If someone claims that the concept of God is ambiguous and it is meaningless to talk about its existence, then such a person cannot take a stance as far as knowledge is concerned. Wouldn't an Agnostic Ignostic be an absurd proposition? Or is it a valid position given that one may encounter an unambiguous definition of God in the future?

Ignosticism is the idea that the question of the existence of God is meaningless, because the term "god" has no unambiguous definition. Ignosticism requires a good, non-controversial definition of god before arguing on its existence.

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    What do the terms Ignostic and ignosticism mean?
    – Jo Wehler
    May 21, 2016 at 14:02
  • @JoWehler Added the definition and Wikipedia link. May 21, 2016 at 15:59
  • Most logics consider the assertions they find meaningless not to be true. So how is every ignostic not an agnostic? Even using the 'Strong" sense in which agostic means we absolutely can't know whether or not God exists, this is still the case, since we cannot successfully argue from meaningless assertions.
    – user9166
    May 21, 2016 at 17:45

3 Answers 3


Ignoticism as defined in the link from the OP question emphasizes the general rule that any discussion presupposes that the dialogue partners have defined - explicitly or by common use of language - their terms.

A sound definition requires that the terms in question are reduced to well-known terms. And that the latter terms are not contradictory.

Without these presupposition any discussion between agnostics, atheists and theists is senseless.

Accordingly, in any theological discussion an ignostic person will insist that the term "god" has first to be defined by the interlocutors. But - according to the link above - an ignostic will

  • either not accept any proposed definition of "god"
  • or accept one of these definitions and hereby stop to be an ignostic.

In this sense agnosticism and ignosticism are incompatible.

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    I'm not sure that the Wikipedia article supports your conclusion. Your answer uses one interpretation of "ignostic", but the definition given in the question itself allows an ignostic to reject anyone who does not define "god" precisely, leaving open the possibility that someone may do so in the future.
    – user21820
    May 22, 2016 at 17:11

If the problem lies with "arguable" definition of God, it would appear that even the best explanations are in no way complete. For example, when Moses first met God he was told of a mission he had to undertake. When then Moses asked whom shall I say sent me, God simply replied YHWH, which we interpret as He Who Is. But looking at that really seems to say: my name is not for you to know. It was common for some ancients to not only name their God but to also know that god's secret name known only to the God.This it was believed would give the religious believer not only knowledge but a certain " control" over the God. YHWH simply said: nothing doing! So any complete definition will not be completely accurate nor acceptable.


Which way this goes ends up tying into that person's theory of language.

If they think that there is a fixed definition of god, and with that fixed definition the concept is ill-defined, then they'd be a "gnostic ignostic". The situation I'm thinking of involves asserting logic along the lines of "for all times, the term god necessarily implies the three omnis; the three omnis are self-contradictory, thus the term god is ill defined."

If they're take on language is more mutable would have to accept that with changing definitions of the term god, it might eventually become well defined or refer to a concept that is not self contradictory. This position might be aligned with agnosticism in that the ignostic's position could change with additional information.

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