51 7

Okay, so there is always the Atheist vs. Agnostic vibe in here. I don't want to directly add fuel to that particular fire.
But I do have a question, that probably won't be answered by fact, but by opinion and/ or observation and/ or personal experience.

Thus, therefore and because of, my question is:
How long can a person remain Agnostic and not falloff the fence into either belief or non-belief?

Thank you in advance

twill 7 Mar 10

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Agnostic or Atheist ? I don’t give a shit about labels .Just more bullshit to divide people so one group can criticize the other ,which I have seen once in awhile over two years here .

You're right about that Rich, and no shortage of "ists", "ives" and "isms" in this world all meant to divide us.


Agnosticism IS non-belief.

Based on my experience: Atheists and Agnostics agree that other people's beliefs are none of our business. For that reason alone, I think this post is misdirected.


Well said.


Forever as far as I am concerned .Why the hell would I as an agnostic fall off this fence as you put it .


Sometimes the atheists think this is their site. So we collide sometimes but nobody gets seriously wounded as best I know. I seem to stay agnostic because the more I read, the more questions there are than answers.


Each person is different. Case closed.


Ummm, there are Agnostic Timelines & Agnostic Police to check on this...? Or you think there should be?

The atheists use converted nuns. Those steel rulers will make an unbeliever out of you.

Somewhere between sooner or later and never


I'm either immune or tone deaf to the A vs. A vibe, but then I'm a nullifidian. It seems to me that one can remain an agnostic for life, as The Great Agnostic, Robert Green Ingersoll did, and I count Ingersoll as one of my intellectual role models.


Given how objectively ridiculous the claims of religion are, I don't see how everyone isn't already atheist.


Since the question is posed in such a way that facts are not the priority and opinion is, then I would have to say that it just depends. It depends on the person, it depends on their cultural environment, it depends on what other exterior influences would drive a fence sitter to one side of the fence or the other as opposed to just remain sitting on the fence.

Admitting a lack of definitive knowledge on a subject or that a hypothesis has not been successfully tested to be said to be proven is not fence sitting! (That’s a condescending comment!). No one knows everything, and if they do: they’re misguided 😉


My son 15, was telling me last night that he is some kind of Atheist at some kind of stage.
So I asked him this morning what he meant by that.
And he said something along the lines of believing in a Higher Power, but not in any God, because God needs to prove that he exists. Actual proof.

I sez, "I think you're referencing being Agnostic. Not sure, but I claimed that territory for many years. Until I actually really thought about this. You do the same. Find out for yourself."

Then he sez, "what I know about Atheists is everyone thinks you're Devil Worshippers."
I sez, "Yeah, we all have to be some kind of crazy to make everyone happy, don't we?"

Then he made a connection between heavy metal music and how "people" only listen for the "satan" parts and nothing else. ( I guess to justify their prejudice) Connections!..... Smart Kid!

We had a good laugh before school this morning

twill Level 7 Mar 11, 2020

He is a smart kid, and you are a good dad to listen to him and to give him time to explore his own beliefs in safety. A big thumbs up to you.

I think it is interesting how believers judge atheists from their own paradigm of God and the devil. Atheists no more believe in the devil to worship that deity than they believe in God. To call them "devil worshippers" is contradictory to being an atheist.

@RussRAB Thanks!


Well your question is misinformed and based on subjective opinion. Sooo why would you expect a factually accurate reply to a question like this?

"But I do have a question, that probably won't be answered by fact, but by opinion and/ or observation and/ or personal experience." I also had subjective expectations


I don’t know, or more specifically, I don’t care!


Thanks to everyone for their comments.
In popular parlance, "agnosticism means not sure of god's existence whereas "atheism" menas a surety that god (or gods) do not exist. Which is where you get your fence metaphor from.
However, many would define the terms differently.
Atheism has to do with belief. I am an atheist because I do not believe any god(s) exist.
I am also an agnostic; I have no knowledge of any god(s). I am not 100% certain that a god (or gods) exist. I have not seen any evidence for his/her/its/their existence. But given the immensity of the universe...

Exactly. I am an atheist because I see no evidence for the existence of a god and I will carry on with my life as if no such deity exists. I am agnostic, because if any non-falsifiable evidence of a god came to light, I could then be persuaded to change my mind.

@TheMiddleWay "Have you thought about what criteria said non-falsifiable evidence would have to take for you to accept it?" LOL (excellent question) - Yes, I have thought about it...and "Yes" it would be very difficult (if not impossible) to come up with evidence for the existence of a god that could not be disputed in some way….. (“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Arthur C. Clarke).

The closest I have ever heard was: if an amputee regrew a limb (say an entire leg) right before my very eyes within a matter of minutes…. But, even then (I admit), I would consider the possibility that what I was seeing was only an aberration of some mental illness that I was unaware that I had (or a hallucination....but with repetition and other factors, maybe I could be convinced I was not hallucinating....).

I do think my atheism is a 'belief' and not 'knowledge', but it is a belief rooted in the available knowledge pool.

