Former American atheist leader Madalyn O'Hair once described agnostics as 'gutless atheists'. It is held, loosely by some ,that atheists know definitely thereis no God as distinct from believing such, which is a milder claim.Also, in general ,Western atheists seem primarily concerned with the Judaeo/Christian definition of an ineffable God which tends to come across as an oxymoron.
As for agnostic cowardice, I do not see how non belief in a perfect God precludes possible worse post mortem horrors, stemming from the supernatural, though some atheists deride this also.
I think it was Alan Watts who once stated....."we know God best by not knowing him" an assertion that just might benefit both atheist and theist alike.
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Paul , the atheist is a person of extremely poor intellect - Admittedly there is no God according to the more devoted of them - what fails to capture my imagination is why they should waste their lives trying to prove to others of something which is not there . I can safely say a lot of hooting will rise up and people are liable to ask cannot the same said of theists - my reply would be No - for they postulate ''A something'' which may or may not appear intelligible to all and sundry so they have to support their findings with reasoning. Non existence of a thing does not require proof . But non existence of existence requires an explanation (and all examples should be from the word 'Existence" thus precluding language and lower forms of examples - it is pure knowledge based - and indicates that the believer himself is non existent and an agent and is liable to be used by his senses like a beast and thenceforth becomes becomes the subject matter of Karma ).
Dear Paul ,
Very true Paul the worst that can happen to a person would be to get stuck with polemics or semantics and reduce words to a totally impersonal affair with sound and meaning it would just lead to interminable hair splitting . Such things are best left to the students of those subjects.