Agnostic.com

42 10

What is with this Atheist/Agnostic divide stuff lately. It sounds like Catholic/Protestant, Sunni/Shia, orthodox/reform.

Do atheists or agnostics really care what the other camp call themselves?

Lots of talk here about divisiveness caused by religion but this debate always smacks of my non-god is bigger than your non-god.

I may be wrong and if so please correct me but from an observer’s viewpoint looks like the same duck that went to the mosque, then the synagogue then the cathedral! I.e. if it walks like a duck and sounds like a duck...

Geoffrey51 8 Apr 29

Post a comment Reply Add Photo

Enjoy being online again!

Welcome to the community of good people who base their values on evidence and appreciate civil discourse - the social network you will enjoy.

Create your free account

42 comments

Feel free to reply to any comment by clicking the "Reply" button.

5

I really don't care.
The only thing that bugs me is when someone tries to tell me what I am.
Actually, it doesn't so much "bug" me as it amuses me, and gives me an
opportunity to correct anyone's misconceptions.

5

I was blissfully unaware of a Atheist/Agnostic divide. Call me what you want, just don't call me late for supper. I am going to try not to get hung up on semantics.

4

I care not one jot for any of the labels. We are all individuals, and we as nonbelievers are not an organised grouping, so it’s hard to put one particular name on us. That is the way I like it, and it’s why I ticked all the epithets on my profile page....I would be happier to just be thought of as a freethinker and human.

Perfect answer.

4

I see everyone has pulled out their "don't label me" sticker.

That's awesome, you're all individuals and I support you and your statistically mediocre existence.

However, words have meaning. The atheist/agnostic divide is only one in those ignorant of what those terms mean.

Agnostics are atheists. Unless they are theists. Atheists are agnostic. Unless they are gnostic.

They are not two different positions on the same question. If you are agnostic, and don't worship a god, you're an atheist. I'm sorry, but we need to remove the stigma from the word.

Say it with me: I'm an atheist. It's OK. We don't really eat babies. Except on special occasions. Like Wednesdays.

  • What often isn't recognised is that there are Christians who approach their faith from an agnostic angle. They say they don't KNOW whether is a God but they also say that they choose to think that there is one.
  • It would be nice if more religious people - people of the Abrahamic religions - were able to concede that they don't KNOW and that their faith is a choice based a feeling or inclination which they regard as authentic but 'unprovable', that is undemonstrated.

@GunnarSivert Agnostic theists. Or a majority of the population probably

4

Considering that athiests are going to hell & agnostics are only going to purgatory, I’d say there is plenty to argue about.

3

From my POV they are practically the same, the difference is a philosophical detail that do not have any impact in real life decisions.

BUT

There are a lot of new age mystical or even people in doubt that uses the label agnostic to hide their religiosity. Then a lot of people mix this agnostic in doubt with the philosophical agnostic, most of conflict that i see comes from this misuse of the term.

Agnosticism is not a position of doubt is a position where a decision has been made regardless of believing status.
The agnostic (as the term was defined in its creation) is the one that refuses to believe or refuses to turn a belief into a real action, agnosticism does not speak about belief, speaks about knowing and not knowing, and says that only this is what matters for real life decisions.
Even if the real agnostic "feels" that a god exist (cultural indoctrination is difficult to get rid sometimes) he or she won't make decisions based on a feeling that lack knowledge.

3

"My non-god is bigger than your non-god" - I like that: if feel sometimes that atheists see agnostics as not sufficiently hairy-chested and tetesterone fuelled.

3

You know, I agree with you, and up until I joined a couple of years ago I thought agnostics and atheists were comrades together in the same struggle. Then, I joined this community. Quickly I got told by agnostics that theirs was the "more nuanced position"; that atheists were no different from theists because we both have a "faith based belief" in something, unlike the purity of the agnostic; that the atheist has to "prove" that no God exists; and that we atheists are influenced by modern radical terrible awful harmful "leaders" like Richard Dawkins who have been like the black death to non-believers....and so it went. Whoa! I thought we were on the same side here? Well, attacks like that have an impact. You step back. Do you ignore them, or do you deal with the points. Well, obviously the latter. So, that's what has happened. Frankly, I don't want to argue with agnostics, I want to challenge religions. But there it is.

