Comment #532550 – Igtheism and Ig-belief – RichardDawkins.net.
The money shot:
As it seems that only way belief in God can survive is for believers to say that God is too mysterious to subject to science, then it’s perfectly reasonable to take them at their word and say that the idea of God is therefore nonsense.
Otherwise, it’s rather like playing a game with a young child who holds their empty hand behind their back and asks you to guess what they are hiding. Whatever you guess they will say “no” and giggle. The problem with modern theology is that we aren’t dealing with children, and believers are convinced that their empty hand holds God.
A comment from an excellent essay, written here.
Also, do read this blog post by the “Advocatus Atheist.” It also does a better job than I ever had about summing up my igtheism (although this blogger uses the term “ignosticism,” they are completely interchangeable.)
EDIT: Another good thing I found on the web, and surprisingly, it’s from Yahoo Answers of all places:
Igtheism is not a term that embraces atheism. Atheism is a belief that there is no god, a + theism i.e. ‘no-god’. To assert that, you would need to have some concept of the thing it is the existence of which you are denying. The term igtheism is ig + theism i.e. ignorance of what the term ‘god’ means; even a denial that it means anything at all. So an igtheist is not denying that god exists, they are denying that the term ‘god’ actually refers to anything meaningful at all. In that case it would necessarily be quite impossible to deny that it exists, just as it would be impossible to assert that it does. A possible response to the igtheist’s position would be to explain what the term ‘god’ does mean. Since so far nobody seems to have been able to do that except in the vaguest and most vacuous terms, e.g. a ‘something up there’ or ‘the uncaused cause of it all’, igtheism would seem to be a reasonable stance. But it is very different from atheism.
I don’t think that igtheism is “very different from atheism.” I think it’s actually closely related, and that it’s more of a subtle difference–but it is a difference, and it does have implications.
I brought this up in a discussion with a guy who claimed that igtheism and atheism is the same thing–which I think is true only in a colloquial, “well we don’t believe” sort of way–and said that it was atheism because of the “soft atheism” definition. That’s the idea that there are two main flavors of atheism: soft, which is “I don’t believe in god,” and hard, which is “god doesn’t exist.” But I’ve always thought that to be a distinction without a difference. If we’re talking about things that supposedly exist beyond the natural realm and are thus meaningless in the sense the Advocatus Atheist puts forward, isn’t saying you don’t believe in them a total denial of them? It’s the same thing. Get over it.