Recently I have been looking at these two views and wonder if I don't fall more into the Ignostic category. With the varied definitions of god, and no real clear answers, it feels more *comfortable* to me.
Have you entertained other labels, such as Ignosticism? How do you feel about the Ignostic point of view?
I don't know... I don't see how Atheism could be assuming too much about the concept of god. We just lack a belief in gods, and are not convinced by the god claims of others. True, the various theists we hear from could just have god all wrong, and we in turn are not facing the correct (theoretically) god questions and claims. But in turn, we are still correct to discount the god claims that have been brought forth thus far. If the Atheist position was that there 100% without a doubt are no gods, then Ignosticism would have a point against Atheism. However, I and most Atheist's don't claim to know for a fact, so we're open to airing all claims. That includes the possibility that we are all oblivious to the (potential) true definition of 'god'. In that way, I see Atheism far more flexible than any form of theism that claims to have it all figured out already. I will agree that it is often important in debates and discussions, that we ask what people mean when they say 'god'. Unless we approach the discussion with this understanding, it will often get us nowhere. So in short, I don't feel like open Atheism is somehow less logical/honest than Ignosticism.
I agree with you, James. But I'll go one step further and argue that terms like ignosticm and agnosticism may be pedantically true, but when used prominently and prolifickly are simply titles that defer to religion. In no other case of bizarre beliefs and infinite possibilities do we treat with this sort of couching of language and tip-toeing of meaning. No one is ever apologetic about not believing in fairies and goblins, yet we do so about gods by specifically stating up front and needlessly, when we use terms like "agnostic", that we don't really know. It is as if we wish to placate people for fear of appearing arrogant.
I don't think Ignosticism is mutually exclusive with atheism. If we define atheism as simple lack of belief in Gods, then certainly anyone who believes that no coherent definition of God has ever been produced cannot have belief in God. How can one believe in something that they do not believe is even properly defined?
I would say that by definition, all Ignostics are still either atheists, or sometimes actually theists, and mostly atheists. Either they believe there has not been presented a coherent definition of God, and therefore have no belief in God, or they believe there has not been presented a coherent definition of God, yet still think there is 'something' that can be called God.
You either have belief, or you don't. Like Agnostic, being Ignostic does not preclude one from also being either a theist or an atheist.
If you read the discussion on defining god, there just isn't one that can be agreed upon. However, I do think that Ignostic and Atheist could be quite compatible based on the answers that not even Atheists can define the non-existant.
If you read the discussion on defining god, there just isn't one that can be agreed upon.
I think that fact alone speaks volumes. In 5,000+ years we're no closer to (maybe even further away from) defining "God" . I wonder why...
I feel that the Ignostic point of view is good in terms of how to debate straight theists with no dogma. I hadn't heard of Ignositicism, and the wiki articles were pretty interesting. I also discovered Apatheism. It's so good to learn these all have been nicely named and categorized.
I don't think ignosticism is sensible because a supreme deity as an undefinable reality is something that has been pretty short in terms of human history, I think it was actually apophaticism that started that one. One can't define a four sided triangle, but a deity, in concept can be grasped, whereas a four sided triangle can not.
Here is where I do see its utility. The theists or deists hold such an abstract view of God that it is undefinable. I also see it useful in when they describe first cause and that you can have eternal consciousness. The will to create out of time and making an action without time both are things that ignosticism would seem to say are useless to guess on at this time.
Even then, I find it not to be a very certain position to hang ones hat on. I still think that metaphorical speaking in order to describe concepts can also have a utility and I think something like that would fit under there.