Originally Posted by Kibbleforlola
I can see that. Hmmm. Let me rephrase (amend?) I think that atheism can
be as much a belief system, if you are approaching atheism from a 'I believe there is no god' stance. However, if you are coming from a place where you think 'I think there is no evidence for proof that a god exists', then I don't know. And of course, each individual's belief is different. And so on and so forth. In the end, I really can't make any pronouncements on atheism, because I'm not an atheist.
Indeed. The human belief system can be very complicated and varied. It's not always easy to find a term that discribes you 100%.
However, I'd like to point out that the 'I don't know, I don't care' definition of agnostism is a very simplified and in a way incorrect definition of it. If you look it up, agnostism means foremost these 3 things:
1. It's a view that the existance and true value of any deity is unknowable and unprovable.
2. Even if any deity exists the human mind is too limited to persieve it.
3. And based on the two statements above an agnostic is usually apposed to the institutation of religion.
^this definition is from Donald M. Borchert's The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and from Edward Craig's Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
As you can see, none of this statements controdicts to absence of belief in any gods. An agnostic is foremost a skeptic who doesn't see a reason to take any stance about the existance of any deities. You can be an agnostic and an atheist at the same time.
This is a definition of agnostic atheism from C. Austin's "Atheism vs. Agnosticism: What's the Difference? Are they Alternatives to Each Other?"
Agnostic atheists are atheistic because they do not have belief in the existence of any deity, and agnostic because they do not claim to know that a deity does not exist.
And a definition of agnostic theism from the same source:
Agnostic theism is a view of those who do not claim to know of the existence of any deity, but still believe in such an existence.
So this is why when you say, "I'm not an atheist, I'm an agnostic", to me it sounds the same way as saying: "I'm not an AR activist, I'm a vegetarian". It sounds strange, because you don't have to be a vegetarian, to be an AR activist, and you certainly do not have to be AR activist to be a vegetarian, but you can be both. However, if you indeed don't lack believe in any gods, you could say: "I'm an agnostic, but I'm not an atheist". And I would understand what you meant by it.