I add I thought the agnostic/atheist squabble had actually toned down lately.

Though Dawkins has admited to being technically an Agnostic, so they are puttting up a straw-man if they say that.

@Fernapple I've not heard him say that.

@David1955 Yes I think it is in at least two of the books, probably The God Delusion for one, he admits to not being able to prove the none existence of god.

3

Labels are bullshit. Arguing about labels means arguing about bullshit. It's discouraging that non - believes can and do fall into the same traps and patterns as believers. If you know yourself and stay true to that, why the fuck does what others believe, or how they describe themselves, make any difference? SMH 🙄

To me, it makes a difference whether a Christian, for example, tells me that she/he is a Christian agnostic (or agnostic Christian) rather than a fully convinced Christian. I feel I have something in common with the former person; we share a common acknowledgement that a degree of doubt is acceptable and that uncertainty is recognised.

Yep

3

I've certainly seen it, in the first few weeks when I read nearly everything posted - after that, much less, I think people mostly stick to what interests them, and if there are people who want to continually rehash that topic, let them have at it in some obscure corner.

3

This topic was actually a point of discussion in my Humanists and Freethinkers group. Some will call themselves atheist no matter what. The oldest member of the group takes the position that there is no difference between Religious and Atheist because they both claim a position that cannot be proven. He advocated using Agnostic because that infers that one has no knowledge or proof. He also pointed out that, at least here in the US, "atheist" is often met with hostility with people trying to convince them that a god exists. Given that there is no way to prove either way, we are agnostic.

3

Y'all motherfuckers need Jaysus.

2

In America we seem to have an uber-need to define and label ourselves to the enth-degree. Then ram this understanding of ourselves down everyone's throat, and expect the world to adjust to our over-defined being. I saw this as a high school teacher with adolescents and their music, their clothing, their whatever. Take a 15/16-year old lover of rap music and play a country song in their presence. You would have thought they were being water-boarded.

Adults are much the same. Not all. But some are this way.

2

People are people. I once had someone block me because I used the word soul in a non religious way.

2

Low level members keep asking and reasoning that same old what's the difference question to get easy points with trite semantics... And we higher level members, like a bunch of dumbasses with the short term memory of goldfish, keep answering them, like we haven't already answered that question a bazillion times. It does get tedious at times.

2

i see that some of y'all have not noticed. i have. it saddens me. i think both labels embrace a range and the ranges sometimes overlap. i call myself an atheist but i don't diss agnostics for being undecided (not my concept, just what i see in the arguments) and i don't care to be dissed for being arrogant (not how i see myself). it is also irritating when people start telling us who we are and what we do or should believe, and that applies to each other as well as to believers. it is equally annoying when a believer tells me that atheism is a religion and when an agnostic tells me the same thing. my main concern isn't what other people believe. let 'em believe in the cheesecake deity if they want, or the tooth fairy. it starts to matter to me when religion gets legislated, executed and/or adjudicated, or forced upon us through other means. this is where atheists and agnostics are, or should be, the same: fight for separation of church and state (and separation of door-knockers, street-doom-criers, pamphleteers and such from ordinary people minding their own business).

g

2

Where you aware there are only two people that cared enough to tell me the differance between atheist, and agnostic, .......and I've forgotten their names.......and, it confused them when I told them some days I was one, other days I was the other, and some days I couldn't figure which it was....so I praised odin...or is it Ra. And...I'm rambling again....I wantta talk about something else.

1

I pay it no attention at all. Is that wrong?

1

"Do atheists or agnostics really care what the other camp call themselves?"

Some do, to a nauseating hysterical degree. I don't know why. The reasons given when asked are usually centered around one or both posters declaring what s/he has arbitrarily decided the other person believes/thinks and proudly announcing that "I am different from you".

