“Atheist” vs. “Agnostic”: What’s the Difference?

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The difference between “atheist” and “agnostic”

  • The biggest difference between atheism and agnosticism is that atheists don't believe in the existence of God or gods, while agnostics are uncertain.
  • Imagine a scale with belief and disbelief on each end of the continuum. Atheists lean towards disbelief, whereas agnostics tend to hover around the middle of the scale.
  • Atheism and agnosticism are not mutually exclusive. In fact, many atheists can be agnostic atheists, meaning they don't believe in God but do not claim there is no possibility of divine existence.
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What is the definition of “atheist” and “agnostic”?

  • An atheist is someone who doesn't believe in God or gods.
  • Atheists reject the existence of any supernatural beings.
  • They generally believe that humans must rely on themselves or science.
  • An agnostic is someone who neither believes nor disbelieves in God or gods.
  • They claim that it's impossible to know whether or not any supernatural entities exist.
  • Agnostics often believe that spiritual and religious matters are unknowable or that they are yet to be discovered.

Which is the more popular variant on the Internet?

“Agnostic” is the more popular variant on the web.
24,600,000 results on the web
  1. John is an atheist, and he doesn't believe in the existence of any god.
  2. I used to be a Christian, but I'm now an atheist because I have come to doubt the existence of a supreme being.
  3. The government must protect the rights of atheists just as it does for followers of other religions.
More popular
35,800,000 results on the web
  1. Jill doesn't know whether or not there is a god, and she considers herself an agnostic.
  2. As an agnostic, I'm not convinced either way and believe that the existence of a god is impossible to prove or disprove.
  3. Many agnostics embrace uncertainty about the divine and live their lives without certainty, accepting inevitable paradoxes.
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