Agnostic AtheistQUESTION: What is an Agnostic Atheist?ANSWER:
What is an Agnostic Atheist? This question has a few different answers that agree in concept but vary in the details. To more easily understand this particular strand of atheism, let’s break the term down into its separate words.
First, an atheist
is one who does not believe in God. Additionally, the atheist may or may not actually deny the existence of God. Second, agnosticism
has two main streams. The “soft” agnostic does not know whether or not there is a God. The “hard” agnostic says one cannot know about the existence of God. Some people term this hard agnosticism as “agnostic atheism.” These definitions of agnosticism leave open the possibility of an agnostic also being an atheist, a theist, or one who endorses neither position.
There are several specific beliefs that are within the defined limits of agnostic atheism. An agnostic atheist may be described as a person who does not believe in God or gods and who holds one or more of the following to be true:
- The existence or nonexistence of deities is not known or is unknowable.
- The knowledge of the existence or nonexistence of deities is unimportant.
- The claim to knowledge of existence or nonexistence of deities is best avoided.
The agnostic atheist, therefore, combines elements of not knowing the existence of God with the unbelief in God.