I just don't feel comfortable picking a side yet and i want to experiences more in life and learn before i decide what i am i am even unsure if that label would work with me being i "Don't think" there's a god and don't know if there is but if i was to be an atheists i would still believe in a afterlife but not heaven hell or a god. but i feel so lost and alone athiest seem just to HATE or dislike people like agnostics...or it feels like that. I Don't think all do though. but why are "some" people like this?
I'm going to apologize on behalf of the atheists who treat you unkindly because you haven't gotten to the place in your journey they think you should have. It's really quite ridiculous. We can't all be at the same place in our journey. Discovering what you believe can be a slow process, and THE BEST you can do is remain honest with yourself and ignore those who lash out at you because of their own issues.
Many of them have been hurt by religion, or see religion as harmful (good arguments can be made for that opinion). They just seem (to me) to be consumed with resentment and forget that every person's journey is different. They may even forget that they were, themselves, undecided at one point. The reasons will vary for why they feel the need to belittle your current position, but just brush them off. Not all atheists are that way.
The fact is, they (like you) may be on a different leg of their own journey. I went through several phases in my "deconversion" process. I went from being terrified, to excited, to happy, to angry, to "evangelical" about atheism, and finally just comfortable and just hoping to get along. I no longer want my atheism to be the central theme of my identity, and I don't want to spend my days warring with religion... however harmful I believe it is. I've realized ya win more flies with honey. I've realized the longer mounds of information are available to the masses, the more likely it is people will come to a similar conclusion. What's most important is that humans ACCEPT EACH OTHER, not insist we all believe the same things.
The things I do wish all people would accept is climate change and evolution. The understanding of those two things will do wonders to help us thrive as a species, and help us help the planet thrive.
Anyway... here are two things you should understand about the terms "atheist" and "agnostic":
Agnosticism deals with knowledge. You "don't know" there is, or you have no knowledge of, a god or gods. We are ALL agnostic, whether many atheists will accept that truth or not. No one KNOWS, even if we can feel fairly certain, there is not a god.
Atheism deals with belief. Atheists don't know if there is a god (they are agnostic), but they take it a step further and say they do not BELIEVE there is a god... which is not to say they KNOW there isn't, otherwise they would be gnostic atheists (which I think is currently an impossible stance).
So, it's likely you are an agnostic atheist because you don't know there's a god AND you don't believe here's one. We're all agnostic atheists... but not everyone will admit that or accept it.
I was just typing out my reply to her and saying pretty much the same thing as you did. The only thing I would add is this. Bertrand Russell had given an example about the celestial teapot orbiting Mars existing just as a supreme creator being/God existing. We do not have any evidence that such a teapot or being exists, so we do not believe there is one there. Of course we can't know if either claim is true for sure just as we can't know anything is 100% certainly true. We constantly keep up with what the facts tell us. :) So, keep it up just as you are. Not all of us are mean.
Your reply make sense Cara: i understand the meaning of both terms but thank you.
I agree i guess people just like to push things on others and they forget, i also sometimes forget i guess i understand when i think about it now :)
Sorry if my breakdown of the definitions was patronizing. A lot of people misunderstand the terms and I think those definitions are important. I also think those misunderstandings are a huge reason why some atheists have a problem with your agnosticism... they're not even aware they, too, are agnostic. No one CAN know whether there's a god, even if it's extremely unlikely or even implausible.
This is a good place to find support in any case. There's the good with the bad, as always, but there are going to be more that get where you're at than otherwise. I hope so anyway! Good luck on your journey!! :)
I understood that's okay and basically i just say agnostics "don't know" because if we claim no knowledge of knowing then "We don't know" I all most wanna say people understand agnostic they just like to put it in there "own ways"
people are like that. And i love atheists either way i think with out them we would be doomed because reaosning and thinking wouldn't be there anymore reasoning would turn into "GOD" and thinking would turn into what they want to believe.
I don't know. I will say That I don't share your beliefs, though I share your concern for the treatment of Agnostics.I used to identify as on, and it did seem that the religious people found it as an opportunity to try a conversion. As if i's be easier to convert than an atheist.
I did some across so atheists that couldn't understand my point of view either. I was about as sure as I could be without 100% proof there was no 'god(s)' but the conversation went a lot easier than with the religious ones.
eventually,one day during a conversation with a religious person, the realisation hit me. I would sooner believe that aliens had visited earth and continued to manipulate civilisation. than I would believe there was a supernatural being that loved me and yet expected me to believe his existence without proof and the forfeit of not doing so is eternal torture. So, not about to 'believe' either theory, I began to identify as Atheist.
Anyway, as an ex agnostic, I understand that it can be a hard life. Just remember, if your talking to someone with a deeply religious point of view about belief you can dramatically shorten the conversation. All you need to do is say your atheist. There is no atheist bible that says you cant change you mind, or that you cant use the word atheist in vain. As far as conversations about belief with atheists go, just tell them that your not 100% sure the conversation your having is happening, so how can you be sure of anything else? the conversation will wither be laughed off or a short back and forth about what reality is.
Anyway, good luck out there. Don't let anyone force your path on this one. it better that you come to your own conclusion and feel free to change your mind at any time.
Definitely don't let the pressure push you into declaring you're an atheist when you aren't ready. There's nothing shameful about agnosticism. I find it to be a very honest intellectual position. You may never feel comfortable enough ruling out the possibility to call yourself an atheist, and that's fine.
I was agnostic for a couple of months after trying to find a form of deism that made sense and I didn't like the uncertainty of agnosticism, so I pushed myself to examine my experiences and to learn more about a number of topics. Now, that was only something I did because I wanted to "know" once and for all and I was ready to do the research, reflection, and face the emotional consequences that I knew I would have if I ened up disbelieveing in god. For me, I was propelled forward by my personal needs. But everyone's different. Some people don't need to "know" or to be "certain" or even care all that much. I don't judge people who aren't ready to look or who don't want to look or who have looked at the issue and remain agnostic...because everyone's unique and we're all at different places in our lives.
Yes, I think its a good point about ' "know" or to be "certain" ' If I had to follow the definitions perfectly I would agnostic. I think many atheists that have thought in any detail about the supernatural would have been an agnostic at some point or still is in some way.
I view myself as an atheist not because I 'know' there is nothing supernatural, but because I feel that I have exhausted all avenues in my search for evidence that supports the supernatural and found nothing credible.
Everyone's path in life is different, and some may never be convinced one way or the other. And, its a brave and honest thing to admit that.
You don't have to pick a side or even decide. You are asking questions and that is good. As Cara said, everyone is at a different point in their journey.
As far as why some atheists hate others: it's kind of the same story as those that are religious. They either have an axe to grind with the religion they were brought up with, or they are still looking for some kind of assurance they they are correct in their thinking. What this comes out as is the need to have others believe the same way they do, or disbelieve in this case. Not all atheists are necessarily calm and rational, but hopefully they will become so later in their journey.
"You don't have to pick a side or even decide." so very true
People do like having the assurance that their ideas are correct.
yup, unfortunately the bigger group isn't always correct. Strength in numbers though.
I think plenty can be said by the desperate form of street preachers and religious propaganda for the desire of growing the numbers. As an atheist, I feel anyone who is starting to ask questions about their beliefs needs no further encouragement from me. And those that refuse the idea of reasonable though arn't ready and wont benefit from anything I say. But I'm most defiantly not a converter of any type.