British atheist professor Richard Dawkins tweeted a YouTube video by an American atheist, JaclynGlenn, who argues that "agnosticism" is not a stand-alone term and that many atheists "wrongly" identify as just being agnostics. She urges them not to do so any longer.
JaclynGlenn, who is from Los Angeles, Calif., and has about 22,000 followers on Twitter, says she made the video after many religious people asked her why she doesn't say she's an agnostic. "But the thing is ... agnostic is not a position of belief," she says.
Dawkins, who's got more than 900,000 followers on Twitter, tweeted the video last week, saying, "Agnostic atheists (& agnostic theists). The stylish @JaclynGlenn's impeccable etymology … will be much misunderstood."
Atheism means without "theism" or belief, JaclynGlenn explains. And agnosticism means without "gnostic" or knowledge of religion or God. "It's a position of knowledge, not of belief." Everyone should say she or he is agnostic, because you can't prove there's God, she adds.
The only people who do not identify as being agnostics are "super-Christians," she charges, adding that they think they know the answer and all the facts, but they are "flat out wrong."
"Atheism is just a lack of belief in God. We're not claiming to know that God doesn't exist. Therefore, atheists are agnostics. But if you claim that you're only agnostic, that's nothing," she tells her viewers.
Many people think they are neither Christian nor atheist, and that's why they call themselves agnostic, she says. While that's not correct, it's still better than being a certain type of a Christian, she adds.
JaclynGlenn then makes a suggestion. "So if you reject man-made religion, just close the door on it completely; don't keep it open and allow religious people to creep back into your belief and change the way you think and convince you that things that you have no evidence or proof for are real."
She says most atheists go through a process. Some initially say they're not like "those Christians" who are not "real Christians." "I've done that; I did that for a long time," she says, adding she claimed she was an agnostic for a long time. "There was like a little part of me ... that just happy emotional connection to the idea of being religious, the idea that may be someone was looking out for me. That's a hard pattern to break, a hard belief system to get rid of. It took me a long time; I didn't turn into an atheist overnight. It took a long process, and it wasn't fun."
She urges her viewers that "whenever you get to that point, please don't say that you're agnostic. Please say that you're an atheist. It's gonna make it easier for everyone else to admit it too. ... It's just not right to say you are agnostic; you're either agnostic atheist or agnostic theist. If you wanna combine the two and say you're an agnostic atheist, that's fine because technically that's what everyone is. ... If you're an agnostic and don't believe in God, but you think may be there could be [God], guess what, you're an atheist."
JaclynGlenn also urges her viewers to buy T-shirts from her to help the atheist community.