It is very common for people to confuse these terms. But Agnostic and Atheist are not synonyms or antonyms. But different things!
Amid so many terms and concepts that exist within the study of religion. It can be easy to get confused or even misunderstood what some words really mean. You’ve probably heard someone calling themselves atheist or agnostic out there. But what does this ultimately mean? Agnostic and Atheist
Is an agnostic a person who does or does not believe in God? Atheists deny what exists in the Christian bible, but do they believe in some other religion?
If you’ve ever wondered this kind of thing, don’t worry! This kind of doubt is much more common than you might think.
To understand, therefore, once and for all what each of these terms means, we must pay attention to the most basic of the basics. What is the etymology of each of these words!
Agnostic Vs Atheist Comparison Chart in Tabular Form
|Life after death||Does not exist, or is not sure.||unknown.|
|Belief||An atheist believes that God or gods do not exist (“positive atheism”) or does not believe in the existence of known deities, but does not claim that they do not exist (“negative atheism”).||An agnostic believes that it is impossible to know whether God, or gods, exist (“strong agnosticism”), or believes that the answer can be discovered but is not currently known (“weak agnosticism”).
Some agnostics think the answer is unimportant.
|Argument||Atheists do not believe in claims of the existence of a deity. They argue that the burden of proof is on those who say there is a god.||The agnostic does not believe claims that the existence of deities can be proved. In the same way, however, he does not deny the existence of God or gods.|
|Etymology||From the Greek Atheus , formed with the negation prefix ἀ- (a-, “not”) + theos (“god”), i.e. it is the negation of god.||Derived from the Greek word Agnostos , formed with the negation prefix ἀ- (a-, “not”) + γιγνώσκω (gnostos, “I know”). It means ignorance.|
|Term created by||Reference to Ephesians 2:12 in the New Testament.||Thomas Henry Huxley.|
|Famous examples||Chico Buarque, Drauzio Varella, Friedrich Nietzsche, Oscar Niemeyer.||Charlie Chaplin, Thomas Jefferson, Carl Sagan.|
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Etymology of words Agnostic and Atheist
Both terms, for example, originate from the Greek language. In the word “ atheist ”, the “ A ” appears as a kind of negation (no). “ Teus ” in turn means: god. So if we had a way to translate the word atheist to its literal meaning, we would arrive at the concept of “ there is no god ”.
Agnostic, also in Greek, means “ unknown”, “without knowledge”.
Moving now to practical questions, you might be asking yourself. And what differentiates an atheist from an agnostic in the end?
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Agnostics and Atheists in the World
About 16% of the world’s population is not affiliated with a religious faith. Countries with large non-religious populations include Sweden, China, the Czech Republic, France, Iceland and Australia.
What do agnostics and atheists believe?
Atheists do not believe in gods or religious doctrines. For them, there is no afterlife, whether positive or negative, or it cannot be proved based on available evidence.
Atheists believe that human beings are responsible for their own well-being (or destruction). Therefore, prayers have no result. They argue that religion has a negative effect on humanity.
Agnostics have a more uncertain relationship about belief, feeling insecure about whether or not gods exist. For some agnostics, it is impossible for anyone to prove or disprove the existence of God.
For apathetic agnostics, the question of God’s existence is irrelevant and unimportant.
