Here’s a pretty neat video by Jaclyn Glenn about the meaning of the words agnostic, Gnostic, and atheist. I have to agree with her. I’ve also been stymied by both atheists and religious people when trying to explain the definitions and their misuse of them. I think it might be because atheists don’t want to use the stigmatized word ‘atheist’ and prefer to go with ‘agnostic’ because it’s deemed a more respectable position.
However, you either believe in God or you don’t. That view could change in the future. A religious person might become an atheist or an atheist might be swayed by a religious argument and become religious themselves.
For example, I’m technically an agnostic-atheist. I just don’t bother with the agnostic part because I want to de-stigmatize the word ‘atheist’ and I don’t want religious people to misinterpret my stance on belief and think I’m merely an agnostic. I also know the word ‘atheist’ is offensive to some religious people. Frankly, that is even more reason to use the word when describing myself.
I do hope there comes a day when the word is no longer necessary. Just like it’s not necessary to describe yourself as an a-unicornist or a-dragonist.
Enjoy the video!