I do want to apologize for using this board as a tool for myself to understand these religious labels. It is something I am quite confused about.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNDZb0KtJDk&feature=player_embedded
So it seems that Agnostic means a lack of knowledge about gods, So I too would agree with theistgal's statement "most of us know that we can't be 100% sure of anything regarding God" so I would take this to mean that most Christian Theists are Agnostic, I would also theorise that most Atheists are also Agnostic.
The strange thing about Theist label and Atheist label is that they aren't reciprocal as I have previously thought. I though Theists believe that there is a god and that Atheist believe that there is no god. But watching the video clip it seems that Atheists have no belief in a god. So in that sense I am an Atheist as well as being Agnostic. I find this a bit confusing though because I would have thought that if a person were Agnostic (accepts that there is no known knowledge of a god) that they would also be Atheist because how can you believe in something that you accept there is no known knowledge about? Unless my definition of the term "belief" is incorrect. I take it that belief means 100% certain, so to be a Theist you would need to be 100% certain that god exists. So going back to theistgal's statement "most of us know that we can't be 100% sure of anything regarding God" but tieing that in with my definition of belief would become "most of us (Christian Theists) know that we can't be 100% sure of anything regarding God however all of us (Christian Theists) are 100% certain that god exists" which doesn't make any sense. So I must be going astray somewhere. Can someone please explain where I am going wrong with this?
Something not of nature must forever remain unknown and unknowable to any biological or technological detection apparatus. But the "acknowledging" word is key. A Christian is agnostic if and only if the underlined word applies to that Christian. It is theoretically possible for the underlined word to apply to a Christian. It is also, unfortunately, rare for a Christian to acknowledge not only privately but also publicly the unknown and unknowable status of that which, not of nature, was nature's author.
I am agnostic and I am also atheist because I refuse to place my faith in something unknown and unknowable. I am first agnostic, and then, as a direct result, atheist. It makes no sense to me to place my faith in something unknown and unknowable. An agnostic Christian would be someone to whom it makes sense to place faith in something unknown and unknowable. An action only makes sense if it achieves, or is likely to achieve, an objective. The Christian's objective is to get into heaven. The Christian has been taught that placing faith in something unknown and unknowable is the method by which getting into heaven is achieved. The Christian, having the objective, takes up the suggested method and runs with it.
The word agnostic can also be used in a more general sense, to denote the acknowledgement that any claim X is unknown and unknowable. In this more general sense, I am agnostic toward the existence of heaven, and, even if I were to grant for the sake of discussion the existence of heaven, I would be agnostic toward how one manages to get in. Since it makes no sense to me to place my faith in something unknown and unknowable, I place no faith in the existence of heaven, and, even if I were to grant the existence of heaven, I would place no faith in any suggested method of how to get in.
The unknown and unknowable is to be set aside and forgotten, unless and until it emerges suddenly as newly known or knowable. Or so say I.
If the probability of X being true is 100% then X isn't merely believed, but known. If the probability of X being true is less than 100% then accepting X as true would be belief. Different people have different thresholds with respect to how probable X must be before it can or should be accepted. My own threshold is pretty high, certainly higher than 50%.
If X is not only unknown but unknowable, then its probability of being true can never be assessed. It is my position that if the probability of X being true can never be assessed, then the probability of X being true should be treated as if it were zero.
It is also my position that the desire that X be true should never be factored in when deciding whether or not to treat X as true. Truth is one domain, and desire is another. The two domains do not at all intersect. They are 100% incongruent. Accessing one domain for purposes of ascertaining the contents of the other domain is illegitimate. Desire does not and cannot determine truth, and truth does not and cannot determine desire. What is undesirable can be true, and what is untrue can be desired.
Incidentally, the desire for something that is currently untrue but which is deemed possible has a name, and that name is hope. It is my position that hope should be placed in X only if X is at least theoretically knowable, for if X isn't knowable, then one will never know if X has been achieved or encountered, and hope will never be satisfied.