Since ancient times, India has known atheists, but I have not heard of any agnostic person tlll in recent past. The idea of
agnosticism seems to have come to India from  the west. This word therefore puzzles me. A  theist afirms that yes, there
is a god in whom he believes. An atheist says that no, there is no god. Both of these are firm statements and each
 person making  these has something to say that is specific. However, the statement that "There is probably no god "
sounds hollow. It is as good as saying "There is probably some god."  In either case, someone who says this, does not
appear  to have much to say. If you have a 10% doubt that god may exist, you are an agnostic. It is the same if
you have 20% , 50% or 90% doubt. So where does agnosticism stand? Does it really mean anything? If an agnostic is
so much in un-resolvable doubt, should he declare himself as an agnostic, that is, a person not capable of resolving his

The usual excuse for such a doubt is that no one can be 100% sure of anything, but we are so sure of many things in life.
If we have doubt on any subject, we take pains to resolve our doubt. Is it so difficult to resolve a doubt on the existance
of god that it can never be resolved and  so force a person to remain an agnostic for all his life? If this were so, there would
be no atheists in the world.  Does the agnostic lack  something that an atheist has? Or, does an atheist overstep a
limit of sound judgement?

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Replies to This Discussion

Ouch! Faith is like that. OK, what I want is ... it all comes back to belief and faith. What I want is ... I'm going to the garden to think about this. 

Theist = Faith-based Belief + Burden of proof

Agnostic Theist = Faith-based Belief

Gnostic Theist = Faith-based belief + Burden of proof

Atheist = Non-belief

Agnostic Atheist = Non-belief

Gnostic Atheist = Faith-based non-belief + Burden of Proof


I am an atheist (a position, it isn't an identity), because of logic, reason and critical thinking. I will not abandon or loop-hole; logic, reason and critical thinking in order to: " ...pretend conclusions are certain that are not demonstrated or demonstrable."

If an atheist does not believe god exists and has no burden of proof

why does gnostic atheist have a burden? 

Because a gnostic atheist believes there is evidence of no god?

Greg, great example.

I watched Dawkins' debate with Archbishop Pell last night and I surely do miss Hitchens. 

Monday 9 April, 2012.

A gnostic atheist thinks that there is definite evidence that there is no god.  That puts them in the same camp as a gnostic theist.  If they say there's evidence, they will be expected to produce it and submit it for scientific inquiry.  For a scientific mind, agnosticism is the only way to go.  There are things, like the sun going around the Earth, that we had observational evidence for.  Then we came up with bigger and better ways of observing and found out that our previous observations were incorrect.

For me at least, the "agnostic" part of my atheist views have nothing to do with doubt.  It has to do with having a logical margin of error that has to exist based on the fact I stated above.  It is my opinion that knowledge is almost synonymous with fact.  You can't say you "know" something if there isn't evidence to support it. If there isn't evidence you have to be willing to accept that you could be wrong.  However, you can go outside and observe a threatening sky and say "It's gonna rain today".  You know what the sky looks like when it rains, therefore, it's logical that you would think that.  But you're not ALWAYS right. That's where the margin of error comes in.  Science without a margin for error isn't science at all.

On feeling 'good'

Happiness: The marked lack of fear, pain, and harm.

Delusional Happiness: using something to mask existent fear, pain, and harm

Real Happiness: Finding comfort or contentedness in between the bouts of fear, pain, and harm, or perhaps in spite of them.

Well, you see, when one lives in perpetual fear, there is no peace. Peace, to me is happiness.

Delusional peace/happiness masks fear, pain and harm.  

Real peace/happiness ... have you ever seen a dog that has been whipped? or a child that has been beaten? Have you seen their eyes? Have you noticed their jumps or withdrawal when an innocent movement occurs from another? It is one thing to understand one is in a safe place and still responds to motion or words in ways out of proportion to the safe event.  

It does feel very very good!  In my experience, agnostic suggests a certain fear of letting go that atheism does not.   Liberation from that fear is a huge relief.

Annet, a soul mate here! I want the language to be able to reflect what I am thinking. Life force gets closer. The one I have been using, "energy", because energy, as defined by physics,  implies activity, as an unseen but force acting upon time and space. It is not observable but is seen through its effects, such as Newton's falling apple. 

"...seen through its effects,"

…which are quantifiable and qualifiable, and open to revision when new facts come to light, Newton was right, Einstein was right, neither with 100% certainty. Let's be happy that science is explicitly agnostic, …or we wouldn't be able to delve deeper into what gravity is and how it works.

Someone show me a non-agnostic-atheist-credible scientist, …I don't believe they exist.

"science is explicitly agnostic"

"Someone show me a non-agnostic-atheist-credible scientist, …I don't believe they exist."

I ran across this article when looking for Francis Collins:

"Sadly, it now appears that my old stomping grounds at University Hospitals has been thoroughly infiltrated with quackademic medicine, as evidenced by this clinical trial of reiki for psoriasis that's making the rounds of news services and the offering of acupuncture, reiki, and even reflexology at various UH facilities through the University Hospitals Connor Integrative Medicine Network. Let me tell you, there was none of this pseudoscience going on when I finished my residency there in 1996. Seeing it there now provokes a reaction in me not unlike Sylvester Junior's reactionwhen his father Sylvester embarrasses him, particularly when I noted that the director of the CWRU Comprehensive Cancer Center, Dr. Stanton L. Gerson, was to give one of the keynote talks, entitled, "The Future of Integrative Oncology." (Hint for those of you not familiar with classic Looney Tunes cartoons: A paper bag is involved.) I guess that by expressing my extreme disappointment and embarrassment that the institution where I learned to become a surgeon has during the last 15 years gone woo, I've probably just killed any opportunity I might have to work at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center ever again. Oh, well, add it to the list, along with Beth Israel and my alma mater the University of Michigan.)"

These are examples of "alternative medicine", not theism.

This is rational skepticism in action, not atheism.

This might clarify:

"non-agnostic/atheist-credible scientist"




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