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ETpro's avatar

Isn't there a word for what am I?

Asked by ETpro (34461points) December 24th, 2010

There must be others like me. Why don’t they have a word for us?

Theists—believe there is a god or gods that created all that is, and that actively intervene in its day-to-day operation; not just leaving all to cause and effect.
Deist—believe there is a god or gods that set the Universe working rather like a great clock, but that lets it run by the rules and simply watches.
Agnostics—believe that there may be a god or there may not, but that it is impossible to ever know whether there is or is not.
Atheists—believe there isn’t a god or gods.

I am none of the above. The only thing I believe is that I do not know whether there is a god or not, and that I do not know whether that knowledge is knowable or not. What am I? What are you?

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29 Answers

chyna's avatar

You are confused about your beliefs. Lots of people are.

littlebeck30's avatar

I would say you are a skeptic.

I am an atheist.

Trillian's avatar

How are you not agnostc?

AmWiser's avatar

Does there have to be a word for who you are? Can’t you just be you. I don’t understand why a person has to be defined by a word. I am who I am.

Rarebear's avatar

You are agnostic.

ETpro's avatar

@chyna No, I know exactly how I feel on the matter and came to this positin through a lifetime of serious consideration.

@littlebeck30 Thanks. Septic rigns true, no doubt about it.

@Trillian & @Rarebear That used to be my self identificatin. But recently, the definition has been tweaked to include a belief not only that we don’t know the theism/atheism question; but that it is unknowable. I do not believe that it is unknowable, just that I do not yet (and may never) know.

@AmWiser Not fair. Everybody else gets a label. I want one too.

Rarebear's avatar

Then I think you’re like me, an atheist. You don’t believe in God until God is proven to you to exist.

ETpro's avatar

@Rarebear Wahoo! Thank you. An identity for Christmas. What can I get for you?

Cruiser's avatar

When you get to the same place I have found, you might also call yourself a Spiritualist.

JLeslie's avatar

I say atheist. I am guessing you don’t pray to God, or look for Him to make miracles. That God is basically not part of your life or thoughts, except maybe to ponder other people’s beliefs or religions. Is that right? Atheist. I am exactly like that, I never say it is impossible there is a God, I just know it has not been proven, and he is not part of my life.

ETpro's avatar

@Cruiser I see no evidence for spirit at the moment, so not there now. @JLeslie Yes, fits me to a tee. Thanks.

JLeslie's avatar

@ETpro I guess there is an argument to be had that we are agnostic, but that to me sounds like I am questioning. I don’t question, I don’t think about it really.

TexasDude's avatar

Whatever you are, @ETpro, I am one too.

Perhaps a soft atheist?

Though I wouldn’t call your beliefs atheistic because you don’t outright or explicitly deny the existence of a deity.

JLeslie's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard But, in his life, for all practical purposes God does not exist. Keep in mind I just said above some might argue we are agnostic, but I identify as an atheist. When someone prives there is a God, I will change my designation. For me an agnostic is someone who is not sure whether there is a God or not, might even pray in a foxhole.

Nullo's avatar

When you can’t find a word that accurately describes you, you can either modify the closest word (which is better for communication) or make your own – preferably from one of English’s source languages (which is better for precision).

I call you an agnostic.

Though really, “agnostic” isn’t the best word, either; it It literally means “not a Gnostic;” while true, it’s not terribly useful.

downtide's avatar

I think that you are agnostic, and that both the definition in the original post, AND your own definition, are both applicable to agnostics.

ETpro's avatar

OK, based on all you fellow Jellies’ input, I am closing in on having a label, for which I am profoundly grateful. It’s not so bad to have to struggle with the false or misleading labels others apply to us, but to lack one to self identify with is a real drag.

ag·nos·tic
[ag-nos-tik] –noun
1.—a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as god, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience.
2.—a person who denies or doubts the possibility of ultimate knowledge in some area of study.

The second meaning works well enough, but it definitely does not apply to me. In fact, to me, definition 1 doesn’t even make good sense. I suppose that in the philosophical sense that you can never truly know anything, it works. But if we except that we know we exist, and that our parents existed, and that our friends exist, then we should also be able to know that God exists if God were to chose to make it so. Actually, since God is posited to be all-powerful God should most definitely have the power to reveal existence. To deny this is to deny the vary nature of the being who would legitimately qualify as God.

JLeslie's avatar

@ETpro So you are back to atheist if I understand what you are saying. Is that correct?

Rarebear's avatar

@ETpro Brewbot. I love it! Thanks!

ETpro's avatar

@JLeslie Actually, I found this in Wikipedia

“Agnostic atheism
Agnostic atheists are atheistic because they do not have belief in the existence of any deity, and agnostic because they do not claim to know that a deity does not exist.”

That fits beautifully, but just saying atheist is easier than getting into all that. :-)

JLeslie's avatar

That does fit. But agree. Good ol’ atheist is easier. If I get into a discussion with a theist or an atheist, I am basically on the atheist “side” anyway.

Rarebear's avatar

I agree with @JLeslie It’s too complicated to say soft atheist, or agnostic atheist, or hard atheist or whatever. I have enough trouble explaining Jewish atheist to people.

Kardamom's avatar

Ok, since you want one that is all your own, how about Skeptostic?

ETpro's avatar

@Kardamom Skeptostic is such a cool word. Thanks. It sounds like a portmanteau of fantastic spastic skeptic, which fits perfectly. Merry Christmas.

Kardamom's avatar

Glad you liked it. Enjoy it since you are the very first owner. And Merry Christmas right back at ya : )

jakegest's avatar

you’re agnostic…

From Wikipedia: Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—is unknown or unknowable

I know earlier you were pointing out that agnosticism claims that these truths are unknowable… but agnostics are just as likely to believe that those things could in fact be known, but either they themselves don’t know them or that there is not enough evidence or facts out there for them to draw a definitive answer currently.

agnosticism is a really broad idea and because of it’s lack of connection to centralized governing body like religions, it’s not going to have concrete views on every aspect of every theological idea. It’s much more open to interpretation, and by definition your views are going to be changing and evolving a lot as you learn more and experience more things in life.

regardless it’s not really important that you find a label that fits what you believe in. From what i can tell from your post you have a clear idea on what your beliefs are… so go with that.

ETpro's avatar

@jakegest Welcome to Fluther, and thanks for a great answer. Open to interpretation. Yep! That’s me. :-)

VenusFanelli's avatar

You are an agnostic. It’s that simple. The word comes from Greek signifying “no knowledge”. An agnostic says we can never gain the knowledge whether gods exist or not. They can’t commit to theism or atheism. I am a Catholic scientist to be who has some doubts about religions from my science background.

Cruiser's avatar

This is like looking at old 8mm family movies

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