The Interesting Case of Ignosticism

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Wednesday, May 20, 2009 | Published in

When most people think of non-religious positions they mainly think of the big two of Atheism and Agnosticism. There are at least two other non-religious positions and today I will mainly focus on the relatively new position of Ignosticism. As a quick intro here at the three in comparison:
Atheism: I don't believe in any gods.

Agnosticism: I don't know if any gods exist.

Ignosticism: I refuse to take a position until "god" is defined.
Ignosticism is covered very well in Oolon Colluphid's award-winning book 'Who is this God Person Anyway?' Or at least, it would be if that book actually existed. Instead, in this universe, the idea of ignosticism was put forth by the Rabbi Sherwin Wine founder of Humanistic Judaism.

Ignosticism is very closely related to theological noncognitivism which states that all religious language is purposely vague and cognitively meaningless. "God" is intentionally left as a vague idea because if you define something then it is possible to prove or disprove that it exists. Therefore "God" (and all things supernatural) live in a linguistic nowhere-land forever in search of a meaning. All of this is because no one has ever been able to come up with a positive definition for what "God" is. He (or She) is always defined by things that He (or She) is not. Ignosticism takes this position of theological noncognitivism and simply states that since no one can put forth a definition I will withold judgement until a definition is presented.

There is always that fourth non-religious position but it doesn't really warrant it's own blog post. Apatheism is just the position of "I don't know, and I don't care." Almost nothing is written about the topic because... well, yeah. It'd be interesting to know exactly how many humans fall into this category though.


  1. Anonymous

    My father, actually, enters into the category of an Apatheist. I grew up with hearing him call himself an Atheist, and several years back I challenged that - as he went from the extreme theist stance of wanting to become a Jesuit priest, to the stance that God does not exist.

    He clarified his view, to my adult self, as the thought that anything that could reasonably hold the attributes of being a God, naturally, would be so far beyond our ability to comprehend or truly quantify, that there wouldn't be a point in even trying to seek it out or define it.

    Or more simply, "I don't know if God exists or not. It's possible that it does. But I am disinterested in pursuing if it might exist, as it would be a colossal waste of my time." (As it could not, to be such a thing, be quantified as anything - or else it wouldn't be "God".)

    I don't know if my view has merit on Ignosticism, but I am trying to start a dialogue on it - and am interested in your thoughts, having written on the topic.

    It's a facebook page called Ignostic Discussions:

    April 14, 2013 at 2:33 AM

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