Weak agnosticism

From Academic Kids

Weak agnosticism, or empirical agnosticism (also negative agnosticism), is the belief that the existence or nonexistence of deities is currently unknown, but is not necessarily unknowable.

Weak agnosticism is in contrast to strong agnosticism, in which the agnostic believes that the existence of any gods is not only unknown, but is also unknowable to humanity. Neither type of agnosticism is fully irreconcilable with theism (belief in a deity or deities), but both are typically irreconcilable with strong atheism. A weak agnostic who also considers themselves a theist is likely in a state of doubt, though they are not necessarily having a crisis of faith. Weak agnosticism often overlaps with, and is often confused with, weak atheism, as both are a lack of belief rather than a belief in lack (of either knowledge or existence, respectively).

Weak Agnosticism and Symbolic Logic

The philosophy of weak agnosticism can be related to proof theory and can be expressed in terms of symbolic logic. Simply, if a person makes a statement <math>A<math> and claims that it is true, then he must prove that it is true. Similarly, if another person makes a statement <math>\sim{A}<math> (not <math>A<math>) and claims that it is true (or rather <math>A<math> is false), then he too must prove that it is true (or <math>A<math> false).

Weak Agnosticism vs. Indecision

Weak agnostics have often been accused of indecision, i.e. fence-sitters. This arises from a misunderstanding of weak agnosticism. The principle of weak agnosticism is not about a belief in God or a disbelief in God but about the belief in the statement "God exists" or the belief in the statement "God does not exist." Given that, to a weak agnostic, nothing has been shown to support either statement conclusively, the only conclusion that can be drawn is that the data is inconclusive and believing in either is a leap of faith.

See also

agnostic atheism

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