Why I call myself Agnostic (and not Atheist)

As a fairly recent questioner of religion, I’ve really been enjoying Hemant Mehta’s (the Friendly Athiest) The Athiest Voice series. However, I kind of disagreed with his recent video “What’s the Deal with Agnosticism?”, in which he said that agnosticism wasn’t a solid middle ground but instead “it’s just wishy washy. Take a side.”
I identify as agnostic. While I think I get his point, the video left me feeling misunderstood.
So in the interest of being understood – here are some reasons I don’t currently identify as atheist:

1) I only recently left a certainty that I now believe is wrong; I’m hesitant to embrace another certainty. This may sound like wishy washiness, but it feels like caution.
2) I just left a very dogmatic religion. I’m not ready to be a dogmatic atheist. The atheists who debate against god’s existence are not the only ones, but they are the most visible. I just want to live and let live for awhile. Including letting myself live in the space of uncertainty
3) I feel like I don’t have enough evidence to be certain there is no ‘power’ or ‘force’ even though I feel fairly certain it can’t be the Christian God, or any sort of omnipotent all good being. (I identify as an agnostic seeker, so I’m still gathering evidence and considering this question). I just don’t feel certain there is nothing out there. There seems to be evidence both ways. I haven’t examined more than a fraction of it yet. If you have, great! I haven’t.

Basically what I’m saying is, I’m a new agnostic (atheist leaning), and there are plenty more like me, just beginning to question the religion of their childhood. Some agnostics might be wishy washy, but I feel that agnosticism is the best place for some of us.
I hope that atheists and theists alike can give people like me some space to think for ourselves and come to our own conclusions, in our own time and without having to worry about judgment from either side.

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6 thoughts on “Why I call myself Agnostic (and not Atheist)

  1. Lana

    What you are saying makes sense to me. To me it seems obvious that we are creatures trapped in time (I should say, I don’t really believe time exists but rather insists, but that time is perception, and we cannot perceive except in sequents of events, so therefore we are trapped in time rather than the bigger picture). It also seems obvious to me that we are trapped in our five, possible six senses if we count consciousness as a perception. We can’t fly. We can’t hear the highest tones. We can say loads of frequencies. Things appear solid that are not actually solid, such that we cannot walk through walls thanks to our frequencies. I guess what I am saying is that humans have enormous limits. We are trapped to the ground, like it or not. And we are trapped to our mind and the limits of our senses and constructions of our minds therein. So there is no way anyone can say with certainty that a God or God force does not exist, because we are pretty trapped. To me saying swearing there is no God would be like like a colored blind soecies swearing hat color does not exist. Really, we are trapped.

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  2. jesuswithoutbaggage

    I applaud your taking a stand as an agnostic seeker rather than giving in to dogmatic atheists; they can have many of the same negative traits as dogmatic fundamentalists. Grow and learn and enjoy the journey!

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  3. Nick E

    I am also what you would call a seeker-agnostic, and I believe that it is a religion in itself. Why must we pretend to know for a fact what is beyond death when we can accept that we will never truly know without experiencing death first hand? Leave the possibilities open! Why say that one god is the “right god” over another when there is no proof of either? That goes also for denying the presence of a god, for there is also no definitive proof that that is the truth either. I don’t believe there needs to be a god for humans to act morally. People should enjoy their lives while they can and work on becoming the best people they can be rather than fighting and killing each other over arguments they can’t prove. The way I see it, our beliefs are not “wishy washy”, because I can only be sure of something if there are facts supporting it, and neither atheists nor theists can provide legitimate proof that their counterparts are false. A lack of strong representation should not define the validity of our beliefs. Keep your mind open, think freely, and enjoy life 🙂

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  4. mary

    Amen! I’m only beginning to be able to say… maybe there isn’t a god… certainly not one we can claim any certainty about. My family is deeply religious so I don’t want to offend them but their god seems a lot like believing in Santa Claus with the same naughty and nice list. I totally believe in humans needing a place to encourage more kindness. I don’t care what other people believe as long as it makes them a better person but I can’t help feeling like a senior in HS with everyone around me still believing in Santa Claus. I don’t believe I will ever want the label of atheist simple because I have such a negative view so them being mean. (I’m sure there are many gentle ones too but I see the mean ones more often). Thanks for being brave. Seeking Agnostics totally need a place on the web.

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  5. Pingback: Reasons I Questioned and Ultimately Left Christianity | Lana Hobbs the Brave

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