UCTAA churchlight

Site Search via Google

Meditation 27
Agnosticism and Atheism

by Michael Clay

Editor's note posted in June 2018: Since 2001 when this article was written, the definition of atheism as used in the atheist community has undergone a change. The old debates of atheism vs agnosticism are not particularly relevent today. For my own views in what should be my final words on the subject are in Meditation 1332

A discussion has been opened on this Meditation. To contribute your thoughts to this exchange, please use the Contact form.

I decided that I would bring this up to people that may be reading this site that are non-agnostics. I, however, am agnostic and there is one thing that most people that I run into mess up every time. Agnosticism IS DIFFERENT from Atheism. Despite what you say choosing to remain neutral in all religious controversy is different from denying it.

Because we choose to not follow the Bible for example you instantaneously jump to the conclusion that we are Atheists. Why? Because your argument sits at "If you're not with us you're against us" I will not say that all people of faith are like this, but I have run into many that can't make the distinction between Atheists and Agnostics.

The Agnostic: A person who chooses to say that Supreme Beings can not be proven nor disproven. This person's religious beliefs stop there. They will not try to disprove God, but they also will not aid someone in converting a person to another religion by proving there is a God. An Agnostic is one without religious faith yet they really don't care what other religions decide to do with their time or efforts.

The Atheist: A person who claims that a Supreme Being(s) CAN'T and DON'T exist. These people are set in the fact that there is absolutely no way at all a Supreme Being can exist. They will bring science into it, a number of tidbits that are almost always out of context and any other method they have at their disposal. They will try to convince people there isn't a Supreme Being any chance they get and in general discourage all practices by any religion.

What is the difference?

Agnostics remain neutral. They don't really care what other religions do. Atheists, on the other hand, do care and they will try their best to make everyone like them. The simplest connection being Agnostics don't claim to be able to prove nor disprove anything while Atheists say they can disprove everything and there isn't one iota of proof anywhere.

So I ask everyone, the next time you meet an Agnostic, please, don't confuse us with Atheists. We are quite different and personally, I find it insulting.

Have your say...

Please take a moment to share your thoughts, pro and con, on this Meditation.

comments powered by Disqus