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Discussion 1 to Talk Back 73
Re: Agnosticism vs. Atheism

by: Thomas

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The way I understand it, and the way that I qualify myself as an agnostic, is summed up in your first sentence. We cannot prove or disprove anything. Therefore, we cannot know anything. Now, by acknowledging that we can't prove or disprove we are left with possibilities, not probabilities.

Atheism deals with the belief that of these possibilities, the probabilities are that no god/s exist. Belief is the key word.

American Heritage Dictionary

be•lief (bĭ-lēf') Pronunciation Key
n.

  1. The mental act, condition, or habit of placing trust or confidence in another: “My belief in you is as strong as ever.”
  2. Mental acceptance of and conviction in the truth, actuality, or validity of something: “His explanation of what happened defies belief.”
  3. Something believed or accepted as true, especially a particular tenet or a body of tenets accepted by a group of persons.

It seems as if you have mentally accepted that it is probable that these entities do not exist. By this definition you believe it.

I do not believe one way or the other. I know or I do not know. It pretty much ends there. I admit that I do not know. I do not even know the probabilities. I see no strong evidence either way. So from this standpoint, the possibilities have no probability. I do not believe that the probabilities are even. I just have not seen convincing evidence to sway me in any direction. I acknowledge the possibilities, but I have no belief on the matter, I just don’t know. This makes me agnostic.

Keep in mind that we are only talking about if such a deity exists. We haven’t even begun to narrow down which one would be right. We are just sitting here staring a big 50/50 in the face. Any one belief of a deity is only a small portion in the one 50%. So in this sense, I guess you would have an edge on believers. However, that doesn’t mean that you are right, either. So my best chances are 50% and no reason to believe that proof is on the way. It is a roll of the dice that may or may not be weighted. This makes me apathetic.