The musings of a fourth year English medical student

Friday, 21 March 2014

Why Agnosticism IS valid

Today I stumbled across a YouTube video titled "Agnostics ARE Atheists" By the Youtuber Jaclyn Glenn.

In her video she explains the following:

- the word agnostic, literally means "without knowledge"
- Hence, both atheists and theists alike are agnostics, too, because neither of them have black and white evidence to back up their beliefs
- you cannot call yourself an agnostic because you either believe in god or not and technically we are all "without knowledge"

I do agree with many items that Jaclyn discusses, but I do not agree with the conclusion she draws from them.

First of all, yes the word 'agnostic', when you derive it's literal meaning, does mean "without knowledge". She is also correct that of course neither an atheist or a theist can prove their beliefs are factually correct.

However, what Jaclyn gets wrong here is that she assumes that everyone has already decided what their religious opinion is. She assumes that everyone either thinks God exists or doesn't. However, there are some people who genuinely don't have an opinion that veers either way. Take myself for example, I do not swing more closely to either end of theism or atheism. I don't have an overall opinion of whether I think God actually exists. Therefore, it would still be incorrect to call myself an atheist because I still don't believe whole-heartedly or suspect with  that God doesn't exist. I admit that is highly unlikely from what I have been educated, but I don't feel certain in any regard that God does not exist. Therefore, by definition, I am an agnostic still.


The video: Agnostics ARE Atheists, by Jaclyn Glenn
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xI9o0d9uFqE
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