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Agnostics -why so wishy washy-

  

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  1. 1. Do you view agnostics as people not willing to commit to either side?

    • Yes
      3
    • No
      6


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Agnostics..! Why can't agnostics take a position for once..! Either become atheist or accept the existence of God. Are agnostics too weak to make an opinion and join either side? Are they using pascal wager argument and think that by not denying the existence of God that they may at least have a little bit of hope?

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Agnostics are people who don't believe that Evolution explains things or that the Big Bang theory is a figment of science, and they don't believe in the hogwash of religion.

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There aren't just two sides...I presume when you say "accept the existence of God" you are talking about Christianity. But there are other religions as well, and I think agnostics are people who are not sure in what they believe in. In my opinion that's perfectly fine. Being religious can become a big part of someone's life, and deciding whether or not you should commit to a religion may require some time, for some people.

Aboo, I thought agnostics were people who were undecided about their religion? Or am I wrong?

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In my opinion, agnostics are more reasonable than believers of God and atheists. First of all, so you don't think I'm biased: I believe in God, I'm not an agnostic.

The point of faith is that you believe in something without evidence, without proof. You choose to believe in something without reason, which would therefore, by definition, make it unreasonable. God cannot be proven or disproven, which is why you believe in God's existence, but you do not know of it. That's the whole point behind religion: believing without knowing. So, those who believe in God, but do not claim that he definitely exists, are not wrong, provided that the fine line between "I believe he exists" and "I know he exists" is not crossed. But, of course, they are not correct either, since what they hold is still an unfounded belief, one that cannot be put to the test of experimentation or backed up by evidence. Their belief cannot be proven, nor can it be disproven, since God isn't a theory or a system of theories that makes predictions about the world. He's meant to be a supreme being, one that we cannot comprehend entirely, and therefore cannot test experimentally to try and prove or disprove his existence. Of course, that may sound unreasonable, but that's the whole point behind believing in something without having proof. Of course, there are MANY religious people who make the knowledge claim that "Yes, God exists", which definitely cannot be proven, so it is also unreasonable.

On the other side, you have atheists, those who claim that God (or any other deity) does not exist. By making the claim that "God does not exist" one moves from simply stating a personal belief to making a knowledge claim. Any knowledge claim should therefore be able to be tested or have evidence to back it up, however there is no evidence to backup the claim that "God does not exist". And simply stating that he does not exist because there is no evidence of his existence is illogical, since that would assume that nothing exists until there is evidence of its existence, or nothing exists until it is discovered. Religion is based upon belief without proof (i.e. faith), which is unreasonable by definition, but on the other hand atheists make the knowledge claim that God does not exist, while also not having proof for their claim, which is also unreasonable.

That leaves us with the agnostics, which in broad terms is the philosophical view that the truth behind God (or any other deity or metaphysical claim) cannot be known. They do not believe in God, but they also understand that he cannot be disproven. Believing that God does not exist is a personal choice, they are not right nor wrong since there is no knowledge regarding his existence. But their claim that the truth behind "God does or does not exist" cannot be known is what makes them different from atheists (and the religious people who state that God's existence is a definite fact). If anything, agnostics are technically the most reasonable ones, in my opinion. I don't think they have to "pick a side" when both sides (atheism and believing in the existence of God) have unreasonable aspects.

NOTE: to all atheists and believers, I am not trying to use the word "unreasonable" in an offensive manner to personally suggest you're ignorant or that your belief is nonsense. I'm using it in the literal way, as in "something that does not follow reason".

Edited by Redstar
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To me, religion is a method of social control. It's been used by governments to keep their people in line (think Spanish Inquisition, Islamic states like Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, and the ban on religion in North Korea), and I don't think people should be told what to do based on how a select few in power interpret religious laws. Secondly, I don't believe in any of the Holy scriptures because their origins are doubtful (being thosuands of years old, anyone could have written them or changed their original content). I may or may not believe in God, but trying to follow all the rules that someone made up for a religion and forcing myself to view the world from a certain religion's viewpoint is just pointless to me. I'll live my life how I want to, and that doens't make me any less moral than devout followers of a religion.

And a little bit of hope for what? That I'll go to heaven? I don't believe in teh afterlife, and even if I did I'd much rather go to Hell (at least the majority of people end up there and I'd have interesting comapny). Your view sounds like that of a conservative evangelical Christian.

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I suggest you read The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. An excellent book that reasons agnosticism well.

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I was about to say more or less exactly what RedStar says. Agnostics are actually the only people taking the reasonable position! It is the only position which can be reached by reasoning without taking at least one small hop into the unknown. Given that there is no evidence to suggest god exists, and no evidence to suggest he doesn't, everybody else is just taking a stab in the dark when they go for one or the other, relative to an agnostic who is at least saying "well neither side has a reasonable argument".

It is also my opinion that agnostic people have a point. At the end of the day, if pro-god people and anti-god people were removed from the picture, all you'd be left with are "having a position on 'god' as a concept is irrelevant" people - who're roughly equivalent to agnostics.

Being "too weak to make a decision" is a tad ridiculous. It's demanding answers for a question which HAS no reasonable answers. What you're asking people to do when telling them they're 'weak' if they don't make a decision, is more or less telling them to flip a coin. You're saying you HAVE to pick heads or tails. Well, what if they just don't think it's worth flipping the coin? The question as to whether there is a god has no meaning to a great deal of people, and saying that everybody must pick an answer to it from a black and white situation of "right" versus "wrong" is to force people to make a decision with no meaning. The question has no meaning, the answers have no meaning, the feeling behind it has no meaning. If it is weak to therefore consider the decision meaningless, so be it.

If people don't know the answer, why deride them for not inventing one? After all, at the end of the day, that's what all the definite people have decided to do.

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Given that there is no evidence to suggest god exists, and no evidence to suggest he doesn't, everybody else is just taking a stab in the dark when they go for one or the other, relative to an agnostic who is at least saying "well neither side has a reasonable argument".

The existence and non-existence of god, however, are not equiprobable by any means.

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The existence and non-existence of god, however, are not equiprobable by any means.

So atheists claim. So theists claim. Both of them think the probability lies to their side of the equation. A reasonable person would have to consider all use of probability a leap of faith to some degree. You're gambling, even if it's just to a small extent. Therefore the only reasonable thing to do, according to what you know for sure, is to not make the jump from probability to certainty. Which is what theists and atheists do.

Personally, I think the evidence lies with huge probability bias on the side that a god doesn't exist - however, probability isn't certainty, and of course there are a lot of people who think the evidence lies with massive probability in the other direction. If there were a reason to make it into one certainty or the other-- some necessity to convert it from probability into the closest to certainty you feel comfortable with, fair enough. However, there is no reason or necessity as to why you have to hedge your bets.

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I can now definitely understand where agnostics are coming from now. Despite having moderate religious affiliations I can now see how agnostics see themselves as the reasonable ones who are taking the moderate position.

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