Talk:Agnosticism

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Euler-break-1[edit]

The source of the image clearly says Marekich.IIXVXII (talk) 07:01, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

  • and you have a source for his theological position?--JimWae (talk) 07:06, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
Marekich clearly said, in this very category, "Agnosticism is not a third position..." And this person edits and offers images to agnosticism? A person that denies agnosticism even exists.IIXVXII (talk) 07:31, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Actually the maker of the older one (the one that does not even include the word agnostic) -- upon which the newer one was based -- identifies as agnostic.
  • What policy or guideline justifies "One cannot have an Euler diagram when the blue region is agnostic the noun and the union is agnostic the adjective"?--JimWae (talk) 07:10, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
I can't believe these are your rebuttal arguments. "What policy or guideline justifies "One cannot have an Euler diagram when the blue region is agnostic the noun and the union is agnostic the adjective"?" Clearly, without doubt, WP:POV.
"NPOV means that people should write the things that almost everyone agrees about..." and most people do not agree with the use of logical fallacies as a means of informing people. You cannot have a diagram where agnostic means two different things and portray it as one. This is the fallacy of equivalence and the fallacy of ambiguity. When do you actually offer a rebuttal to my claim that the diagram is fallacious?IIXVXII (talk) 07:31, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
If you've ever taken some time to actually read WP:NPOV you'd see that you have not properly characterized NPOV. As WP:NPOV says in the very first paragraph: NPOV means that ALL significant views that have been published by reliable sources on a topic are to be represented fairly, proportionately, and, as far as possible, without bias. There's absolutely nothing about adjectives (nor compound nouns, btw)--JimWae (talk) 07:37, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
I am seriously shocked at your behavior. The diagram is a textbook fallacy and you're going to try and hide behind the Wikipedia rules? I have no doubt that they would agree with me, that the use of logical fallacies is not an acceptable means of informing people.IIXVXII (talk) 08:08, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
  • It was you who appealed to the WP:NPOV policy to justify a revert. If you better understood NPOV, it would eliminate many of your objections (such as wanting to have everything conform to the "most popular" definition). The wiki policies & guidelines are not things to hide -- nor to hide behind -- nor to ignore -- nor to MISREPRESENT. Your objections keep changing. The caption I rewrote for the better diagram talks about theological positions. The positions that can be taken are those of an agnostic, a theist, an atheist, a gnostic, an agnostic theist, an agnostic atheist,... I worked on the wording to deal with your objection. If the 4 circles had been authoritarian, libertarian, capitalist & socialist, then just because the intersections would be authoritarian capitalist, authoritarian socialist, capitalistic libertarian, & socialistic libertarian (note that everything is used as an adjective somewhere [alternatively, they could be seen as compound nouns ]) would not mean that NONE of the nouns "exist". The caption I wrote specifically says that which regions are populated depends on how agnostic & atheism are defined/understood. One could take the position (which seems to be yours) that none of the intersections are populated. I believe all your objections have already been met, that you have NOT properly presented any wiki-guideline to support your bold assertions, that nobody else is supporting what you say, & that it is time to stop your BEHAVIOUR of reverting everyone else here.--JimWae (talk) 08:19, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
The diagram is not in fallacy. The usage is consistent along the same lines as having the circle of all FAT things and intersecting them with FAT PIG, FAT COW and FAT HEAD. In other words agnostic is consistently being used as an adjective to form a compound noun. The noun of Agnostic has the assumed second word god included and by some definitions it is equivalent to agnostic atheist where the atheist is dropped off or possibly the apatheist (agnostic) which just doesn't entertain the concept of deities. JimWae is correct about the NPOV policy. It is about placing all the common POV's into the article at some point but it does not require removal of all but the most common POV (if that can even be proven) or making sure all POV are covered in any one diagram or any one paragraph in the article. Whether you capitalize the word Atheist or Agnostic can have meaning in these discussions. Alatari (talk) 10:50, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
I was trying to develop a Eulern diagram which also included ignostic and apatheist along with strong and weak agnostics because I'm a very visual person and it would cement the concepts for me best but I gave up. Alatari (talk) 11:05, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
If a person has never encountered the concept of a deity wouldn't they be a default agnostic to that deity? Some people may have not heard of Amitabha celestial Buddha and so for all of their lives (using algebraic function notation) they would have been agnostic[Amitabha] from lack of knowledge as well as atheist[Amitabha] from lack of belief. Here comes the tricky part. Once someone has had the deities concept described to them and seen the source materials and witness testimony about Amitabha but they lack a personal exposure to the deity (no visions, no voices, etc) what type of agnostic are they at that point? If they consider the source material and the Sutras valid enough evidence for the existence of the deity then they can leave the realm of agnosticism and become gnostic-theist[Amitabha]. If they do not believe there is enough evidence for Amitabha but have a enough belief that they chant his name and wish to enter the Western Paradise someday and continue to seek more knowledge of him then they would be agnostic-theists[Amitabha]. Even after reading the Sutras and evaluating them as inconsistent or insufficient then the person can be gnostic-atheist[Amitabha] or if they are willing to allow that further knowledge may bring the realization that Amitabha is real they would be agnostic-atheist[Amitabha]. There is an underlying belief in sufficiency of the knowledge/evidence that is in play here that I'm not in complete understanding of and what words to use to describe it. Beliefs or faith about what is sufficient evidence or what sources are to be trusted are in play when a person is to cross between the diagram positions. Alatari (talk) 11:59, 20 July 2013 (UTC)


Fine, I'll play your Wikipedia rules game. I tried to be reasonable with you, but you're clearly not interested in that.

Concerning original images, Wikipedia says " Original images created by a Wikipedian are not considered original research, so long as they do not illustrate or introduce unpublished ideas or arguments..."

There is no source that suggests agnosticism overlaps with theism and atheism, as the diagram had. There is no source that defines gnostic like the diagram had. There is no source that says this unsourced definition of gnostic, then overlaps with theism and atheism. There is no source for anything the diagram represented. The diagram is illustrating unpublished work and is thus, original research.

Further, articles should not give minority views as much of, or as detailed, a description as more widely held views. Agnostic atheism, as described by the Smith source, carries with it that agnosticism is not a valid third alternative. The more widely held view is that agnosticism is a valid third alternative, as expressed in the rest of the sources. Yet, the minority view gets the privilege of not only having its own diagram, but to be the only diagram in the entire article. Giving the minority viewpoint such a privilege, gives it undue weight, violating a neutral point of view.

