Monday, January 14, 2013

Atheist or Agnostic

Agnostic or atheist – what’s the difference?

Recently, watching TV and heard a part of this dialogue: “… No, you’re not an agnostic, you are a mystic.” The term “mysticism” is understandable. But who is agnostic?

The term “agnostic” was named by Professor Thomas Henry Huxley, British naturalist, Charles Darwin follower and foreign corresponding member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. This happened at a meeting of the Metaphysical Society in 1876. While the term “agnostic” was used in a negative context, and denotes a person, in fact close to atheism, who renounced the faith associated with God and the church, and was convinced that the ultimate source of things unknown, as it can not be known. Today the meaning of the word has changed.

In modern language agnostic – a person who doubts religion. The explanation of God’s modern religious teachings, from his point of view, is not convincing. He does not deny the existence of a certain divine, but is not ready to accept it as an absolute concrete reality, as the evidence available is not sufficient.

Agnostics to the question, what exactly is the divine, remain open, they believe that one day we’ll know. It should emphasize the fundamental difference between agnostic and atheist. Atheist – is a believer. Do not be surprised, the atheist believes that God does not exist in the material world around us. According to opinion polls in many countries, the proportion of atheists is about 7-10%, but the number of agnostics in the world increases. In Germany, only 14% of young people consider themselves believers. In the UK, the influence of the church in society is steadily decreasing. Agnosticism – that professed agnostic – as ideology spreading throughout the world.

The most notorious example of the spread of this position can be a replica of Veronica Michelle Bachelet – the first in the history of Chile (the country where the position of the Catholic Church is very strong) woman president. She admitted that she is not only socialist, but agnostic too. According to various surveys, the five major world religions are Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Confucianism, and Buddhism. Today, there are about 2.1 billion Christians (including 1.15 billion Catholics). This is followed by Islam (1.3 billion), Hinduism (900 million), Confucianism and Taoism (394 million), Buddhism (376 million).

While for every 5 billion believers of the Earth, there’s $ 1.1 billion of non-religious people. And the atheists among them three times less than agnostics – those who believe that the form of the existence of God is open. And the number of agnostics is growing every year. The main reasons for this state of affairs experts believe distrust of the church as an organization, the development of political correctness, education, and welfare, the globalization of the world, the opportunity for each person  to review all religious theories. Sociologists have found that communities where living conditions are worse, more religious people are present. However, where the material benefits of civilization are in abundance, there’s less hope in God.

Atheist or Agnostic

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