A lot of people argue that agnosticism is the only logically sound and infallible religious choice, since 'we cannot ever really know if God exists or not.'

Directly relating to this is some theists' belief that we must be just as irrational as they are because we too do not have solid evidence for our beliefs.

I also recently heard the phrase 'agnostic in theory, atheist in practice.'

What say you guys?

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Thomas Huxley, from " Agnosticism," 1889:
"Agnosticism, in fact, is not a creed, but a method, the essence of which lies in the rigorous application of a single principle. That principle is of great antiquity; it is as old as Socrates; as old as the writer who said, 'Try all things, hold fast by that which is good'; it is the foundation of the Reformation, which simply illustrated the axiom that every man should be able to give a reason for the faith that is in him, it is the great principle of Descartes; it is the fundamental axiom of modern science. Positively the principle may be expressed: In matters of the intellect, follow your reason as far as it will take you, without regard to any other consideration. And negatively: In matters of the intellect, do not pretend that conclusions are certain which are not demonstrated or demonstrable."

I'm an agnostic (skeptic) in my attitude toward religion and the gods, and at this point in my life have reached an atheistic conclusion based on the inability of theists to provide any sort of credible evidence in support of the reality of their beliefs.
Agnostic and Atheist are not exclusionary terms. They refer to different things and thus a person can be both at the same time.

The word agnostic is based on the term gnosis which is of course ancient Greek for Knowledge. Thus a person claiming to be agnostic is someone that insists that absolute knowledge relating to god is not possible or that they themselves do not have absolute knowledge of god (or the absence of). This does not preclude the individual from being an atheist or a theist for that matter.

The term atheist of course is based on the word theist. And a theist is of course someone that believes in god(s). Adding the prefix 'a' meaning 'not' or 'without' we see that an atheist is simply someone that is without a belief in god(s) or someone that is not a theist.

Belief and knowledge are not the same thing. Thus when asked about whether you believe in god or not you are being asked about your beliefs. When asked about whether you know if god exists or not you are being asked an entirely different question.

I personally am an Agnostic Atheist. That is I do not happen to believe in any particular god(s) but I do not claim to have absolute knowledge relating to the matter. I do not believe and I do not claim to know. That simple. Agnostic Atheist.
Looks like we agree on these terms.
Best Regards,
Marilyn LaCourt
Agnostic means not knowing. A at the beginning of a word means not. Gnostic means knowing. agnostic = not knowing.
In early Christianity, there were some who claimed to have special knowledge about Jesus. They were called Gnostics. They knew for sure some things about the existence of God and the nature of Jesus that nobody else knew. So, agnostic refers to the condition of not knowing.

Atheist means not theist. Just as asymmetrical means not symmetrical. Many people confuse the term atheist. They think it means against theism. It does not. It simply means not theist. It means no belief in a supernatural by any name. Many atheists like to think of themselves a simply people with a naturalistic world view.

Personally, I maintain that when it comes to a God belief, we are all agnostic. Nobody, not theist not atheist can claim with absolute certainty that there is or is not a supernatural.

Belief on the other hand is a different thing. While I maintain that we are all agnostic in the sense of knowing with certainty, some people believe there is a supernatural and others don't. Those who believe are theists. Those who do not believe are atheists. Those who believe in a supernatural believe because they have faith. Faith means believing without evidence. Atheists disbeliefs about a supernatural are based on evidence, or the lack there of, and on probabilities that there is no supernatural.

Trust is another part of the puzzle. For example, I would not say I have faith in my husband's fidelity. I don’t know that my husband will never cheat on me. I believe that he won’t because experience tells me he is a person who honors his commitments, a person who understands the risks of STD’s, and he has a 30-year track record for being true to his marriage vows. I do not have faith in my husband, I trust him. Faith has nothing to do with it.

I hope this is helpful.
I made this when I posted the opinion "Agnosticism/gnosticism is axially perpendicular to theism/atheism,... on the website soapboxxer.com, I made a little graph to show the relationship between atheists, theists, gnostics and agnostics.

What would the very centre of the graph be? Complete fence sitting?
I don't think that 'Gnostic' is right, since that refers specifically to esoteric knowledge. I think it should be replaced with 'Certainty', ranging from 51% to 100%. On the left side, 'Anostic' would range from "I don't claim to know" just left of center to "Nobody can possibly know" at the extreme left.
Might I suggest a blank spot at the very center of the graph as it is impossible to be null on either axis of this particular issue.
Are they also agnostic about every other god ever conceived...all 2,850 of them? http://www.godchecker.com/

Or are they only agnostic about the Abrahamic god? If so, why are they atheistic about all the other gods and not that one?

And what about the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, etc? Are they agnostic about them as well?

I have no objections to agnosticism (I'm even marrying an agnostic), but I disagree with the claim that it's the only logically sound choice, and that it's superior in any way to others.
I wonder what a Tantric Buddhist would think about this thread? Or an Advaita Vedantist?

When one experiences reality, questions of knowledge and belief are irrelevant - nonsensical, even.
We never experience reality. Reality as we experience it is just a recreation made by our brains. Its not even an exact recreation of reality. Our brains are wonderful filters that apply our own particular emotional biases and other idiosyncrasies to the bits of reality that come through.

Here is a simple exercise to show you just how clouded our sense of reality is.

View the video at the following link. Take note of the various people passing basketballs back and forth. Count the number of times the people in white shirts pass the ball back and forth. View the video only once. And then answer the question below that can be viewed by highlighting with your mouse.

Video link (java required)

Question between here: Did you see the gorilla? :and here.
Agnosticism is illogical. I'm not engaging in hyperbole when I say this; it's just that to entertain the possibility that there is a god is actually logically fallacious.

That depends on what is meant by "god." There are coherent definitions.

Theists make claims for the existence of god, but their claims have no facts to support them, and any evidence they do provide is generally unfalsifiable (unproveable one way or another).

If it's unfalsifiable, how can it constitute evidence?

However, religious mind-viruses are so persistent because few people realize that what they are doing is saying "Because you can't disprove it, you should accept the possibility that it's true."

Not really anything wrong with that. Claiming you should believe it though is another thing.

Obviously, it's impossible to prove a universal negative within a logical framework given the limitations of human sensory perceptions.

That is a common myth, and it's not a matter of human perception.


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