I have a friend who is agnostic. He is pretty peeved with me right now because he believes i'm arrogant. He says im a hypocrite because my certainty that there is no "God" is the same as being religious. But I truly feel certain despite not being able to prove it. I'd bet my life on it. (now when I say God I mean the traditional sense of the word, christian god, judaism, etc..)

I feel it is not a fair comparison because I base my beliefs on observations of the universe and nature and the fact that religion seems to be an exceedingly growing pocket of ignorance where information comes from an ancient text written by our more primitive ancestors. Obviously that argument only makes him think i'm even more arrogant.

How can I get through?

I showed him this.. but being that DeGrasse isn't even an atheist doesn't help much.. however it is a similar debate..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5dSyT50Cs8

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It's just name-calling.  Sticks and stones and all that.  I say kick him in the shins, stick out your tongue, and run off, if we're just going to be childish. 

He's not agnostic, he's an atheist without the balls. 

Agnosticism is not a stance on faith or lack of faith, its a stance on lack of knowledge no more no less. If he lacks faith in gods, he is an atheist. That is why we have terms like agnostic-atheist. He like many professed "agnostics" don't even understand the term. 

Re: hypocrisy: his accusation is that you chastice him for feeling certainty while you yourself feel certainty and are therefore a hypocrite. On the face of it, this is valid. Let's add god: he is certain God exists, you are certain God does not exist. Still valid, your a hypocrite. Let's add a bit more: he is certain that God exists as explained by the bible, you are certain God does not exist, as explained by current state of science. Your still a hypocrite. Now let's tweak things: he is certain God exists, as explained by the bible, you are certain God does not exist and make no claim to knowing the truth of existence. Chastise away, you are no longer a hypocrite.
Re: arrogance: any claims to know truth in its entirety, whether from the bible, or from science, are themselves arrogant. Accept that science may simply never reveal the entire truth, and you may rightfully claim humility.

@ Eddie - Between the theist and the atheist, only the atheist is free to say, "I don't know."

Exactly.

@Nelson - Tell me it isn't true - No Unicorns. I am shattered.

@dragotron - I am the same. I am an Atheist, no agnostic here. It starts with the bible, which started with the garden of eden as truly evil and stupid, then all the evil stories of violence and territorial bullcrap, all from a loving god and a loving jesus. Then the talk of miracles, then saints being conveniently chosen by the catholic church, Mary Macillop, as a distraction, when the Pedophilia crimes were hitting the fan, and when the catholic church needed millions, which were going into the coffers of Mother Therese.

Christians just don't read their bible, jews don't read the torah and muslims don't read the koran - if they did, they would all be Atheists, if they had any sort of brain in their head. As a female, I can't get past the misogyny, spewed forth by old tribal men, living in an archaic world, with supposed enlightened people still believing it to this day. Go figure.

As far as your friend is concerned, he still seems to have the xian brain, and it is deep in it's recesses, which is why he doesn't want to completely 'let go'. He won't change until he gets it, but he has to make up his own mind. It is an epiphany when it does :)

Ask him why does he think god sits on his hands, while babies are slowly and tortuously starved to death, but a soccer player prays to god, and the soccer player thinks it was god's invention that helped him score a goal. Your friend will think you are arrogant, no matter how nicely you make a statement, or what justifications you come up with. He just wants to hang on to a bit of belief, just in case. I am quite happy to own the tag "Arrogant'.

Of course not! As the band Rush has said in the song "Free Will" - "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice." The problem with agnostics is that they think they have not made a choice on the existence of god, but they have. The thing is... you either believe in god, or you don't. Agnostics think the god issue is about knowledge... it's not. It's about faith. No one really knows whether there is a god or not and if they think they "know" there is a god then they are confusing belief based on knowledge - verifiable facts, with belief based on faith - belief without facts. When the question is asked, there are only two answers... because it belief in god is based only on faith, you either believe in god(s) - and are a theist, or you don't believe in god(s) - and are an atheist (of varying degrees of certainty - granted). Agnostics are simply stating they don't know. Which means they have "made a choice." Your friend is either atheist or theist. The difference between him and the admitted atheist (like you) is that an admitted atheist actively chooses to reject the concept of god until he/she has a good reason to accept it. So-called "agnostics" about the existence of god (not the nature of god! Those are theistic agnostics) are atheists by default because to not choose to believe in god (even if you don't choose to outright reject him) is still to choose not to believe in god - which is what atheism is. Your friend is an atheist... he just doesn't know it. But he probably will be highly offended at the idea that he is one if he is like I was when I claimed agnostic - confused about what atheism really meant because society has a very negative, narrow, and inaccurate idea of what atheism is. 

This forum is circling the same discussions every few days. Do a search before you start a new topic...

   I suspect you are absolutely certain there is no such thing as a flying spaghetti monster; does that make you an arrogant hypocrite?  

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