Originally Posted by eztantz
I was pointing out that many people use the term atheist loosely and more often than not they are merely agnostic. In my humble opinion it takes a whole lot to claim one is an atheist, being agnostic on the other hand is a lot simpler.
I would probably put them on a spectrum rather than making it a binary choice, "spiritual" agnostic being on one extreme and "staunch" (for lack of a better term I guess) atheist being on the other. I'd place myself relatively close to the staunch side, but not entirely there because it seems silly to assert that you know for a fact God doesn't exist we as a species understand only a tiny fraction of how our Universe works.
The way I see things the world doesn't seem to have been influenced by any sort of higher power and the greater likelihood is that the universe and everything in it arose through natural processes guided by natural laws, some of which have yet to be discovered (abiogenesis, mechanism behind the big bang, etc) but, if the history of scientific discovery is any indication, will be discovered eventually and probably exist. This makes me an atheist to the extent that I believe God is incredibly unlikely to the point where I can safely assume that it doesn't exist like, as Carl Sagan once put it, an invisible dragon in the garage.