Finally, the diagram and caption suppressed information. No where did the diagram or caption let the reader know, that the term agnostic atheist uses the adjective meaning of agnostic and that it's position carries along with it, as described by the Smith source, that agnosticism the noun, is not a valid third alternative. Suppression of information violates the neutral point of view.IIXVXII (talk) 14:16, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

  • You seem to be repeating arguments that have already been answered. The new one is that "there are no sources for the intersections". There clearly are, though more than one needs to be presented.
  • Btw, to answer my own Q which seems to have been ignored: what is the 3rd agnostic alternative to 1. believing in the existence of a deity, but not claiming to know such exists & 2. rejecting belief that any deity exists, but not claiming to know if any exist or not? The answer is 3. Not claiming to know whether any deity exists (or not) and SUSPENDING belief (not rejecting it). This may not be your position, but it is a position that has the blue area at the top populated. As such, atheism is defined as rejection of belief - not just absence of belief. The diagram takes no position on any definition or on what regions are populated. It supposes only that the overlaps make sense under some definitions.
  • Btw, Rowe has 3 catefories of agnosticism weak, moderate & strong based on different attitudes to belief. What is common to all 3 of his is that agnosticism is differntiated as being about knowledge. His categorization differs from the weak/strong presented in the article & it needs to be added------JimWae (talk) 17:29, 20 July 2013 (UTC) (signed after posting)
Again, the Euler diagram categories are ALL adjectives. The subject modified is PEOPLE. The top circle is the circle of all Agnostic PEOPLE. The intersection is Agnostic AND Atheist PEOPLE. You object strongly that there is a missing Euler for the sources you can always create another diagram. Alatari (talk) 19:26, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
"Not claiming to know whether any deity exists (or not) and SUSPENDING belief (not rejecting it)". What is the difference between "suspending" belief and rejection? "Rejection" - "To refuse to accept, submit to, believe". Suspending belief would fit into rejection because it is someone not accepting something. I "suspend" my acceptance. I "withhold" my acceptance. "Belief" is accepting something as true. You can *only* either accept or reject a proposition. They are the only two options in regard to a single proposition. "Withholding" judgement IS rejection until judgement can be made. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Asb0y (talkcontribs) 09:40, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

Alternate Eulers'[edit]

Do any of these appear to fit your concept of this topic better than the one currently in the article? I suspect there exists an actual philosophy text book used for a college course from the last decade with a prepared Euler diagram but I can not find one sourced. These are grabbed off the web and ownership is unknown:

  • Single axis belief tri circle: [1]
  • quadrant with gnostic/theism axis [2]
  • another quadrant: [3]
  • tri-circle in implicit non-believer (babies, and lower intelligence like I described above in levels of belief) universe each intersection explained: [4]
  • similar to above with complete explanations: [5]
  • an odd one: [6]
  • An attempt at a much more complete overall Euler: [7]
  • I wish we could use this one: [8] Alatari (talk) 19:58, 20 July 2013 (UTC)


So none of my objections were answered, nor has anyone named any source for the diagram. It's pointless debating theology with you people, because you're only concerned with what the rules allow. And the rules do not allow you to generate images that have no source. The rules do not allow you to give undue weight to the minority view by giving it the only diagram in the entire article. Nor do the rules allow you to suppress the information about the agnostic atheist position being one of denying the agnostic position. If these objections are not taken more seriously than I will put a NPOV:Dispute on this page.IIXVXII (talk) 22:36, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

As the Smith source clearly states, agnosticism is not a valid third position. Creating a diagram that has agnosticism as a third position means, you cannot use the Smith source. The diagram is original research, it suppresses information and gives undue weight to the minority viewpoint by being the only diagram in the entire article, putting forth the agnostic atheist position and not the traditionally accepted academic definition.IIXVXII (talk) 22:56, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
  • IIXVXII, you have violated WP:3RR and are liable to a 24 hour block. If you revert yourself you might be OK...--JimWae (talk) 00:29, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
Ohhhhhh, I'm so scared.IIXVXII (talk) 22:56, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
You are under the burden to provide a diagram that you feel support the majority POV since you are the one pushing for it. I placed a series of various diagrams above for you to critique and suggest if any are closer to your position if you do not wish to create a diagram. We can get permission from an author or recreate our own if any are suitable.
You are the one putting up the diagram, it is your burden of proof.IIXVXII (talk) 22:56, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
I have already countered your objection that the diagram is a logical fallacy because all the words are adjectives in the Euler diagram. It is unclear where we are suppressing the agnostic atheist position since we are just discussing this one diagram and the two positions are distinct on the diagram. Each person that takes a position in the diagram is capable of denying the other positions. Denying is an action verb which is is hard to represent in a 2 dimensional non-moving diagram.
I'm sure this diagram has been debated many times before on this talk page and I'll dig up the archives. Alatari (talk) 00:33, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
OK, it looks like you came in about a year ago with this same exact dispute and was opposed by several editors and the diagram was retained. Has some thing changed in the last year? Alatari (talk) 02:06, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
Actually, I was the one that fixed the Huxley quote from the standard misquote found on atheist websites.IIXVXII (talk) 22:56, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
Is this the position you are pushing? Agnosticism of Rowe that is a distinct position. Would it help if the agnostic area was a single color? It seems you did not even take the time to review the alternate Euler's I posted. This Euler diagram curerently used in the article does have a distinct area of a single color for agnostic people and it could be labeled as the Rowe area. I do not sense a spirit of cooperation from you as an editor on this article. Alatari (talk) 02:18, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
There is one thing missing from the current diagram Venn diagram and that is the position of babies, animals, rocks as this one does (except it spells belive lol). They can not have knowledge nor belief in a deity and a good comparison baseline for someone trying to learn these concepts. Alatari (talk) 02:43, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Babies & rocks cannot be agnostics, since they cannot take a position (btw, I (& others) contend atheism is also a position - i.e. rejection of belief). Since this is the agnostic article, not the atheism article, the diagram should focus on agnosticism (as the latest does) & not on extraneous topics. XVIIVXXIIXXIIVV has violated WP:3RR & can be blocked if he continues to revert.--JimWae (talk) 03:04, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
I think the objections of IIXVXII could be ameliorated by labeling the diagram Agnostic section with a label to the Rowe source. Alternately an Euler diagram with a single horizontal axis belief and three circles could be used to present the Rowe view. It would take minutes to create. Alatari (talk) 06:54, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
I see, so now you're going to mock my name and you think that makes you look intelligent? That tells me I'm dealing with the mentality of a child.IIXVXII (talk) 22:57, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
If stating that mocking my name while trying to have an intelligent discussion is childish, is some emotional outburst to you, then how do you feel about my saying, telling a story that doesn't fit the facts gives reason to, not believe you?
Instead of just admitting you copied the name from JimWae, you're going to give a preposterous excuse that
IIXVXIIIIXVXII
is
XVIIVXXIIXXIIVV
?
Not only does the 'double paste' version have a clear pattern not present in the name you used, it doesn't even have the correct character count. Don't you check these things? You can't even check out your made up story before you tell it?
Welcome back.IIXVXII (talk)
You're the one that told a story that wasn't true. You're the one throwing around accusations of emotion. You're the one that just assumed I choose not to abide by WP:Faith, so that you could accuse me of violating it.IIXVXII (talk) 17:08, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
I corrected my mistaken typing of your name and will not bicker about how it happened. I made a mistake and I apologize. I removed my words and am done with this. Alatari (talk) 00:14, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
You deleted two of your responses and edited another.IIXVXII (talk) 03:41, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

Looking for a new diagram that can be uploaded.[edit]

Some of these are for humors sake others I can not find the source or do not have permission. Do any of them satisfy all the above objections? I know that the objections above by IIXVXII were abbout lacking a source but how are we to get a diagram from a text book or a published reliable source? To satisfy the GNU license an editor will likely have to make it.

