Saturday, March 31, 2007

I don't believe in agnostics

An atheist is a person without a belief in any god. It doesn't matter why you don't believe in God. If you have carefully and rationally examined the evidence, found none for a god, and therefore you don't believe, you are not "more atheist" than some kid who is angry because his first girlfriend dumped him and decided God doesn't exist. There is one and only one criteria for being an atheist: you don't believe.

This is why I don't believe in agnostics.

Oh, I believe that there are agnostic people out there; the problem is, they are also either believers or atheists. It is simply impossible to be between belief and non-belief. Most agnostics are atheists who are afraid to admit it.

All of those people who say, "I don't know" or "I don't care" or "I don't think we can know" don't believe in God. They are atheists. That they don't believe because they haven't made up their mind, or don't think there is a way to prove it, is irrelevant, because the only criteria for being an atheist is that you don't believe. These people calling themselves agnostic does a fine job of telling us why they don't believe in God, but it doesn't make them somehow in a middle ground where they neither believe nor disbelieve. If they say they neither believe nor disbelieve, they still don't believe. That's covered in the neither part — that they followed it up with "nor disbelief" doesn't change that. Not actively disbelieving in God doesn't mean they don't still passively lack belief in him.

And I would be willing to bet that the vast majority of people who do believe are agnostic, too. I've heard a million times Christians saying something to the effect of "well, I really don't know, but believing makes me feel better" or "there's really no telling, but for me, believing feels right." These people are all agnostics, too. Most people are agnostics, when you get down to it, making the term so all-encompassing as to not have a whole lot of value unless you're specifically having a conversation about the topic of how and why people believe.

Agnosticism doesn't have anything to do with belief. It has to do with the limits of knowledge. There are agnostic atheists and agnostic believers all over the place, but there are no just-plain-agnostics.


  1. Hello, My name is Shawn Clarady.
    My web sites are
    My email is

    I would like to start by saying that I was 25 questions away from being a preacher. So Yes I was a beleaver.
    Then I started to compare timeliness with timeliness of the earth and found something odd. The earth is billions of years old but if you look at the bible it is only about 6000 years old. From Adam and Eve to the death of Jesus was 4000 years. You can see this if you study the genealogy starting with Adam and Eve to Jesus. Then we know it was about 2000 from the death of Jesus to now. The bible will also have you beleave that the sun and all the planets revolve around the earth. In fact you could be killed for saying otherwise only a few hundred years ago. You must remember that none of the events in the bible was writen at the time of the event but rather years latter. Sometimes hundreds of years later.
    You can not have story go that long with out having it change. Think of this, How quickly can a false story get started. You have heard the whispers (did you hear, I heard, someone said, I was toled).
    If you are telling a story about someone you like well your sure to boost them a bit. I am sure you have seen this happen. Two people start to yell at each other, one gets pushed or slapped but when the story is toled to others it was a punch or a nose got broke, an eye was blackened.
    Here is something. Some would say that because the bible dose not speak of the dinosaurs or the ice age then this must mean that this is false info. The ice age never happened and dinosaurs was not real. If you beleave this then you MUST beleave that it has never snowed because the bible dose not speak of it. The bible is full of false story's.

  2. While I can understand your point, I believe where you err is in your definition of atheism.

    Atheism is not the lack of belief in a god, but the belief that there is no god. It requires belief to be an atheist. An atheist BELIEVES that there is no god.

    An agnostic on the other hand does not neccessarily believe in a god, but has also not decided that a god definately does not exist. An agnostic accepts that they just don't know and gets on with their life.