I suppose that I should first explain in a bit more detail what I mean by ignostic atheist. Labels are tricky things when it comes to people – they’re these little buckets we use to help categorize people into different groups based on some emergent personality trait, belief structure, allegiance…there is a massive list of various properties, and various combinations of mixtures of these properties in varying quantities leads to an essentially unbounded number of different interpretations of labels can potentially exist.
I’ll put up a post on labels a bit later on.
Anyway. Ignostic atheist. My biggest issue with arguing about the existence of god with theists is that so much time is spent nailing down the characteristics of this god entity.
Omniscient? Does that mean know everything? Yes/no/yes but it doesn’t mean what you think it means/no because it doesn’t mean what you think it means. Knowing the future? Changing the future? Yes no maybe?
Omnipotent? Eating a burritos too hot to eat? It means unconstrained power – here, let me give you this big list of constraints on what god can or cannot do.
No god isn’t a being. God is a *cough*nebulous*cough* thing…not thing…real existence in a higher plane. And a side dish of quantum fields with a powdered Higgs boson dusting.
So, by and large, I find the word ‘god’ itself to be essentially incoherent until such time as all interested parties can agree on the core characteristics that distinguish ‘god’ from ‘not god’. Often times the interested parties are the people involved in a discussion revolving around or predicated upon the answer to the question, ‘Does god exist?’. Sometimes people not involved in any discussion with that question are interested parties because they are affected by the actions of people making decisions based upon the answer to the question ‘Does god exist?’.
Even someone telling me that they are a Christian doesn’t really help matters all that much. I mean, the only real commonalities I find among all the people I’ve met that label themselves as Christian are that god is a being, and that he is responsible for creating the world, that he at least cares about some of us, and that at least some people will go on to live forever. Oh and that Jesus is really, really important.
So I don’t believe that god exists, and I’ve not explicitly come out and state “god does not exist,” so how, exactly, is this any different then slapping myself with the label agnostic atheist? Well, perhaps it really is just a derivative form of agnosticism. But saying agnostic atheist, for me, just doesn’t drive home how big of a deal I think it is that god is, for all intents and purposes, simply an incoherent concept. Just because the attributes someone assigns to the word ‘god’ are specified in such a way as to escape falsification – expressed in words and concepts so vague and nebulous as to account for any and every possible and impossible observation.