I have heard it said before that an agnostic is an atheist with an insurance policy. This would be true if it were possible to be agnostic towards the possibility of Gods. I don’t believe it is possible to take an agnostic view towards this position anymore than it would be to the possible existence of, Unicorns, Santa Claus or The Tooth Fairy.
What does it mean when someone claims they are an ‘agnostic?’ Some claim that agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims-especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims are unknown or unknowable.
I would ask anyone who claims to be agnostic towards God … more precisely the theistic God of the Bible if they are also equally agnostic towards other mythical beliefs such as Zeus, Apollo or any other past Gods. If the position of agnosticism is, “the view that the truth value of certain claims-especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims are unknown or unknowable “ then how could the belief in other Gods or myths of any kind be known or knowable? I am sure they do not hold an agnostic view towards Zeus, I am sure it’s an atheistic view. So why does the God of theism get special treatment? There were just as many stories told of ancient Gods as there were the God of Theism. Why would someone claim to be agnostic towards one God, but not of all others?
You are either a theist or you are an atheist, those are the only two options, there is no middle ground. If you dismiss the belief in most myths based on the evidence, you must do that with all myths as well. It is not logical to take a position of agnosticism towards theism, yet take an atheistic position towards all other things for which there is no evidence or proof of.
The term “atheist” (‘a’ theist) means non-theist. When an ‘a’ is placed in front of a word it means “non” or “not.” So if you are not a theist, then you are a non-theist … or said another way you are an atheist. Just as we use the term “asymmetrical” to describe something that is not symmetrical or non-symmetrical, the same is true of atheism. Something is either symmetrical or it isn’t. If it isn’t, then we say it’s asymmetrical. By adding the ‘a’ we are saying it is not a symmetrical shape. We know nothing more about this shape, just that it’s not symmetrical. It could be a square, triangle, octagon, rectangle or any countless number of shapes, but it’s not symmetrical. This is all we know based on the definition we were given. We do not have enough information to determine what it is, just what it is not.
So, if you define yourself as a non-theist, you are by default an atheist. You may have different reasons why you are not a theist, but this does not matter, the fact is you are an atheist. You are free to be anything else; it just means you are not a theist. Everyone who claims to be an agnostic is also an atheist; it just makes them feel better to label themselves an agnostic.
This does not mean you cannot believe in any other spiritual or religious view, just not theism. It would even be possible to be a Buddhist and an atheist since all atheism means is not a theist. So when someone says they are an agnostic they are usually unknowingly saying they are an atheist. For an “agnostic” to say I don’t really know, so I am not willing to say for sure, is admitting they are not a theist (someone that does claim to know) so by default this makes them an atheist.
People who refer to themselves as agnostic do so because it sounds warm and fuzzy and the word agnostic is not as looked down on by people of faith as is the word atheist. To most people of faith the word atheist is a vile and offensive word, so some people would rather use a less offensive term to describe themselves, as not to offend anyone.
Agnosticism just seems a little intellectually void to me as the term relates to theism, because the person is claiming they are having a hard time deciding if the belief of theism seems plausible or not, but are completely sure they are atheistic towards Zeus, Apollo, Unicorns, Santa Claus, The Tooth Fairy and other myths of equal standing. You are either a theist or you are not a theist, and if you are not a theist, then you are an atheist. I would like to take this time to welcome all those who have defined themselves as agnostic to the world of atheism…