Welcome to the ULC Minister's Network

Dr. Anthony ADRIAN

We are Ignostic...

  • An article I read abit ago was quite interesting...This article on Ignosticism comes from Wikipedia and does an excellent job of expressing the position of many friends I have encountered throughout my life.  We are focused on what does exist.  What doesn't exist is unimportant to us.  Ignosticism is a view that the question of the existence of God is meaningless because it has no verifiable (or testable) consequences and should therefore be ignored. (See scientific method.) The term was coined by Rabbi Sherwin Wine, founder of the Society for Humanistic Judaism. Ignosticism is often considered synonymous with theological non-cognitivism.

    In the entry under “God” in the Guide of Humanistic Judaism, published by Society for Humanistic Judaism, ignosticism is defined as “finding the question of God’s existence meaningless because it has no verifiable consequences.” This use of the term verifiable is consistent with the usage of logical positivism and indicates that the word “God” is meaningless because theism is incoherent. This doesn’t have to imply, however, that the idea of God is emotionally or aesthetically meaningless. It is sufficient to say that the idea of God as a being makes no sense.
    For most purposes, this view may be considered a form of agnosticism (sometimes referred to as “apathetic aganosticism”), and falls under the general category of nontheism. But it is a particular form. From this approach, the “I don’t know” of agnosticism ceases to mean “I don’t know if God exists or not” and becomes “I don’t know what you’re talking about when you talk about God.” This underlines the form of the word: ignosticism, indicating and ignorance of what is meant by claim of God’s existence. Until this ignorance is cleared up, the ignostic is justified in ignoring putative arguments for or against.
    So, when the word “God” is spoken, the ignostic may seek to determine if something like a child’s definition of a god is meant or is a theologian’s is intended.
    A CHILD’s concept generally has a simple and coherent meaning: a big powerful man in the sky responsible for the weather and other such matters. The ignostic is probably atheistic toward this notion, regarding the balance of evidence to deem against it. In taking this view the ignostic is in agreement not only with all atheist but, ironically, with any serious modern theist.
    A THEOLOGIAN’s concept is more complex and abstract, often involving such concepts as first cause, sustainer, and unmoved mover and claiming such attributes for God as omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent. To the ignostic these abstractions, take singly or in combination, cannot be said to be false; rather, they are muddled, self-contradictory, linguistically empty, or perhaps poetic. Hence, one cannot meaningfully expound on the existence or nonexistence of God.
    The consistent ignostic, therefore, requires a coherent definition of God (or of any other metaphysical concept to be discussed) before engaging in arguments for or against.

    My creed:  It's easy to criticize for a group/person for being "closed-minded".  Are you open-minded enough to consider whether your ideas might be wrong?