(A)gnosticism deals with knowing a god exists or does not exist.
- a gnostic knows at least one god exists.
- an agnostic does not know whether or not a god exists.
(A)theism deals with believing a god exists or does not exist.
- a theist believes at least one god exists.
- an atheist does not believe any gods exist.
Gnostic theist: “I know god exists.”
Gnostic atheist: “I know gods do not exist.”
Agnostic theist: “I can’t prove it, but I believe god exists.”
Agnostic atheist: “I can’t prove it, but I do not believe gods exist.”
While nobody can truly prove gods exist, many people believe they can. These people are gnostic theists. Gnostic atheists, on the other hand, swear they can prove gods do not exist. This is not the case, however, as the supernatural cannot be disproven. Certain aspects of a particular god may or may not be provable by way of logic, but this does not prove nor disprove the possible existence of any gods.
Agnostic theists will admit they have no proof of a god’s existence, but will still adhere to the belief that one exists. There are many factors in play here, including (but not limited to) duality, a mind-body split, an attachment system, and decoupled cognition. These are all evolutionary traits that led, as a side-effect, to religious belief. Agnostic atheists will generally admit that the existence of a god or gods is a possibility, but that there is no evidence to support the belief and, as a result, will refrain from believing until sufficient evidence is presented.
Personally, I identify as an agnostic atheist. As Carl Sagan once said, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” Until extraordinary evidence is offered in support of the extraordinary claim that a god does exist I will remain atheist. Until extraordinary proof is offered in support of the claim that either a god exists or does not exist, I will remain agnostic.
- Agnostic or Atheist: Lets All Start Using the Right Word(s)! (msatheists.org)
- How you draw the line in the sand sets the tone… (pakos.me)
- Agnosticism (and my muddled attempt to discuss it) (zaknafein81.wordpress.com)
- Let’s Talk Agnosticism (alesbianphysician.wordpress.com)
- Who Defines Atheism? (dontfeedtheanimals.net)
- Atheism (zaknafein81.wordpress.com)
- What is atheism? (visayanatheists.wordpress.com)
- Atheism and Agnosticism: What’s the difference? (rantsandrage.wordpress.com)
- Apologetical fallacies about atheism (zaknafein81.wordpress.com)