Yay Agnostic Atheism!

So I was thinking about how god-fearin’ my new home is going to be, and how, as an agnostic atheist, I may encounter a little bit of awkwardness on that score.

‘An agnostic atheist?’, I hear you cry. ‘Weren’t you a fundamentalist agnostic only a few years ago?’

Well, yes. But now I’m an agnostic atheist because I’m clear that agnostic atheism is the absence of a belief in God, but without certainty. I previously thought that it was the belief that there was no God, but as that’s not the case I’ve revised my standpoint and here I am: an agnostic atheist heading for the United States of America.

In these days of ridiculous religion-based warfare I feel it’s worth standing up for the way of thinking that necessarily avoids all that, in the hope that others might wind that kind of stuff back in and leave the world a more peaceful place.

Of course, everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, but for anyone wondering where I’m coming from, here are a few helpful visual and verbal aids:





Last time I brought this up there were quite a few opinions from all sides.

Just curious… Have any of you altered your position towards religion in the last few years?

Comments 13

  1. Dillon wrote:

    This little comment of yours coincided with another I happened to read in the mid-Monday morning fug before a presentation.


    Thought this was particularly interesting:

    “Science and religion ask different questions about different things. Where religion addresses ontology, science is concerned with ontic description.”

    Religion isn’t wrong because science is right. They’re different discursive models, and can’t really talk to each other in any meaningful way.

    I’m really not into triumphalist atheism. Even if all of their premises stood up, it wouldn’t be much of a triumph..! If their position were valid, it’d be a little bit like a 9-year old being a smug dick about realising Santa doesn’t exist…

    (I’d take a roughly similar position to yourself, Ben … on the agnostic atheist bandwagon, cursed with an evangelical anxiety and busy ramming my wavering and pathological, shoe-gazing uncertainty down people’s throats…)

    Anyway, hello.

    Posted 21 Jul 2014 at 10:32 am
  2. Adam T wrote:

    I’m with you Ben. I used to say, ‘I am an atheist’, then thought that it was arrogant since I cannot be 100% sure there is no God/Higher Being. (I am in the high 99.9999999999% of certainty, but there is a sliver of doubt.

    I was brought up a Catholic and was 100% sure there was a god until I was a teenager. Then, guess what: Sex and the death of friends happened. It made me really glad I didn’t have a Jesus Loves You tattoo.

    Besides your lack of religion, I think your biblical arm art may cause more consternation at your local Tea Party fund-raiser.

    Posted 21 Jul 2014 at 11:08 am
  3. ben wrote:

    Hello Dillon. Thanks for your informative comment.

    And yes, Adam: I think they’ll like my religious art for a fraction of a second than see that I’ve replaced Jesus with a large-breasted lady.

    Posted 21 Jul 2014 at 11:32 am
  4. Alan wrote:

    At time like this, I like to refer back to Paul Arden’s wonderful book, God Explained in a Taxi Ride.

    Mainly just for the roast dinner line…

    Posted 21 Jul 2014 at 1:04 pm
  5. Gareth wrote:

    Check out deism, theism with added plausibility:


    Using your terminology I must be an agnostic deist.

    Posted 21 Jul 2014 at 8:40 pm
  6. vinny warren wrote:

    No problem being an agnostic atheist in LA. Try Tennessee. My guilty pleasure is listening to these hysterics on Christian conservative talk radio. Truly frightening. Welcome to US and A!


    Posted 22 Jul 2014 at 2:32 am
  7. Kayla Sue wrote:

    This post actually triggered on one of my Google alerts, and when I saw the name of your blog, I had to drop in.

    We are truly a god-fearing nation, but don’t fear–there are far more secularists than our media/government would like you to believe. We may be few now, but we are growing constantly. Heck, I myself would have called myself an agnostic theist just six months ago, and now here I am, an atheist who doesn’t believe in God, although she could never say with 100% certainty that there never has been or never will be one. 😉

    Good luck on your transition!

    Posted 23 Jul 2014 at 2:03 pm
  8. ben wrote:

    Thanks, Kayla.

    Posted 23 Jul 2014 at 2:58 pm
  9. bob hoffman wrote:

    Greetings from the upper right quadrant. I think you’d like it up here.

    Posted 24 Jul 2014 at 12:01 am
  10. ben wrote:

    It does seem like a lovely place to be.

    Maybe I’ll pay it a visit.

    Posted 24 Jul 2014 at 7:05 am
  11. It floats wrote:

    well said sir. i reckon believing there is no god is as much a belief as believing there is a god. it’s red and black on a roulette table. my hammy theory is that there’s also a green on the table, just that our brains will never comprehend that. just like in reality, we can’t imagine/invent a new colour; it’s physically impossible. from my cursory study of pop-theology documentaries on channel 4 from Dawkins to Richard Hawkings [Dawkings] the former is a staunch atheist while the latter believes in some greater force [i think]. I wonder occasionally: Where did the gases that created the big bang come from? I know it doesn’t have to come from anything, it’s circular. But well…Why is it circular? Thanks to your post, I suppose I’m an ‘agnostic theist’. Just don’t think the Hollywood God exists. More of a doing-his-best-type of one/or gas.

    Posted 24 Jul 2014 at 10:39 am
  12. It floats wrote:

    correction: agnostic deist. religion is pure football team supporting stuff, it’s all the same ball.

    Posted 24 Jul 2014 at 10:50 am
  13. Jason Clark wrote:

    The two axis model is flawed. The gnostic atheist introduces the counter claim, “gods don’t exist”. There is no position representing believing that counter claim is true, but not claiming to know it’s true (agnostic strong/positive atheist).

    Posted 22 May 2015 at 8:29 pm

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