Are you a theist and an agnostic?

by DT 8 Replies latest jw friends

  • DT

    I know this question could be either trivial, with a lot of theists shouting no, or overly complicated with endless debates about the definitions of theist and agnostic. So, since I asked the question, why don't I also provide definitions. Please answer the question in relation to the definitions provided. Then if you disagree with these definitions, feel free to debate as much as you want. Theist- one who believes in a god or gods. Agnostic- one who is uncertain of all claims to knowledge. For example, I would consider someone who believes in God but admits that his existence can't be proven to be both a theist and an agnostic. You might have a different opinion. Please share it. (Or if you are an atheist, do you also consider yourself to be an agnostic?)

  • hamilcarr

    Such a person is called a weak theist, so still a theist. An agnostic will never go as far as to assert that God exists.

  • designs

    I always thought T&A meant something else

  • Designer Stubble
    Designer Stubble

    There is a Dawkins Theist-Atheist Scale: I Rate myself 6 on this.

    1. Strong theist. 100 per cent probability of God. In the words of C.G. Jung, 'I do not believe, I know.'
    2. Very high probability but short of 100 per cent. De facto theist. 'I cannot know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there.'
    3. Higher than 50 per cent but not very high. Technically agnostic but leaning towards theism. 'I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God.'
    4. Exactly 50 per cent. Completely impartial agnostic. 'God's existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable.'
    5. Lower than 50 per cent but not very low. Technically agnostic but leaning towards atheism. 'I do not know whether God exists but I'm inclined to be sceptical.'
    6. Very low probability, but short of zero. De facto atheist. 'I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there.'
    7. Strong atheist. 'I know there is no God, with the same conviction as Jung "knows" there is one.'
  • agonus

    I guess I'm about a 2.5. But again, that depends on Dawkins' definition of "God". Unless he's giving us enough credit to plug in our own definiton when we rate ourselves.

  • agonus

    I would say a 2 except I don't live my life on the ASSUMPTION that God is there.

  • agonus

    So I guess that would be about 66% theist, which means that I'm definitely more theist than atheist and somewhat more theist than agnostic while still technically being agnostic but decidedly not atheist.

    And people wonder why we're averse to labels.

  • peacedog

    I'm somewhere between a theist and an agnostic. I believe it's likely that God exists (seems more likely to me than not existing)... but certainly I believe that IF he exists, he is unknowable and uninvolved in our existence.

    So I guess I'm around a 2 on the scale.

    Lol @ designs... ;)

  • DT

    Thanks for the comments. I personally considered myself an agnostic, even when I was a JW and a theist. I still consider myself an agnostic now that I'm an atheist. I view an agnostic as one who admits the impossibility of complete certainty about anything. Of course, there are many other definitions of agnostic.

    I view an atheist as one who is simply not a theist. According to that definition, everybody would be one or the other and there would be no room for another group of agnostics to fit between them. Agnostics would have to overlap the other two groups. I can also see the appeal of spectrum approach of going from theist to agnostic to atheist. It just gets confusing when we have a hard time agreeing on the definitions.

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