Question with 10 notes
Anonymous asked: What are your opinions on agnosticism?
Alright so back to answering serious questions and I have a few of them in my inbox right now asking about agnosticism. This is a topic I’ve talked about many times but it is worth answering again because people seem so confused about the topic. So many people want to label agnosticism as a belief they can hold similar to Atheism, theism, or deism when it is actually an answer to a completely different question. No one, despite all those that claim it, is simply just agnostic.
For a quick definition someone who is agnostic feels that we can not have knowledge of god’s existence or non-existence. A gnostic would say that we can or do have knowledge about the existence or non-existence of god. The gnostic/agnostic label only refers to speculation on the availability of knowledge, it has nothing to do with belief or lack of belief at all. It answers a different question.
In my experience people who attempt to take the agnostic label are actually Atheists. Most people tend to call themselves agnostics as a catch all for “I don’t know”. They treat it as if saying they are agnostic allows them to completely side step the entire conversation. They treat it like “I don’t know” is a good answer to “Do you or do you not believe?” when really the only answers are yes or no. For the average agnostic since they do not know, they do not believe, it would be quite difficult to believe in something that you claim to not know anything about.
I think that too many people don’t understand the term and simply use it as a way to avoid the “Atheist” label. I think a lot of people see it as a way they can entirely avoid the topic and the debate completely. If someone doesn’t want to discuss it that it is entirely fine but they should at least acknowledge that they are simply apathetic and as a result likely a non-believer. Often the people that say they are agnostic do so in a completely benign and inconsequential manner, what really bothers me is when people start advancing agnosticism as a proper belief position that is more intellectually honest than Atheism.