Unfortunately, atheists and agnostics are sometimes mistakenly lumped together; however, there are distinct distinctions between them.
Atheists hold that there is no God, while agnostics acknowledge the possibility of a deity but do not firmly believe it exists. Agnosticism is an inclusive worldview which strives to incorporate both scientific and spiritual understanding without adhering to any particular belief system.
Atheists Are Critical and Argumentative
Atheists possess a critical mindset when evaluating arguments and evidence. They reject beliefs such as a supernatural creator, immortal soul, and the concepts of heaven and hell with open minds.
Atheists are persuasive communicators, offering arguments both for and against their worldview. To prove that religion is wrong, they employ logical fallacies, ambiguous language, assumptions, and evidence to back up their claims.
One of the strongest arguments against God is evil, which makes it seem impossible that He could create such an imperfect and cruel world. After all, He’s supposed to be loving and perfect – why then would He create such an imperfect and cruel place?
Atheists tend to present religions objectively, which makes them less credible and makes them seem dehumanized. Furthermore, atheists possess a better comprehension of how religions originated and evolved – helping them comprehend why they are ultimately human products.
Atheists Are More Disillusioned With Religion
According to a new study by Pew Research Center, 58% of unaffiliated Americans (58%) believe religion does more harm than good. On the other hand, only one in five (22%), known as Apatheists, and less than four out of ten (39%) Unattached Believers, think religion does more good.
These groups also differ in their attitudes toward religion and worship attendance. About three-quarters of Apatheists and Rejectionists report rarely or never attending formal religious services, while less than half of Unattached Believers do so.
Unattached Believers are significantly more likely than Apatheists and Rejectionists to believe religion helps people develop good morals and values. Seven in ten (70%) agree that children should be raised in religion so they can learn these values.
Another distinguishing factor between Rejectionists, Apatheists and Unattached Believers is how disenchanted they have become with religion. Nearly two thirds of Rejectionists state they have stopped believing in God or other gods due to bad experiences.
Atheists Are More Open-Minded
Atheists tend to be more inquisitive than religious believers for several reasons. First, atheists often have to question the foundational beliefs of their religion in order to evaluate its value.
Judaism, Christianity and Islam all hold that God created the universe from nothing. Furthermore, they believe human beings are sinful and dependent upon God’s creative power to survive.
However, atheists do not hold these beliefs to be true. They hold that such assertions are simply incoherent, meaning they cannot both be true and false simultaneously.
Recently, a study was released which suggests atheists are less tolerant of contradictory statements than religious believers. This research compared self-reported dogmatism and intolerance for contradiction between atheists, agnostics, and Christians.
Atheists Are More Agnostic
When it comes to religion, atheists and agnostics perform better than Jews and evangelical Protestants on multiple-choice questions about world religions. On average, atheists get 6.1 answers correct on the survey’s 13 non-Christian world religion questions, while agnostics answer 5.8 questions correctly on average.
Researchers conducted a study by Veronica N. Z. Bergstrom and colleagues to compare American attitudes toward agnostics with Christians’. To collect data, researchers recruited 118 U.S. adults from Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk).
Participants were asked to list up to five stereotypes they believed most people held about agnostics. These stereotypical traits included decisiveness, loyalty, safeness and tolerance. Furthermore, researchers examined how belief in God affected ratings of these traits.