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36 6

Aren't we all agnostic?

Heard an interesting statement today.
To paraphrase: We're all agnostic. Believers, atheists, the whole lot.
Agree, or disagree?
Why?
Thanks! 😀

Billy2010A 3 Jan 1

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36 comments

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0

I personally delineate between those who "believe" and those who "know".

On either side of the spectrum, the "knowers" of the unknown present a "special" set of...variables.

Yeah, "variables". Good, politically correct word to use there. "Special" too.

14

Although the word agnostic has several definitions of usage, its etymology derives from the Greek a-gnostic as in a = without and gnostic = knowledge. So its literal meaning is without knowledge.

In some areas we are all agnostic, but common usage generally relates to knowledge of god. As some theists claim to know that a god exists, they will claim that they are not agnostic.

Most atheists are agnostic atheists in that they disbelieve theist claims to the existence of a god and do not believe a god exists, but understand that they cannot know that it is not possible for a god to exist.

They will claim that they are not agnostic (but we know better).

An etymology is not a definition.

@bingst - yep, entymology is gay.

@Nutpoacher It was a joke - to show how the root and meaning of the word "gay" has changed over the years from happy to homosexual - I know its meaning rather than root but ......OK even I'm bored with explaining this now - just put it down to cultural difference in humour - sorry!!!!

I have always asked that question. Before computers I looked each word up in Webster. Brief definition and did not relate, So good to see your post , I am learning much more about the gnostic and what they held in their mind verses the main stream jesus.

11

I don't know. I must say I am agnostic about it

Fuck! I'm exhausted trying to keep up....and I thought I was a deep thinker.

7

I just don't care and could do without all the bullshit really. I'm on hear to escape it and if that means I'm agnostic so be it. id rather talk about my fish and nature.

bring it on!

what do you want to know?

7

So ( a )gnosticism is about knowledge. Whether you know or do not know that a god or gods exist.

If someone can see proof, in the wings of a butterfly or the shape of a banana, then they know without question that God exists. Such a person is not an agnostic. Even if they're wrong.

It's a very fine line between belief and knowledge. I know that Australia is real, but having never been there, I am relying on evidence (presented as facts) provided by others. So do I really have knowledge? Or do I just have a strong belief based on trusting the information that I've been given?

its obviously the banana

6

Atheist and theist are ontological positions: you make a claim on the existence or non-existence of a god(s), about what is real and not real.

Agnosticism, and gnosticism are epistemological positions: they make claims one what is known or what cannot be known

Further, A/theism is theological since the claim is restricted to god(s) while A/gnosticism is philosophical as you can be agnostic about any knowledge, not just gods.

Putting it all together, if you are agnostic about god(s), then you claim that there is not, nor can be, any knowledge about gods. At that point the label of atheist is superfluous at best or confused thinking at worst since you can't make an ontological claim about something you don't have knowledge about.

If you are atheist, then you make the claim that ontologically there are no gods. At that point, agnosticism is superfluous at best or confused thinking at worst since in order to make a ontological claim you must have some knowledge, not just belief, actual knowledge, of reality in support of you ontology.

In analogy, I can be Astringest in that I don't believe there are strings as per string theory. Here, I'm making the strong ontological claim that strings do not in fact exist in reality and I can't be agnostic since I must have some knowledge, some evidence, some facts, to back up my assertion that strings don't exist. However, I can also be agnostic about strings and claim that I don't know if strings exists or take the stronger position that strings as per string theory cannot be known by the way they are defined.

Personally, I'm agnostic about gods and string theory, to choose a theological and secular example. I don't think that we can test for, find evidence for, prove nor disprove either hypothesis with current technology, epistemology, mathematics, logics, phenomenology, or any other methods. I am not atheist about gods nor astringest about strings, however, because both may very well exist, but their proof is beyond our reach at the moment. As an agnostic, I accept that someday we may have the means to test either and thus keep an open mind about both subjects. This, IMO, is an advantage over the atheist or astringest as they have a closed mind on both subjects since they have made the ontological claim that they don't exist and that is not easily (impossible?) to reverse.

Pretty much agreed. Trying to disprove the existence of god(s) ultimately becomes a game of wack-a-mole, as defenders keep redefining the concept of "God" to escape factual critiques. I just call God a metaphor defined variously by each user of the term. Ultimately, even if my personal beliefs are hypothetically "True" with a capital T, my "truth" can only be, at best, a small sliver of factual reality. I find it less productive to argue with someone about whether their claim of existence of god is correct or not, and instead to challenge their notions of what said deity expects of humans or dictates behavior codes. I can talk to any Christian (my background of indoctrination) and have more success challenging their notions of what they insist is "God's will" than I can getting them to consider that their whole deity is a fairytale. Socially speaking, I think that is more important.

5

Maybe when we were first born......but than we got conditioned

4

You could say everyone is agnostic. There's no way of knowing there isn't a little god hiding out there somewhere. I call myself atheist because I've never seen any evidence of one. I don't see any reason to believe in anything until there's evidence of it. Just because millions of people believe something doesn't mean there's evidence of it. There are thousands who believe the Earth is flat.

4

Labels do not stick to me well.

When the earth is 99percent unknown to humans collectively and much greater the Universe. When someone calls me an Agnostic, it can be acceptable. If most of the world's population who are Religious call me an atheist, they often dismiss my worth and some may lower me to be worst than a rapest.

