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Atheist Experience
Agnosticism as a belief

I know that agnosticism is defined as a knowledge-view according to this show and others, and this show does reject the popular definition of neither a belief or disbelief in a god.

It seems this show's view is that either you are a theist or an atheist. I feel however that it IS a valid stance to neither believe or disbelieve. I feel it is a narrow minded, dividing, and even hate-causing thing to demand someone is either an atheist or a theist. You are deliberately trying, maybe not intentionally, but nonetheless trying to pit people against each other.

I think we would be better off with more people prescribing to neither believing nor disbelieving rather than becoming a staunch "disbeliever," who immediately feels pitted against the religious of the world.

It certainly is possible to neither believe nor disbelieve. If I have not watched the news I do not know if it will rain tomorrow. To follow the analogy, you are trying to get people to fight each other about whether it will rain tomorrow. We'd be better off if we all just accepted we don't know if it will rain rather than dividing into groups of people who fight about it due to our pointless beliefs. Whoever came up with verbiage to disqualify agnosticism as a belief is a hate mongerer.

I have a quibble with your definition of belief. I would define belief as something you hold to be true. With your rain example, you don't believe it will rain and you don't believe it won't.

In the ACA (and many other atheist organizations), we define atheism as the lack of a belief in gods. We don't care whether you believe there isn't one.

Theism does its harm because people act on their god beliefs, often to the detriment of others. So it's positive belief in a god that's that problem.

As far as I'm concerned, agnostics are atheists by our definition and there's not a lot of point in splitting hairs.

I feel as though you are partially misrepresenting or misunderstanding the definitions that have been put forth on TAE. If sounds as if you think Agnosticism and Atheism are mutually exclusive, which is not the case at all.

You said: "I know that agnosticism is defined as a knowledge-view according to this show and others, and this show does reject the popular definition of neither a belief or disbelief in a god. It seems this show's view is that either you are a theist or an atheist. I feel however that it IS a valid stance to neither believe or disbelieve."

Well first off, a 'knowledge-view' is not just something put forth by TAE, it's in the root of the word itself. Agnosticism has always been used in relation to knowledge, from the time it was coined until today.

Atheism and Theism are opposing stances on a single issue of BELIEF - namely the existence of Gods. Agnosticism and Gnosticism are opposing stances on an issue of KNOWLEDGE.

While Theism is a belief in God (or Gods), Atheism is a witholding of belief in God (or Gods). This is different than saying that Atheism is the belief that there are no Gods (which would be an incorrect definition).

Meanwhile, A gnostic would be someone who claims knowledge of God. And agnostic would be someone who does not claim knowledge of God.

Keep in mind the only positions here which make positive claims are Theists and Gnostics. Agnostics and Atheists are simply the positions of witholding.

So - the point is, no one is ruling out agnosticism.

You could easily be a:

Gnostic Theist Agnostic Theist Gnostic Atheist Agnostic Atheist

You also said: "It certainly is possible to neither believe nor disbelieve"

Absolute it is - and that is exactly the position of the Agnostic Atheist.

The claim that "a god exists" is a groundless claim that is not based on reason, logic, research or evidence. To dismiss that claim is parting what is fact-based information from attempts to produce information.

The atheist response is not, "I do not know", it is I am dismissing a claim made without evidence. Dismissing an unsubstantiated claim has nothing to do with what I think I can prove. Even though there is a preponderance of evidence that no gods exist; atheists don't need to prove a thing; theists need to prove some god exists, it's their claim. If a claim can't be proven it is dismissed like any theory that can't be falsified. I don't have to say, "I don't believe a claim that has been dismissed," it's obvious. The slightest belief that there could be a "god" is without one scintilla of evidence, and the "god" assumption cannot be applied to a single theory about the origin of life or the universe, even though god was an attempt to explain the origin of life and the universe.

People who make claims about things that exist need to prove what it is, what it does and why it exists. That proof does not have to be physical evidence; proof is also the logical basis for the presumption. Proving anything exists requires demonstrating that the hypothesis is logical. That can and is used to prove things in science all the time. If there were no suffering and no opportunity to improve things then maybe we would be perplexed about an all knowing all "loving" god's existence?

What method did you use to reach a conclusion about the plausibility of the existence of something that we cannot observe and there is no possible way to detect it. There is no method that would allow scientists to quantify the uncertainty of the factors, which determines if there is an experiment that could be done to prove the existence of something. What is the formula or equation for the existence of an omnipotent, omnipresent supernatural god and what is it based on, and how does anyone construct a model? How do you test or falsify your answer? Why just believe it? Why is deciding there has to be something (with no evidence) a better decision than there is nothing? Without evidence no experiment could support the hypothesis "there is something" because of the lack of any evidence or observation.

Atheists are individual freethinkers who do not need someone to tell them what to think. If they did they could join the church-a-thon. I'm not arguing that anyone has to think the way I do, what I'm saying is a groundless claim can be dismissed and that's not the same thing as making a groundless claim. Those making the claims need to prove them.

If anyone who couldn't find an answer claimed "god did it" in science or any other field they would have to prove that a complex god exists. They would have to explain what god is and how He created everything. If god created time how did He exist before time? Actually nobody has given a credible explanation of god or told anyone what it is, and their god clams haven't answered a thing.

There is no claim that can't be challenged and if it is not defended then it didn't stand up to examination. If I can't defend my position, no matter what I say about believing something, it is pointless. That's how I see it, but don't let that stop anyone else, feel free to apply god indiscriminately whenever there is something you don't understand. You can't go wrong considering there is no possibility of falsifying the "god" theory that is so obscure that you can just brush aside any and all rebuttals by saying, "nobody proved god doesn't exist", nobody proved Pinocchio doesn't exist.

Isaac Asimov said, "I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect that he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time."

Like the guy says, you are describing an Agnostic Atheist position.

The fact that some people have poor definitions of words cannot curtail the intelligent discussion of the rest of us. If people wish to discuss these issues they should at least understand what the terms mean.

There is a lot of ignorance on the definitions, but most atheists go to great lengths to clarify these matters during discussions.

The division occurs because some Theists interpret all atheism as a flat-out denial of the God possibility, which it is not, not always.

Your rain analogy doesn't work because rain is a physically tangible thing that we have evidence and experience of. It is measurable and quantifiable. You don't know if it will rain tomorrow, but you know it has rained and you know with reasonable certainty that it will rain again.

You cannot say the same of a god. The god possibility is much, much weaker. So weak as to be almost non-existent. God did not evidence himself yesterday (any god that is), and it is not just a matter of time until god evidences himself again.

As an atheist, if you show me evidence of God I will then believe, I think this fulfils your criteria of 'we would be better off with more people prescribing to neither believing nor disbelieving', because I am ready to be swayed by evidence.

At the moment, there is far more evidence against.

I am only an atheist in reaction to theism. Without theism I would not have to label myself an atheist. I would simply be happy.

I tend to feel there is too much ado with semantics and less with clarity of meaning (and clarity does not automatically come from an over-analytical approach).

Not long ago I was confronted by a, well, I believe he was of the moron.. sorry, mormon persuasion. He wonder how I could possibly say that atheism is not an ideology (in the context of me saying religion is simply a theistic form of ideology), when it has an 'ism' in its meaning.

Now, I asked him to think about what the 'a' stands for in "atheism". It means that the given person is without the described 'ism'. I.e he or she does not subscribe to that 'ism'. Plain and simple, without any unnecessary gobbledigook. It's not harder to define than that.

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