Agnosticism = fearful atheist?

Isn’t Agnosticism the fear of God by an athiest?

That’s a perplexing idea. I don’t believe in God, or a diety, but JUST IN CASE… I’m going to say that I can’t prove either way, so I don’t want to difinitively claim there is no god… hmmm…

Just my thought on Agnosticism.

Agnosticists believe that anything is possible… including erasing yourself with a pencil… just because they haven’t seen it done, doesn’t mean it’s not possible.

There are a number of ways one can be an agnostic without being a “fearful atheist.”

For example, an agnostic might believe that nothing supernatural can possibly exist, but that this statement is impossible to prove. Or an agnostic might believe that the supernatural might or might not exist, but that the two can never interact so there’s no way to make testable statements about the supernatural. Or an agnostic might think that the evidence for and against the existence of deities is roughly even. Or an agnostic might believe that the phrase “God exists” is undefined and therefore meaningless.

Then there are extreme agnostics who just refuse to say that they know anything with certainty. I find this impractical and, in practice, a bit annoying.

Posted on March 30, 2008 at 3:29 am by ideclare · Permalink
In: Agnosticism

2 Responses

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  1. Written by Nemo
    on April 26, 2008 at 7:30 pm
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    I think the questioner was on the right track, in a way, but it’s not the fear of God — it’s fear of God’s believers. See, they take less offense to “agnostics” than they do to “atheists”. Someone says he’s an agnostic, and the believer hears “Your beliefs might be true; I don’t know enough to say.” But what the agnostic is actually saying is probably, “Your beliefs are ridiculous, but I’m not gonna say that to your face.” Few would really regard the probabilities as equal. And even many who call themselves atheists, like Dawkins, would admit that you can’t absolutely disprove the existence of “God” — for some sufficiently abstract conception of “God” that doesn’t in any way resemble anything that people actually worship.

    I think this describes the largest category of “agnostics”, and I think there is no real difference between their views and the views of “atheists”, except that the atheist is more willing to offend.

    Me, I’m an atheist.

  2. Written by Christine
    on July 8, 2008 at 11:50 am
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    I am often a bit distressed by people’s confusion over agnosticism. It is not just “weak” or “fearful” atheism. It simply refers to an unknowing state. Quite a good number of Christians are actually theistic agnostics — they claim belief/faith, but not proof. I myself claim no proof one way or another; God (or gods) may or may not exist, but I choose not to believe.

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