Am I Agnostic Or Atheist?

Hello, new here. The first post I want to make is I want to be sure what I am, and I guess I’m also asking what is the difference between an agnostic or atheist. Here’s a little about myself.

I’m a former Christian/Lutheran, born, brainwashed, and raised in it from birth. While I’m far from it now, it took a lot of pain and suffering not only to get away from the madness, but also from all religion in general. Religion and especially Christian beliefs(because I am the most familiar with them) is the thing I hate more than anything in the world for many reasons.

My current beliefs; While I would really like to believe in something good for us that exists after our last breath on this planet, I cannot honestly and without proof believe in any version of that through faith alone. I believe following things based on any superstitious, emotions, or illogical thoughts is a recipe for disaster for all involved, so while I have feelings like any other, I must follow my logic based on proof and previous experience to steer me through life because I think it’s the healthiest thing I can do. In the end as far as meaning and existence after death goes, although I am hopeful I have to say, “I don’t know, it cannot be proven.”

As I stand right now, what I think an Atheist is the belief that no gods or religion can be proven, so they cannot exist; And what an Agnostic would say is that no gods or religion can be proven, but they might exist. Do I have this correct, or am I wrong with this? Do you believe I am Atheist, Agnostic, or maybe something else? thank you

Hi, @Emptysavior. Welcome to AR.
There are many definitions for a/theist and a/gnostic. Typically, though, a/theism is thought to be about belief and a/gnostism about knowledge. Because of that, one can identify as, for instance, an agnostic atheist or a gnostic theist. An a/theist dis/claims belief. An a/gnostic dis/claims knowledge.
Many folks consider everyone to be agnostic, even if a person identifies otherwise, since they think god/s cannot be dis/proven.
So if one does not believe in any gods, they are atheist. Period.
It’s important, imo, in conversation or debate, to set out definitions for these words at the beginning. Otherwise, folks spend time needlessly talking past each other.

Atheist and agnostic are not exclusive. You can be both, and in my experience, most atheists are also agnostic.

That must be hyperbole, as in my experience people are not born believing Jesus is their savior. People are taught that. You were presumably born an atheist like everyone else, then were taught about Christianity.


Why not just be a human being?

Here is the issue: “There is no such thing as an atheist.” The position of not believing in a God or gods is how we are born. (Interestingly enough your Bible agrees. We are all born in SIN. Separation from God) The concept of God must be introduced to us. At some point in our lives, we are handed a box of God-beliefs. We pick that box up and we carry it around with us. As we mature, we add more and more shit to the box. The beliefs become more complex, more adult. We add excuses, rationalizations, rules, values, and more. We go nowhere without our little box of religious values and pretend that we can not imagine how anyone can get through their life without having such a box.

You did not become an Atheist. This is why you feel so lost. There is nothing to become. Atheism is not a belief system. You have set your box down and walked away from it. You are in the void. The only way you are an Atheist is by the fact, this is what the church calls non-believers. If you are seen walking around without your box, you are an atheist, a heathen, a non-believer, a sinner, doubting Thomas. You are an Infidel, a member of the damned, a heathen, and doomed for the fiery pits of hell. All of this, for no other reason, than you are not carrying around your little box of beliefs. An atheist is a person who puts their box of beliefs down and walks away from them. An atheist is a person who no longer believes in a god. If you are no longer a believer, you are an atheist whether or not you call yourself an atheist. As soon as your loving church members hear you utter the words, “I no longer believe,” they will know exactly what you are. They will know what you are whether you know it or not.

You have always been Agnostic, you just didn’t know it. The word agnostic breaks down into ‘A’ - (Without) and ‘Gnosis"- (Knowledge). I submit to you the ‘FACT’ that there is not a human being on the planet that I have ever experienced who "KNEW’ a damn thing about God. Do you know anyone who knows anything about God? Please share what they know and how they know it. Outside of choosing to believe some Iron Age fairy tale or having some Woo Woo experience that they can not explain and so attribute to the mystical spirit realm of magic and possibly a God, what have you got? What do you profess to KNOW about this God thing? What is there outside of that little box of beliefs you set on the ground and walked away from that tell us, “Hey! Here is some evidence for God.”

As you stand right now, an atheist is a person who is waiting to see evidence for God or gods. The time to believe a claim is when there is sufficient evidence for such a belief. It may not be that no gods or God can be demonstrated (Proved is a math concept and does not apply to real life. All we ask for is a reasonable demonstration. Evidence. The fact is that no one has been able to ‘EVIDENCE’ a god or gods.) That does not mean it could not be done. It means I have not yet seen it done. When it is reasonable to believe in a God, I will do so. But that brings me to a new problem… Worship?

If you imagine I am going to worship the Abrahamic asshole that the Bible, (Old Testament, New Testament, or Quran) describes, you have lost your mind. That child butchering, murdering, bigoted, backward, piece of garbage can fuck right off. I see no justification for worshiping such a monster or believing in a faith that is based on a cult of human sacrifice. Some monster god kills his own fully human son so he can forgive the people he created for not living up to his expectations. Does this really make any sense at all? So much of the silly religion makes no sense. I’d likely never worship this silly version of a God.

So the recap… You are an atheist if you do not believe in a god. That’s it. Period., Atheism is not a belief system. It is the absence of a belief system. You have always been an Agnostic. You just didn’t know it.

If you are looking for a belief system, I suggest looking into skepticism, epistemology, and critical thinking. Any one of these might help cure you of the desire to find a system of belief or at least question any system of belief you do find.

