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Discussion 2 on Meditation 185
Agnosticism & Atheism

by JT

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Re: Meditation 185

Liz:

Thank you for your comments.

Really, what this amounts to is how one defines atheism. I personally hold to the classical definition - a clear and definite assertion that there are no gods - and as such, it is just not possible to be both an atheist and an agnostic. That is my own view - not one that everyone agrees with. But the very foundation of agnosticism in the nineteenth century depends upon it. The first agnostics made a clear distinction between atheism and agnosticism

But certainly, the definition of atheism has broadened through common usage in recent years. And within that broader definition, I agree it is quite possible to be both an atheist and agnostic.

I think an important distinction is being lost, and by broadening the definition, atheism is losing touch with its philosophical roots. And I perhaps get a little too pedantic on the issue at times.

But I have no real problem with someone calling themselves both an atheist and agnostic. I understand their rationale. But I do trust, on the other hand, they will understand why I will continue to firmly deny being an atheist.