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Difference between Atheism and Agnosticism?

sdavio
Posts: 1,798
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8/2/2014 11:48:22 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I've seen many atheists say - and some have said to me - that atheism does not mean that "there are definitely no Gods", but rather that there is not enough evidence for their existence, or that there is no reason to believe in one. If this is true, how is atheism different from the agnostic position that the existence of God is "unknown or unknowable"? Presumably if agnostics thought there were enough evidence for the existence of God, they would be theists..
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
BestNameEver
Posts: 22
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8/3/2014 12:03:51 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/2/2014 11:48:22 PM, sdavio wrote:
I've seen many atheists say - and some have said to me - that atheism does not mean that "there are definitely no Gods", but rather that there is not enough evidence for their existence, or that there is no reason to believe in one. If this is true, how is atheism different from the agnostic position that the existence of God is "unknown or unknowable"? Presumably if agnostics thought there were enough evidence for the existence of God, they would be theists..

I most often identify as an agnostic atheist, and to me the difference is that they are two answers to two different questions. I am an atheist because I do not believe there are any gods. I am agnostic because I do not claim to know with certainty that there are no gods. I accept that a god could be incorporated into my worldview, but I see it as an unnecessary explanation that raises more questions than answers.

There are some people who claim strong atheism or gnostic atheism, that they definitely know that there are no gods and that it is impossible for there to be any god, but I would say this is a rather small minority of atheists.

Did that clear it up?
lifemeansevolutionisgood
Posts: 551
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8/3/2014 12:06:55 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/2/2014 11:48:22 PM, sdavio wrote:
I've seen many atheists say - and some have said to me - that atheism does not mean that "there are definitely no Gods", but rather that there is not enough evidence for their existence, or that there is no reason to believe in one. If this is true, how is atheism different from the agnostic position that the existence of God is "unknown or unknowable"? Presumably if agnostics thought there were enough evidence for the existence of God, they would be theists..

There are 4 positions someone can take.
Agnostic theist
Agnostic atheist
Gnostic theist
Gnostic atheist

Theist=believe in a god
Atheist=Lack of belief in a god
Agnostic=Does not know
Gnostic=Knows