  • Crude, offensive and humorous but has merits: [9]
  • From this discussion of the classic 4 quadrant chart[10] this graph was copied which is trending on Google images and I can't find the original source [11] It still has the colored regions that could be mistaken for possible positions even though they are renamed as more explanations.
  • Two redrawn quadrant diagrams without the unsupported areas: [12]
  • I believe this one is on Wikipedia already: [13]
  • This one shows the old paradigm versus the new: [14]. This is straight forward and includes early and later views. It's a decent choice.

OK, spent several hours reading articles and searching for diagrams. These are the best I can find with a web search. What lies in academia I do not know. Maybe a Google Scholar search? Alatari (talk) 09:15, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

All are atheist propaganda.
Tell me, how is it that you give six examples and none of them contain strong and weak agnosticism? Six examples and none of them illustrate agnostics that believe the answer is knowable and agnostics that believe the answer will never be known. Yet, all your diagrams do illustrate the average atheist position that agnosticism and atheism can be united. Why would that common factor be there? Why would it be, that all your examples put forth the average atheist position?IIXVXII (talk)
This last one does have a 3 circle diagram to represent to Huxley version [15]. It is why I listed it last because it is the best place to start. A comparative Venn of Huxley and the newer formulations. Alatari (talk) 06:11, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
I suspect no one draws diagrams for that Huxleyan sense of "agnosticism" because hardly anyone uses it that way anymore. ~ Röbin Liönheart (talk) 17:27, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
Huxleyan sense of agnosticism? Versus what? The atheist sense of agnosticism?
There is no evidence that the atheist terminology is gaining traction. There is no respected dictionary or encyclopedia that even mentions agnostic atheism under agnosticism. Polls about peoples theological position done by Pew Research, Gallup and even the scientific journal Nature, have categories for agnosticism yet, none for agnostic atheism. Mass media doesn't even recognize the term agnostic atheism. Nor do the academics that review dictionaries and encyclopedias. Not only is your claim baseless, there is an extraordinary amount of evidence against it.
You said in the comments above,
"Theism/atheism has to do with belief, gnosticism/agnosticism has to do with knowledge. If you think you know whether or not a god exists, you're gnostic; if you don't know, you're agnostic. And you either have a belief in deities (theism), or you don't (atheism)."
Which is the average atheist position. Which means, you are yet another denier of the agnostic position that resides in this article.
Let me be clear. You can't destroy an idea. You can't destroy a persons ability to choose. You can repeat "one is either theist or atheist" all you want, people can still choose to be agnostic. You can repeat "agnosticism is not a third alternative" all you want, some people will still choose to be agnostic. Whether you like it or not, some people are going to suspend judgment, choose a middle position and agnosticism is the word used to describe this idea, this choice. Your redefining of agnosticism results in a word that no longer reflects the people it is meant to reflect. The ones who...believe....in suspending judgment because of insufficient knowledge. The ones who...believe...theism and atheism are both irrational because they require faith. The ones who...believe...the answer will never be known. None of these things are characteristics of agnostic atheism. Agnostic atheism is exactly atheism with the ridiculous caveat that when one states their belief, they now have to add a label that states their level of knowledge for their belief. No one says they are an agnostic pro-choicer, a gnostic liberal, a gnostic denier of the holocaust, a agnostic flat earther, a agnostic string theory supporter...no one uses this type of terminology, accept atheists. And even atheists only use this ridiculous terminology when the topic is god.
Agnosticism is the word that describes the ones who choose a position of suspending judgment. It's irrelevant what you atheists think agnosticism is, because you can't destroy a persons ability to choose a position of suspending judgment. And the people that choose to do this are known as, agnostics.IIXVXII (talk) 20:34, 19 October 2013 (UTC)
I'm adamant for suspending judgment. I do deny that there is a "middle position" between belief and nonbelief. If you accept neither the position that gods exist, nor the position that gods don't exist, then you're a nonbeliever: an atheist.
Colloquially, "agnostic" does get used outside of religion. Frex, "climate change agnostic". ~ Röbin Liönheart (talk) 08:50, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
I think that last, contrasting diagram is misleading. It denies the existence of agnostic theists, erroneously equating agnosticism with negative atheism. ~ Röbin Liönheart (talk) 17:27, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
Amusing. So denying agnostic theism is misleading, but denying agnosticism is not. Even though, despite all your attempts, some people will still choose to suspend judgment, you will just pretend these people don't exist, because you want agnosticism to mean something different.IIXVXII (talk) 20:34, 19 October 2013 (UTC)
It was listed last because when I found it it seemed to be the best starting point for discussion and I stopped my search after finding it. Alatari (talk) 06:21, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
Fantastic. So, where's your discussion?IIXVXII (talk) 17:08, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
See above and below. Alatari (talk) 23:25, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
I think if IIXVXII has the sources for his content, he should be allowed to edit this page, the way he wants it to be. So we can know, what he wants. Justicejayant (talk) 06:45, 20 October 2013 (UTC)
I agree. IIXVXII, you have a burden of proof to provide some sourcing and a diagram you find suitable. I spent some time on it now how about you provide some counter diagrams and maybe a reliable source that discusses the New Atheism movement versus the old Atheist/Agnostic/Theist paradigm common in the media? In my experiences with people my age and older they tend to use the Huxley model and so does the media. So I'm not in disagreement about the common usage of agnostic-atheist. Common usage debates in articles are definitely some of the most painful to debate and prove. Alatari (talk) 06:21, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
Sources for my content? There are 49 sources for this article, where the overwhelming, vast majority express agnosticism as I'm arguing. There is only one source for the atheist position. One. I'm expressing a position that is no different from those sources nor 99% of this article. The atheists are the ones expressing a position different than 99% of this article.IIXVXII (talk) 17:08, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
I'm talking about a source that studies the usage of the word in the general English-speaking population. The article in Wikipedia is to reflect common usage. Your reference to the Pew and Gallup polling is evidence and a likely place to look. Authors/historians discussing the New Atheism movement is another place to look for sources on word usage. Alatari (talk) 23:25, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
It's not my burden of proof. I don't have to prove common usage. The burden of proof lies with those that seek to change common usage. Surely, the common usage of my name IIXVXII is Roman Numerals. It's my burden of proof to get you to change that common usage to vector magnitude of XVX.IIXVXII (talk) 03:47, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Additional. I was skeptical about the claim that 48 of 49 of the sources use only the Huxley definition and it is a false claim. (Some of the 49 sources are duplicates.) I started at 49 and am working my way back and stopped at 32 for time constraints. So far 6 of 17 allow for Kant or non-Huxley views although only two refer to agnostics as weak-atheist and one uses the term agnostic atheist.:
  • 49 - [16] agnostic atheist is weak atheist
  • 48 - God Delusion [17]
  • 47 - God Delusion [18]
  • 46 - Modern Agnosticism differs from its ancient prototype. Its genesis is not due to a reactionary spirit of protest, and a collection of sceptical arguments, against "dogmatic systems" of philosophy in vogue, so much as to an adverse criticism of man's knowing-powers in answer to the fundamental question: What can we know? Kant, who was the first to raise this question, in his memorable reply to Hume, answered it by a distinction between "knowable phenomena" and "unknowable things-in-themselves". Hamilton soon followed with his doctrine that "we know only the relations of things". Modern Agnosticism is thus closely associated with Kant's distinction and Hamilton's principle of relativity. It asserts our inability to know the reality corresponding to our ultimate scientific, philosophic, or religious ideas. [19]
  • 35 - Not Huxley. person who believes that the existence of God is not provable. [21]Alatari (talk) 00:11, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
"I was skeptical about the claim that 48 of 49 of the sources use only the Huxley definition and it is a false claim."
Yea? Anything else I didn't say that you want to show is false?IIXVXII (talk) 03:47, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Well, quantifying overwhelming, vast majority of 49 would be 46, 47 or 48. Something under 5%. Your claim is still false. Alatari (talk) 17:49, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Really? I have to explain this to you? If 3 sources support an atheistic interpretation, 5 sources state no position, 7 sources are other and 35 sources support the traditional definition of agnosticism, then the overwhelming, vast majority express agnosticism. It is your simpleton interpretation that majority must mean 90%-100% of the sources.IIXVXII (talk) 04:34, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
So Robin makes a baseless claim that Huxley's agnosticism is hardly used anymore. Clearly implying that the atheist agnosticism is what's now used. I then offer counter examples and you want me to cite my sources? What about Robin? Why is it that my counter examples require a citation but Robins claim does not? Is this bias another mistake of yours or is there another reason on why Robin's original, baseless claim received no challenge from you, but my counter example does?
Well, now that you mention the source (Robin) we know what you are referring to. Alatari (talk) 23:25, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
You said "we"? Who is "we"? Who else here cannot conclude that I responded to Robin Lionheart? Signatures are even in blue.IIXVXII (talk) 03:47, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
This page is an open discussion on improving the article. If you wish to discuss privately with Robin you take it to his talk page and your talk page. Alatari (talk) 18:03, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
There is also no requirement that this article must have a diagram. If you want to put up a diagram you find on photobucket, then expect me to take it down for being original research, representing an unpublished idea.IIXVXII (talk) 17:08, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
A diagram is helpful. A diagram that mimics a text book source not something flying about the webs. If it's made by an editor and mimics an academic source then that is how we get around copyright violation and free usage. We can't just copy a text diagram without permission. Just because the diagram is made by an editor to represent faithfully a concept from an academic text does not make it WP:OR. We follow this guideline Despite the need to attribute content to reliable sources, you must not plagiarize them or violate their copyrights. Articles should be written in your own words while substantially retaining the meaning of the source material. for diagrams. The diagram must be in our own "words" or in this case our own drawings. Alatari (talk) 23:25, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
While substantially retaining the meaning of the source material.IIXVXII (talk) 03:47, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Correct. And a diagram of three circles with theist/agnostic/atheist retains the meaning of the source material and you somehow still oppose it. That is baffling. Alatari (talk) 17:57, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Baffling? You just stated you wanted a circle for agnosticism while citing a source that says agnosticism is not valid. What's baffling is you citing a source to produce an image that the source is clearly denying.IIXVXII (talk) 04:39, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

