General Question

rockfan's avatar

“Agnosticism is the most reasonable position to hold about God.” Agree or disagree?

Asked by rockfan (13755points) 1 week ago
42 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

And why?

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Nomore_Tantrums's avatar

For me it is. I am agnostic. Trash me all you want, call me a fence straddler, whatever. But I just don’t KNOW, and I don’t pretend to know. That’s about it. But whatever floats a person’s stick.

Nomore_Tantrums's avatar

Why? In my view these things are just unknown and unknowable. That’s about it.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I mostly agree with you. But agnosticism is an intellectually more mature position to take than belief in any single religion, or even atheism. It’s also more difficult.

Why so I say that? the implication of agnosticism is that (a) you know enough about other religions to have an opinion about them, and (b) you have made the judgment based on that accumulated knowledge that some belief in some being is better than no belief in some being.

Agnosticism is more difficult to arrive at, but more intellectually honest.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

It’s the only honest position.

WhyNow's avatar

I really don’t know what ‘most reasonable’ is. I don’t believe in a
supernatural god.

Zaku's avatar

I think the most reasonable reaction to “God” starts with talking about which god you mean, and what you mean by “position”.

HP's avatar

It’s reasonable for me. Others? Once again this is why Baskin Robins has 31 flavors.

Koxufoxu's avatar

You can say this sentence with everu religion and sentence and some people Will still say Yes. I think its matter of what people saw and what makes them happy and ofcourse what they belive

LostInParadise's avatar

I see no compelling reason to believe in God. For all practical purposes I am an atheist, but I acknowledge that we cannot know anything for certain, so technically I am agnostic. There may in fact be a Santa Claus and, with the same degree of certitude, there may be a God.

ragingloli's avatar

Again this false premise that atheism and agnosticism are separate positions.
Gnosticism and Agnosticism are qualifiers of atheism and theism.
A gnostic atheist claims to know there is no god, an agnostic atheist knows there is no 100% way to know. Likewise with the Christian.
You will be hard pressed to find any atheist who claims to know that god does not exist, whereas you will find a lot of christians who claim to know he does.

seawulf575's avatar

I disagree. It assumes a false “reasonable”. What is reasonable for one person may not be for another.

Caravanfan's avatar

What Loli said.

cookieman's avatar

Agreed for reasons stated above by Namore & Loli.

I also agree it’s a difficult position to have because most people I’ve mentioned it to are annoyed with the answer “I don’t know.” It’s really upset a few people. I can’t understand why it bothers them.

Response moderated (Flame-Bait)
Blackwater_Park's avatar

Agnosticism typically is not so much a hard position as it is a gradient. Atheists try to claim agnostics but it’s a little disingenuous. They know what most people colloquially use agnosticism for is not what is described by the definitions they throw out to classify them.

Smashley's avatar

Agnosticism is a cute little carve out for people who don’t want to admit the truth, which is that there is no evidence whatsoever. Every non-god concept with a similar factual basis isnt worthy of your belief.

The fact that you can’t logically disprove something exists, leads some into the silly idea that agnosticism is the most honest state, but it’s really just a cope.

It makes as much sense to be agnostic about the protestant Christian god, (which, given the western lean of this website, is the one I assume you mean) as it does to be agnostic about the Great Green Arkleseizure. There is no logical reason at all to believe that they exist, and holding space for their possible existence because it feels good is a waste of mind.

WhyNow's avatar

As humanity claws it’s way to civility, the idea of God is surely needed. Weather real
or not. Humanity has used religion to brutalize humans, fact. The latest being the idea
that the government is a replacement for god, and the rubes who push that idea.

kritiper's avatar

Disagree. An Agnostic may believe everything an Atheist does and not come to the ultimate conclusion that there is no “God.” But in my book, they will still be, in effect, a Theist because they are still holding out hope that there IS a “God.”.

LostInParadise's avatar

What does an atheist do that an agnostic does not do? They are functionally equivalent. They both live their lives on the assumption that there is no God. You won’t find an agnostic saying, “I better follow what is says in this holy book so I can cover all possibilities”.

Demosthenes's avatar

This just sounds like “centrism is the most reasonable political philosophy”, that “fallacy of the middle ground”. I did meet a militant agnostic once who frequently argued with both atheists and theists (usually atheists since he seemed to find them more annoying) that they were both wrong, that no one can know whether God exists and it can’t be proven or disproven with reason alone. Meh. I don’t think agnosticism (i.e. not having faith in a God but also not committing to the belief that no God exists) is wrong, but claiming it’s more reasonable just seems like a way to make yourself feel smarter and more enlightened than everyone else. “Picking a side” can be perfectly reasonable.

rockfan's avatar


“That the government is a replacement for God, and the rubes who push that idea.”

