Suppose I believe there is an entity that considers itself to be "a god". This means that out of the whole of my lexicon, the word "god" is what best describes this entity.

But I refuse to obey this entity, and I refuse to admit it as my lord. In fact, I oppose this entity's will.

So, since I am dismissing this entity's will, I can hardly be called a theist. I can hardly be called atheist, antitheist or agnosticist, because I do not reject the existence of this entity. I can hardly be called ignostic, because I do not say the question of "god" is meaningless.

What is this kind of stance called; to acknowledge the existence of a "god", but refusing to venerate it or to comply with its wishes.

  • This stance, in its essence, reminds me a lot of Schopenhauer's. I don't have a specific term for you, but I would suggest you to read his famous work "The World as Will and Representation" nonetheless. Aug 6, 2018 at 15:35
  • Well you are in good company. David was hardly perfect but it is said he was a man after Gid's own heart; and Jesus did things his own way.
    – Gordon
    Aug 6, 2018 at 20:47
  • Of course you know Dostoyevsky. An atheist, and a great believer. So this is typical of those people who take the matter seriously.
    – Gordon
    Aug 6, 2018 at 20:51
  • @Gordon, I think that Jesus had opposed the idea of God who is always to be obeyed, despite of weirdness of his commands. E.g. to sacrifice yourself. Oops, I did not want to be sarcastic. Jesus had a goal after his crucifiction and I'm sure he wasn't even dead.
    – rus9384
    Aug 6, 2018 at 20:51
  • Anyway, to give an answer, I would call it simply dialectical. This is a serious struggle back and forth, it is the seriousness of the struggle which has great significance. One is already a kind of saint once this struggle is engaged, no matter how it ultimately turns out in the end.
    – Gordon
    Aug 6, 2018 at 21:25

4 Answers 4


Roughly :

Agnosticism = (from Gk 'a' [no] 'gnosis' [knowledge] : belief in the existence of God is suspended on the grounds that on the available evidence the existence of God can be neither proven nor disproven.

It looks [[agnostics] say] as though there is some reason to believe that God exists (in the form, say, of one of the classical arguments for God's existence); but it also looks as though there is evidence that God does not exist (in the form of the atheistic argument from evil); and whenever there is evidence that a given proposition, p, is true and also evidence that it is false, the most rational thing for anyone who knows that this is the case is to suspend judgement with respect to p. It follows that agnosticism is epistemically preferable to theism and to atheism. (Clement Dore, 'Agnosticism', Religious Studies, Vol. 18, No. 4 (Dec. 1982), pp. 503-507 : 503.)

Atheism = belief that there is no God, that God does not exist. This position can be refined :

Some options

Atheism comes in many flavours. The most common is simple atheism:

SA: God does not exist.

A more complex flavour is evidential atheism:

EA: Owing to the direction of our overall available evidence, we should believe that God does not exist.

Doxastic atheism, in contrast, states the following:

DA: Some people believe that God does not exist.

(Paul K. Moser, 'Undermining the case for evidential atheism', Religious Studies, Vol. 48, No. 1 (MARCH 2012), pp. 83-93 : 83.)

Theism = belief in the existence of God as the foundational concept for all other beliefs.

Ignosticism = no first order predicate applies meaningfully to God, so that God cannot be meaningfully talked about - except to say at a second order predicate level that God cannot be meaningfully talked about.

I agree with your own reckoning that you are (a) not an agnostic, an atheist in the philosophically relevant senses of either 'simple' or 'evidential' atheism, (b) a theist or (c) an ignostic. So what are you? If you merely radically ignored or eschewed any religious search or wondering, and had no interest, sympathy or concern regarding religious matters, those at least involving God, then you would be indifferent to God's existence, hence qualify as an indifferentist.

But you don't. You are not merely indifferent to God; you stand in opposition to God. If 'stand in opposition to' is 'fuzzy', as a critic has suggested, it can be refined to any extent. To begin, opposition goes beyond indifference. More than that, we can read it in terms of 'misotheism'. In fact what I suggest is that you are a misotheist (a term favoured by Bernard Schweitzer) which means that you are antipathetic to God. (A God-hater, one might say unless 'hatred' is too strong but that's for you to say.) Schweitzer identifies Job's wife, with her recommendation that her husband "curse God" (Job 2:9), as 'the original misotheist.. .willing to be damned rather than acquiesce in divine caprice' (Bernard Schweizer, Hating God: The Untold Story of Misotheism, Oxford University Press, 2011 :29).

This, then, is my suggested term.

