Strong Agnostic, Explicit Atheist, Strong Atheist, and Agnostic Atheist...

I am questioning the differences between what I have mentioned above in my title. There are obvious differences, but I can't seem to figure out if me being Agnostic is part of it all. Since I was 13 I have been Agnostic (I'm 26 now); I left room for the possibility that there is a god, but recently in the last couple of years and with my new love for watching the Science and History channel, I don't really believe that there is/are gods at all! It has been a long time since I have even thought about it, and now that I have a new baby, I want to raise him to ask important questions to our existance like I did. STRONG AGNOSTIC: They claim that not only do they not know of the existence of god, but that it is impossible to know if any god exists. (ME) AGNOSTIC ATHEIST: Accepts that we do not know, and possibly can never know, whether gods exist, but does not believe that they do. Atheistic because he or she does not believe in the existence of any deity and is also Agnostic because he or she does not claim to have definitive knowledge that a deity does not exist. (ME) EXPLICIT ATHEIST: An explicit atheist has thought about it, and has taken a position. (ME) STRONG ATHEIST: One who positively believes that there are no gods. (ME: I'm almost positive because I don't think I can leave the room for god anymore) {This being said are Weak Atheism (any Atheist who leaves room for the possibility of god) and being Agnostic is the same thing?} So I guess I would say that I'm Explicit Atheist, Strong Atheist, and is it possible for me to be Agnostic Atheist and/or Strong Agnostic as well? If any contradict (which I don't think they do) please let me know. With my new research, I need someone else that feels as I do to help--I feel so alone in what I believe when it comes to the people in my life. There are so many different terms that are very specified, and I hate to define myself with this lengthy description of what I believe. Know how I can shorten this? Jessica
Atheist Answer: 

For those who came in late, this is where I've laid out the definitions of all these terms.

It is indeed possible to be an agnostic strong atheist, Jessica. That means you allow for the possibility that there's a god, but you positively believe there are none. A similar position is actually the exact opposite one. The world is full of agnostic strong theists: those who do not claim certainty that there's a god, usually because of lack of evidence, but believe in one anyway. The very concept of faith encourages this position.

My question to you would be the same as to any theist: "Why do you believe this, when you know it might not be true?" In the absence of hard evidence, what is your alternative basis for believing that there aren't any gods? Consider if you like, and get back to me.

You don't have to burden anyone else with these semantics. Simply calling yourself an atheist expresses most aspects of your position. If people ask you how you know there's no god, you can honestly say that you don't, and that you don't have to. If they accuse you of having as much faith as a theist, they might actually be right (since you're a strong atheist), but this doesn't make you any worse than them.

- SmartLX


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.


Are there any atheists that believe that people have souls? Is that contradicting or just wishful-thinking?

Atheistic Mommy


I don't know of any besides you, but it's not necessarily a contradiction. An atheist lacks belief in gods, but if one somehow believes in souls without believing in gods, I guess one still counts as an atheist.

Here's a thread with a few atheists who believe in ghosts, which is close. Talking to them (the atheists, not the ghosts) is what first caused me to question the general idea that atheists deny anything supernatural.

So, do you really believe in souls, and if so, why? Have you had a personal experience, or believed someone else's account of one, which seemed to indicate action by a soul independent of a body/brain? Or is it simply wishful thinking, and do you believe in them because you'd like them to be real?

The latter to your question

The latter to your question is how I feel: Deep down I feel that, No, we as people do not have souls, but, Yes, I wish we did. I do wish that when we all died that we will all float on clouds with no care in the world for all eternity with our loved ones. Now that I have a son, there is such a strong force inside me that wishes that the Bible was real along with all its contents, but I just can't force myself to believe it when I know it's not true. I wish that I could see my son in the afterlife, but have a strong feeling there isn't one, therefore I choose not to raise him in that environment. It makes me sad in a way. The word "Atheist" is just so final, but I can't help what I feel. Knowing that my son is going to be raised from day one to care about science, not fiction, I know will help him come to terms with what is real and what isn't. I grew up one thing and was converted to another so it's harder for me I guess.

Atheistic Mommy

No souls

Thankyou for sharing that. It can be difficult to let go of these reassuring concepts. I know.

I don't know about wanting the whole Bible to be true. Have you read that thing? Millions are made to suffer, not only on Earth but in Hell. Even those in Heaven have major sympathy issues; they cease to care about anyone who doesn't get in, for the sake of maintaining perfect happiness. I've regularly seen religious folks looking forward to looking down at the Hellbound and laughing.

"Atheism" isn't quite so final. It's just a-theism, or no theism. It's not certainty of the absence of gods, it's just lack of belief pending further evidence.

I suppose I should not

I suppose I should not generalize, but I do believe females tend to lean (or want to lean) more toward wanting there to be a God, souls, Heaven (and the like) more than males. Perhaps we have more oxytocin or maybe just the other hormonal differences.

There is a lot of nastiness in the Bible, but we all tend to sift if for what we want out of it. :) Just like the rest of life I suppose.

Even though none of us will know the difference if there is nothing after death, it really troubles me.

In thinking like Jessica, I believe having children enhances the wishes for eternal contentment (and everyone who has suffered so on earth could be whole).

I often wonder why we would evolve to the point of caring so much, when it seems basic instincts would be more efficient in the long run. Who knows, maybe we will evolve back out of some of our brain power. Don't they say that over 90% of our thoughts are useless and repetitive?

It sure would be nice to be able to better regulate our brains. I am in the midst of peri-menopause and can hardly even pick flowers (dandelions for my bunny) anymore because I feel so badly about taking their life from them.

Guess I'm not really going anywhere here (surprise!). Just some thoughts. : )