Talk:Atheist vs. agnostic

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Prove/know

I'm considering modifying this one to remove the references to "prove" and replace them with "know" and "claim to know".

This will lead to sections on epistemology, but I think it's important to make this distinction. It's possible (and common) for believers to claim to "know" that God exists, without any claim of being able to prove it to anyone else. This sort of esoteric, specialized knowledge is critical to claims of direct revelation and the "secret" knowledge of the Gnostics.

Any objections/comments?

Sans Deity 15:20, 19 June 2006 (MST)

This change would, obviously, require a slight modification with regard to strong atheism (as they're unlikely to claim revealed, secret, knowledge that no gods exist), but it shouldn't be a problem to link to a topic which clarifies that this knowledge (like any knowledge) doesn't represent an omniscient claim of an absolute but rather knowledge in the general sense that the evidence overwhelmingly seems to support the idea that no gods exist and this "knowledge" isn't inferior to any other "knowledge" we might claim.
Sans Deity 15:24, 19 June 2006 (MST)
Do what you want! I only pasted the ACA FAQ entry here as a way of getting this page started. There's plenty of room for improvement.
Kazim 16:33, 19 June 2006 (MST)

Combining Terms

While the "Combining Terms" section does a great job of articulating the subtleties of agnosticism, I feel that a position may be missing from the given list of descriptions. You include agnostics that accept the claim that god exists and agnostics that reject that claim, but the latter group could be broken down further into agnostics that reject both given claims regarding god and agnostics that accept the claim that god does not exist. As it is, the list implies that only gnostics can claim that god does not exist. Because an agnostic can accept the claim that god exists, the claim that he does not exist, or accept neither claim, there are actually three positions of agnosticism. Added to the two positions of gnosticism, the list should include five descriptions. On a side note, I would support the change from "prove" to "know" that is being considered. It's semantic, but not irrelevant

--ChristOnIce 13:51, 27 July 2006 (MST)

Note: the above comment was written by ChristOnIce. Please remember to sign your posts by ending it with four tildes (~) --Kazim 11:35, 27 July 2006 (MST)

I'm going to rework this article at some point to clarify, however...The 4 listed positions are all positions on a single claim: "Do you possess a positive belief that God exist?" Your description of an "agnostic that accepts the claim that god does not exist" seems, to me, to be an atheist.

Theism/atheistm addresses what you believe, gnosticism/agnosticism addresses what you know (or claim to know).Sans Deity 11:17, 27 July 2006 (MST)

Color choices

A note to editors on the color choices in the "Combining terms" table:

  • agnostic = yellow = yellow light = proceed with caution
  • gnostic = green = green light = go
  • atheist = pink = invisible pink unicorn
  • theist = purple(-ish) = purple has "royal" connotations — maybe should be "royal blue" instead, but I want to keep the colors light, and light blue just doesn't carry the same connotations <g>

- dcljr 17:33, 26 August 2007 (CDT)

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