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LOL I heard someone I know saying they are agnostic (an exboyfriend ) Well, what is agnostic? Does it mean you believe all religions and have tolerance for them and practice them. I'm just curious. I put lol because I'm embarrased and think it's funny that I don't know what it means.
An agnostic is someone who is open to the possiblity of a higher power being out there but does not define it as a particular god or follow any organized religion. Atheists denouce any notion of a higher power/being/god.
Agnostics and atheists can be divided into two camps: strong and weak (or positive/negative, or hard/soft).
<blockquote>Weak agnostics are skeptical of gods but do not believe it is impossible to know if a god exists.
Strong agnostics are skeptical of gods and believe it is impossible to know if a god exists.
Weak atheists have no theistic beliefs.
Strong atheists believe that absolutely no gods exist.</blockquote>
The differences are important when debating because the "strong" positions require a higher burden of proof to prove true. It is easy to defend "having no belief in a god", compared to defending a belief that "no gods exist".
Agnosticism and atheism are not mutually exclusive concepts. Agnosticism is about knowledge of the existence of gods, and atheism is the belief in gods. So you can also be an agnostic atheist where you have no belief in gods and believe it may or may not be possible to know if a god exists. I am an agnostic atheist because I am skeptical that gods exist and I have no belief in a god, but I do not believe it is impossible to know if a god exists. That being said, I am atheistic towards all known gods because I think they can all be proven false. Most religious people are atheistic towards all gods except one.
Oddly enough, someone can also be an agnostic theist by the philosophy that you cannot know of god's existence but you choose to believe anyway.