I spend a couple hours and created [22]. It's a bit detailed, but it seems like it may be appropriate for this page. Let me know what you think and if you want it modified. balljust (talk) 16:18, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

The amount of time you spent is irrelevant. What is relevant is your source, which you do not state.IIXVXII (talk) 04:41, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

Famous agnostics[edit]

Is there a list of famous agnostics? Susan Agnostic (talk) 21:33, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

You can name few of them here, if you know many. Justicejayant (talk) 05:37, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

This review is transcluded from Talk:Agnosticism/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Jamesx12345 (talk · contribs) 21:36, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

I'll review this over the next few days. Jamesx12345 21:36, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

Part 1[edit]

  1. First line - not sure about the use of the phrase "truth values" - maybe just "truthfulness"?
  2. "Thomas Henry Huxley, an English biologist, coined the word agnostic in 1869.[4] However, earlier thinkers have written works that promoted agnostic points of view." - "The word agnostic was coined by Thomas Henry Huxley, an English biologist, in 1869, but earlier thinkers have written works that promoted agnostic points of view." - ref 4 is redundant to 15 in Etymology, perhaps just move it?
  3. "Protagoras was exiled from Athens and his books were burnt because of his Agnostic beliefs" - maybe remove this - some confusion with full stops here.
  4. Final para of intro could do with contemporary agnosticism, demographics, personalities etc.
  5. "According to philosopher William L. Rowe, in the popular sense an agnostic is someone who neither..." - repeated almost verbatim from intro.
  6. Refs for Huxley quote should be next to the "said"
  7. Likewise ref 15 should be after "rejects all claims of spiritual or mystical knowledge."
  8. "often has a meaning close to "independent"" - "can mean independence from some parameters" (or something like that.)
  • Thanks, I am fixing them:
  1. A wikilink has been already given for Truth value: is a value indicating the relation of a proposition to truth., that may be able to explain the truth values.
  2. Moved the ref 4 to Etymology sub-section here
  3. Removed the line about Protagoras here.
  4. Please clarify the "final para of intro". Do you mean the last line of the lead?
Yes - there is probably some scope for expansion there.
  1. Removed the repeated text here.
  2. Moved all the refs for quotes before "said", "writes", etc here.
  3. Done, fixed here.
  4. Done here. Faizan 09:38, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

Part 2[edit]

  1. Qualifying agnosticism has just 1 ref early on.
Removed the un-referenced text.
  1. The alarm clock analogy is confusing - I'm not quite sure what it's meant to say.
Removed the un-cited analogy. That has apparently no relation with the reference.
  1. "is literally stating" - rm literally - the rest of that paragraph is a bit weak.
Removed. Reduced the paragraph a bit, the categories are referenced.
  1. The History section is a bit confusing - the first {{main}} is not used in the text, and the one for Huxley could instead be linked in the prose. I'm also concerned about the brevity - it's probably borderline on the broadness of coverage.
{{main}} templates have been removed and instead they have been linked to the prose, as these were not the main articles of the philosophers' agnostic views solely. The usage of words is mainly dealing with their quotes.

