This was said by Sam Harris in response to somebody who said they were agnostic. I won't present his argument or question, but it did contain the following phrase
You are obviously agnostic to a lesser degree when it comes to Poseidon than you are when it comes the god of Abraham.
What I don't understand is, since agnosticism is the belief that we simply do not know and hence any belief in existence or non-existence is inherently irrational, surely there's no such thing as being agnostic "to a lesser degree"? If something is not known, then it is not known. End of story.
What I mean is, imagine knowledge as a mathematical set. If we are agnostic, we say that the knowledge of the existence or non-existence of Poseidon is an empty set, a set with no elements, and hence we do not believe in existence nor believe in non-existence. Similarly for god of Abraham. And it is well known that there's only one empty set. Two empty sets are identical.
So if there was a difference in the "degree" to which something is known, that must mean the two sets are not identical, that the set of Poseidon-related knowledge is strictly smaller than the set of god of Abraham-related knowledge. But then that set cannot possibly be the empty set... but that is a contradiction with our premise.
Or am I wrong?