Explain the difference between agnosticism and atheism

  • Created by: blombus
  • Created on: 13-04-21 11:46
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  • Explain the difference between agnosticism and atheism
    • Explaining agnosticism
      • From the Greek for "without knowledge"
      • Often described as the suspension of a decision
    • Introduction
      • Agnosticism is sometimes presented as being a branch of atheism
      • Misrepresents both atheistic and agnostic arguments
      • Similarity in their positions doesn't mean their reasoning is the same, or even similar
      • There are important differences between agnosticism and atheism
      • But they aren't necessarily clear at first glance
    • Conclusion
      • Both have various forms
      • Differences don't necessary lie in their positions om the Existence of G-d
      • More about the nature of their claims
      • Differences in the attitude to knowledge
    • Explaining atheism
      • Belief that there isn't a  G-d
      • Takes various forms, with varying degrees of certainty
        • Anthony Flew in 'The Presumption of Atheism' (1972)
        • Negative, or weak, atheism
        • Positive, or strong, atheism
      • Long history, term sometimes ambiguous
        • Historical agnostics labelled as atheists and vice versa
    • Claims about knowledge
      • Most academic approaches to agnosticism are about the nature of knowledge and religious language
        • Not just "we don't know", but we can't
        • Strong agnosticism
        • The existence of religious beings is ultimately unknowable
      • Atheism approaches it more on an evidential basis
      • Works on a scientific model
      • If there is nothing you believe to be evidence then you must reject the claim or theory


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