Agnosticism is Not Weak Atheism

When I used to be in heavy religious debates I met many different kinds of people. I had Christians who condemned me to hell and Muslims who threatened to cut off my head. However, I also had Christians who gave me unique insights into scripture and Muslims who engaged me on subjects that a lot of Christians wouldn’t even consider. However, before I solidified my current views I had one Muslim say to me, “You’re monotheistic and don’t adhere to any religious traditions. You’re already Muslim, you just don’t realize it yet.” This was absurd on so many levels and now many years later I am witnessing Atheists who are modifying their Dogma to try and brute force Agnostics into their belief system.

The claim is that if you’re agnostic you’re actually just a weak atheist, Atheists are calling it negative Atheism. This is incorrect because a synonym for belief is opinion. To prove my point I am going to use oxford:

Atheism (Oxford Dictionary)
disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.

The logic expressed by Atheists is that if you answer the question of God’s existence as, “I don’t know” you’re lacking a belief. This would be valid except for the fact that “I don’t know” is actually an opinion and therefore a belief. The only time you lack a belief is when you are completely ignorant of something. For instance, you could say a child is Atheist or if a human responded to the God existence question with, “What is God?”  However if their answer is “I don’t know” they have a stance or an opinion and therefore a belief.

Agnosticism which atheists are trying to say is actually weak atheism is the stance of not knowing whether God exists or not. If you believe God Exists, you’re a theist. If you don’t believe in God, you’re the opposite or an a-theist. If you don’t know or are not convicted about the existence of God, you’re agnostic. Unless you are a child, an animal, or potentially live on an island it is almost impossible to not have an opinion on God. The moment you gain an opinion you gain a belief and therefore will either be an Atheist, Theist, or Agnostic.

No one should be brute forced into a group that potentially has extremist adherents.

Why do I bother fighting over word definitions? Atheism is rapidly becoming a religious like group as I stated in my blog post Atheism = Theism and they are starting to utilize pseudo logic in an attempt to grow their numbers. No one should be brute forced into a group that potentially has extremist adherents because the group utilized intellectuals to come up with a pseudo logical explanation to push the weaker or on the fence believers into their own group. If you’re an Agnostic and have Atheists trying to convince you that you are actually an Atheist, reject it outright, it is your choice to not join their group.

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10 thoughts on “Agnosticism is Not Weak Atheism

  1. bert0001

    … there are many types of agnosts: just for a start those who who do not know whether there is a god, and those who do not know whether there is no god, and yes, that makes a difference.
    … if atheism does want to include agnosticism, they also have to transcend it (add more value to agnosticism), and they do not do that. They are far below it.
    … in the same way atheism could try to include most buddhists, but i’m very sure only a small group of buddhists want to be called an atheist.

    On the other hand, I wouldn’t categorise not knowing as a belief or a metaphysical system. If you do that you are trying to exactly the same as what atheists are trying to do: conceptualize “not knowing” What you said about ignorancem however, sounds correct. Agnosticism is definitely post-ignorance. Agnosticism is also humble.

    Reply
    1. Jonathan Wagner Post author

      You’re actually right about classifying not knowing as a belief system and pushing people into Agnosticism. However I don’t think it is an issue because unless I am mistaken, agnostics don’t necessarily gather in groups write droves of books, collect donations, and try to push political agendas.

      If Atheism was actually just a philosophical stance, I wouldn’t care. The issue to me is the radicalization and rising corporatism of Atheism. When an initially philosophical only group starts evangelizing, it’s becoming a religion. Agnostics do not generally go around trying to gain adherents, this is not the case for Atheism.

      So it is underhanded to say that Agnostics are Atheists when you (as a theoretical Atheist) have the mission of converting people to Atheism, this makes your definition misrepresentation bias and self-serving.

      Reply
  2. bert0001

    So we more or less agree that there is a fundamentalist atheist movement with a political agenda. I frown upon them as much as i frown upon fundamentalist buddhists. I’m used to fundamentalist christians, jews, hindus and muslims, but apparently any kind of closed mind thinking can exist. That this is also the case with atheism is not surprising. This is done by ‘conformists’ who believe in a secular state/community. Regardless, nation states as we know it from the past centuries are still existing but rapidly disappearing into continental power-blocks. Conformist thinking in one way or another however, will never disappear.

