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Do you know anyone who is not agnostic?

If you can think of someone, do you know how they know?
Is their claim of knowledge valid?
If not, could you show them why it is not valid?
If so, please explain.

By x0lineage0x
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I have some religious fanatics in my family. They are the kind that thinks that if the bible says it, then it's the truth. Faerie Tales I say.

AncientNight Level 7 Mar 14, 2018

I like what Stephen Hawking (rip) said:

"In such a massive place as the cosmos, we only have to look at ourselves to prove that extremely unlikely things can and do happen all the time."

marga Level 7 Mar 14, 2018

Absence of evidence is not proof. Absence of evidence allowed people to think the Earth was the center of the universe.
There are negatives in science. % decrease is negative.
I don’t believe in a supreme being, but the possibility cannot be dismissed without evidence.

Joshuahenley Level 5 Mar 14, 2018

The possibility need not be considered until the claim has sufficient evidence to support it.


Anyone with a grasp of basic logic and critical thinking cannot fail to accept that we are all agnostic. Even Dawkins when pressed on the point had to admit that he himself is.

It's an endless and often frustating and pointless debate though, to have with people who think they are nothing except theist or atheist. Academically and philosophically interesting, but often too emotive and unproductive. I'm happy for people to believe what they want to believe. Both theism and atheism give many people a lot of comfort in this cruel world, and I'm not going to take that away from them.

nikirandom Level 2 Mar 14, 2018

Well I do know one Atheist, the rest are believers of some sort.

mickeyrom Level 4 Mar 14, 2018

I know many, many more people who are not agnostic or atheistic then who are. So long as they do not try to impose their beliefs on me and others, they have a right to be deluded.

wordywalt Level 8 Mar 14, 2018

I believe that allowing others to be deluded is a dis-service to them, you and your community.
Do they have the right to believe as they will? yes.
As a citizen that can vote to affect others, should they at least be opposed when holding false ideals as true? I believe so.


I know plenty of non-agnostic, and their claims to their knowledge is their book and what someone else else told them, namely their pastor and Sunday school teacher.
There claims are about as valid as an untested hypothesis.
I start by showing them just evil their God is using their own holy book.
But, they already know that I am an atheist and they don't like talking with me about their God or their beliefs.

Clare Level 7 Mar 14, 2018

This is a problem for sure. If you know it, you can show it, if you can't show it, you don't know it.

Thanks for sharing smile001.gif


I am not agnostic, I cannot disprove a diety, but I will say there are none until it is proven otherwise, so I am anatheist.

Rugglesby Level 8 Mar 13, 2018

Gnosticism provides three stances:

  1. Gnostic Affirmative ( I know a God exists )
  2. Gnostic Negative ( I know that no God exists )
  3. Agnostic (I do not know any got to exist)

Literally everyone is one of those 3 as this is regarding a claim of knowledge.

Atheist is regarding a claim of belief which is why you can have Agnostic theists. They don't Know God exists, but they believe it.

@x0lineage0x good point, I am along the lines of, I believe no God exists.

"I cannot prove" is the very bedrock of agnosticism

I believe no God exists puts you in the atheist and agnostic camp.


I can't be bothered, how do you cure stupid?

LeighShelton Level 8 Mar 13, 2018


you can only get the horse to the water. you can't make it drink. if that was right there would be no religions now.


I would just ask open-ended questions. A talking snake? Cain & Able wives? The floating zoo?

azzow2 Level 8 Mar 13, 2018

Adam's Rib? The knowledge that "Thou shalt not eat of the Tree of Knowledge"? Jonah's whale? The Virgin Birth? etc etc

This approach though allows the theist to answer your question with other conflicting answers. I prefer to expose the fact that they deceive themselves and how easy it is to do especially when your community reinforces it.

@atheist you can come as long as the water is water and not turned into wine. (1)


I don't understand the question. Someone who is not agnostic? Are you talking about religious believers? Or atheists?

