Atheism or agnosticism are two views that court a lot of controversy because of its rejection of the concept of God. These controversial views are discussed with each other so often that people have come to mistake the one for the other. But the truth is that there are big differences between atheism and agnosticism and it is worth it to know the differences are between these two.
First of all atheists are quite firm in their belief that there is no god. Atheists do not subscribe to any kind of religious belief and a big majority of them do not even have any intentions or goals to try to sway believers to their ’cause.’ The minority that do have an agenda to convert believers are called militant atheists but these people are quite few.
Agnosticism based on the word ‘agnostic, defines a group of people who acknowledge that any sort of divine existence or divinity cannot be known. This may mean that agnostics do not have or practice any kind of faith but this is a very flexible belief in that an agnostic may think that there may not be a god, but on the other hand, they will also not say that God or a god does not exist.
The beliefs of agnostics and atheists run the full spectrum. There are weak and strong beliefs in both camps. For example, a strong atheist will say that God does not exist and no amount of evidence will will make him think otherwise. So goes with a strong Agnostic who will say that no human being will be able to really know if a divine being exists. The weak position for atheists, on the other hand, will be the denial of god’s existence on the basis of not enough evidence, which means a compelling enough evidence may sway the weak atheist. The weak agnostic, on the other hand, will allow for faith and look at it as a valid form of belief that is okay for other people.
One thing that is a point of contention is whether atheism or agnosticism should be considered as a form of religion as well. There are some who think that this is a valid assessment of these viewpoints as it also deals with a view of the Divine, or lack thereof. Some will argue against it though and view it as a philosophy.
The biggest topic that is discussed when it comes to atheism and agnosticism though is the issue of ethics and morality. People who believe in God have a firm belief that morality is rooted in God, but atheists and agnostics believe that morality is relative to each person and is inherent in Man. To push it even further, atheists and agnostics believe that their morality is much stronger because they do not need a supernatural being to uphold their morality and values.
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