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...
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.
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.
From my POV they are practically the same, the difference is a philosophical detail that do not have any impact in real life decisions.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
"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.
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.
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 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.
My problem is only when other people are trying to tell me about me, like atheists telling me that agnostics are really just atheists who aren't courageous enough to admit it. I don't really care who identifies as what as long as they are respectful. In my book, people who are trying to tell me about me when they don't know me is not respectful. Gets my goat.