I am an agnostic atheist. One deals with knowledge one with the belief position. I do not know for certainty there is no god so I am an agnostic. I do not however believe there is a god so i am an atheist. When asked what I believe I say atheist. When asked about knowledge or certainty I'll answer agnostic. I have met few atheists who would call themselves a gnostic atheist.
Atheism isn't about absolute certainty and no one says it is. That is a theistic misconception.
I am not agnostic or agnostic atheist because there is no reason to assume that god is real. As far as anyone knows, man made up god(s). In that case, why give any consideration to the idea that god(s) are real? It's not as if there is some evidence that there is a god and I am choosing to ignore it and not believe it in spite of that. There is no proof or evidence that there is now or ever was any god or gods. Being agnostic means that you are willing to concede that, despite there being no evidence or proof, you are open to the idea that gods are real. I don't have that willingness to concede.
If a god or demi-god (Jesus) came to Earth and made itself known to a large group of people, and it was obvious that a god existed...then I would believe it.
I wouldn't deny something that was obviously real. Anything short of that though, and you can forget it. There is no reason to believe anything about gods existing just as there is no reason to believe in any other storybook creature.
Since I just joined this site and you are commenting on my second post, I don't really understand how you can assume to know what I do and don't complain about when it comes to theists...but in answer to the last part of your reply;
I'm not the one making a positive assertion about something that I cannot prove. Theists are doing that. I don't have to prove that god does not exist, nor do I have to concede that one may exist considering that man has made-up everything having to do with god. Man has made up many stories about many creatures, and there is no controversy about not believing in those other creatures, so why this one?
Absolute certainty doesn't mean anything to me in the discussion about god. I mean, I'm absolutely certain there isn't a god in the same way that I'm absolutely certain that Dr. Seuss characters don't exist. I don't see the difference.
"If absolute certainty is impssible"
Your premise is false because it is not specific enough. We can not be absolutely certain about what is true. But, we can be absolutely certain about what is not true, in many cases. That is, ideas CAN often be ruled out with certainty.
Let's look at a couple examples...
Our understanding of physics is really just a collection of "guesses." They are guesses at rules that would explain the world we can see and measure. If we can apply the rule and it predicts the correct outcome in every situation, we feel pretty good we know what it is true. If we can deduce totally novel and unexpected features of the universe by playing the "if this is true, that would mean that X is also true" game, we feel really good we are on to something meaningful. But, we still aren't certain. There can come along a situation we've not yet encountered or anticipated that may yet prove it wrong or incomplete.
But let's say that we guess that the strength of gravity varies by the cube (rather than the square) of the distance between the masses. We can compute the implications and we get the "wrong" answers. That formulation of gravity doesn't match the observed orbits. It is not true, we can be certain. The negative evidence will never vanish. It is an idea forever excluded.
The God of Abraham is very much the same. There is precisely one reason to believe in the God of Abraham and that is He gave us a revelation and it is true. That is no other reason to suspect a God with those particular attributes exist except the claims of that book. So, let's play the "if X is true than Y also must be true" game and see that "revelation" varies from observed reality.
First off, He claims to be the creator of the universe. OK then, it is entirely reasonable to expect the Bible's portrayal of the shape and history of the universe to strongly correlate with observation. The Bible portrays a geocentric universe, with a flat Earth, a dome of a sky holding back the water. The Sun, Moon, planets and stars are set in that dome and sail across the motionless Earth once each day. Surely I don’t have to point out how astonishingly wrong that is. Moderate religionists like to say we aren’t meant to take the beginning of the Bible literally, but the Bible provides no license to take it any other way.
Even the gross history of the Bible is false. The Exodus is really the key story of the Bible. All knowledge of the creation, Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, is traditionally held to have been dictated to Moses while he was receiving the Law. At the very least, we would have to agree that such information would have had to have been carried into the future by that group of people escaping Egypt, wondering for 40 years, slaughtering the Canaanites, and founding Israel. Thanks mostly to Israeli archaeology, we now know now of that is history. The Jews were never in Egypt in large number requiring an Exodus, there was no wondering of a million in people in the Sinai for 40 years, and it seems the Jewish people are actually the remnants of a collapsed system of city-states… that is, they are the very Canaanites they claim to have displaced. So, the whole supernatural history of the Jewish people is FICTION.