Core Difference Agnostic and Atheist
People generally think that both atheists and agnostics are the same group of people with similar beliefs, which is that they don’t believe in God or the existence of God and other religious matters. But in truth, they are both a separate group of people with very different beliefs. Atheists believe and claim that God does not exist and also give various reasons and proofs that support their theory of God’s non-existence. Agnostics, on the other hand, believe that human beings do not possess enough intelligence or knowledge about the unseen, which means that they cannot think beyond the physical world or the physical realm that they can actually see, and therefore cannot know if God, angels or Satan exist. Oh no. Atheism is a belief that God does not exist and they too support their belief and no amount of knowledge can convince atheists and lead them astray from their belief whereas agnosticism is a theory of knowledge they believe they have no such knowledge to know outside of their physical realm, they do not deny that there is no God or agree that there is a God, they simply state that they cannot know what is true and what is false. An agnostic can also be an atheist, but an atheist cannot be an agnostic because no matter what an atheist does not believe in the existence of God, while an agnostic firmly states that he has no knowledge but does not even deny the existence of a God. Atheism and agnosticism are two fundamentally different philosophies, while agnosticism is a theory of knowledge, they believe that they have no such knowledge to know outside their physical realm, they do not deny that there is no God or agree that there is a God, they simply claim that they cannot know what the true and what is false. An agnostic can also be an atheist, but an atheist cannot be an agnostic because no matter what an atheist does not believe in the existence of God, while an agnostic firmly states that he has no knowledge but does not even deny the existence of a God. Atheism and agnosticism are two fundamentally different philosophies, while agnosticism is a theory of knowledge, they believe that they have no such knowledge to know outside their physical realm, they do not deny that there is no God or agree that there is a God, they simply claim that they cannot know what the true and what is false. An agnostic can also be an atheist, but an atheist cannot be an agnostic because no matter what an atheist does not believe in the existence of God, while an agnostic firmly states that he has no knowledge but does not even deny the existence of a God. Atheism and agnosticism are two fundamentally different philosophies, they simply claim that they cannot know what is true and what is false. An agnostic can also be an atheist, but an atheist cannot be an agnostic because no matter what an atheist does not believe in the existence of God, while an agnostic firmly states that he has no knowledge but does not even deny the existence of a God. Atheism and agnosticism are two fundamentally different philosophies, they simply claim that they cannot know what is true and what is false. An agnostic can also be an atheist, but an atheist cannot be an agnostic because no matter what an atheist does not believe in the existence of God, while an agnostic firmly states that he has no knowledge but does not even deny the existence of a God. Atheism and agnosticism are two fundamentally different philosophies, Agnostic and Atheist
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What is an atheist?
An atheist is a person who does not believe in the existence of God and firmly believes that God does not exist. Broadly explained in different terms, atheism is the lack of faith in a god or the absence of faith in a god or simply the lack of faith in god. An atheist would never change his belief and even give him the benefit of the doubt, no matter how many reasons, justifications or facts are given, his belief will not change. Of all the atheists living together, he may have a wide variety of reasons for his denial, as well as many different levels of certainty. Some will rightly deny that God exists and will also give a variety of proofs for the non-existence of God, while Others will simply say that they do not believe there is a God, even though they will have no evidence to support their theory that God does not exist. . The common denominator is that they do not believe in God. Although atheists are commonly assumed to be irreligious, some religions, such as Buddhism, have been characterized as atheistic due to their lack of faith in a God.
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Definition of Agnostic
An agnostic person does not know if God exists or not, an agnostic will simply say that people cannot know the outside world that is outside of their physical knowledge and perception. Agnosticism is a theory of knowledge, according to which people cannot have knowledge that whether or not God exists, they simply cannot know the unseen. An agnostic does not deny that there is no God, he does not even agree that there is a God, he simply remains neutral and simply says that he cannot know. An agnostic is a person who has doubts and does not compromise, which means that he has the benefit of the doubt, which also means that at some point he believes that God is there because he is not denying it. Agnostics claim that they cannot have absolute or even certain knowledge of the existence of God.
Differences in a nutshell Agnostic and Atheist
- An atheist is a belief, while an agnostic is the theory of knowledge.
- An atheist does not believe in the existence of god, while an agnostic says that he cannot have enough knowledge to know about the existence or non-existence of God.
- An atheist affirms that there is no God, while an agnostic is neutral.
- An atheist denies the existence of God, while an agnostic neither affirms nor denies the existence of God.
- An agnostic can be an atheist, but an atheist cannot be an agnostic. Agnostic and Atheist
- An atheist will deviate from his belief even after testing by others, while an agnostic will give the benefit of the doubt and listen to other people’s answers and beliefs.
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Well, the atheist is that person who admits to himself that there is no god. Atheists are skeptics, do not believe in any religion, creed or dogma that cannot be proved empirically, that is, in practice.
For atheists there is no afterlife and nothing involving supernatural issues. What exists for those who think in this way is only what we can observe or study.
So to make it even clearer in your head, we can do a mental exercise, which will make you never confuse these terms again!
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How to never confuse these terms again?
Just imagine a big wall, which divides two opposite sides of the same field. Whoever is on the left side, for example, is called a “theist”, this person is fully convinced that God exists. Regardless of your religion, if you believe without a doubt that a god, a superior being exists, you are also on this side of the wall.
