What is the Difference Between Ignostic and Agnostic Belief?
While some argue that ignosticism, or igtheism, is simply a rejection of language or vocabulary (as in, I am igtheist…I don’t agree with the definition) it’s more to do with an attitude than with a label. The crux of the matter is that the agnostic forms a defininte opinion of god. He has a concept in his mind, as in what God is, what God is not, and what God can be proven to be. Of these terms, the agnostic expresses doubt. Ignosticism and theological or religious noncognitivism avoid forming an opinion on what God is until the term can be properly defined. It may never be defined adequately, and the ignostic is highly aware of this paradox. The agnostic takes a more certain, “enlightened” view, despite the fact that all parties could concede that there is insufficient evidence to absolutely declare what God is.
Agnostics and atheists may feel that they have the right to declare what God is not, but even in these circumstances, some ignostics may hold back agreement until the argument on what God is or “should be” can be better defined. Usually, when debating against atheists and agnostics, the ignostic becomes a religious centrist, because he cannot absolutely set parameters as can theists or agnostics-atheists. The system of empirical evidence, what some call “Science”, is enough to determine the parameters for an atheist who seeks to prove something tangible by strictly human or perceptible-to-human terms. The igtheism student, while potentially able to embrace a human definition, cannot absolutely state that something is provable based only on human-perceivable evidence, whereas the agnostic, enslaved to the materialist views of “Science”, is more inclined to accept empirical evidence to prove what may be an unprovable, intangible, possibly undefinable or unknowable point.
The ignosticism anti-faith remains open to the possibility of anything, provided specific parameters are described, and the moderator or debating party is aware that perceptions are relative to the beholder, understanding is relative, especially in regards to new information being discovered, and that biases and flawed reporting by imperfect human beings could alter a supposed truth in profound ways.
In fact, very few things can be absolutely proven even in a material world, since evidence is only “proven” by majority opinion, and or compliance with the proposed laws of science–many of which still remain a mystery to limited capacity human beings.
The term was first used in the 1960s by Sherwin Wine, a figure associated with Humanistic Judaism. Further definitions comes from secular humanist Paul Kurtz. For this very reason, that is, deep associations with secularism and reform Judaism, some who would believe the teachings of theological noncognitivist might not be so inclined to embrace the label itself.
I still am open to the possibility of anything, not merely skeptical of everything.”
-The Book of Hal
While some argue that ignosticism, or igtheism, is simply a rejection of language or vocabulary (as in, I am igtheist…I don’t agree with the definition) it’s more to do with an attitude than with a label.