    In my own country, i never understood that if you don’t follow religion in school, in stead you have to follow humanist ethics. After all, these ethics are derived from our cultural background and are mostly christian. I also did not understand why our belgian army needed independend counselors next to chaplains. I saw with amazement when i was only 10 yo how atheism tried to mimic the catholic hierarchy, and i didn’t believe my eyes: no god but still no freedom 🙂

    However, atheism has had a similar role as the feminist movement. Women became aware that they needed equal rights and believers became aware that they needed more freedom. Now the feminist movement has become quite radical, since most of the rights they demanded have been inscribed in laws and constitutions in most countries worldwide. Freedom of religion is also part of that. So, atheism is also becoming more radical, and, when i read their manifestos, i don’t feel any affiliation anymore.

    Fact is that in Europe in 50 years time our churches have become empty. The atheist movement is not the reason this has happened, but it delivered some ideas. Education and a post-conformist attitude did the trick.

    Reply
  3. Pingback: many names, but only one God « power of language blog: partnering with reality by JR Fibonacci

  4. Pingback: "Only God Can JUDGE me"… « Dr. Sherry E. Showalter – "Keepin It Real"

  5. SHERRY E SHOWALTER

    thanks for your follow, I can see where you have some interesting and thought provoking discussions here! most want to believe in something, and to not believe is to state a belief isn’t it? whether you think you can or think you can’t you are right on most counts when you think about it… be well … and true to yourself, and the Universal energy that propels us all as interconnected in the vast circle of life…

    Reply
  6. treegestalt

    A better question than: “Do you believe God exists?” would be: “What do you mean by that word ‘God’, anyway?” That is, there are crude conceptions that break down on issues like, “What do you mean, ‘Good’?” and “What do you mean, ‘Omnipotent’?” — in the context of an entity conceived to transcend life-&-death, but working through/within a world of limitation & constraint.

    Whatever ‘glue’ holds us embedded within one ‘universe’ — is it material? — mental? – spiritual? If ‘spiritual,’ what does the referent of that word ‘spiritual’ look like?

    If something doesn’t, somehow, ‘necessarily’ exist… Is it credible that anything in particular does exist, as we plainly see ourselves ‘seeing’ this happen?

    All quite bogglesome… and one’s answers might not necessarily resemble any traditional religion. But I’ve found several such religions illuminating, as to What’s There.
    — — — —

    “You don’t do it through intellectual processes. What you do is you telepathically tap in to the one great world religion,
    which is only one,
    which has no name,
    and all of the other religions are merely maps of that.”

    [Stephen Gaskin]

    Reply
    1. Jonathan Wagner Post author

      Usually when people are going to debate God they actually need to define God up front. What Stephen Gaskin is referring to whether he realizes it or not is actually mysticism. Most people when they hear that word thinks it refers to Hinduism, but every single religion in existence has mystics. They all go through a similar process, they will be struck with enlightenment, one mystic referred to it as the “light so bright it was black” another (in reference to the light) a song of a thousand angels.

      The enlightenment was not a slow process instead it is an instantaneous process through light and some mystics have went on directly after having their enlightenment to write volumes of information regarding the divine in several days or weeks. Mystics of all religions will actually come to some similar conclusion about good/evil and the universe etc.. Some of these ideas are part of my concept of Elolight.

      However, I am not really so concerned with the static ideological definition of God, I am concerned with the motivational and formative properties of the concept of God.

      Reply
      1. treegestalt

        It’s when we start writing the stuff up that you (we!) need to watch us carefully, because at that point we’ve probably come down the mountain some…

        “God” (as Sufi Sam Lewis said) is not “the concept of God.” The concept, of course, is what we get to chew…

        I’m not particularly concerned, either, with arriving at a perfect ‘static ideological definition’ — nor can I make ‘motivational and formative properties’ my main consideration. So far as it can be given us to grok, I want to be seeing/conveying the closest possible sense of How It Truly Be. (& of course, if “It” didn’t want us to know, we couldn’t! But since I started out as an atheist, I’m pretty much having to conclude It rattled my cage for some such purpose…)

      2. Jonathan Wagner Post author

        It’s interesting to meet someone who has done an atheist to theist conversion. I by no means want to put God into a box, that is definitely not my agenda. Ultimately I believe it is up to everyone to discover divine ideas myself. This blog, in particular, is not about exploring the essence of God. There are plenty of Blogs about getting in touch with divinity, that is not my desire.

        If you wish to believe in a physical God, that is fine, I don’t contend that is wrong. The questions I ask are more about how we embrace all of this to make the human race better as a whole and progress towards a God like state.

        The only thing I am against when it comes to spirituality is passive spirituality, where people believe peace is achieved by becoming non-functional. It is in my opinion pointless, it is a selfish corruption of spirituality to allow people to become apathetic and condescending. An example of this would be when Christians who can knowingly physically help choose prayer instead.

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