Deism has been mentioned, which is certainly different from theism. For the deist God created the universe and lets it run its course under the laws of nature, also created by God, without intervention. The once popular analogy of God's creating a clock, determining its mechanism and setting it going before leaving it to operate totally according to its own nature is very apt. I rule you out as a deist because there is no negativity towards God in deism; and there is plenty of negativity towards God in your position.


My analysis of atheism has been rejected on the following grounds :

"Disbelief in..." is not the same as "Belief in the non-existence of...". Saying "I do not believe there are tooth fairies" is not the same as saying "I believe there are no tooth fairies". If someone says "I believe there is a god", there is a difference between replying "I do not believe that" and "I believe there is no god".

I reply :

I deny that atheism is the position merely of not believing that there is a God - as for instance I do not believe that there is an X because (say) I have never even heard of Xs. Atheism - simple atheism - is not just a negative state of non-belief in God but a positive state of believing that that God does not exist, that there is no God. 'Disbelief' in any case does not mean simply lack or absence of belief; it means a refusal to believe (OED) such as might follow evidential atheism. And if I refuse to believe that God exists, do I not believe that God does not exist? How could I say without contradiction : 'I refuse to believe that God exists but I believe that God exists'?

  • This sounds the same as apatheism, but it's not the answer to the question. Indifference isn't the same as refusal to obey
    – b a
    Aug 6, 2018 at 9:10
  • If you are indifferent to the existence of God, why should you obey God ? Obedience to my mind suggests submission to another's rule or authority. The Questioner does not recognise God's rule or authority.
    – Geoffrey Thomas
    Aug 6, 2018 at 9:22
  • The questioner isn't indifferent, he is "in opposition." Someone who opposes something isn't indifferent to it
    – b a
    Aug 6, 2018 at 9:29
  • I have taken your extremely pertinent comments into account and altered the text. Whether you will still object to it, I can't say but you have crucially helped me to avoid an indefensible error.
    – Geoffrey Thomas
    Aug 6, 2018 at 10:29
  • But I wrote ignostic, not agnostic. You edited it, repeating agnosticism twice, which was not my intention.
    – rus9384
    Aug 6, 2018 at 12:23

Interesting question, because it is confusing two issues. 1. A belief structure which defines an other ( God, force, being ) and self. 2. An approach to this belief or structure on an emotional and positional sense.

Philosophy in the general deals with the problems of belief structure and how they can be separated from propositions to a logical substantial framework.

Within belief frameworks, one has variation of approaches and interactions, so fundamentalist, liberal, existential, mythological, allegorical etc.

So your beliefs appear to be theist, belief in one being, which you desire to rebel against or be in opposition to. The bible is full of people like this, the majority who made up the people of Israel.

  • To further support your answer: Belief in god(s) = theism. A believer may worship or oppose. Or pursue some other approach or interaction with god(s). All these approaches are carried out by a theist. Aug 9, 2018 at 20:49

This position is generally called 'Deism', and was a popular philosophy during the late 1700's. Many of the U.S. "founding fathers" left writings that state or imply they were Deists (which is why the notion is well-documented historically, despite its rather strained logic).

Under the influence of the Aristotelian notion of the Prime Mover, they nominally accepted the existence of some Divine Creator. But they thought that the effectiveness of Newtonian physics meant that God had decided to simply let the universe run itself mechanically at some point.

Given that POV, there was no logic to glorifying God. One might be moderately grateful for existing, but He was not willing or able to help you out or judge your behavior, and both the good and the bad aspects of your entire life were all side-effects of His decisions up to the point he let go. So then why would one do more than appreciate the good and curse the bad? God is at best neutral and at worst unforgivably irresponsible.

There are also folks who believed in God and didn't glorify Him, but instead reviled Him. They are somewhat more interesting, but not as well recorded. At various points in history people have gone beyond merely purposefully not worshiping God, and seen the Creator God as a misguided source of evil.

Some stripes of Gnostic NeoPlatonists, for instance, felt that there was some principle of absolute good behind the God that is worshipped in Christianity. They often identified that ideal principle with Plato's God, but seldom saw it as a personal entity like the Christian God. From there they decided that the Judeao-Christian God had adulterated perfection by creating matter. Most became, effectively, the Christian form of extreme Buddhists, and often lived a monastic life, attempting to adopt a lifestyle that disowned matter and to transcend the domain of the Christian God and avoid getting trapped in the Christian Heaven or Hell.

Attending to scriptures like the Gospel of Thomas and the Apocrapha of Mary Madgelene, they looked at the words of Jesus Christ as a guide to how to accomplish this, and thought that Christianity had immediately and completely misunderstood him and later formed a vast conspiracy to misrepresent him in order to hide the truth. The Library discovered at Nag Hammadi (which has been used to clarify how our existing set of traditional scriptures changed over time) contains writings that reflect one such Gnostic tradition and how it reinterpreted the traditional scriptures.

