Question For Fellow Atheists

I've noticed a few posts on here that seem to have a negative attitude towards people who identify as agnostic.  Why is it that some atheists look down on agnostics so much?  Can someone explain this to me?  It just doesn't seem to make sense.  Surely even the most staunch atheist admits that science can never fully disprove god.  (how can one disprove something that doesn't exist in the first place?)  I think it's extremely highly unlikely that there is a god, and even if there was, it wouldn't be like any god any person has ever envisioned probably.  But tell me, what's the harm in being a so-called "fence sitter" really?  Just curious :)

homelyday homelyday
14 Responses Sep 23, 2009

I don't slander agnostics. Even I, who identifies as a hardline atheist, and an anti theist, put myself at 6.9 on the Richard Dawkins scale of belief. I would never be so arrogant as to say I know everything. Nobody knows everything, and, of course, there is no way to disprove this god. My feeling is, if the damn creature was there, it would have shown itself by now, and if it were so good, the world wouldn't be so full of suffering, war, poverty, oppression, torture, et al. At the very least, this god would have to be a sadistic *****. I do, however, believe it just isn't there. There's no reason to believe otherwise, and those, like the first poster in this thread, who *know* this being is up in the clouds looking down could definitely use a good shrink, STAT.<br />
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As for bashing agnostics? I think it is because most staunch atheists are uncomfortable with the idea of leaving the door open for supernatural belief. I know I am. I don't understand the fence sitting, really. I don't bash them, though. I gotta admit that if you are agnostic you at least see no reason to believe in god or adhere to religion, so why not take the next step? I don't view those people as weak, but...perhaps just frightened? After all, self professed atheists are not well liked in this society. Coming out as such can be detrimental to one's social and familial relationships. <br />
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Anyway, let people believe what they like, and fence sit all they want. Agnostic is better than a churchy type any day in my book.

I'm the same way with this a "fence sitter" in some ways... I get a lot of less than nice feedback from both sides.<br />
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I don't believe in the traditional "divine entity" stuff but, I also don't think its safe to say that death = cease of existence...

Either you believe or you don't. but sometimes we questions what we believe. when i was younger i did, and now i don't, i've lived and learnt more about it all to know its like a cult, I am not angry or mad at religion because of whats happened in my life, i just know there is no higher power, we are power within us, we can only save ourselves, not something no one can see.

I just want to add my two dollars on the Issue. <br />
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I am an Agnostic and have never experienced being looked down by an Atheist. And I hope that never happens for I think as high of Atheists as for (true) Agnostics.<br />
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There are a lot of people that use Agnosticism as a third option/middle ground/safe house. I could not care less if those get converted into anything. They deserve being looked down by anyone.<br />
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Agnosticism as a stand on the debate whether god exists or not means that since there is not enough evidence to support any of the two arguments, we are holding judgment. We, just like Atheists, are constantly looking for answers, we use and promote critical thinking and reasoning, we accept what science provide us for there is evidence for it (including Evolution and the Big Bang), We are capable of philosophizing (since we constantly question theists and atheists claims). I actually think that Agnosticism, in itself, promotes the use of philosophy more than Atheism.<br />
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" by beginning with the idea that he might exist. It really makes no sense; you wouldn't start an assessment of "all this " <br />
Don't most scientific hypothesis start with the acceptance that something might be true? Why is it so absurd that Agnostics accept the probability of the existence of a higher being? Let me add that when I say "higher being" I do not mean christian god. I think that the christian/muslim god is probably not the "one." However, we are open to the existence of any deity.<br />
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When you say "he," it makes me think that you refer to christian deity. Let me remind you that Agnostics are open to the probability of the existence of any "higher being." Do not fall into thinking that we are agnostic to the existence of the christian deity alone.<br />
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Let me just remind everyone that, even thought the debate is mostly between christians and Atheists, (true) Agnostics look at the bigger picture and should not be associated with the two only.<br />
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Atheists should not look down on (true) Agnostics, nor Agnostics should look down on Atheists. We coincide on almost everything. One of the exceptions being whether a deity exists or not. <br />
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Let me know what you guys think. I would like to prevent any more "discrimination" between the two groups.

