Atheism vs Theism vs Agnosticism vs Gnosticism. A simple guide to know what the hell you are.

Atheist VS Agnostic. A simple guide to know what the hell you are.

There is always confusion on knowing what belief position we have. Atheist? Agnostic? Theist? Gnostic? I found a guide online and I thought I could improve it by adding characters and make it a bit friendlier. Now you can know what the hell you are. That’s, of course, if you believe in hell… or know there is a hell… Or believe in hell, but don’t really know… Oh, God, I give up.

EDIT: For more in-depth analysis about this, you can check out this article by John S. Wilkins.

54 thoughts on “Atheism vs Theism vs Agnosticism vs Gnosticism. A simple guide to know what the hell you are.”

  1. The gnostics are a religious movement. Not a scale of knowing. A Gnostic is someone with religious beliefs.. not knowledge. Religious persons operate on faith. Faith is belief without knowledge. With this chart, no one is Gnostic because no one actually knows. Where does a person of faith fit on this chart? a person of faith doesn’t make any of these fucking claims..

  2. These 4 position models are nonsense. The “gnostic atheist” introduces the claim that gods don’t exist, but beliefs about that claim aren’t addressed.

    Do you believe “gods exist”?
    Do you claim to know “gods exist”?
    Do you believe “no gods exist”? (question ignored by the 4 position models)
    Do you claim to know “no gods exist”?

    YYNN = theo-gnostic
    YNNN = the-ist
    NNNN = agnost-ic
    NNYN = athe-ist
    NNYY = atheo-gnostic

    Everything else is contradictory. Illogical to begin with, with 5 positions, the a-theist labelling system becomes a convoluted mess.

    Imagine a pack of homosexuals coming along and saying “homosexual” now means “not a homosexual”, “bisexual” is now an adjective, and trying to dictate to bisexuals that they should call themselves “bisexual weak/negative homosexuals”, because “bisexual”, alone, is no longer a sexual orientation. You’re either heterosexual, or you’re not, no other options.

    Who the hell would go for that illogical, false dichotomy, gibberish?

  3. yes, gnostic is someone who is sure one way or the other. but, it’s agnostic who claimed the proposition cannot be falsified.

    but gnostic is more like: “you can falsify my god, but if you prove He doesn’t exist, you’re definitely wrong. He’s always been here, with me.”

  4. No, I was just referring to this sentence “An gnostic on the other hand is someone that claims the proposition can be falsified.” He must have forgotten the ‘t in “can’t”. Because a gnostic is someone who is sure one way or the other.

  5. So tired of the “new atheists” trying to come off as being all-radical-n-stuff by redefining “atheist” and “agnostic” so as to have a defensible position.

    Here are the traditional and dictionary upheld meanings of the terms. They correspond to the question “does God exist?” There are 4 possible answers.

    Yes – Theist
    No – Atheist
    I don’t know – Agnostic
    The question doesn’t make sense and so can’t be answered – Logical Positivist.

    The need for certain atheists to claim they believe God doesn’t exist even though they can’t prove it, a form of faith they pretend to abhor, does not trump the need for clarity in discussion.

    One can also have an interesting discussion about “belief” versus “knowledge,” but that shouldn’t provide safe harbor for those who want to claim to be atheists but have no proof for their position.

    The article above, for example, ignores the kind of person I am. I’m an agnostic. The most I can say about God is “I don’t know.” I resent this position being trivialized as being incomplete and in need of a further breakdown (I do/don’t believe there is a God) that *eliminates* my legitimate option…simply “I don’t know…say no more.”

  6. I have respect for all that you have said, it’s deep staff and can I ask you if not encourage you, to continue studying and thinking and still after some time again evaluate your knowledge and findings, there might be changes in the way you think, maybe improvements. This world is like a big school, you never stop learning and the world of science is much much bigger, we will always have a lot to learn.

  7. There’s no such thing as Agnostic Theist. If you’re uncertain of something you don’t really believe in it, thus you’re an atheist.

  8. First off, If there was a genuine change in your life, fine. But whatever it was that made you a horrible person before is still there. I don’t know the exact circumstances of your life that made you into a terrible person, nor do I really care to. The bottom line is that those tendencies still exist. If you choose to react to those tendencies differently, good. That does not remove the fact that you have those tendencies. You are just suppressing it through fear of persecution by your God. The way you can verify this is to ask yourself, “What happens to me after I die if I continue to do the things that make me a terrible person?” If the answer is that you will go to Hell, then you are trying to be good out of fear of that Hell. Not because you are all of a sudden transformed.

    Secondly, Just because you look up into the sky and can’t figure out how it all happens without a god, does not give you an excuse to insert your own explanation without any evidence. Yes, the universe is amazing. But we are exploring why all of it happens. We know why some planets spin and some planets don’t. As a science student, I have studied and verified a multitude of things that contradict the bible and its teachings.

    Thirdly, describing the existence and origin of the universe, and the spin of a planet as an “accident” is a misnomer. An accident happens when there was a plan in place and an unforeseen incident occurs outside of said plan. i.e. I knocked over my drink by accident. I tripped on accident. I bumped into that guy by accident.
    There must be intent of something else for it to be an accident. The universe just happened. There was no other plan for the material and existence of our universe, at least none apparent. Did it happen by chance? I don’t know. Was there anything before it? Possibly, but I don’t know. Did a lot of things fall into place just right? Sure. See, everyone thinks this universe had one chance and that everything happened perfectly that one time, so it must have been designed and planned. On the contrary, it could have also fallen out of place a billion times before it happened like this. this could have been the shot in a billion chance that it happened just right. There could have been a billion other false starts that happened before that didn’t work right so gravity won that time or entropy happened, etc..

