I apologize if this has been discussed before on the forum, but I attempted a search and couldnt find much, so, I'm taking a chance.

I, as many others, am confused over the EXACT differences between Agnostics and Atheists. I consider myself an Agnostic, which I believe to mean that I do not believe in deity, but I do indeed believe in the supernatural; such as spirits, reincarnation and other planes or "worlds". How do my beliefs compare to those of the Atheists? I too, love science and feel that there is a very fine line between Science and The Mystical.

Forgive my naivety, as I am relatively new to change in attitude. I am also a Witch, I started out in worshipping the "Goddess", then as my studies grew and thru research and soul searching, I found the idea and/or concept of a gender specific deity.....ridiculous. Now, one would have to know the definiton of a Witch to understand why it's almost impossible to be an Atheist Witch, but Agnostic..not as impossible. However, that said....I still have to occasionally "defend" my Agnostisim + Witchcraft, as many dont feel that a Witch can even be an Agnostic...not that I give a shit what others think of me or my beliefs, but instead of searching the internet for the answers....I wanted to get the answers from those that live it...daily.

Thank you in advance..

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I'm an agnostic atheist. Most here are.


I tend to have similar interests with lots of people who label themselves witches. Most of them are agnostic. A couple are atheist. It's definitely possible to be an agnostic atheist witch and gratz - you are one!


I consider myself a very spiritual person. You won't find many atheists here who use terms like spiritual or mystical but I dip my toes in the shallow end of the woo woo pool. I prefer natural oils (like tea tree), herbs, and products provided the research shows they work. I went to school for massage therapy. I enjoy meditation, self-hypnosis, and lucid dreaming. I love astronomy. There was even a time when I entertained the idea of reincarnation and spirits, but that has diminished as my scientific understanding has grown. I have a deep reverence for the cosmos and my place in it. That hasn't diminished. In fact, quite the opposite.


I can't be as kind about the deep end of the woo woo pool. Homeopathy is quackery. "Energy therapy" like Reiki provides no benefits that couldn't be achieved through simple deep breathing relaxation techniques. Prayer, past-life regression, and astral travel are delusional, along with beliefs in ouija, dowsing, and conjuring spirits.


If you are a truth seeker and love science, I recommend testing your various beliefs in the supernatural. For example, if you can communicate with a spirit, ask it several questions which require specific answers (like full dates) you'd have absolutely no way of knowing yourself. Then verify the answers with someone who would know. I suggested this to a cousin who believed he'd been communicating with our grandfather for years through automatic writing and Ouija. The results spoke for themselves. If you manage to pass your own tests numerous times and still believe you possess demonstrable powers, I recommend contacting James Randi to collect your million dollars as we all eat crow and cheer you on.


I've had some experiences I can't explain but I'm comfortable leaving it at that instead of inventing answers. The mind plays tricks on all of us, and the way we process those experiences depends greatly on our beliefs. In my opinion, if you no longer feel a child pushing on your car seat, it's because you no longer believe it is there. It's the same reason people who don't believe in demons never get possessed and Hindus never feel the power of Jesus.


Good luck on your search for answers and I hope you stick around. Welcome to TA!

@Jewelz...ty for your lovely and truthful words, I enjoyed reading your response, and...I will take u up on your suggestions as I am forever studying, try to learn the "why's" of everything....I feel restless as I grow older...having the desire and the "need" to know....before I die.

There is no shallow or deep end to the woo woo pool. Something is either nonsense or it is not.


To clarify what I meant, I frequently rub elbows with what many skeptics refer to as the new age "woo woo" crowd and enjoy what others have called "woo woo crap" like meditation. We can argue semantics if you like, but that never ends well. I've seen the use of words like "spiritual" on this website result in very active threads and strong criticisms because it's a term some atheists throw in the pool of woo which I've just been informed has no shallow end.

I don't like to entertain the idea of spiritualism as it tends to view humans and humanity as something 'special' in the universe, something which a higher power cares enough about that it would present itself to us and/or treat us differently than anything else. It can be easily resolved by Just asking yourself the question: "What would happen to the universe if humans went extinct tomorrow?". My answer is, not a damned thing. It was here before us and will be here long after were gone. There is nothing special about us; the universe does not react any different to our presence than towards anything else that exists; there are no deities aiding us.


On the subject of woo woo, there are some things, such as homeopathy, we can easily discount as based purely on belief and does not hold any scientific merit. Other woo woo, such as acupuncture, I don't fully discount yet, though I doubt the traditional explanations as to why it potentially works will be correct and any effect is probably limited.

There's a difference between spiritualism and spiritual. Some atheists don't like the term spiritual because of confusion between the two or differences in personal definitions. I use it on occasion because I've yet to find a better word and because well... here, have some Sagan.

Who would I be to disagree with Sagan? :)

His description I agree with, but I find that the word spiritual has been hijacked to mean something else.  

I find that the word spiritual has been hijacked to mean something else.


I agree. Perhaps we can take it back.

These days it seems as though "spiritual" means just about whatever people want it to mean.  Though usually it is a euphemism for some bullshit that they don't want to explain or call by its proper name.
The argumentation put forth in the now deleted thread that I have been mourning was not typical of the reasoning behind the most usual form of "I'm spiritual" usage.  And that is my only knock against it, still.  The popular usage, at least in my experience, still relates to an acknowledgement of some supernatural force.  Those rational minds who would like to use the term without generating wrong first impressions and assumptions from many Skeptics will certainly have to do some work in order to take the term back.
Where is that discussion we had on spiritual and spiritualism. I still don't like the term, but there were really good arguments for using it.

That was a great thread. Looks like the poster deleted his profile. *sniff*



Boo! That WAS a great thread. There were great arguments for using the term "spiritual" and I had to reluctantly concede defeat.


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