I look down on agnostics because agnosticism can not legitimately apply to religious conjectures.<br />
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In order to claim an agnostic position, one must have enough evidence for either side of a notion (A exists or A does not exist) to be a legitimate conclusion and validate the doubt between the two options. <br />
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For example, a person hears a car horn coming from outside, yet when the person looks to where he feels the sound is coming from, he does not observe a car. There is evidence to suggest that there was a car outside and enough evidence to suggest there was not a car outside. This is a rational amount of doubt.present. <br />
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This is what Schrodinger's Cat ignores when someone presents this notion. Usually its performed with a box large enough to fit a cat inside and thus establish enough doubt that a cat might be in the box. If it was performed with a ring box, the effect would be significantly less reasonable since you'd have to crush a house cat to the size of a grape for it to fit inside. <br />
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In regards to God (or any religious conjecture - gods, souls, angels, demons, etc) there is no evidence to suggest any such entity exists, as such there can be no rational doubt in the matter and an agnostic position can not be substantiated. The only valid default is there is no G/god.

I don't see that much diffrence between the two.

Phage: Just so we're on the same page here, mutually exclusive means that one doesn't necessarily cancel out the other, right? Or something like that? lol

Oddly enough, I just looked it up and agnosticism and atheism aren't mutually exclusive. Nor is agnosticism and theism. Weird.

Thanks MentalGent. Trust me, I've read your story! (I basically scour this group every day for new postings lol) I pretty much understand the difference, I just don't think it makes sense for atheists to belittle agnostics for their views. Ya know?

It is kind of like Pascal's wager, it begs at being disingenuous. <br />
I think of being agnostic as a path to atheism (or christianity for that matter) and merely a stop on your way to a belief system. <br />
That being said, I try to be tolerant of everyone and for the most part have found a healthy support of my beliefs by agnostics, so I can't say I have seen any agnostic bashing personally but I agree with godfree- if they are pushing superjesus then they leave themselves open to the same critical argument as the pious crowd.

neveah, I can only speak for myself, but when you attempt to insult me by wishing your loathsome deity and its bastard zombie offspring acknowledge my existence by your "blessing" me, well, I find it tantamount to having my name included in some kiddie **** fantasy so enjoyed by you Christians.<br />
I hope this helped sweetie.

lol Neveah. I do not agree that there is a lot of slander on this group. Most atheists here have a healthy sense of humor regarding the religious beliefs of others, but are also fully capable of carrying on a serious conversation about those beliefs if necessary. But anyways, this post is not the appropriate place for those types of comments. (the god-bless-you's and the dying family member crying out to god stuff.) K thanx bai.<br />
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Phage, I guess I just noticed it a couple of times, not really anything serious. But I've always wondered about it. I agree that most people here could be classified as partially agnostic. But maybe the difference between atheist and agnostic is that the atheist chooses to make a decision, based on the fairly sound evidence that we do have? I guess I'm not too sure why anyone would be strictly agnostic for any length of time. It seems to be more of a transitory position between more solid positions. I don't know...

They do? I hadn't noticed.<br />
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Besides, the line between atheism and agnosticism is pretty ambiguous. There isn't a lot of room to throw stones when, according to some definitions, most of the people on this board would be classified as agnostic because they accept that there's a small but not nonexistent possibility that there is some kind of divine entity.

Fence sitter. thats interesting. There's a lot of slander here in the athiest forum group. I don't know.<br />
I say God loves them, and bless them. I know there is a God, and I've been proven that. Lets just all have peace within eachother and disregard what others believe. Its ok to believe there is no god.<br />
One day, I do believe, on their death bed, they will be crying out to God. I've seen this happen. And I've felt the spirit of my family member flow through me.<br />
How peaceful it is to know that there is one.<br />
God bless all of you.<br />
Lets just have peace!