What is the point of agnosticism?

What is the point of agnosticism?

There are 62 comments on the OUPblog story from Sep 23, 2010, titled What is the point of agnosticism?. In it, OUPblog reports that:

Do we really need agnosticism nowadays? The inventor of the name a agnosticisma TM, the Victorian evolutionist Thomas Henry Huxley, certainly found it useful to have a word describing his lack of certainty when he was surrounded by those who seemed to have no such doubt.

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redneck

Azalea, OR

#1 Sep 25, 2010
Agnostics are closet believers. If you havn't done the research, you may not know that god is the invention of man. So fear is still in an agnostic.
Frisbee

Seattle, WA

#2 Sep 25, 2010
Perhaps they're just not arrogant and deluded enough to claim to have an answer to what is an unanswerable question.

Since: May 09

Location hidden

#3 Sep 25, 2010
Frisbee wrote:
Perhaps they're just not arrogant and deluded enough to claim to have an answer to what is an unanswerable question.
Why are theists like that?
Frisbee

Seattle, WA

#4 Sep 25, 2010
I'm not sure.
I think there's a fundamental human desire to want a reason, even if they are all, by definition, fabricated.
I actually kind of like not knowing.

Wasting time pondering it seems pretty pointless. There's only one way any of us are getting the answer to the BIG question, and I'm not in a hurry to find out.
redneck

Azalea, OR

#5 Sep 26, 2010
Frisbee wrote:
Perhaps they're just not arrogant and deluded enough to claim to have an answer to what is an unanswerable question.
I am arrogant but that's because I have French blood but I am not deluded. Research shows that a single god idea came about about 5K years ago. Mans need to explain natural events was that fire and wind were living things. Evolution lead us to jesus not history.
progressive

Lamoni, IA

#6 Sep 26, 2010
redneck wrote:
Agnostics are closet believers. If you havn't done the research, you may not know that god is the invention of man. So fear is still in an agnostic.
No, you are an idiot or a liar. Agnosticism is merely a statement regarding knowledge, not belief. A means not and gnosticism refers to claiming to have knowledge. Those are its greek roots. It does not even have to refer to the existence of a god or gods. Atheism is another matter, a meaning not and theism meaning believing in a god or gods, or with a god, or having a god. Lots of agnostics are also atheists in that sense.

It is the idiots who claim to know that there is no God. all sorts of gods could be dreamed up by some man or another and it still would be no proof that there is or is not some sort of God.
you go ahead and prove there is no god, if you want to try. it would keep you from making stupid comments on topix about things you do not understand - which a simple use of a good dictionary would tell you,.

I am both an agnostic and atheist. But I am no fool to want to take the burden of proof on myself for something I think is not known and probably not knowable. Where my belief is, is in the belief that the Biblical God does not exist, or certainly should not, if it does! It is a nasty critter. How is that for fear? I despise these fools who discredit nonbelievers like you do, if you are one. Go join a different category please. go to a tea party meeting and discredit them.
redneck

Azalea, OR

#7 Sep 26, 2010
Back off, Pinhead. Call me Gnostic Atheist and the burden of proof is on the believer just as if someone claims that bigfoot exists. There is more proof of Bigfoot than of god, santa, Thor, etc.

Since: Sep 10

Location hidden

#8 Sep 26, 2010
redneck wrote:
Back off, Pinhead. Call me Gnostic Atheist and the burden of proof is on the believer just as if someone claims that bigfoot exists. There is more proof of Bigfoot than of god, santa, Thor, etc.
Well no, if you say you KNOW god doesn't exist you need to be able to show that.. good luck proving a negative.
redneck

Azalea, OR

#9 Sep 26, 2010
SpaceMadnesss wrote:
<quoted text>
Well no, if you say you KNOW god doesn't exist you need to be able to show that.. good luck proving a negative.
I say if you do not prove something to me, it is not true until you do. It is up to a court to prove upon evidence. That's why your innocent until PROVEN guilty. It is up to the claiment to provide proof. I can sho god is nonexistant by looking around.

Since: Sep 10

Location hidden

#10 Sep 26, 2010
redneck wrote:
<quoted text>I say if you do not prove something to me, it is not true until you do. It is up to a court to prove upon evidence. That's why your innocent until PROVEN guilty. It is up to the claiment to provide proof. I can sho god is nonexistant by looking around.
That's nice for you but thats not how it works.

The theist claims to KNOW god exist.

You claim to KNOW god does not exist.

You are making a positive claim, as is the theist. You can call eachother out to provide evidence, because by making a positive claim like that, you take the burden of proof.

“ecrasez l'infame”

Since: May 08

Atlanta, Georgia

#11 Sep 27, 2010
SpaceMadnesss wrote:
<quoted text>
That's nice for you but thats not how it works.
The theist claims to KNOW god exist.
You claim to KNOW god does not exist.
You are making a positive claim, as is the theist. You can call eachother out to provide evidence, because by making a positive claim like that, you take the burden of proof.
Strawman fallacy. Atheists do NOT claim to know god(s) don't exist.