It's as pathetic as it is pointless. Unless you're a narcissist, I suppose. Then putting others down and elevating yourself is all that stands between yourself and depression.

1

Lately? This has been going on since I've been on (and off) this site, some two years now.

I am certain much of the conflict comes from newcomers venting a lot of anger at religion who do not yet understand whether they are agnostic or gnostic atheists.

Still, there is an element of gnostic atheists on this site which cause more friction than all the (generally gnostic) theists who I've encountered on this site...combined.

In the first week on this site, I had several gnostic atheists declare (with 100% certainty) I am a theist, atheist, a "fence rider", "covering my bases",...I was told I could not use words such as spiritual, paranormal,...I was chided for every perceived "wrong" and even for the "real" ones for which I changed my opinion.

I was openly recruited to an atheist church bomb squad and had to endure the incessant legal jargon of a gnostic atheist offering defense...not to the (by then banned) 'bomber' but to gnostic atheism, generally based on the 'fact' gnostic atheism is a "non-belief" and therefore exempt from any negative actions taken by gnostic atheists.

"Atheist" and "agnostic" are not mutually exclusive terms. Gnostic atheists would do well to understand this and the fact they are as much outsiders of the focus of this site, actually named agnostic.com, as their theist counterparts...but too many won't.

That must have been so tiresome. Glad you negotiated the waters around it all.

@Geoffrey51 When it became tiresome I put the site down awhile...but usually I was enjoying it.

I thrive in controversy and and know (as a literary, graphic and performance artist) 'creation'...truly new and unique ideas...generally come from chaos.

That and being a SJW for the agnostic cause as well as a lifelong learner...for one, discovering I'm a lifelong apatheist.

It took considerable research to finally find that term but I hold dear the thought ( as 'fact' ) that the very debate of 'god/no god' to be the greatest waste of time any intelligent person can indulge in, especially knowing we as a species are VERY limited intellectually largely due to the limitations of our ability to even define objective reality.

All existential arguments aside, our five senses are great, just swell, but more is known about their limitations than what is known about what is simply beyond their/our perception.

1

Its The People's Front of Judea! #^$@%&/$#^&!

1

Label me how you want. My words to explain will not stop you. Recently in Atheist Experience comments I was called out because someone thought what I first said was words of a believer. I clarified the issue but I'm sure it did not change the mind of the one calling me out for it. People believe nonsense. This is why we have an idiot for POTUS today.

Gladly few are as stupid as Trump and many will consider a reasonable criticism of their assumptions and contradictions.

1

I'm agnostic because of what I know, or don't know in this case. I can't prove there is no doG.
I'm atheist because of what I believe, or don't believe in this case. I don't believe there is a doG. I’m also dyslexic and used to stay awake late at night wondering if there really was a doG. 🙂

I see plenty of dogs all the time and some of them run wild with no owners.

She exists; and she is beautiful

No disrespect is meant here towards DaveSchumacher. Its a serious question. Are you agnostic with regards to the god Vishnu?

@RobH86 Can you prove objectively 100 percent that Vishnu doesn't exist? I don't believe it, so thus I'm atheist.

@DaveSchumacher Sorry mate. Only read half of your previous post. I thought you were claiming to be agnostic. Didn't realise you identified as an theist. My apologies sir

1

I invented the Last Temple of the Great Black Muffin Mistress. There's a God but She wants you to leave Her alone. Humanity was Her mistake and She's half convinced to destroy them all. The ones who think they have a special relationship with Her and those who think She ought to reward them pisses Her off the most.

It's a farce.

The master plan is to quote the Muffinist bible (the Holy Book of Who Ha!) to bible belters to cite their holy book to me: make up scripture on the fly.

I am a believer. The last time I did some muffin, she was black 😉

1

Humans/Beings.

Write Comment
You can include a link to this post in your posts and comments by including the text q:339412
Agnostic does not evaluate or guarantee the accuracy of any content. Read full disclaimer.