Part 3[edit]

  • The quote from the Rig Veda should be sourced - can be found here or here - and linked.
Done here.
  • The section on Greek philosophy is extremely short, and a reference is required for the rejection of certainty.
The section has been expanded a bit and references have been added.
  • ...prove the existence of God" - needs a ref (should be quite straightforward.)
Added references.
Linked.
  • On a similar vein, there is a great deal of these letters - I see no problem with that now, but others might think differently.
Only your thinking matters.
  • "Huxley's agnosticism is believed to be a natural... metaphysical issues are fundamentally unknowable." - needs a few references.
The paragraphs have been removed. There was no such reference for this "natural consequence", it appeared to be personal commentary to me. The Huxley quote in the second paragraph was already stated above, so it was also removed.
  • "he claims that agnosticism is "the very reverse of atheism"" - this rather leaves the reader hanging - I think a short explanation would be nice.
Yeah that is right. But the book of Ross is not available for preview in Google. There is no such content on "reverse of atheism" in Google Search. I think that if it causes more problems, the line can be removed.
  • The section on Bertrand Russell also needs a few more refs.
Added references
  • Ref 43 can be moved to "Russell states:"
Done.
Replaced "Homeric gods" with "Greek mythology"
  • Demographics is extremely short, and is probably not sufficiently broad (in my opinion) to meet the criteria at present. Atheism has a section that could provide some inspiration.
Expanded the Demographics section. Took the references from the Atheism article and putted the agnostic figures. Also took the images which were supposed for both of the agnosticism and atheism.
  • "repudiate" is a highly unusual word - I'm sure there is a simpler one.
Replaced it with "deny".
  • It's unclear what is sourced from ref 56 - is it for the whole paragraph?
Fixed, that reference was only for Islam, and not for all the three Abrahamic Religions, and had no place there. Replaced the text according to the original reference.
  • The Religious criticism section is quite unclear in places, especially the paragraph starting "Islam tends to completely..."
Removed the line about Islam. Applied fixes
  • Is there more atheist criticism of agnosticism than Dawkins? I think there must be somewhere.
I have trimmed the text there that was not meant for criticism.
  • The citations are a bit inconsistent - for example, Britannica should use {{cite encyclopedia}}, the books in the bibliography are not using {{cite book}} (and are missing some information), and some the rest of the cites have some individual quirks to be ironed out.
Fixed all the Britannica's references. Fixed the books in the bibliography.

Thanks for responding to my comments quickly - I'm being quite harsh, but this is a very important article and it would be good to get it looking like a proper GA.

I'm very happy to pass it now - I've read through it again and it is much more informative and readable than it was just a few days ago. There is still some scope for expansion, however, so you could enter The Core Contest and see what you can make of it. Well done! Jamesx12345 17:50, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

Passed GA review. Jamesx12345 21:37, 11 February 2014 (UTC)


The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


"Neither believes nor disbelieves"[edit]

I think this sentence needs adding to, or editing/deleting entirely...

As "disbelief" is non-belief or not believing, how is it possible for someone to neither believe nor not believe. It's a true dichotomy.

It's like saying, "I neither accept nor not accept your proposition".

Or, "I'm neither a man nor not a man". It's logically incoherent nonsense, really. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.98.161.141 (talk) 17:35, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

