I quit Catholicism in college and went twice to meetings of the student atheist club. At both meetings I heard people say with complete certainty there are no gods.

I was studying math and science and expected some talk about evidence or its lack. I heard none, but knew Pascal's Wager was incomplete because it asked only two of the four possible questions.

I settled for agnosticism, earned a degree in math and eonomics, found work I enjoyed and for 45 years did not once think of returning to religion. I ignored the occasional attack by an atheist on agnosticism.

Did others go from belief to agnosticism and find it adequate?

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(For more, see the "Going from Agnosticism to Atheism" discussion.)

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It is very common for agnosticism to be a stepping stone to atheism. The question is what one considers to be agnosticism. I began to doubt the Christian God,but wondered if there was something I was missing as far as an actual God being out there. I did truly already know the answer, agnosticism was quite very brief transitional period for me to investigate and really understand the reality of theism.

Compu, the stepping stone idea you mention would have described my travel away from religion if I had thought of it.
After quitting Catholicism I read a book that compared the various forms of xianity and knew I couldn't remain an xian.
Then in a book that compared the major world religions I found that they all, except Tantric Buddhism, regarded sex as at least suspect.
A book about the world's many highly-imaginative creation stories and my need for evidence left me with only agnosticism or atheism.

Technically Agnosticism is the Knowledge Position of Atheism.

Belief requires certainty as you cannot actually believe in something that you are uncertain of.

I accept many things that I'm uncertain of because they have some slight evidence for them, but I cannot say I actually believe in them.

So since an Agnostic has uncertainty in the existence of or knowledge of God, they cannot actually believe in god and 'lack of belief in god' is the definition of Atheism.

So Atheism is the Belief Position of Agnosticism, 

Whereas Agnosticism is the Knowledge Position of Atheism.

Atheists lack belief in god.

Agnostics know they cannot know god or lack knowledge of god.

Essentially two sides of the same coin.

DD, your post refreshes my refusal to use any form of the word "believe" in this matter.

In 1957 I heard college students say there were no gods. I wanted evidence, they had none, so I chose agnosticism.

Fifty two years later, given an opportunity to say nothing and remain an agnostic, I realized I'd seen no evidence of a god or gods. I'd also seen no nearby lightning strikes so I chose atheism.

Though from what I've heard and read, many practising preachers in churches are themselves atheists, just paying lip service to beliefs they themselves no longer hold.

From some of those involved in the Clergy Project.

Cases of where they were shocked at their losing belief in their god, that thy trained to teach to others.

But desperately wanted to get their belief in god back, so they appealed to their peers or brethren for help in regaining belief in god, only to find that their peers had also lost their belief in god.

Religion really is a con.

There are a lot out their preaching what they only pretend to believe in.

I agree, "Religion really is a con."

"...many practising preachers in churches are themselves atheists, ...."

Also, they who carve the Buddha do not worship him.

That is half the path I traversed. Mine went further to atheism.

As I've said here before, I'm agnostic about the possibility of some creative force, but with extreme skepticism.  It took me years to get here from Methodism.

If you define an atheist as having no belief in gods, then I'm an atheist.  If you define an atheist as being close to knowing there are no gods, then I'm an atheist.  If you define an atheist as knowing for certain there is no god, then I suppose I'm an agnostic.

However, there is a huge range of agnostic types.    When I was a teenager, I was an agnostic that still believed in mormonism.  One day I said "It can only be that either one religion is true, or no religion is true.”, but I still thought mormonism was almost certainly true, with just a little doubt.  So I was agnostic on the opposite end of the long spectrum from what I am today.

Today, I think it can be proven that none of the gods derived from the bible exist because the bible can be proven to be man-made.  I don't know enough about other religions to know, but from what I read, I think they are false also.  Any one that doesn't think I'm right, I'm willing to listen.

Today, I think there are only two possible gods that could exist.  One is a god that is evil.  It created pathogens to torture us, anti-scientific and conflicting scriptures to mess with our minds, and possibly false scientific evidence to mess with out minds.  I see no evidence such a god exists, and my guess is the probability of him existing is a google to one against. 

The other god that could exist is a god that created the universe, but doesn't give a damn about us.  Almost as evil as the first kind.  If it doesn't care about me, why should I care about it.  I see no evidence for that god, and guess the probability of it existing is a google to one against as well.

Until there is evidence of a god, I live my life as if none exists.




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