I don't know what their claim of knowledge is, either, but asking if it's valid? It is to them. And I would never presume to show them why I think it's not valid. I would respect their right to believe what they want.

marga Level 7 Mar 13, 2018

Looks like to me is how would you sell being a non believer to a religious disadvantaged.

Letting people believe in untrue things I would argue is not the respectful thing.

How good of a friend would you be if you knew of a friends spouse was cheating and never told them?

How good of a voter would you be if you never read any of the propositions?

Knowing what is true and what has yet to be proven true I would say is way more important than be comfortable in your dilussion.


Here is my truth in three parts:

1) The respect comes in the harm. Unless it is the direct cause for another persons harm, such as your religion specifically saying kill or disrespect others, then letting them believe in something harmless but untrue is itself harmless.

2) Also, this is premeditated on your belief of truth. Suppose you know a friend is cheating on his wife but are wrong... your knowledge being incomplete or incorrect. Your telling the wife your truth could cause harm.

Likewise, suppose the voter doesn't need to read the propositions because they are already aware of the issues and how they want to vote. Again, it is only your version of truth that is coming into play, not theirs.

3) Relying on truth is akin to relying on god: you claim you have it and this makes you free to act however you want in defense of it. But truth is so slippery, so rare, that it is a dangerous platform from which to base notions of respect upon.

I think the respectful thing to do is not to change a persons truth but to try to understand it.

  • They present their truth.
  • You present yours.
  • If they want to change their truth to yours, they will do it; you can't force it upon them.
  • If you want to change your truth to theirs, you will do it; they can't force it upon you.

Any notion that you can force or change another persons truth is what I find disrespectful.


@TheMiddleWay I couldn't have put it better myself.


You seem to be trolling, but I'll answer as if you are not.

My point is more of we don't have "our truths" there is the truth. Any reduction from the truth into x.truth is misleading. this is why we deal in evidence rather than hearsay.

"letting them believe in something harmless but untrue is itself harmless"
Letting other believe in untrue things is not harmless, especially when those beliefs inform decisions and are packaged with life controlling principles.

"Suppose you know a friend is cheating on his wife but are wrong"

If I were to claim knowledge of my friend being cheated on I would provide the evidence and let my friend sort it out. To make a claim without evidence would be a theist like approach

"Relying on truth is akin to relying on god" The truth is that which corresponds with reality, god is unreality.. so I don't get how you could make that analogy.

"I think the respectful thing to do is not to change a persons truth but to try to understand it."
Yeah.. you would have to understand it before you are able to inform them of their err in data.

@x0lineage0x Why do you think TheMiddleWay is trolling? I think he/she is making some good points, and in a polite way.


It's informative that your first instinct to someone responding to you with the pretext of "presenting my truth" is that they are a troll. smile007.gif

But let's put that aside for the moment and get back to the topic at hand: smile001.gif

"Letting other believe in untrue things is not harmless, especially when those beliefs inform decisions and are packaged with life controlling principles."

Thinking the earth is flat if you are the director of NASA can lead to harm.
Thinking the earth is flat and you are a car mechanic will not lead to harm.
Thus, the same belief is harmless in one instance and harmful in the other.

Likewise, believing that god exists can be harmful if you advocate healing through prayer but believing that god exists is harmless if you don't. I chose this example because a vast majority of medical doctors (something like 70 to 80%) are religious and yet do not advocate healing through prayer and thus their belief is harmless.

"If I were to claim knowledge of my friend being cheated on I would provide the evidence and let my friend sort it out."

Never said you shouldn't. But that evidence is based on your presumption of a truth not your surety of the truth. As I elaborate below, you truth is limited by your senses and you understanding and thus involving yourself in other peoples truths can have harmful consequences to them unless you are 100% sure of the facts... and 100% surety is a rare thing in this world. Even video of an act is not considered 100% surety as several high profile criminal cases prove.

IMO it's best for the person cheating to reveal the truth on their terms, not yours. After all, you have zero stake in being wrong and they on the other hand have THEIR relationship at stake, which is not YOUR relationship.