No that is not like that. Agnosticism is a different view, it is neither Atheism nor Theism. As Agnostics believe that it is unknowable whether God exists or not, the statement that they neither believe nor disbelieve is justified; because if you don't know about the existence of a thing, you can neither believe nor disbelieve. This brevity is of William L. Rowe, and is quite referenced. Please don't alter them again against the references provided. Faizan 13:29, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
Everyone believes lots of things without being able to prove them and/or without knowing them to be so. If you have knowledge, then belief is either unnecessary or an understatement of the situation. However, disbelief is not the same as "not believing"; it (usually/always) indicates some difficulty in believing. Belief has more than 2 possible values. While the "popular sense" does not stand up to examination, it remains the "popular sense". Btw, the 2nd paragraph of "Criticism" section makes even less sense now that it contains sentence fragments.--JimWae (talk) 08:47, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
The source for that 2nd paragraph has copied from this article--JimWae (talk) 22:52, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
As I understand it, disbelief is the inability to accept something is true. Under that definition, and the "popular" agnosticism, they claim to neither believe (accepting something as true) nor disbelieve (not accept something as true). See how that doesn't make sense? Now, you could argue that using that definition of disbelief doesn't include people incognizant of the claims (babies, for instance), but agnostics are aware of the propositions that there is a god. They either accept the proposition, or they do not. They either accept or reject. They either believe or disbelieve. Which is entirely my contention. It's epistemologically impossible. The Wiki page for atheism states "Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities" and "Most inclusively, atheism is the absence of belief that any deities exist." Those two encompass what most agnostics are: people who do not believe in a god by not accepting theism as true. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Asb0y (talkcontribs) 21:49, 25 February 2014 (UTC)
I disagree with your contention also. Belief that it is not possible to know whether god exists or not is a third possibility. If they belief it is impossible to know for sure then they can not reject god's existence or accept it having belief that the decision is impossible to make. Also, there are some that refuse to make the decision and go for years completely avoiding the question or topic. You are trying to make Schrodinger's cat either alive or dead when agnosticism is the state of indeterminable. Alatari (talk) 10:24, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
I'm impressed Alatari. We previously disagreed and now you seem to understand the position of an agnostic like myself. Trying to make Schrodinger's cat alive or dead when it's currently indeterminable is a good analogy I can agree with.IIXVXII (talk) 04:57, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
OK, firstly, holding a stance that it is not possible to *know* whether a god exists or not cannot be in conflict with theism/atheism. Knowledge is a subset of belief, but they are different. Theism/atheism address a belief/lack of. Gnosticism/agnosticism address knowledge/lack of. Look up epistemology to see the difference.
Secondly, "If they belief it is impossible to know for sure then they can not reject god's existence", of course it's possible. And it happens. The issue is with your warped idea of what the term "rejection" means. So many people seem to have this difficulty. Also, if it's impossible to *know*, then they could still believe in one, couldn't they? Don't confuse epistemological knowledge with every day usage. I have met agnostic theists that don't claim to be able to *know* for sure that a god exits, but believes in one nonetheless. Often via "faith". So claiming it is impossible to *know* doesn't address what you *believe* in regards to a specific belief (in a god). You either do or you don't hold a belief in your head. Think of it as a tangible object. The belief in a god inside your head means you are a theist, the belief not being there means you aren't a theist (a-theism = without theism), so you are an atheist. Whether you claim knowledge/lack of is additional, but also necessary. "Also, there are some that refuse to make the decision and go for years completely avoiding the question or topic", but atheism is largely regarded as a lack of a belief. Those people are automatically an atheist because they simply don't believe in one. Atheism doesn't address why someone doesn't hold that belief in their head, but rather labels people who do not.
Thirdly, "You are trying to make Schrodinger's cat either alive or dead when agnosticism is the state of indeterminable" -- that's a false comparison. Atheism/theism address a single claim "a god exists". It doesn't address "a god doesn't exist". So it deals with whether you *accept* that the cat is alive, not whether you think it is dead (yes, it has to be one or the other, but we're referring to an individuals belief towards the claim). You either accept that first claim or you do not. You either accept that cat is alive, or not (when you don't accept it is alive, it doesn't mean you accept it is dead) It's the same with court. You label people either guilty or not-guilty (theism and a-theism), rather than guilty or innocent (theism and anti-theism). You either have evidence the defendant is guilty, or you don't. If they haven't been proven to be guilty (not-guilty), it doesn't mean they have been proven to be innocent. I'm pointing out that you can only believe or not believe in something. They are the only two options when it comes to a *single* proposal. When you do not believe in a god, that doesn't automatically insinuate you believe there is no god (as that is a second claim). You could be in a state of non-belief, and thus in the neutral position (agnostic atheism). Which is largely my position.
I will steal an analogy to demonstrate this. Think of a jar of sweets on a counter of a shop. You and a friend walk into the shop and see it. As soon as you enter, your friend claims that the number of sweets in the jar is even (let's say this is theism -- a claim that there is a god). You, not being able to count that number, do not accept that assertion. You haven't enough information to form a belief. So you do not believe him. That *doesn't* mean you think the jar has an odd number of sweets (anti-theism). But you are in the neutral position. Non-belief (atheism). You know it's either one or the other, but you can't make a judicious conclusion. So you automatically reject your friends proposition. You can perform the same scenario but use knowledge instead.
Taken from wiki.ironchariots:
"To be more precise about the issue of belief, consider the two possible claims one can make regarding the existence of a god:
1. The god exists.
2. The god does not exist.
There are two positions one can take with respect to either claim:
1. Belief or acceptance of the claim.
2. Disbelief or rejection of the claim.
For claim number 1 (the god exists), the theist takes the first position (belief), while the atheist takes the second (disbelief).
For claim number 2 (the god does not exist), the theist takes the second position (disbelief), while the atheist can hold either position (belief or disbelief).
Note that one may wish to consider a "third option" of simply reserving judgement. This is actually consistent with position number 2. "Disbelief" means lack of belief. If someone reserves judgement, then clearly they don't believe — and thus they disbelieve, which is position 2. In light of this, one must interpret the term "rejection of a claim" as meaning "lack of acceptance" (and thus, in a sense, only a rejection "if forced to choose right now"). In particular, the term "rejection" should not be interpreted as being based in any way on an acceptance of the opposite claim.
Therefore, atheists need not positively believe that no gods exist. Some do, and this position is often known as strong atheism. By contrast, other atheists hold that neither claim is sufficiently supported by evidence to justify acceptance, a position known as weak atheism. (The weak atheism position is often confused with agnosticism, which is discussed below.)
While logic dictates that exactly one of the two claims above must be true (assuming the concept of "god" is sufficiently well-defined in the first place) — and so if one claim is not true the other must be true — there is no such implication in the case of belief. Just because someone doesn't believe something, that doesn't mean they believe the opposite. (For example, not believing the claim that the inventor of the Slinky died in a spring-related accident doesn't mean one positively believes that he didn't die that way.) This is one reason why the theist's accusation that atheism requires "just as much faith" as theism is unfounded (except possibly in the case of particularly strong forms of strong atheism, as discussed below)." -- http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Atheist_vs._agnostic
You either accept a proposition put forward to you, or you do not accept. If someone said Schrodinger's cat was alive, I do not accept their claim because I have insufficient evidence. And I'd do the same if they asserted it was dead. But those are TWO separate propositions. Not accepting because you are withholding judgement is synonymous with rejection. "Rejection" isn't looking at a claim and saying it is false, it is looking at a claim and saying I don't accept it right now. Many atheists "doubt" the existence of a god, not deny. This is what so many people need to understand. --Asb0y (talk) 10:35, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
By the law of excluded middle, a either a statement is true or its negation is true. So the quote "agnostic is someone who neither believes nor disbelieves in the existence of a deity or deities" is nonsensical (given my understanding of "disbelieve"="not believe" which really seems to be standard). By that definition no one can be agnostic. Either the statement "I do believe in the existence of a deity" is true or the statement "I do not believe in the existence of a deity" is true. As user 81.98.161.141 noted, the believe/disbelieve is a true dichotomy. Fundamentally our debate seems to be about definition of certain words ("disbelief", "atheism", "know") and this quote seems nonsensical to me and I would imagine a lot of people. I replaced it with another section of the same quote that hopefully gets around the semantics. Let me "know" what you think. balljust (talk) 20:56, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
I have reverted your edit here which seemed to undermine the real philosophy and words of the philosopher William L. Rowe. How you can change his quote with your own words? Please proceed with consensus. Faizan 06:33, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
Fair enough, I thought what I had done was uncontroversial, but I probably should have known better. But I did not change the quote to my own words. The quote in reference 2, which is cited for the sentence in question is: "In the popular sense, an agnostic is someone who neither believes nor disbelieves in God, whereas an atheist disbelieves in God. In the strict sense, however, agnosticism is the view that human reason is incapable of providing sufficient rational grounds to justify either the belief that God exists or the belief that God does not exist. In so far as one holds that our beliefs are rational only if they are sufficiently supported by human reason, the person who accepts the philosophical position of agnosticism will hold that neither the belief that God exists nor the belief that God does not exist is rational." I think it is fair to say that a lot of people, including myself and several other contributors to this discussion, think the current statement (based on the first sentence of the Rowe quote) is nonsensical, so I replaced it with a statement which I think is clearer (based the last sentence of the same Rowe quote). Again, they are not my own words. They are directly taken from the last sentence of the Rowe quote. To summarize, I and many others (I think) find the "popular" definition to be illogical, therefore we should replace it with the "strict" definition, which are both endorsed and defined in the same Rowe quote. Let me know if you're cool with that. balljust (talk) 14:25, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
Can I ask if Rowe actually stated they neither "believe nor disbelieve"? Because the paragraph "According to philosopher William L. Rowe, in the strict sense agnosticism is the view that human reason is incapable of rationally justifying the belief that deities do, or do not, exist.[2]" is slightly but fundamentally different. "rationally justifying the belief that deities do, or do not," is fine. As they are two separate beliefs rather than solely belief & disbelief. One is a positive belief a god does exist, and another is a positive belief one does not. "Agnostics", as most people think of it, both disbelieve theism (they don't accept it) and disbelieve anti-theism (or "strong atheism"). Which is synonymous with "weak atheism" or just plain old atheism. But I am aware of the common understanding / misconception of the terms (there seem to be several definitions).--Asb0y (talk) 19:55, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
I too think the sentence "According to philosopher William L. Rowe, in the strict sense agnosticism is the view that human reason is incapable of rationally justifying the belief that deities do, or do not, exist." is flawed. It says that agnostics reject the belief that "deities must either exist or not exist", which is necessarily true by the law of excluded middle. It should be worded something like "According to philosopher William L. Rowe, in the strict sense, agnosticism is the view that human reason cannot rationally justify the belief that a deity does exist nor the belief that no deities exist." balljust (talk) 01:09, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
The law of excluded middle is irrelevant. No one is claiming that the truth lies between true and false. The law of excluded middle does not exclude the ability for one to rationally suspend judgment. One position for an agnostic is to say, "I cannot pass judgment on whether the claim is true or false, thus I suspend judgment."IIXVXII (talk) 03:57, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, I took it to mean that they don't believe a god does exist, nor do they believe a god doesn't exist (they know it must be one or the other, but they haven't enough evidence to form a mental acknowledgement towards either claim). They are in a position of non-belief or neutrality. Which I have less issue with, but it is synonymous with the position that many, or even most, atheists entertain. Atheism is non-belief in theism after all. I was just pointing out it doesn't follow with "neither believe nor disbelieve", because it suggests disbelief in both of the claims. I think the whole scenario is mired by the "strong" atheists that are currently in the limelight who deny the existence of deities. People see this and often assume that is typically atheism. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Asb0y (talkcontribs) 12:58, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I agree with you Asb0y. I think the way you phrased it is what is intended, but, as it stands, that isn't what it says. The sentence does not refer to the two claims "A deity does exist" and "No deities exist", instead it refers to the single claim that "deities do, or do not, exist". If you agree with me I will change it to my suggested wording (given in my most recent comment). balljust (talk) 19:45, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
I haven't heard anything in a couple of months. The exact Rowe quote is
"In the strict sense, however, agnosticism is the view that human reason is incapable of providing sufficient rational grounds to justify either the belief that God exists or the belief that God does not exist."
Using this quote I am modifying the text to say
"According to philosopher William L. Rowe, in the strict sense, agnosticism is the view that human reason cannot rationally justify either the belief that a deity does exist nor the belief that no deities exist.[1]"
per the discussion above. balljust (talk) 00:58, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
I have reverted to the previous statement. It is not acceptable for you, or anyone else, to interpret and reword a direct quote.IIXVXII (talk) 04:07, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
That's an improvement. ~ Röbin Liönheart (talk) 00:05, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Why are admitted atheists that deny agnosticism as a valid third position, still here trying to redefine agnosticism? Can you answer that Robin? IIXVXII (talk) 03:45, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
Not that it matters, but I also would be an admitted agnostic. ~ Röbin Liönheart (talk) 12:41, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
"Theism/atheism has to do with belief, gnosticism/agnosticism has to do with knowledge. If you think you know whether or not a god exists, you're gnostic; if you don't know, you're agnostic. And you either have a belief in deities (theism), or you don't (atheism)." -Robin Lionheart
You are not an admitted agnostic, as defined in this article. Have you changed your position?IIXVXII (talk) 04:27, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Not recently. I meet our first sentence's definition of believing that "the truth values of certain claims... are unknown", but I am not the topic here. This page is for discussing improvements to this article. ~ Röbin Liönheart (talk) 12:56, 18 September 2014 (UTC)


