Explain like I’m a Noob
An agnostic believes that there can be no proof of the existence of God, but does not deny the possibility that God can exist. The idea of agnosticism is based on the fact that no reason can provide enough rational ground to either justify or deny the existence of God. If one imagines a theist and an atheist at the opposite ends of a concocted spectrum, then an agnostic can lie anywhere in between.
Agnostics that tend towards atheism do not believe that God exists, but remain uncertain of his non-existence. The other half of the spectrum, countering the former, believe in the existence of God, but are unsure of the provability of this assertion. One can say, gnosticism is just a claim of knowledge. A gnostic knows things for certain, while an agnostic does not have any solid basis of his/her beliefs. Thus, agnosticism measures a different scale, that of certainty and not of belief.
Explain like I’m a Geek
Philosophical arguments, many of which date back to thousands of years, take an interesting stand on the whole idea of God. They are neither rooted in religious sculptures, nor are they backed by any scientific argument, but serve as an intellectual discussion to a hypothetical question that can be both unprovable and undisprovable.
Intelligent Design is the most famous argument for existence of God. The idea is that the universe is so unbelievably complex that there is no way it came about via random chance or simple principles. So, there must be an intelligent being (God) that designed everything.
William Paley’s renowned Watchmaker’s analogy also attempts to support this theory. He stated that the design of a watch implies there must have been an intelligent watchmaker, and so design in the universe implies there must have been an intelligent Creator. One of the simplest arguments against this analogy was given in a book “The Blind Watchmaker” in 1986 by Richard Dawkins. Even though the analogy seems self-refuting, Dawkins put a death knell to the argument by using the Theory of Evolution. He put forth the idea that a fine-tuned universe was not designed, but rather was a result of evolution and selection.
Also, the philosophical consideration known as the Anthropic Principle states that a universe by definition has to be compatible with those who observe it, or there will be no one present for observing. Thus, if there were multiple universes, the odds would favour at least one of them to support life as we know it, without the necessity of an Intelligent Design.
The Russel’s teapot is still referred to in discussions related to the existence of God. It’s a philosophical argument that reflects on the difficulty of trying to prove a negative. It involves a hypothetical celestial teapot orbiting somewhere between Earth and Sun, whose existence hasn’t been proven, and states that it cannot be disproven. A parallel hypothesis can be made in regard to the existence of God, as to how the burden of proving his existence lies with the claimant, rather than the burden of disproof lying with the non believer.
Another school of thought supports that we live in a fractal universe. It states that the bacteria which live inside our bodies have no idea of human, since they do not have the mental faculty to understand our existence. Similarly, we live inside a universe that is so extraordinarily larger than us that we have neither any idea, nor the capability to understand its existence.
Philosophical arguments like these resulted in the new set of ideology, called agnosticism. The origin of the term Agnostic dates back to the mid nineteenth century, when it was coined by English biologist T.H. Huxley, under the meaning ‘not knowing’. The essence of agnosticism is holding the middle ground — a class which does not pretend to hold knowledge of uncanny things, which ignorant men may be sure of.
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Like any other belief or philosophy, the understanding of agnosticism too, mimics of how it is popularised. Many people who associate with the idea, do so because it provides a seemingly rational and reasonable answer to all the discussions related to God. But, the deniability that is associated with the answer “We can’t know.”, leaves a question that is either too important or too unimportant, undeliberated. Just because something can’t be disproved to exist, believing that it might, is an idea that appears to be flawed. Agnosticism negligently compromises the quest for finding the answers to such questions by assuming that it is the responsibility of the biased ones to prove their points. It is the expedition of knowing the unknown that has led humans to various enriching discoveries. And, it is in this regard that the atheist (with their bag full of science and reasoning) seem to run away with the larger piece of the cake.
Explain Like I Have an Exam Tomorrow
The fact that you are reading this article instead of cramming for the exams already tells us a lot. In case that you are done with revising for the 14th time already, then trust us, your belief structure hardly matters. If not, then it would be a great idea for you to ensure that your good luck charms are in place and your prayers are made. Your inclinations towards any of theism, atheism or agnosticism might be seriously affected in the near future. The principles of nihilism have been known to provide respite to people in these situations. All our actions, all the marks we score, are ultimately futile since true knowledge is impossible, and for all we know, reality is probably an illusion anyway.