hey everyone, I'm an agnostic atheist. Is anyone of you a gnostic atheist? if there is, would you share your view please? cause i would really love to have some kind of definite answer, but i'm just not there yet for considering myself as a gnostic atheist. so..opened up for discussion! :)

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Anyone claiming to be gnostic anything is very probably confused or simply does not understand the issues. This is ultimately why the word agnostic is utterly useless. Everyone is agnostic. Emotional certainty does not equal actual knowledge.

As a life long atheist, I would be tickled if a god were to decide that now is the time to make an appearance that would be convincing enough for all humans to acknowledge its existence as a god. I'm just not afraid to openly state that I don't believe that could never happen. Making the claim of gnostic atheism seems pointless to me.

Let me put it this way:

  • Do I believe in leprechauns?  No.  Why?  No Evidence.
  • Do I believe in mermaids?  No.  Why?  No Evidence.
  • Do I believe in left-handed zindlefingers? No. Why? No Evidence.
  • Do I believe in gods? No. Why? No Evidence.


In all the above cases, I think that I could assert without fear of contradiction that leprechauns, mermaids and left-handed zindlefingers do not exist. Yet for some unfathomable reason, gods too often get an exemption.  Some wish to put forward the idea that, despite the lack of evidence, gods MIGHT exist, that we cannot be 100% sure of their lack of existence.  The only reason I can think of why they might is TIME, because the idea of a god has been around for so long and accepted by so many people. Yet the concept of any form of deity is no more valid than that of a leprechaun or a mermaid or my own invented zindlefinger.

There are countless things which can be conceived by the mind of man, yet have no objective physical existence. For myself, I cannot accept that we have to grant the possibility of something to exist simply because someone thought it up. Without substantiation, without demonstration, without evidence, insofar as I am concerned, gods are NOT, full stop.

All the agnostics that I have quoted in my earlier replies firmly disbelieve in miracles but they have a doubt that a supernatural power may yet be existing. If there is a chance that a supernatural power exists then what would stop it from performing miracles? Since nature keeps on performing according to a set of its own laws, anything that this supernatural power does would be a miracle and so not believeing in miracles is the same as not believing in a supernatural power. This is atheism, not agnosticism.

The term "supernatural" implies a superceding to nature, of which there is lacking evidence. Were there to be a powerful entity with godlike ability, I would still have doubts as to the supernatural aspects of said ability as well as the origin of such a being.

"Why does God need a starship?" comes to mind, as well as the "Q" continuum, both from the Star Trek franchise. More likely any entity that would display such 'supernatural' behavior would flag warning bells in my mind as a techologically advanced species wanting to play with or control a lesser developed species--not instill worship.

With a thank you to joey kurt flockheart and to the others who contributed to joey's discussion.

A few days ago someone posted that there is no such thing as agnostic atheism. I'm less certain of that conclusion and wanted to ask how many kinds of atheism others recognize and accept.

I chose agnosticism 55 years ago because the first atheists I heard from (after 12 years in Catholic schools and a hitch in the US Navy) said they knew no god(s) existed. I was at the time on my way to a degree in mathematics with its perhaps too specialized definition for the verb "to know", and decided that those atheists (other students at the University of Florida) knew no more than the Catholics I had lived among. Ten years ago I came to atheism because in 45 years no one came even close to offering evidence for the existence of one or more gods.

And so, prepared to start a discussion asking How Many Kinds Of Atheism Do We Have?, I searched A/N discussions and found this one with a Venn diagram I liked. Because the Oxford New American Dictionary defines "gnosticism" as a "lesser divinity" kind of theism, I was inclined to use the terms agnostic atheism, faith-based atheism, and knowledge-based atheism.

What say other folks here, how many kinds of atheism do we recognize? (Yeah, with "faith-based atheism" I'm remarking on the legitimacy of "There is no such thing as agnostic atheism".)

 Richard Dawkins has considered agnostics and atheists while describing his seven steps leading finally to strong atheism. They are generally true and correct. Dawkins is very practical and the Venn diagram is purely theoretical. An agnostic is a person who feels that more evidence is needed to firmly deny the existence of a god. Every agnostic agrees with this. There may be many personal variations to this and so I feel that it is not necessary to classify agnostics. Every agnostic is an agnostic. There may be personal variations in the thoughts of atheists but they all are convinced that there is no god. No classification is needed.  

Madhukar:

Dictionaries differ. My New Oxford American says an agnostic:

1. "believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena."

2. "a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God."

Please tell us where you found your "An agnostic is a person who feels that more evidence is needed to firmly deny the existence of a god. Every agnostic agrees with this."

I prefer a bit of mental flexibility to a battle over dictionaries.

Tom,

I have quoted Thomas Huxley and this is his position. Even Dawkins also feels the same

Thanks, Madhukar. I agree with you that we need not classify agnostics.

After twelve years in Catholic schools I ALWAYS QUESTION AUTHORITY.

Because I have no evidence of the lexical expertise of either Huxley or Dawkins, I will rely on the New Oxford American Dictionary definition.

Where you live, do people rely on the Oxford English Dictionary?

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