    I want you to notice something that I am not afraid to say. It is the phrase, “I don’t know”. It is a common phrase in science and research. It is what leads us to explore and find out the answers. When you just look up and say, “Well, God did that”, there is no further reason to explore. You have your answer. If ancient people had just accepted that as an answer, we would have no idea about anything today. We would still think fire was a magical thing. Modern medicine, modern technology, electronics, architecture, space exploration, microbiology, etc…

    I would just like for you to consider that.

  9. You are correct, what happened in my life does not prove God is real… to you. But it absolutely proves it to me. There was a real void in my life, that never seemed to be filled. I always ignored it and hoped it would go away, but never did. When I took that step to give my faith a chance to take over, the void was filled and I decided to give my life completely over to Jesus. To trust that when I prayed to Him that he would listen and intervene. His interventions are not always exactly what I want, but I believe are always in my best interests.

  10. I don’t think I am faking it, there was a genuine change in my life. I just took a step to give Jesus a chance to run my life instead of ignoring the emptiness and feeling that I was missing out on something bigger than myself. I can’t look up into the sky and think that this big planet spinning was all an accident. Being a follower of Jesus Christ is not out of fear, it’s out of hope in something beyond this life on earth.

  11. Robert, if you were a terrible person before, then you are still a terrible person now. The only difference is that now, you filter your actions through the fear of damnation, and thus are a “fake” good person. You make choices based on your perceived approval or disapproval of an omnipotent entity, not your moral compass. That’s pretty sad my friend. If there is an actual god, he will see through your BS. You don’t need God to be a good person. You either are or you aren’t. You can be a good person with or without a deity. You can be a horrible person as a theist.

  12. It’s not for anything. We exist because we don’t NOT exist. If you want your life to have meaning, then the only one who can make it that way is you. Your life means exactly what your choices make it mean. What story will your descendants tell of your deeds?

  13. Except for the deafness bit, you’d be intellectually incapable of having beliefs. Deaf folk can hold any belief they find themselves capable of holding.

  14. I don’t like this version because it reinforces a common misconception. Gnosticism and agnosticism address knowledge not certainty. An agnostic isn’t someone that claims to be “possibly mistaken” about the proposition. Rather an agnostic is someone that claims that the proposition cannot in any conceivable way be known or falsified. An gnostic on the other hand is someone that claims the proposition can be falsified. There’s a huge difference.

    I find this article better. But then again who gives his time reading an article? You have a great audience, you should correct your pic and reshare it, so that it can spread the correct message to mass.

  15. By all means, please elaborate. Are you saying that atheism does not exist? That those who claim not to believe are simply lying? Or are you saying that the differences in classification pointed out above lack nuance, that such things do not fit neatly into categories? That would be far more interesting.

  16. When I was a Christian, I was kind of an insufferable little punk. I was forgiven every Sunday, and the Almighty had a special, perfect plan just for me. Since it was so perfect, and Him so all-knowing, that must mean I couldn’t help but do the right thing, right? Or, if I did occasionally do wrong, I had to, as part of the Plan, see? And anyway, come Sunday, all is forgiven, right? I slowly came to realize that the universe doesn’t give a flying monkey turd for me. That there was no one in the sky making sure my existence was meaningful. That my life means exactly what my actions make it mean. Actually sitting down and reading the Bible sealed the deal. That book is a terrible indictment of the worst darkness that inhabits our collective soul. I will be forever ashamed that I was ever able to look into that abyss and call it holy.

  17. The question what counts as atheism and what counts as agnosticism has been around for centuries, yes. But the two axis distinction is new, I think, between existence claims and knowledge claims. I am of course influenced by Russell, Huxley and more recent writers like Oppy, but can you show me where this has been published before? I ask in good faith (sorry) because I am going to draft this up as a proper academic paper and I would like to avoid embarrassment.

  18. It’s a nice thought, and your material is quite good, but this breakdown has been discussed for at least the 20 years I’ve been academia. And it wasn’t new then.

  19. Robert, I like your life story. You are ‘scientist by trade’; so I conclude you possess a scintific mind. It is great that after you became a Christian, you changed from a ‘terrible person’ to a ‘changed my life’ person. This part is fact. However, this fact does not prove ‘God is real’. It is a hypothesis you have drawn from the fact, and you need to investigate to prove or disprove your hypothesis. Similar transformation HAS occurred to a similar ‘terrible’ person by other means unrelated to ‘God’. Regarding Christianity, it so happened that you talked to a Christian friend. Similar transformation HAS occurred to similar persons who talked to non-Chritian friends as well. So, Christianity might not have a unique role in such transformations. By the way, I have no conflict either with God or with Christianity.

  20. this is stupid. atheists need more philosophy education to understand what they’re talking about. this classification does not exist

  21. I think there’s a higher purpose to existence that man can never know. So, therefore I do not believe in any religion’s gods, but I still don’t think death is the ultimate end of me; something will survive. I’m aware that I could be wrong. But then what was it all for?

  22. All I know is that before I was a Christian I was a terrible person, but because I finally gave Jesus a chance when nothing else was working I finally feel whole. After years of being a mean, unsocial person not contributing anything worth anything, I prayed for the first time, and I talked to a Christian friend. I know God is real because He changed my life when nothing else could. Just my two cents. P.S. – No I’m not some gullible simple minded person. I’m a scientist by trade, and at times there’s no explaining what has happened in my life since I became a Christian.

  23. you’re missing Ignosticism! Most of the people doesn’t even know the existence of something called Ignosticism xD

  24. Haha, I believe there was a person, lived, talked, passed away and then, people started calling him god’s son and wrote books about his speech.

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