Atheism and Agnosticism Defined

It took me a very long time to learn this. People have muddied the waters, unnecessarily. It's like how feminism means that you believe equality for all, but a small group of people said, "No, we think it means man-hater." Feminism doesn't mean "man-hater", and atheism doesn't mean "god-hater" or "anti-religion".
  1. I've had this (completed) in my drafts for two weeks.
    Every time I think about posting it I feel sick. There are so many people that are wrong about what atheism is. I did a search on this app and found some grossly inaccurate descriptions, some that were used to insult atheists. That's normal. I'm not excited to deal with the normal insults and ignorance.
  2. Okay. Here goes.
  3. Many people view agnosticism and atheism as two different answers to the same question. They are actually answers to two different questions. One is a question of knowledge, and the other is a question of belief.
  4. You're either THEIST or ATHEIST. This is about BELIEF, not knowledge.
    You either believe in a God/gods or you don't. You could say, "I don't believe in one at the moment, but I'm open to it," and that would mean you are currently an atheist. This is because the term "atheist" on its own doesn't mean "opposed to believing". It just means "Doesn't believe in any particular God or gods." If later you find a God that you believe in, at that point you are no longer an atheist.
  5. You're either GNOSTIC or AGNOSTIC. This is about KNOWLEDGE, not belief.
    You either claim to know if there's a God, or you don't claim to know. If you say "I know there is a God" or "I know there is not a God" that is gnosticism. If you say, "I don't know" or "I can't know" that's agnosticism.
  6. 📚 Here is how they work together: 📚
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  8. You can be an agnostic theist.
    If you're a Christian who says, "I can't have perfect knowledge, but I believe my God is real." Then you're an agnostic theist. Most theists are agnostic theists because many religions teach that no human can have absolute knowledge, that is reserved as something only their god can have.
  9. 👍 If you're an agnostic theist: You BELIEVE, and you do not claim to KNOW.
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  11. You can be an agnostic atheist.
    Most atheists are agnostic atheists. That means they do not believe in any gods, and they do not claim to know or have proof that's it's impossible for one to exist . And most people who say they are agnostic are actually describing agnostic atheism. Due to the stigma attached to the word "atheist" they prefer to say "agnostic" as it sounds more pleasant to the people who assume horrible things about atheists.
  12. 👍 If you're an agnostic atheist: You do not BELIEVE, and you do not claim to KNOW.
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  14. You can be a gnostic theist.
    This means you don't just believe in your God, you know they are a fact.
  15. 👍 If you're a gnostic theist: You BELIEVE, and you claim to KNOW.
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  17. You can be a gnostic atheist.
    This means you know there are no gods. This is the least common type of atheist, but it is often the only type that religious people believe exist.
  18. 👍 If you're a gnostic atheist: You do not BELIEVE, and you claim to KNOW.
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  20. As I said it has taken me a long time to wrap my head around all of this. I love to learn about religion and philosophy and atheism is one of the more misunderstood concepts.
    I hope I can aid in removing some of the stigma attached to atheism. An atheist isn't automatically any better or worse of a person than a theist. People are people. There is good and bad in all of us and no label makes you automatically more moral, empathetic, or kind.
  21. Thanks for listening. 💕
  22. Main source: The dictionary.
    Alternate sources include many books, articles, and conversations with atheists.