Am I an Agnostic or an Atheist?



If you don’t think God exists, why do you refer to yourself as an agnostic?  If this is your perspective, why not refer to yourself as an atheist?  Could it be that you don’t believe the Christian God exists, but are open to the possibility that some kind of higher power exists (this is my perspective) and this is why you call yourself agnostic? 



I have been getting this question a lot, and so I’ve decided to try to explain my position a bit more fully here in this post.

The first thing to say is that I had no idea how militant both atheists and agnostics could be about their labels, until I became an agnostic myself!

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My Views on Suffering Are Not Held by Those Who Suffer
Am I an Agnostic or an Atheist? (For Members)


  1. MrJimiHentai  June 4, 2012

    Hi, Bart. This reminds me of a really funny bit I once saw a female comedian do on TV. I no longer remember her name, but the joke always stuck with me. She was going on about how rough it was growing up in a household with parents of different religions who were constantly fighting–her father was an atheist and her mother was an agnostic.
    “There is no god!”
    “Well, there might be….”
    Oh, well. It’s all in the delivery :)

  2. Bart Ehrman
    Bart Ehrman  September 29, 2013

    Nobody has paid *me* a dime for this blog. Every cent goes to charities fighting hunger and homelessness.

    As to not being clear: I’ve repeatedly said I’m both an atheist (about what I believe) and an agnostic (about what I know). Is there some way to be clearer?

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