Sunday, May 08, 2011

Atheism vs. Agnosticism

I've been seeing a lot of confusion about the term "atheist" lately -- specifically the misconception that it implies 100% certitude (surely impossible.)

I thought this chart (via reddit's enormous atheism community) really clears it up:

Strong atheism is the belief that there are no gods. Weak atheism is simply an absence of a belief in God. Neither one implies certainty.

Similarly, theism is the belief that there is at least one god, even if you aren't 100% sure.

Agnosticism is (1) the belief that neither gods' existence nor nonexistence can be known or (2) simply a lack of certainty about gods' existence or nonexistence. The chart above uses the former definition, although the latter is perhaps more common in lay usage. Both meanings are compatible with atheism or theism, although people who are pretty sure one way or the other tend not to use the term.

I consider myself a "strong" atheist in that I believe that there are no gods, but I do not claim 100% certainty.

Hope that clears things up.


jewish philosopher said...

"I consider myself a "strong" atheist in that I believe that there are no gods"

How exactly do you define the word "god"? Anything more powerful than humans? Any being possessing free will?

Jewish Atheist said...

Well, it does get fuzzy around the edges. My definition of a "god" includes all those believed in by the various world religions in the present day and in the past. It does NOT include things like the sun, the moon, "nature", "the universe", "love", etc.

jewish philosopher said...

So you don't believe that anything people consider to be a god exists? Do you believe Sun Myung Moon exists?

ari said...

1) jewish atheist should make a facebook page

2)jewish philosopher your such a troll

jewish philosopher said...

Atheists constantly insist "atheism is not a religion, it just means I don't believe in gods". However no atheist can define the word "god".

Actually, atheism is a religion which teaches that the Biblical God does not exist and evolution created us.

necklace said...

Like most Jews you are probably completely ignorant about the legacy of your own people. Your people make a very special claim that no other religion dares to make. Do you know what it is?

Anyway...on another note... argue as you may...but the existence of God is a necessary common sense conclusion that we need to make. Everything exists because of something before it. Either we have an infinite and self sustaining first cause or we have an infinite regress of dependency. Which is it?

Anonymous said...

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