Since someone went through and highlighted statements only supporting the atheist position, I'm guessing they are expecting some type of response. So here is a response.

The law of excluded middle is not an exhaustive statement of the options for what to believe about the proposition. The law of excluded middle is an exhaustive statement of the options for what the truth is about the proposition.

Consider this example, assume we are together in a room and I claim this box contains a particle with momentum 2. According to you, by Law of Excluded Middle, you have to believe or disbelieve my claim. There is no opening the box. There is no conducting an experiment. There is no logic to do any investigation whatsoever, because in order to remain with the rules of logic, Law of Excluded Middle demands you choose and that you choose now. So you guess and then hope your guess is correct as I open the box. Guessing becomes superior reasoning to investigation.

If Law of Excluded Middle applies to positions, then it is always not logical to suspend judgment. If Law of Excluded Middle applies to positions, then it is always logical to guess.

If you believe investigation is superior reasoning to guessing, then applying Law of Excluded Middle to positions leads to contradiction.

"Either the thing is true or it isn't. If it is true, then you should believe it and if it isn't you shouldn't. And ah, if you can't find out whether it's true or whether it isn't, then you should suspend judgment." - Bertrand Russell "Bertrand Russell on God (1959)"IIXVXII (talk) 18:04, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

I actually agree with the original poster. It is incorrect to say "An Agnostic neither believes nor disbelieves ..." because an Agnostic do disbelief in God. Both Agnosticism and Atheism are Nontheistic positions because both disbelieve in God. The thing is that an Agnostic disbeliefs in God without negating it's existence, while Atheism disbeliefs in God by negating it. So to the question do you believe in God, both agnostics and atheists will say no. Both for different reasons, sure, but both do not believe in God. "God may or may not exist" not to be confused with "i neither believe nor disbelief". Tacv (talk) 16:29, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
I don't understand what is so complicated for some people to comprehend about the idea of suspending judgment. I'm willing to claim that everyone in their life at some point is going to say, I don't know what to believe. Yet, when the topic is God, all the sudden this simple idea gets thrown out the window. And it's primarily atheists that play these mental gymnastic games convoluting this simple idea.
Do you believe in God?
Agnostic: I don't know what to believe.
Atheist: I know what I believe and that is, I disbelieve in God.
Rowe's statement accurately reflects the position of agnostics. Saying one neither believes nor disbelieves is a statement of suspending judgment. A statement that says, I don't know what to believe.IIXVXII (talk) 05:31, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
I am an Agnostic myself. In your own words an Agnostic is someone that do not know what do believe, while in fact an Agnostic is someone that do not find a belief to be a correct form of answering questions. What i mean is that it's not a matter of believing or not believing, but a fact that knowledge is the only way to respond to the question of God existence. A belief is a personal truth not an universal truth and Agnostics do not dwell into personal truths. So it's very clear that an Agnostic is not someone confused or undecided (implicit when you say don't know what to believe) but someone that is holding all possibilities open until knowledge is presented allowing us to answer the question (not belief). Again an Agnostic does not believe nor wants to, so the original poster is correct in the sense it doesn't make sense when you say an Agnostic "neither believes nor disbelieves", because we do disbelieve. Tacv (talk) 18:26, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
Rowe's logically incoherent statement does not accurately reflect my agnosticism either. Rowe's statement only makes sense if one assumes Rowe has misused the verb "disbelieve" to mean having a belief in the negative, else he would be describing an impossible state. It would be less confusing if we paraphrased Rowe's misused wording. ~ Röbin Liönheart (talk) 20:40, 7 December 2014 (UTC)