Since: Sep 10

Location hidden

#12 Sep 27, 2010
Hedonist wrote:
<quoted text>
Strawman fallacy. Atheists do NOT claim to know god(s) don't exist.
The gnostic atheists do, such as redneck appears to be one of.

The agnostic atheists which seem to vastly outnumber the gnostic variety do not claim this, you are correct.
redneck

Azalea, OR

#13 Sep 27, 2010
SpaceMadnesss wrote:
<quoted text>
That's nice for you but thats not how it works.
The theist claims to KNOW god exist.
You claim to KNOW god does not exist.
You are making a positive claim, as is the theist. You can call eachother out to provide evidence, because by making a positive claim like that, you take the burden of proof.
Look it this way. I'm a born atheist who never heard of god. You come to my door one day (inevitably it happens to you too) and say I need to believe in god. I say 'OK. Prove it. I make NO claims. You are the claiment. Thi applies to santa, Thor,Horus, etc.

Since: Sep 10

Location hidden

#14 Sep 27, 2010
redneck wrote:
<quoted text>Look it this way. I'm a born atheist who never heard of god. You come to my door one day (inevitably it happens to you too) and say I need to believe in god. I say 'OK. Prove it. I make NO claims. You are the claiment. Thi applies to santa, Thor,Horus, etc.
In this example of yours you are a neutral party, you can ask the theist to back up his claim, he cannot ask you to back up your.. well, nonexistent claim to the contrary.

You however are not neutral, you claim god does not exist, that's an assertion that you should be able to back up if asked to, much like the theist's assertion that god does exist.

You cannot possibly back a statement as "god, of any definition does not exist" up rationally.

“ecrasez l'infame”

Since: May 08

Atlanta, Georgia

#15 Sep 27, 2010
SpaceMadnesss wrote:
<quoted text>
In this example of yours you are a neutral party, you can ask the theist to back up his claim, he cannot ask you to back up your.. well, nonexistent claim to the contrary.
You however are not neutral, you claim god does not exist, that's an assertion that you should be able to back up if asked to, much like the theist's assertion that god does exist...
So you are saying that one should be "neutral" concerning the existence of Mother Goose, after all you cannot prove she doesn't exist?

Would you consider yourself "agnostic" or "atheistic" where the existence of Mother Goose is concerned?

“ecrasez l'infame”

Since: May 08

Atlanta, Georgia

#16 Sep 27, 2010
SpaceMadnesss wrote:
<quoted text>
...You cannot possibly back a statement as "god, of any definition does not exist" up rationally.
Well, why don't you define the properties of a god you would like me to consider.

Without a set of properties, you are asking me to maintain an "agnostic" stance concerning the existence of a meaningless term? That's silly to the point of being absurd.
Saint Hood

Lamoni, IA

#17 Sep 27, 2010
Frisbee wrote:
Perhaps they're just not arrogant and deluded enough to claim to have an answer to what is an unanswerable question.
a very nice short comment. so glad you got that in early, so folks could see what sensible looks like.
progressive

Lamoni, IA

#18 Sep 27, 2010
Hedonist wrote:
<quoted text>
Well, why don't you define the properties of a god you would like me to consider.
Without a set of properties, you are asking me to maintain an "agnostic" stance concerning the existence of a meaningless term? That's silly to the point of being absurd.
well, we do not know what they mean, so of course we do not know whether it exists. we know enough about the believers to not believe it exists, whatever it exists, if they believe in it, because we do not think highly of their intelligence - well that is my opinion about it. I am agnostic and athiest and do not find any contradiction in being both. sometimes it is easier to just dismiss nonsense when we consider the source, because I do not think those guys are going to come up with anything very useful.
progressive

Lamoni, IA

#19 Sep 27, 2010
it is a sort of vague pronoun, isn't it?
progressive

Lamoni, IA

#20 Sep 27, 2010
SpaceMadnesss wrote:
<quoted text>
In this example of yours you are a neutral party, you can ask the theist to back up his claim, he cannot ask you to back up your.. well, nonexistent claim to the contrary.
You however are not neutral, you claim god does not exist, that's an assertion that you should be able to back up if asked to, much like the theist's assertion that god does exist.
You cannot possibly back a statement as "god, of any definition does not exist" up rationally.
your mistake is in falsely asserting that he claims that god does not exist, if you are just basing it on the comment you quoted from. in some other place did he say he is the socalled Hard atheist type, who claims god does not exist? that is not the basic definition of atheist. A means not and theist means believer in a god, or gods. That is not a claim about knowledge. Agnosticism is a claim not to have knowledge. a means not and gnostic means knowing.

are you asserting that atheism means claiming to know there is no god? it does not mean that, in essence. some atheists go to that extreme, but it is not the fundamental definition of atheism, it is an add on comment about knowing. such persons are sometimes called hard atheists, and sometimes called gnostic atheists.

But a normal atheist is more likely to be an agnostic atheist, making no knowledge claim, and not believing in a god, or gods.

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