Consider - if a god did exist, and said god wanted me to know of their existence…. wouldn’t they provide the adequate proof (by the definition of 'god', they should be able to)?

@TheMiddleWay I though god was supposed to be omnipotent,/omniscient/ IF they existed and IF they wanted us to know them....they should be able to make that happen, no? We don't know, so either god does not exist, or god does not want us to know of his/her existence, or maybe god wants us to know but is just making it too difficult to know (crafty bastard). Either way....I still know nothing, and am comfortable with dismissing supernatural notions.

@TheMiddleWay I said "IF"...not imaginary god "wants" would one know what a god wants....

@TheMiddleWay I don't see that I am treating anything as 'real'.


You can choose what to believe for as long as you want??? I don't think there is a rule with regards to a time line. If there is I missed it. I am an Agnostic with an Atheist leaning and have been for as long as I can recall, however I like to think that I am open minded enough to accept anything that may change my mind at any time. Always open to new idea's or facts. I have been waiting on those idea's and facts for a few decades now but always open to etc etc......


Between eons and a nanosecond.


Love your sense of humor!

"Brevity is the soul of wit," Shakespeare wrote in "Hamlet."

@LiterateHiker He also wrote the longest soliloquy on the planet in Hamlet.

@Geoffrey51 its not the size that matters in only 30 lines, but what those 30 lines express and I submit to you that a complete and compelling variety of emotions, doubts and sincerity could have hardly done as briefly as the bard wrote.

@Mofo1953 I agree. I wasn’t criticising just remarking.

@Geoffrey51 me too.


It strikes me that equating agnosticism with a fence is a false position, as opinions can range 100% certainty that the God of the Bible exists to 100% certainty that the God of the Bible cannot exist.


After I left the Catholic religion I don't feel interesting to put myself in any category. I created my own belief and non belief without religions or Gods. I can't fall off the fence again because I jumped off from it long time ago.


There is no set time of waffling about the existence of an invisible deity.

Everyone is different. At age five, I scoffed at ridiculous Bible stories in Sunday school. They were like Grimm's Fairy Tales to me.

"Mom, I decided I'm an atheist," I said at 13. "That's fine, honey," she replied. "What do you want for dinner?"

In my 30s, Mom told me she became an atheist in nursing school. "I realized a woman cannot be turned into salt," she said and laughed.


Agnosticism, while it may be conditional, is already non-belief. It simply means one is open to the idea of the existence of a god, should should adequate evidence be presented. In that respect, I am an agnostic atheist, albeit a pessimistic one.

Deb57 Level 8 Mar 13, 2020

55 years so far. Agnostic is not a fence. It's not a holding pattern waiting for the right runway to land on. Agnostic is about evidence and not inventing solutions to problems that don't apply to real life. Scientific methodology. Religion is a social/psychological construct that has some social/psychological value but has no natural applications. Believe, not believe, not really an Agnostic problem. If you are having trouble understanding maybe Atheism should be your choice. 😁


Agnosticism may sometimes be a half way house for those travelling either into unbelief or faith, but for others, it is a logical position that, as an agnostic sees it, it is not possible to know if God exists or not. Thus the doubt is a settled position, an objective doubt as opposed to a subjective feeling.


Being agnostic is not about fence sitting, its about being honest with yourself about knowledge. I don't know and/or can't know if a higher power exists, so to be intellectually honest with myself I must take an agnostic stance. With that said I consider myself 99.9% atheist and .1 percent agnostic.

Tejas Level 8 Mar 11, 2020

About 30 years so far 🙂


46 years and agnostic since about 15. I think that there must be a higher intelligence (cannot prove it) you could call it instinct if you may (certainly not knowledge) However, no religion or faith makes any sense to me. I do not believe in the concept of revelation either. Does not makes sense to me if existence is only in this physical body and that is all our existence. Do not fear death or any concept of “damnation”. I try to learn as much as I can from informed fine people like most of you but I do not ignore my instincts of the possibility of higher intelligence beyond my comprehension. And there you have it: agnostic but not yet atheist. Certainly that no religion makes sense to me.

I think we may have more beliefs in common than not. I also identify as agnostic and don't rule out the possibilities of entities or beings with greater knowledge or abilities than ourselves. Even "lesser" beings (are they really or just different?) have abilities we don't possess. Dogs hear higher frequencies than we do and bats probably even higher than that. Dogs have superior olfactory abilities like nothing we can imagine and they have hearing far superor to our own. I have read that migratory birds are suspected of being able to detect gravitational forces which assist in their migration. I have no problem if another being somewhere in our universe is smarter than we are or has abilities we don't. I can respect them just as I can respect other human beings here who are smarter, or have abilities I don't possess. But this does not make then Gods, and while I can respect their abilities, I shouldn't need to worship them.


With something like 2900 monotheistic religions, each one saying that it is the only true one, what is the probability of any one of them being right?

2899 of them are wrong. Mathematically the odds would be one in 2900. Realistically, backed with evidence......1 in 100 trillion billion ?

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