I mean, the Bible is supposed to be this holy book, but it forgot to condemn slavery. The government had to fix that oopsie…

chefl's avatar

@ragingloli, re. “You will be hard pressed to find any atheist who claims to know that god does not exist, whereas you will find a lot of christians who claim to know he does.”
Athiests that I have heard/read are adamant about There is no good. The definition of Athiests is that they believe that there is no God. If they are not saying there is no God, then they are not labeling themselves correctly by saying that they are atheists. They should say “I’m an Agnostic” Or maybe there should be an Agnoatheist” if there is such word.

WhyNow's avatar

@rockfan I can speak of what I know. The old testament is a historical document.
I learned the ten commandments in hebrew, you ask about slavery.

The first commandment (the very first) teaches humans to abhor slavery. Jews always
preached that. Were there jews who owned slaves? Sure. Every race every religion has
bad people. The ‘government’ that banned slavery were pushed by religious people.

chefl's avatar

1)The word “reasonable” is a subjective word.
2) When some people say I don’t believe in a god/God, they mean they don’t follow the teachings of whatever god/God, just like they would not vote for this or that candidate, they know this or that candidate exists but they don’t believe in his/her ideas. (Edited)

WhyNow's avatar

@chefl Very deep. As populations grows and the world becomes dense
maybe we can at least agree that the ten commandments as a start is a
good way for us to treat each other.

rockfan's avatar

80% of the Ten Commandments barely have any moral relevance to today. George Carlin has a great stand up cutting down the list to about 1 or 2. The rest are just fluff.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Smashley's avatar

@chefl No way. The proportion of the world the genuinely believes in a monotheistic god and actively rejects its authority has got to be extremely small.

Nomore_Tantrums's avatar

@cookieman “I can’t understand why it bothers them”. Nor can I. Which is why I have changed my stance from I don’t know and neither do you, to: I don’t know and I don’t care. Call it Apathetic Agnostic.

chefl's avatar

@WhyNow According to Atheist in general the Ten Commmandments are the only thing they’re ok with
@Smashley What do you mean no way, I didn’t mention anything about the proportion.

Smashley's avatar

@chefl – you said “some people” I said, “an exceedingly small proportion of the population.” I may have missed a conjunction in there but point is that I’m sure there are a few people as you describe, but only a few.

chefl's avatar

@smashley, What conjunction? That may help me understand what you are disagreeing with since I never got into the percentage of people. What does “a few” mean and what does “some” mean”?

Smashley's avatar

The conjunction I forgot was “that” right before “genuinely”

“A few” is colloquially a very small number, take your pick based on context.

“Some” is a vague but often pregnant term. It makes no statement of quantity, but if the point about them is made fervently enough, the implication is that “some” is a lot, or of high importance.

chefl's avatar

@Smashley I don’t know if there is fervency in my statement though. I used “some just because I do not know the percentage. But if one person knows 2 people who think that a god probably exists but don’t believe in him/her, I think it’s likely it’s more than just a few people worldwide. I use some when it’s not about a consequential thing.

WhyNow's avatar

I wonder if I am a UFO agnostic? I want to believe but need proof.

chefl's avatar

@Smashley I posted a quesrton re. “a few” versus “some”.

kritiper's avatar

@WhyNow You question the existence of “God,” which is what defines an Agnostic.

WhyNow's avatar

@kritiper I don’t believe the existence of “God.”
I question the existence of god.

kritiper's avatar

@WhyNow Which makes you Agnostic.
I am an Atheist. I don’t question the existence of a “God,” and I don’t believe in (any) “God.”

Caravanfan's avatar

If someone shows me reproducible indisputable proof that God exists then I will happily change my mind.

WhyNow's avatar

@kritiper Totally agree. By God, you mean a personal God.
But by ‘god’ I mean something else. Too long to explain here.
It requires a lot of mathematics.

chefl's avatar

When people I’ve heard use_ “I question….”(fill in the blank), I find it’s very highly likely they are_softly saying they don’t believe it. They are just not blatantly saying it. Unless they follow it up with something like: “Let me check it out, ... ”

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