Atheist or Agnostic ?

Did you know Richard Dawkins is an Agnostic person? yeah, it is true. I, like a lot of people thought he was an atheist, given his speeches and presentations over the past decades, but by his own admission he is an agnostic. It is actually a little comforting to know that since I consider myself an agnostic and to have a comrade as illustrious as Richard Dawkins is huge. It’s like you like stale cake and a whole lot of people say that liking stale cake is ridiculous and then one day you find out that the Dalai Lama likes stale cake and suddenly, it is not such an odd preference anymore.

Since we are on this topic, did you know that Astrophysicist and science fanatic Neil deGrasse Tyson is an agnostic ? yeah, he says so himself.

To clarify, Wikipedia defines Atheism and Agnosticism as follows:

Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.

Agnosticism is the view that the truth values 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.

Although, the implications of being an Agnostic may seem fuzzy, it is actually grounded in a simple idea that one must always be open for possibilities. It is a belief that the insufficient evidence for existence of a God entity is not necessarily an evidence for non-existence of a God entity. The trust in scientific methods and its rigor also yields the humility that comes from understanding that we will never learn everything and it also raises hope for further exploration of the unknown. Like Voltaire said, ‘Doubt is an unpleasant condition but certainty is absurd’.

Besides, it does not matter if one believes in the existence of God entity or not; what matters is the action prompted by the belief. To do good, any belief is holy enough.


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6 thoughts on “Atheist or Agnostic ?

  1. Dude, its been a year. here is the first post. It was May 10. Congrats….

    Ready or not, I don’t care!!
    May 10, 2011 · by iseemydestiny · in Uncategorized

    Here is my promise to every single living being with reading skills and free Internet access that I will be posting a new blog, however short, narccisstic and misguided it might be,every single day for a year, starting today.

    You are welcome Internetsters.

  2. oh, wow..thanks dude. I did not realize today was the anniversary. Feels like a long time ago. this is probably the only time I have stuck with something for a year.

  3. Note that this: “Although, the implications of being an Agnostic may seem fuzzy, it is actually grounded in a simple idea that one must always be open for possibilities.” …does not square with the “unknowable” version of agnosticism.

    1. Hey Dan, thanks for the comment.
      I think ‘unknowable’ should inferred as ‘infinite possibilities’ and since it is impossible to know everything in an infinite set, there will always be unknowable things in the universe. Instead of trying to know everything, we’re better off learning what we can and simply being open to all possibilities for the rest.

      1. I don’t think the connection between unknowable and infinite is as clear as you suggest. Historically, the agnostic position has often been associated with claims that the existence of, or qualities of God are by their very nature unknowable. This is not simply an open-to-possibilities take on things. How that came to be the meaning people apply to the term, I don’t know, but I suspect the evolution parallels the emergence of weak atheism.

      2. I understand that there can be varied interpretations for ‘unknowable’, especially in philosophical contexts.
        But it is a curious term – ‘weak atheism’. It reminds me of the phrase ‘slightly pregnant’ 🙂

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