The problem here is that these were all individual movements, with different names including Gnostics, Bogomils, Kathars, etc. So any given one of their names is probably not apt.


The word is: Atheist

The vulgar definition of atheism is "To not believe in a god". There is a problem with that phrase: what does "to believe in a god" mean? In the same way that you cannot "be best"; you have to "be best at something", you cannot just believe in an entity, you must to believe in some aspect of that entity. Or even more sharply defined: you have to believe in claims about that entity.

So what claims about a god are we talking about? Let us go into details...

"God" / "a god" / "gods"

These are the claims that would be necessary to create the phrases "to believe in God" or "to believe in a god" or "to believe in gods". As you can see they are nonsensical. These are not claims, they are just labels / names.

There has to be an affirmative statement in order for you to believe — or reject — a claim. So let us make some affirmative statements.

"God(s) exist"

To believe in claims about the mere existence of a god is not theism. To believe that god(s) exist — without any further specification or detail — is called deism. So to reject a claim about the existence of God/a god/gods would therefore be a-deism if anything.

So when you say...

It hardly can be called atheism, antitheism or agnosticism, because I do not reject existence of this entity.

...you are wrong because the acknowledgement of claims of the existence of a god is not enough to make you a theist; that only gets you to deism.

In any case you made it a predicate that the existence of a divine entity is not in question. What you asked was: how do you label someone that rejects the following statement...

"There is a divine will and you should follow it"

This statement is theism defined. Christopher Hitchens lays out the argument much better than I can.

The atheist proposition is the following – most of the time – it may not be said that there is no god; it may be said that there is no reason to think that there is one.

That was the situation after Lucretius and Democritus and the original anti-theistic thinkers begun the critique of religion. And I would just ask you all ladies and gentlemen to bare in mind a mild distinction while we go on: you may wish to be a deist — as my heroes Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Payne were — and you may not wish to abandon the idea that there must be some sort of first or proximate cause or prime mover of the known and observable world and universe.

But even if you can get yourself to that position — which we unbelievers maintain is always subject to better and more perfect and more elegant explanations — even if you can get yourself to that position all your work is still ahead of you.

To go from being a deist to a theist, in other words to someone who says god cares about you, knows who you are, minds what you do, answers your prayers, cares which bits of your penis or clitoris you saw away or have sawn away for you, minds who you go to bed with and in what way, minds what holly days you observe, minds what you eat, minds what positions you use for pleasure, all your work is still ahead of you and lots of luck. Because there is nobody, there's nobody, even Aquinas had to give it up, There's no one who can move from the first position to the second.

Hence the rejection of the statement — being indifferent to the statement and not considering it to carry any weight — is a-theism.

Stephen Fry also puts forth this argument in his stinging answer to Gay Byrne about what Fry would do if faced with the Christian god.

Atheism is not just about not believing there's a god. On the assumption there is one, what kind of God is he? It's perfectly apparent that he is monstrous, utterly monstrous, and deserves no respect what so ever. The moment you banish him, your life becomes simpler, purer cleaner, more worth living in my opinion.

So the word you are looking for is...


...which is: someone that rejects claims about the existence of the divine and the divine will and mankind's supposed imperative to follow the divine will. Anti-theist also works, if that person does not merely reject claims about the divine will but also implores other to not accept those claims.

  • 1
    Okay, my point is to stand in opposition with entity who never hears an arguments except of his own. This follows from absolute certainty in self omniscience, but I reject omniscience, I say it's an error in thinking. So, opposition means this entity is affecting our world and I (and others) should oppose it. Stand in opposition with entity that does nothing is weird.
    – rus9384
    Aug 7, 2018 at 8:48
  • @rus9384 I have no idea what you meant with that comment. Please rephrase it.
    – MichaelK
    Aug 7, 2018 at 8:50
  • Well, there is an entity who affects our world in a malicious way. This entity calls itself "God". I stand in opposition to it - preventing its influence. It is impossible to oppose deistic deity. I am not sure atheism is true if there are other entities who do not consider themselves always to be obeyed.
    – rus9384
    Aug 7, 2018 at 9:12
  • What do you mean "Stand in opposition to it"? You are being very fuzzy in your expressions... make them more clearly defined please.
    – MichaelK
    Aug 7, 2018 at 9:14
  • 1
    "Preventing its influence". What you suggest is to call luciferianists (not only them) atheists. Sounds weird.
    – rus9384
    Aug 7, 2018 at 9:15

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