Why everyone is wrong about the terms atheism and agnosticsm
I was listening to a conservative Jewish talk show host who I will only go by his initials, D.P. because I don't want to give him any unnecessary publicity. D.P. is of the opinion that agnostics should attend a church 26 weeks a year. Or a syngogue. To him agnostic means a middle ground between atheism and theism or a belief in a god. No, it doesn't.
Agnostic means non-knowledge. Atheism means non-belief. Technically I am both an agnostic and an atheist. D.P. believes that agnostics are just not sure about a god or even the Judeo-Christian god.
No, agnostics are often people who don't want to be mocked or attacked for being an atheist. Or, they are people who buy the anti-atheist venom of many on the religious right-wing when it comes to atheists and atheism and so are drawn to the far less controversial term, agnostic.
A myth exists that atheists are absolutely conviced there isn't a god, including being 100% certain. No, though some would state, as would I, that we are pretty close to being 100% certain when it comes to the god of the bible or the Quran. Though it is possible, though highy improbable, that one of these gods exist, once you get past the biblical contradictions.
One of the reasons why there are the differing terms, agnostic and atheist, is because of faith. Faith means belief even without evidence or knowledge. This is irrational of course, but since these terms exist, it led to words being invented to cover both not having knowledge and not having a belief in a god. But, there aren't any agnostics who are theists.
There aren't any atheists who are gnostics or have knowledge of a god. Not having belief in a god would logically means not having knowledge of this god. Having knowledge of a god would lead to belief in it. It is only within faith that this strange division exists where one could have belief without knowledge.
Unfortunately this little column of mine is just a tiny mouse next to the huge voice of this radio host. Hopefully I can clear up the ignorance he spreads, a little at a time.