You can, and should, be a good friend and warn them, especially if they risks being harm by STD's or emotional attachment... but trying to present "your truth" as "the truth" is not really up to you: Their truth to decide, not yours to impose.

"he truth is that which corresponds with reality, god is unreality.. so I don't get how you could make that analogy."

Because your reality and mine are not the same; they are moderated by the limits of our senses and understanding. And thus your truth and my truth are not the same.

Example: To a person that is blind, the reality of "red" is inaccessible to them and thus the "reality" of a red apple can never be the same as a sighted persons "reality". Nothing you can say can make your reality theirs. As such, to a blind person, any "truth" that you try to convince them about "red" apples will like an appeal to an unseen god: If I can't see god, but you claim to have the truth of him, I'm supposed to believe what you say about god is true and real... in the same manner that I can't see a red apples, but since you claim to the have the truth of it I'm supposed to believe that what you say about red apples is true and real.

"Yeah.. you would have to understand it before you are able to inform them of their err in data."

Small correction: of how you see an error in their interpretation of the data. The data is presumably the same; that's the definition of data. It's the interpretation that is different. We all agree the world exists... but to a theist that existence is due to god(s)... to an atheist it is not... thus we both agree on the data but disagree on the interpretation.

As per my point, the respectful thing is for both sides to present their interpretation and then let each side decide if they wish to stick to their original POV or change it to the others. In my experience as a physics teacher, I've found it is far more effective to show how my interpretation of the data is a better fit to the data than to convince my students that their interpretation is a poor fit.

Trying to hammer away at how my students are wrong, instead of working to clear up how I as the teacher am right, is disrespectfully and ineffective in my trollish opinion. smile009.gif


@TheMiddleWay Ending the text wall here.


I would consider myself agnostic because of science. You don’t eliminate possibilities without proof. I don’t believe that God is a probability, but there will always be a % until proven otherwise. I can prove man made religions are not real, but not the existence of a God like being.

Joshuahenley Level 5 Mar 13, 2018

@atheist The only problem being that science doesn't prove a negative, with an undefined or unapproachable sample size.


"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"

I'm sure you've heard that before. A good example of this comes from my field of particle physics.

Up until the 1930's, all there was evidence for was the proton and electron. There was no evidence for neutrons, neutrinos, muons, and all the rest of the particle zoo.

So I ask you, in the absence of evidence, could we conclude that these particles didn't exist up until the 1930s and they just "magically" appeared... or can we conclude that they existed all along and it was not until the 1930's that our science was able to create an experiment to confirm them? In fact, those experiments also dismissed a wealth of contrary ideas that were not true and had we dismissed the neutron as not existing simply due to the lack of evidence pre-1930's, we would have never found it.

Likewise with theistic claims... until such time as an experiment can be created to dismiss all ideas of god, we don't have a basis to dismiss that god exists, in the same manner that we didn't have a basis to dismiss the neutron et. al existing pre 1930's.

@atheist smile001.gif reread what I said.

I agree negatives are provable, but not without a defined or approachable sample size.


"The burden of proof is on the person making the affirmative claim! "

The burden of proof is on the person making the claim, period.
If I claim something does exists, it's up to me to prove that it does.
If I claim something doesn't exist, it's still up to me to prove it doesn't.

For example, autism and vaccines. People that claimed there was a correlation have the burden to prove that there was while the people that claimed there was no correlation also had the burden to prove that there was no correlation.

The burden was carried by both sides and, so far, is conclusively in favor of the people making the negative correlation

"A meta-analysis combines and analyzes the results of multiple, earlier studies. By increasing the size of the sample – in this case to 1,266,327 children –scientists can generate more accurate conclusions than would be possible with a single study.

“This analysis provides further confirmation for a lack of association between vaccines and autism that the broader healthcare community has understood and embraced for some time,” "



I never made that claim so I've nothing to prove.
I'm agnostic: I make no claims on what god(s) do or don't do; I simply say "I don't know".

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