It more important to be what you think. I am what I am and what I think. It is more probable there is aliens or big foot than there is a God.

My brother may think he is a chicken, but my family and I need the eggs.

4

I'm agnostic and atheist. I'm atheist, because I have seen no credible evidence to believe in god(s), as I understand the concepts.
I'm agnostic, because I also acknowledge that I will never fully know or comprehend with any precision what powers running the cosmos and can't tell anyone with utter certainty that those powers aren't in some way organized with a unified intent or will. Do I believe they are? No, not particularly. But I can't declare that impossible, either. What I can declare impossible by virtue of oxymoronic nature is the notion that the cosmos exist primarily for humans' well-being or that the power that runs things is carefully managing our personal lives, or even that individual lives are valued at a cosmic level. The evidence says otherwise.
But, to the question, I don't think we are all agnostic, because it does not just mean not knowing all; it means accepting that we don't know. Not everyone accepts that. Clearly, humans a prone to having a great desire for a feeling of certainty, even when its unwarranted.

4

No. Maybe everyone has something they have doubts on, but not in a 'in some universe' level. Speaking of which universe stuff is what we have scientists and astronauts for.

4

Gnostic. (believe in everything) Agnostic (believe in nothing)

Gnostic relates to knowledge, not belief.

I'm just being simplistic

An atheist defines as a lack of belief in God.

So what on the sliding scale makes an atheist turn into an Agnostic or vise versa?
If you were to put your belief on a scale from 0-10 with 0 being 100% sure god doesn't exist and 10 being 100% sure god does exist agnostics would be about a 5 and agnostic atheists would be about a 7. If I have any doubts, my mind will over focus on the doubt, ending closer results.

To confuse things more R Dawkins says he is an Agnostic at 99 percent sure that God dose not exist. For earthlings like us only having access of 1 percent knowledge about our planet. Making it an extreme claim for anyone to call themselves a atheist of a 100percent, unless they are God and knows everything.

3

Agnostics believe in god, just not religion. Atheists don't believe in god

Agnostics: No sure of the existence of God

To be agnostic has nothing to do with belief, only knowledge.

3

I'm quite certain that there are no gods

I'm very certain that gods are man-made conventions. And further, that they've outlived their utility... indeed, that prevalent major religions are extremely detrimental to humans, the planet.

3

After considering definitions of things, I have concluded that evidence of god is impossible. Evidence that exists in our reality and perception must follow the natural rules(perhaps not as we understand natural rules, but the actual rules that govern nature). Any evidence therefore can only be acted on by means that also fall into the natural rules, so "evidence of god" would prove that such a being was not omnipotent. Perhaps there are beings that live millions of human lifetimes and can move us at will and affect the world as we perceive it in ways we cannot at this point comprehend, but from the standpoint of definitions, that is simply the acknowledgement that we may not be the supreme form of life. I consider this to be an incredibly important distinction, as to say the laws that govern reality can be suspended at the whim of an entity is to say that reality can never be understood in a meaningful way. And because of this, I am not agnostic.

3

Bah, Hunbug! (Loved writing that!)
To the extent that I am ready to get loud & nasty with a supposed "diety" for his/her/its' nastiness & stupidity should one show up, I guess you may be right...........

2

Saw a great bumper sticker once:

Agnostic, I don't know, and you don't either!

Still an Athiest, don't believe in God or gods..

2
2

What is your definition of agnostic?

1

I would tend to agree but have to limit the case. Only the psychotic and the borderline among us invest so much so to have absolute beliefs. Most of us are not so guarded or armored in our psyches as to never admit at least to ourselves that there are things that we simply do not know. We are all aware that there are true facts in the world that we don't know have never knew and would not be likely to rectify. We all have our reasons of not acknowledging the importance of most of these things and most of these things can be safely ignored.
However, There are undoubtedly things which we all do and simply must claim to know. Much of this has to do with the construction of our identities and our perceived content of the world in relation to ourselves. Largely the content of this would be subjective and unassailable to external knowledge or counter argument. I could however discover or create some fact and find a means to communicate it to someone, anyone and be able to repeat for them or myself this demonstration of some, now shared piece of knowledge. ie. All those here to some degree think they know that there is utility in discursive, written language, namely English.

So there are certainly things that at least some of us do know and things that most if not all cannot know. Idealist Agnosticism is its own counter argument as it would not claim to knowledge that its claim must be true. ie If I claim that we cannot know anything, how could I defend this alleged knowledge?

1

I think we are all born with an open mind (i.e. unsure about any argument as to how it is that the universe or life itself exists) Its how we are educated and what we choose to beleive that defines us. However, I would agree that we are all agnostic, anyone who claims to be 100% about anything simply lacks a rational mind. That being said I am by many definitions an athiest as well, its just that god is not falsifyable, and therefore cannot be disproven, this is not a good argument for the existence for god, just a reasonable argument to be, if only a little bit, agnostic

1

It's my experience that "all people" wouldn't agree on anything.

1

everyone has a voice they chat with that exist only in their mind, Who do we think ,think about that, we are talking too?? We always question ourselves

EMC2 Level 8 Jan 1, 2018
1

We're not born that way.

We are all born Atheists

1

About something.

skado Level 8 Jan 1, 2018
1

I think that I am ignorant, because I am small.

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