it must have become “knowable” at some point. The evidence to support it, as opposed to the arguments for it, must have an objective value. We must be able to scrutinize the claim so that it can move towards being declared a fact.

A fact is something that have been verified as true. It exists on its own merits independently of the person who made the claim. We can then call it a body of knowledge because it is based upon a set of facts that are independently verifiable.

Like I said above, I am an agnostic atheist. It is technically correct. However as soon I say that I always end up listening to my internal dialogue where I call that statement “technically correct but unrepresentative of how I see the world”. I need a new word to describe my viewpoint. It is because there is absolutely no knowledge of any god available that I can find that I no longer consider myself agnostic. I do not see a possibility that I ever will. To me gods just do not exist. They are “unknowable” not because we lack any knowledge about any of them, but because they just do not exist.

To me it is that simple. The question no longer interests me, except to help others let go of god. I see faith in any god as the legacy of our primitive life on the planet when we had very little clue about anything. Faith in god is (imo) like a chain that tries to pull some of us back into the dark ages before we fully stood up straight and figured out that we were a self-aware and intelligent species. God is a redundant idea for it explains nothing.

I see nothing to bet on. It is not a matter of “God exists or God does not exist”. This may have been Pascal’s logic but (imo) it is intellectually weak. It is hardly worthy of debunking. You could make the same argument about any god existing (or not) with the same intellectual integrity given to each of those arguments. If it is better to believe in the Christian god, just in case, then it is also worth believing in Vishnu or Apollo, just in case they too exist. You would have to be a convert to every god you hear about….just in case.

Pascal was interested in logic and mathematical probability and most people that introduce his wager into a debate seem to think that there is a 50/50 probability that their god exists. This is nonsense. If he and his modern day supporters knew Bayesian theory (starter) they would not be so enthusiastic about introducing it as a “take that you atheist argument”. To blazes with Pascal.

Every now and then, you come across a post you just feel like printing and framing. Go Mr Fronkey!

I prefer the term "ignostic" or "igtheist", for those who frame their agnostic response like this:

I refuse to take a position on a claim that doesn't define essential subjects/agents nor suggest methods to falsify it nor present any reasonable evidence (even tentative evidence).

That is, to even take a position on the existence of God is intellectual failing and wasting precious time.

As the terms are about belief, and not proof, I am fine with:

1) Theist = Believes there are god(s)

2) Atheist = Rejects the claims that gods exist

3) Agnostic = Did not reject the claims that gods exist


As for proof, technically (That word again...), IF god existed, THEN proving it is a positive claim, and, provable.

If god did not exist, it is not provable, as that is a non-falsifiable negative claim.

This is why it is completely fair to ask a theist for proof, as it IS provable if true.

It is also why asking an atheist for proof is an invalid request, as you cannot ask for proof of a non-falsifiable negative claim.

An agnostic merely has to prove that he can't decide, and, a priori, can prove that he can't decide.


Personally, I see agnostics as sucking on the pacifier of theism while considering the nipple of atheism.

If they spit out the pacifier, they have rejected the claims of theists.


Yes. You definitely have to give the person who makes the claim the opportunity to define their terms/agents and how it is falsifiable and present reasonable evidence (or a method to get this evidence). Up until this point the claim is just a string of words (nonsense). If the person then doesn't offer any of the above (clarity, evidence), then their argument is a non-argument: something that can't even be correct or incorrect. Most claims of God are strings of words, some are nonarguments and those very very few times someone follows through with definitions and evidence (those rare moments) then we have a valid argument (they can be scrutinised). In these exceptional cases, their arguments are easily discredited. 

As an ignostic I hold that most God claims are strings of words and non statements. If clarification as evidence don't follow, its a waste of time to take a position on it.

I agree with you that at this point you might as well say "there is no x" though I simply dismiss it. Its not even wrong. Its babble.

I have more respect for agnostic-agnostic-agnostics. At least they show doubt. I think its likely the case that many of them lack critical thinking skills and dont know the common responses to typical god claims. This is a very large chunk of people.

As for what agnostic means, apart from agnostics agnostics (not sure if they are not sure...lol) here is a very good diagram that explains how to combine belief and knowledge with two binaries:

I have more respect for agnostic-agnostic-agnostics. At least they show doubt. I think its likely the case that many of them lack critical thinking skills and dont know the common responses to typical god claims. This is a very large chunk of people.

As for what agnostic means, apart from agnostics agnostics (not sure if they are not sure...lol) here is a very good diagram that explains it:

I parse it down a bit on that chart, as, in reality, as you cannot prove a non-falsifiable negative claim, there IS NO option to "Know Gods don't Exist"....

...so, chart options to BELIEVE no gods exist, are actually all there are, as there CAN BE NO proof (Knowledge), and it is invalid to have a category that cannot exist.

So, atheism is simply rejecting the claims that gods exist.

After that, the atheist can think he's right or not, albeit, logically, no one holds a position that he considers wrong.

IF an atheist "claims to know" that there are no gods, its an invalid statement, as, they cannot have proof of a non-falsifiable negative claim.....and, therefore, not relevant as a chart position...as there is in reality no difference between not believing gods exist with proof that doesn't exist, or, based upon EVIDENCE.

IE: ALL ATHEISTS are stuck as agnostic atheists if PROOF of gods not existing were a criteria to being gnostic.

ALL people claim to believe that what they believe is true, so, its a redundant criteria.

So, we just need "Atheist" as a category for all who rejected the claims that gods exist.

As for agnostics, if they believe in god, but have doubts, they are still theists.

As no proof exists that gods DO exist, despite its being THEORETICALLY possible, TO provide proof, IF it existed, it is fair to say that a person who is simply undecided as to if gods exist or not, is an agnostic.

If they believe in god, but are unsure, they STILL BELIEVE IN GOD, and, therefore, are theists.

If they don't believe in god, but are unsure, they are also agnostics...as atheism requires REJECTION of the claims that gods exist...an active decision, not a lack of MAKING a choice.

Be warned: when a "that" follows an "I feel", as it does in the OP here, it passes a thought off as a feeling.

My defense for that?

The above "agnosticism is the personification of PASCAL'S WAGER" states a thought, not a feeling.

Here is my not-very-humble opinion in haiku form:
English, our language,
Has two excellent uses.
Poetry and fraud.

For all anyone wants to say to quibble with my feeling, or critique the grammar, I just simply don't believe.  That's all there is to it.  THERE IS NO GOD.  ANYWHERE, REGARDLESS OF RELIGION.

Chris, I know exactly where you're coming from! Meanwhile, it seems (or dare I say "it feels") like the strength of responses to you is over the top... not because you (possibly) wrote something for us here at TA to dispute, but possibly because of a few of our awesomest writers wanting to add their last brilliance to TA before submitting totally to AZ (Atheist Zone).

You guys please correct me if (you feel) I'm wrong!

Meanwhile I'm *featuring* this post! Thank you Chris for mentioning Pascal's Wager... it does highlight the "reasoning" attempted by many theists, which is similar to the justifications of lottery players and other gullible gamblers.

Featured here: http://www.thinkatheist.com/leaderboards

Thanks for making me smile.




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