Atheism vs Agnosticism

What is the difference between atheism and agnosticism?

On a practical level, almost none. An atheist is one who believes that there is no form of god or creator or other kind of deity. An agnostic is one who does not know if there is a god or creator or other kind of deity.

I am technically agnostic, though I use the terms atheist and agnostic interchangeably to describe myself. If you could provide evidence of the existence of a god of some description, then I would be happy to believe it. Thus far, nobody has. So in the absence of the evidence of any particular deity, I assume what seems the most likely scenario: that there is none.

For those people who are religious and find this agnostic/atheistic  belief system difficult to understand, think of it this way: If you are a Christian, and find Hinduism a bit silly with all of those weird gods with funny animal heads and eating rules that allow sheep but not cows to be eaten even though they are almot the same thing, just imagine what a Hindu thinks of your weird god or three that is also one depending on who you ask with eating rules that encourage cannibalism of your own god (or son thereof) through a magical transmutation that occurs once a week in church. It’s like listening to a person speak in a different language; you know that the other person knows what they are on about, but to you it is just a bunch of meaningless, silly-sounding jibber-jabber (side note: the funniest sounding language to any monolingual English speaker is Dutch, by a country mile).

Being outside religion, I find them all equally silly. That’s why I assume that there is probably no god, instead of a whacky, vengeful, yet apparently loving nutter who only raises more questions than he/she/it answers (who created god? If god could have always been here, why couldn’t the Earth have always been here? etc.). The copout answer to all of the difficult questions always leads back to the equivalent of “the lord works in mysterious ways”. This is an answer that sounds suspiciously like “because I said so” and leaves the secret three-year-old inside me – who is screaming “why? why? why?” at every mystery – wholly unsatisfied.

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2 thoughts on “Atheism vs Agnosticism

  1. To speak of God’s existence, or even the probability of God’s existence, is nonsensical since the concept itself is unverifiable. This rules out atheism, agnosticism and theism, because all three positions assume that the sentence “God exists” is meaningful.

    “Agnostics are just atheists without balls.” Stephen Colbert

  2. Martin Heal says:

    Perhaps God is Mother Earth.
    You, and everyone and everything around you was made by mother earth.
    Mother earth is all-seeing, all-knowing, and it is something we do not fully understand.
    Earthquakes, storms and natural disasters are all acts of mother earth.
    Perhaps you should stop looking for a deity as your god and jump on the pagan bandwagon.
    Dancing around nude in the forest is so much more fun than going to church 😉

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