Sunday, February 22, 2004

Agnostic is the same as Atheist

The conventional definitions are that an agnostic is one who believes it is impossible to prove the existence of a god whereas an atheist is one who says there is no god.

Are these really different definitions?

No! They are really the same thing! If there were a good reason to believe in god then both the atheist and the agnostic would be believers. They are both non-believers due to a lack of evidence or reason to believe. In fact, if there existed reasonable evidence for the existence of god then all rational people would be believers and the non-believers would be the wackos instead of the other way around.

The atheist says there is no god is because there has never been any evidence for the existence of a god. The atheist does not hold to his belief due to faith or conviction in his heart. He simply refuses to believe in something when there is absolutely no evidence or reason to believe in it. If the atheist were to say there is no god simply out of emotional desire to believe that way then, in fact, he would be acting the same as a religious person and could properly be called a religious atheist (also known as a superstitious wacko).

The agnostic says he does not believe in the existence of god because it can't be proved. He says it can't be proved because, duh, it can't be proved and there is no evidence for it.

If there were evidence for the existence of god, then there would be no need for faith since faith is believing something when there is no evidence or reason to believe in it. If there were evidence for the existence of god then both the agnostic and the atheist would believe in god. They are logically the same thing.

The bottom line: the agnostic is an atheist trying to avoid confrontation or else is sheepishly trying to cover his bets out of fear that if he's wrong, he will be tortured in burning fire for eternity by a "benevolent" god and thinking that perhaps, if he doesn't explicitly deny the existence of god he might have a chance to avoid hell. The agnostic knows in his rational human mind there is no god but is afraid to say so directly. In other words, an agnostic is just a cowardly atheist.

Mike Newdow put it much more succinctly:
The distinction [between atheist and agnostic] may be illusory. An atheist denies the existence of god; the agnostic claims that the existence cannot be known. Thus, the agnostic (in actuality) denies the existence of the proof just as the atheist denies the existence of the entity. In any event, both are saying that no proof exists to justify a belief in god, and both would believe in god were such proof to arise.


At 5/14/2005 10:04:00 AM, Blogger vjack said...

As I understand it, an agnostic is someone who is not sure one way or another. He does not believe in a god, but he also does not believe that there isn't a god. An atheist, on the other hand, is confident that there is no god.


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