None necessarily…FYI it makes sense to base belief on knowledge, as opposed to a lack thereof.

No, that is not correct, atheism is the lack or absence of belief in a deity or deities. Atheism if not a belief…atheists can and sometimes do hold such a belief.

This assertion is semantically the same as saying “they might not exist”…

One would need to demonstrate what is possible, what have you got?

I will believe what is supported by sufficient objective evidence. If you tell me you believe a deity or deities exist then I accept you’re a theist, if you tell you don’t believe any deities exist then I accept your an atheist, either way you may also be an agnostic and hold a belief that is known or can be known about the nature or existence of god(s).

So firstly this is atheistic, but it is not how atheism is defined, nor do many here define their atheism in this way. Secondly and perhaps more importantly, you have used an argumentum ad ignorantiam fallacy, by claiming something is untrue because it hasn’t been proved.

If you wish to discard weak and poorly reasoned arguments then yes, so a good start would be to understand what an argumentum ad ignorantiam fallacy is, and avoid using any common logical fallacies in your claims assertions and arguments.

HERE is a list of fallacies in informal logic, it’s up to you, but I would try to understand them all, and commit some of the more often used ones to memory. .

Ok, thanks for the replies everyone. It sounds like to me that I would be Atheist based on the information above. Is it possible to change my profile from Agnostic to Atheist so I can have access to other areas of this site?

I wanted to mention one more thing about my Christian deconversion. I said above in my original post that it took much pain and suffering to get away from religion as many others have gone through the same thing, but what I am surprised of is how far those religious roots can grow. I’ll explain it like this;

I imagine myself at birth to kind of be like a robot with no programming. Then, from about the ages of 4 to 19 I have all sorts of religious programming from adults, family members, teachers, authority figures, etc, you know people I trusted and loved more than anything in the world at the time. Because, “Why would they lie to me, why would the hurt me, why would they use me, why would they ever send something my way that was neither beneficial for them or me?” And I have since then answered many of these questions from experience lived in my own life and not theirs.

But much of this now was a long time ago, and I still after all these years resort to theist or superstitious thinking once and a while and feel it’s not entirely in my control because of how deep the ‘religious roots’ started from the beginning. So, like I said it’s like being a robot who was programmed one way, and now in my adulthood I’ve had to continuously reprogram myself and get rid of that religious weed that wants to keep coming back to where it was originally in my brain. Not only that, but my environment I live in society is pro-Christianity and anti-critical thinking, which makes it even tougher. Now that is some strong indoctrination!

Now I realize that there are all kinds of people with different experiences and some children can get out of religion mentally right away and good for them. And for others, it may take most of their life if at all. For me it took until my early thirties, and I feel bad sometimes it took me that long but I have no regrets. This is why I believe it is one of my life’s greatest accomplishments not to only to get away from religion, but to continuously fight to stay away because it takes effort.

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Yes. Go to your Profile / Preferences, change from Agnostic to Atheist, save the changes.

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Sounds like a fair summary. Delusion loves company. There is a nice Zen story that fits the occasion. I’ll make it short. A kind king lived on the mountain and all his subjects loved him. One day a witch poisoned the well in the city below. Because the king lived on the mountain his water was not tainted by the poison. The result was all the people in town, began to hate the king. The king, concerned about the people, went to the town. While in the town, no one would talk to him. The people hid in their homes. The king wondered about it for a while looking for anyone to talk to. He found no one. Finally, he became thirsty and drank water from the well in the town. The people rejoiced and came from their homes. Their kind king had returned.

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Until you get your atheist sea legs under you (so to speak :wink:), know that you are under no obligation to disclose your lack of belief to anyone yet…particularly to pro-xtian bigots.
Do some reading. I’m sure the posters here can suggest some great books. I’d suggest, “Coming out Atheist” by Greta Christina. Reading books by & for atheists with help re-set those pesky theist synapses in your brain! :grin:
Take advantage of the tons of YouTube debate videos!
Hang out here. We don’t get a ton of Xtians but, given time, you’ll hear a lot of good and solid replies to the crappy things people might say to you. Remember, the Atheist Hub room is a safe zone.
Explore purposefully secular groups in your geographic area…here’s a starting place for that: Resources for Local Secular Communities - Secular Coalition for America
Take time to grieve. You’re n the process of letting go of what was a big part of your life. There will be grief. Let it happen, own it. It will fade.
Embrace pride in yourself for standing up against indoctrination and lies! That is some rock star shit!

Welcome to the Atheist Republic.

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I like stories with a moral. From my perspective I would ask these questions; Why did none of the townspeople confront the king and ask him to find out the truth? Why did the townspeople rejoice at someone being poisoned or not warn the king before he drank the water? Surely a person who would taint the well would not knowingly drink from it themselves. Misery loves company perhaps? Seems like no one won in this story except the witch.

They were poisoned with water a witch had put in the well. (No one knew.) Just as easily the water could have been tainted and driven them all mad. I have heard this version as well.

You missed the point. The king was different, he had not taken a drink from the poisoned well water, hence their rejection of him. (Not your fault mine. I shortened the story too much.)

Highly doubtful. No surely here at all.

Yes. No one wins. Everyone moves happily along into oblivion. “We all live on a sinking submarine, a sinking submarine, a sinking submarine.” (Don’t drink the water,) Or… Everyone wins, they live happily ever after in delusion.

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I am reminded of the Paul Harris quote here: “The endpoint of cognitive development is no longer objectivity and equilibrium. It is a mix of the natural and supernatural, of truth and fantasy, of faith and uncertainty.”

Or something like that.

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