Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

4 Bumps


"The view that a coherent definition of God must be presented before the question of the existence of god can be meaningfully discussed."

Does anyone here feel that due to there being many different interpretations/definitions of god(s), that yours too, is questionable? Or as a believer, are you pretty solid that your interpretation of god is the right one?

I'm sure you know that people who believe in a god that is different from yours, are just as satisfied and firm about the god they believe in, that they too feel it is the only god, or right god, but how can any of you be sure?

Do you think ignosticism is an honest perspective, seeing as there are so many gods? It seems humble enough to me, to admit this much.


Asked by clarity333 at 5:34 PM on Mar. 20, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 22 (13,098 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (20)
  • Sure, one can adopt that ignostic stance as a way to postpone discussion of God, but that's all it is useful for.


    This is not always true. I sometimes take an ignostic stance on a question without the intent of postponing discussion of God but to figure out what someone means by 'God'. I don't define God as a personal deity, so I need to make sure our discussion includes my definition of God as equivalent to the Universe. Otherwise, I would take the stance that "NO, I don't believe in God", if they only mean some kind of personal, supernatural deity. If the definition of God is broadened to include other perspectives, like pantheistic views of God--such as you find in Buddhism or Taoism, then I can say "YES, I do believe in God." or "I do believe in God if you mean the impersonal forces of Nature or laws of the Universe." Personally, I don't go so far as to say we can't discuss it if we don't agree on a definition though.

    Answer by pam19 at 8:31 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • I suppose it's an honest perspective. In fact, I think Pantheism is a combination of atheism, materialism, and ignosticism. Nothing exists except God. I usually like to know what definition of 'God' or religion is being used before I answer, or I include a description of what I mean by certain words if I think they might be misunderstood or if they often have a different connotation than I'm intending. I rarely use the word God IRL though, because people assume you mean a personal deity instead of a poetic way to refer to the Universe.

    "Ignosticism is the view that the question of the existence of god is meaningless because it has no verifiable (or testable) consequences and should therefore be ignored." <--- I agree with this quote personally, and I would guess that most Buddhists look at it this way as well. God is definitely not central to Buddhist teachings--the teachings are essentially non-theistic.

    Answer by pam19 at 6:03 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • "Weak atheism (or implicit atheism) may also be considered a form of agnosticism, since weak atheists do not deny the claim that a single deity or group of deities exists. Rather, they only refrain from assenting to theistic claims...[and have] no opinion regarding the existence of deities, either because of a lack of interest in the matter...or a belief that the arguments and evidence provided by both theists and strong atheists are equally unpersuasive...."

    Ignosticism seems to take it a step further and sasy we can't even ask the question or discuss it meaningfully unless we have a coherent definition of God. Some say the question of God is meaningless unless it can be tested, and if it can't be tested, then it should be ignored.

    ^^Parts of that are from this link:

    Answer by pam19 at 8:29 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • Grrr. I'm having computer/connection problems today. I typed a response, and then walked away from the computer to check on dinner. When I came back, I had a screen that said that Internet Explorer isn't responding, and my response had disappeared into cyberspace. It's been happening all day.

    What I had said was thank you, Clarity and Pam, for explaining the difference. I am embarrassed to admit that I hadn't heard of Ignosticism before.  It does make sense, though, to want a working definition first, in order to have an intelligent discussion on the subject.

    Very interesting. . .


    Answer by jsbenkert at 6:27 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • I believe my life is my witness and I do not believe it is my mission to physically bring people to God- I believe it is my mission to live my life with honor and purpose and this honors God- if people that respect me come to believe or understand God because they feel like I am someone they trust and understand-then I have done my job-

    Answer by soyousay at 7:55 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • Yes, Pam, there is "weak" and "strong" atheism, and ignosticism does seem to fit in with the weaker end.


    This is the impression I had as well. It seems that some consider it to be sort of a subset of 'atheism' and 'agnosticism' while others think it's completely distinct. I finally found something that helped me figure out the difference--I think. I believe all of these (and a few other terms) are subsets of umbrella term non-theism, so there is probably some overlap or some people may consider themselves more than one of these forms of non-theism, I'm sure. That may be why I was having trouble figuring out a clear difference between the two terms.


    Answer by pam19 at 8:27 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • Do you mean Agnosticism? If so, then from my perspective, it is a very rational approach to the question of deities. Since we cannot prove the existence of a god or gods, but we can't disprove it either, Agnosticism seems a very honest perspective. I consider myself to be Agnostic, although I suppose I'm mostly Atheist, I acknowledge that I can't prove absolutely either way. I just don't believe that there is a supernatural being (or beings) who created us and is/are watching our every move, reading all of our thoughts and judging us on our every action.


    Answer by jsbenkert at 5:55 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • Or as a believer, are you pretty solid that your interpretation of god is the right one?

    Absolutely, as much as you are secure with your own personal beliefs, I am just as secure in mine. I support many beliefs. The proof is what you make of it.

    Answer by 2tinyhineys at 6:03 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • Hi jsbenkert,

    No, ignosticism and agnosticism are two different schools of thought. Ignosticism points to the need for a coherent definition of a god, prior to discussing the existence of a god.
    Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—is unknown or unknowable.
    Thanks for answering, though. I too am agnostic atheist, but I also agree that a coherent definition fo god should be reached if we are to try to prove it's existence.


    Comment by clarity333 (original poster) at 6:03 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • Another thought on this....

    Do you think ignosticism is similar to weak atheism? Both find the question of God's existence irrelevant, so I think they are similar views in some ways. I'm not sure what the difference is, but I've heard both terms and I am somewhat familiar with them. Do you know what the difference is?

    Answer by pam19 at 6:18 PM on Mar. 20, 2011