An Agnostic claims that they do not know if God exists and rightly so.
An Atheist knows there is no God...but how? If this information is out there, can I see it please? Same goes for the believer who says they know God exists, please show us all this proof so that we can put an end to these debates and get cracking on the interstellar space travel.
I personally don't believe in/ trust the Earthly religions or gods/ goddesses but that's not to say there isn't a creator of some sort out there, we're one planet, a grain of sand on a thousand mile long beach, let's all reserve conclusions until the proof rears it's head and that it doesn't take the form of some book written thousands of years ago or by some Charlatan.
I think Agnostics are the one's who need to be applauded because at least they can say "I don't know yet" as opposed to the Staunch Believer/Atheists "I know" claim.
There's nothing wrong in saying that you aren't sure because in the end it all comes down to faith.
In retrospect, we're all Agnostics because inside I guarantee the Believer and Atheist have thought "Have I got this wrong?" at least once in their lives.
(Of course I won't even bother with the holy book-bashing crazy religious nut jobs, they aren't worth the time of anyone)
Belief and non belief are two sides of the same coin. They are both actually forms of belief and are arrived at by a similar application of thought.
This can be understood via a study of the way human beliefs are constructed. A belief per se can only rationally exist in the absence of knowledge. (So i cannot chose rationally to believe the earth is flat.)
An agnostic is a person who says, "I chose neither belief nor disbelief i simply do not have enough facts to know and so i will wait until i can know."
A person who knows must have logical and basically incontrovertible proofs for their knowledge. BUT those proofs need only be personal experiences. (A person who cannot trust their own experiences via observation and logic has a real problem)
Transferrable evidences are not required for personal knolwedge, only to convince others without that personal knolwedge So the first white person to see a platypus KNEW it existed, but to convince others back in europe required considerable transferrable proofs. Even the first few stuffed examples were considered fakes by the scientific establishment, who claimed such an animal was biologically imposible.
Finally, second or third hand evidences or data; including words, oral or pictographic evidences, are not proof in them selves. They rely on the first person believing the source of the information. We are taught to trust the written word, to a lesser extent a person's word, and to a greater extent (until computers) pictorial evidences, but none offer transferrable proof without belief in them. Only personal experience is absolute evidence for anything. And only then if one can trust ones physical senses of perception, and the operation of ones mnd.
Edited by Mr Walker, 30 December 2012 - 09:34 PM.