On top of this wall, we have the agnostic, who, in the midst of doubt, preferred not to take a stand, if you think it is useless to discuss or guide our life in favor of something that cannot be proven or denied, you will be on top of that wall. also!
On the right side, you already know who you will meet! The atheist, like the theist, has his convictions, he is a person who has no doubts and for him there is nothing supernatural, period.
But there you go, dear reader! Did things make more sense to you now? Tell that and more in the comments below!
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Countries where being an atheist is a crime
Although choosing whether or not to have a religion and whether or not to believe in God seems like a personal decision, in some countries it is a reprehensible attitude. Atheism, as well as belief in certain religions, can be considered a crime, with penalties that can lead to death.
Maldives, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania and Afghanistan are examples of countries where being an atheist can lead to capital punishment. In other countries, such as Egypt and Indonesia, although there is no death penalty, not following any religion is expressly prohibited.
In some of these countries, citizens must register as followers of some religion, usually Judaism, Christianity or Islam. This means that atheists, agnostics or followers of other religions must lie about their beliefs. Agnostic and Atheist
Difference between atheist and theist
Atheists are those people who do not believe in God and therefore do not follow any religion. Theists also do not follow any religion, that is, they do not participate in religious rites, celebrations and rituals, but they believe in the existence of a god or gods.
Theists can be monotheists, when they believe in the existence of only one God; polytheists, when they believe in several gods; or henotheists, when they believe in the existence of several gods, with one God supreme over all others. Agnostic and Atheist
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Facts about atheism
According to the website of Canção Nova, a Brazilian Catholic community, there are currently around 749.2 million people who claim to be non-believers . This corresponds to 11% of the world population. The nation that has the most people claiming to be atheists is Sweden. Because 85% of its population say they don’t believe in God.
Brazil, on the other hand, is the opposite and is considered one of the most religious countries in the world with 76% of the population claiming to be believers .
Polemics about atheism
According to the article in Canção Nova, every atheist is religious, because “ no one can prove that God does not exist . If there is no defined rational or scientific definition, everything is on the level of faith: I believe it or not. It is clear that atheism has a religious configuration and this is evident among atheists who fight for the atheist cause as if it were really a religion that wants to convert adepts”.
The Atea website explains the reasons for being an atheist. “ Everyone is born atheist , that is, without belief in any gods, and most people acquire this belief through indoctrination at home and at school. So, contrary to what happens with religion, some atheists have always been atheists, and others have become atheists. But it is still clear that any form of atheism must have solid justifications.”
Scientists for and against a God
The father of the theory of general relativity, one of the pillars of modern physics alongside quantum mechanics, the German physicist Albert Einstein was an assumed agnostic. That is, he accepted that God could exist, but could not prove that existence .
Who doesn’t get emotional when watching the movie ‘The Theory of Everything’, inspired by the life of British scientist Stephen William Hawking?
The scientist is considered one of the most important today and also calls himself an atheist. The scholar claims that the universe is governed by the laws of science . And she is the ultimate authority when it comes to the universe.
Founder of classical theoretical physics, Isaac Newton was a believer in the existence of a God. He claimed that the motion, orbits of the planets, and the composition of matter were defined by God. Therefore, the scientist studied the bible a lot .
“I have discovered that there is a wonderful harmony in the complementary truths of faith and science. The God of the Bible is also the God of the genome . God can be found in the cathedral and in the laboratory. Investigating God’s incredible and majestic creation, science can actually be a form of worship.” The phrase is from scientist Francis Collins, director of the Human Genome Project.
We all know about atheist but there are other similar words that have a different meaning, they may be similar in the way they sound but the actual root may be variable. Therefore, this article has provided the details about the two terms and then given the differences to make it easier for people to understand the correct usage. Agnostic and Atheist
Is it possible to unite the two beliefs?
According to Atea, the Brazilian Association of Atheists and Agnostics, it is possible to be an atheist and agnostic. Just as it is also possible to be atheist and religious.
The organization gives examples of Jainism, Indian religion, and some forms of Buddhism, which do not believe in a God, but are considered religions .
Is there any document common to atheists?
One of the greatest characteristics of atheists is the absence of hierarchy or any text that guides their followers.
So it’s fair to say that people who are atheists simply don’t believe in anything collective, except that God doesn’t exist, so there’s no point in keeping guides or manuals that dictate how you should go about your life.
And do you believe or not in the existence of a God?