Skipping on to the NT, Jesus was spectacularly specific about the power of prayer and how God takes care of his believers. If God was interested and intervening in the lives of believers in any way like is claimed, the first question on every insurance form would be “Are you a Christian?” Statistically, there is no faith group that has any appearance of divine protection. That is simply not compatible with any reading of the NT.
There are thousands more such comparisons might be made, but why? The Bible is contradicted by reality in huge and fundamental ways. It contains no information distinguishable from the ignorance of the people of the time. It cannot be a revelation of the creator of the universe. When it comes to the well-specified “God of Abraham” I am very comfortably a gnostic atheist.
"A premise isn't false when it isn't specific enough"
Really? Ok, "people have vaginas." I qualify as "people" but I have no vagina.
Look, "absolute certainty is impssible" was used as an unqualifed premise from which to continue reasoning. And as such, it is false. The wrong conclusion is being drawn (that atheists should be agnostic atheists) because of its falsity.
You've just moved yourself beyond being worth replying to.
I cannot help someone that disagrees with the basic rules of logic and reason.
When a premise is stated for the purpose of making furhter inferences, if it is lacking the specificity to make correct inferences it is "false" for the purposes and needs to be restated or withdrawn.
Returning all the way to the OP, it could be stated as:
"absolute certainty is impossible" therefore "atheists should be agnostic" and he is asking why that is not universally true.
The premise "absolute certainty is impossible" is not universally true, therefore the conclusion does not follow.
A correct statement of premise would be "we cannot be absolutely certain what is true." As atheism is a statement about what is NOT true, you cannot logically get to go "therefore atheists should be agnostic"
Going futher to "We can often be absolutely certain about what is not true" (which I provided examples illustrating how that is so) it become very clear why atheism with regards to the God of Abraham (or any other popular well-defined god) can be other than agnostic.
If you don’t believe in gods, then you’re an atheist, plain and simple. Some may feel the need to further define their own atheism with a unique label, but I think doing so only confuses the matter. No matter what we choose to label our beliefs, we’re going to have to explain them anyway, so I personally choose atheist because it’s clear, straightforward and still accurate.
I am an Atheist because I can say with absolute certainty that I do not believe that any gods exist. That is my subjective opinion (or belief). I am also an agnostic because I cannot claim with absolute certainty that this opinion I hold is objectively true because I lack any evidence to back it up. That is I do not have the Knowledge to say a specific god does not exist. However it is this complete lack of evidence that leads me to the opinion that there are no gods.
When people tell me they believe a specific god exists they are unable (as in never once in 40 years of asking) to offer a comprehendible definition of the god they claim to believe actually exists. Neither are they able to offer any evidence to back up their claims.
If absolute certainty is impossible then believers should only claim to be agnostic theists.
However they still claim what they say is the Truth because they claim it is revealed knowledge and only accessible by having Faith. I just do not believe them. I am absolutely certain of that.
Your making an assumption that not being impossible changes the probability in such a dramatic fashion that it renders a conclusion meaningless.
if the probability of something is a ridiculously low number is it worth even considering the absurdity of it?
The god of the statistic anomaly is a comfort to the wishy washy i imagine but no thank you. Ill roll my dice and say nay.
So in that case there are very few if any certainties in the universe as we know it so why ever use a proof positive statement of any kind.
At some point you have to work on the assumption that the anomaly does not matter. So even if there is a minuscule chance of a deity it doesn't matter enough to change the statement of god doesn't exist in any practical application.
But the question is why atheist and not agnostic atheist as an identifier.
So the answer im saying is the probability is so ridiculous that its not worth the distinction.