"I don't understand what is so complicated for some people to comprehend about the idea of suspending judgment." I don't understand what is so complicated for some people to comprehend about the idea of the excluded middle. Either you have a belief (that god exists) or you don't. It doesn't matter whether you belief the opposite or not, nor if you are unsure about what to belief. If your answer to the question "Do you belief in god?" is anything but "Yes.", you do not belief.

This whole discussion seems to miss one fundamental point: Agnosticism is about knowledge, not belief.

Theist: "I believe in the existence of god.".
Atheist: "I don't believe in the existence of god.".
Agnostic: "I don't know if god exists.".

Rowe's quote matches those definitions perfectly: Agnosticism doesn't require the belief or disblief in god. Neither does it require the belief that some football team will win a certain competition. On the other hand any one person either does believe or doesn't, regardless. 86.56.57.192 (talk) 15:53, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

I cannot agree entirely with the last user comment.
1. You seem to confuses Nontheism with Atheism. Mind you that your definition is not incorrect, the problem is that it is a very inclusive definition, that applies to all non theistic positions. The definition below is a more exact way to describe it, since it points out it's specific characteristic. You just need to read the first paragraph on the main article on Atheism, it's all there. So the full and correct way is:
Atheist: "I don't believe in the existence of any God (inclusive - Nontheism), because i personally believe there is no Gods (exclusive - Atheism).".
Agnostic: "I don't believe in the existence of any God (inclusive - Nontheism), since the existence of such deities is unknown and i don't regard a belief as a reliable way to answer to the question of existence(exclusive - Agnosticism)."
2. Both Atheism and Agnosticism do require the disbelief in God, like described in the definitions above. Why? Simply put: because they are both nontheistic positions. If Agnosticism didn't had the disbelief in God it meant they believed in it, since you or believe or do not believe, there are no middle option here. The thing is that an Agnostic disbeliefs in God without negating it's existence, while Atheism disbeliefs in God by negating it. Tacv (talk) 01:59, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
So you and user 86.56.57.192 support the idea that law of excluded middle applies to positions, yet, neither of you attempted, at all, to refute my argument that applying law of excluded middle to positions leads to contradiction. Instead of posting your philosophies, why don't we have a debate? The argument was put forth that law of excluded middle applies to positions. I offered a challenge to that argument. Where is a rebuttal from either of you?
I want you to tell me that disbelief doesn't require any knowledge as you try to convince me to disbelieve my argument. If you don't believe knowledge is required to obtain a disbelief, then you will never convince me to disbelieve anything.
As a further challenge to the claim, why does Law of Excluded Middle even apply? It's well known in modern logic that Law of Excluded Middle fails for indeterministic systems, like quantum mechanics. It is no longer the case that the truth is T OR not T, as in quantum mechanics it could be T AND not T. Law of Excluded Middle fails. Why does Law of Excluded Middle apply to the claim of God? Is it your faith that God is deterministic? It is, if you offer no reasoning based upon knowledge you have.IIXVXII (talk) 08:24, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry mate, but i'm not here to discuss the Law of Excluded Middle. I am here to give my position towards the "Neither believes nor disbelieves" debate. And what you call posting your philosophies was my logic explanation how it doesn't make any sense saying that Agnostics neither believes nor disbelieves. We don't need any Law to see it, it's simple Logic. A disbelief is a feeling that you do not or cannot believe or accept that something is true or real or if you wish refusal or reluctance to believe, how in the world can you state you need knowledge to disbelief something? When you have knowledge you know you don't disbelief. Disbelief and belief only make sense when something is unknown. Your last comment leads me to believe you didn't read what i wrote or you didn't understand a single thing. I always tell to myself that wiki debates are pointless, i don't even know why i even bother. Tacv (talk) 16:06, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
"I'm sorry mate, but i'm not here to discuss the Law of Excluded Middle." -Tacv
Then why are you responding to my arguments about law of excluded middle? Please take your admitted logical fallacy of irrelevant thesis and start your own comment string.IIXVXII (talk) 03:06, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
Are you egocentric or what?! This discussion (and the world) isn't about you, you know?! This section is to debate the neither believes nor disbelieves expression on the main article. I never responded to the irrelevant discussion about Law of Excluded Middle, because that's not what this discussion section is about. If someone should take their bs somewhere, it should be you, because discussing that Law is creating a straw man fallacy, and concentrating the discussion on a theme that is not the core of this section. I've meet many people like you in wikipedia, that think they own a discussion or an article and start to go uncivil with personal attacks, so it pointless to discuss anything. Having said this, i will not respond anymore to anything about this issue. Change the main article as you guys wish. Tacv (talk) 09:12, 21 June 2014 (UTC)
I started this comment string and established it's thesis. If you were not interested in debating that thesis, then you should have started your own comment string. It's absolutely clear that you have hijacked my comment string as this discussion now has absolutely nothing to do with the thesis I put forth.IIXVXII (talk) 01:48, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

Some data on the maps do not match[edit]

Some data on both maps do not match: Sweden is shown as having > 70% atheists/agnostics on one of them, and about 30% on the other. The difference is particularly visible (color-wise) as it is one of the largest ones to claim >70%. France is roughly at the same level (the pool questions may have been different but in that case all data should be shifted). I do not have better data, this is just a comment. Wsw70 (talk) 15:00, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

I think that Religion in Sweden can help us:

Both of the surveys were conducted by the same research centre of Eurobarometer. I think that the image showing > 70% atheists/agnostics in Sweden should be amended, because according to the 2012 survey, 30% swedish citizens identify themselves as agnostics, and 13% as atheists, the net being 43%. Faizan 09:31, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

Bias[edit]

I just removed a sentence which grouped agnosticism with atheism, and inferred that agnosticism is somehow relevant to the "personal" nature of a god. It just isn't good enough without context. ~ R.T.G 00:29, 18 November 2014 (UTC)