I hope this is the right stack exchange: there is no "religion" only "christianity" that I can see.

It seems very reasonable to me that many scientists accept that the creation of the universe is a mystery and that perhaps even an intelligence guided this and/or that nature itself is a sort of intelligence. But these same people would reject, without being atheists, the idea that

  1. A human can in any way talk to it (or at least, we do not know we can)
  2. That the old or new testament or the books of any other religion which asserts that the creator is concerned with individuals or mankind is correct
  3. That any religion knows anything of the creator

Is that being a deist, an agnostic (I think neither)? An atheist I think asserts that no creator exists/existed.

So what is someone who believes in at least the possibility of creator without knowing this for sure and certainly denyies that we know anything about this creator called?

  • 1
    This person is a theist. Commented Dec 19, 2022 at 21:28
  • 3
    That would be a deist. A theist is someone who believe in a god, but a deist believes in a god that does not intervene or provides revelation. All deists are theist, but all theists are not deist.
    – armand
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 7:28
  • Sounds like a theist with religion issues. Is it anti-religious to reject a religions description of the creator?
    – user59124
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 15:21

4 Answers 4


Possibly theist.

The issue is that you do not state whether this person believes that this creator intervenes in the universe subsequent to the act of creation, whether with revelation or any other act. Sometimes "theist" means a person who believes in the existence of a Supreme Being, but sometimes only if this being intervenes. Otherwise, the person is a "deist."

But it is used to indicate a person who believes in a creator regardless of whether the creator intervenes, as well.

  • he does not know of the ongoing activities of this creator.
    – releseabe
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 1:56
  • Then "theist" is accurate in one meaning but may be taken in another. I'm not sure if there's another term.
    – Mary
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 1:57

The essential challenge this position faces is the impossibility of semantics. How can there be any sense to be made of the concept of a being specifically stipulated to be outside the realm of knowledge?

Rather than trying to give a positive account of the object of an impossible enquiry, I think the best approach is to redirect the substance of the position to the epistemic limits of the human - that one is a “Strong Agnostic”, to the degree that the idea of the A/Theistic division has collapsed due to the weakness of human cognition.


A difficulty you are encountering is that there is not a good widespread understanding of the process of reasoning, and the categories of thought that we place conclusions in, relative to a proposition. Part of the reason for this is that much thinking about reasoning is based on classical logic, which allows only two categories, true or false, to a proposition. Empiricism uses 4 category logic, and is a far more useful method to explain how we think and draw conclusions about propositions.

Empiricism's 4 categories are: a) Currently unable to determine likelihood or not of the proposition; b) intrinsically unable to evaluate the likelihood of the proposition due to intrinsic lack of access to data, or the poor construction of the proposition; c) sufficient support exists for the proposition that it can be tentatively accepted as true; and d) sufficient contrary evidence exists for the proposition that it can be tentatively accepted as false.

Looking at the proposition that the universe may have a creator agent, translating these terms into the common language we use, a) is uncertainty, b) is agnosticism (nobody can ever know), c) is theism, and d) is atheism. From your self-description, I would rate you as a), uncertain, and openminded.

There are a variety of other propositions that are closely coupled with the first one. You mentioned several. Such as is it possible to communicate with such a being, and are any of the world's religions true. For those two related propositions, you appear to be in the "implausible, will dismiss as untrue" bin.

Another related proposition is the ontology of our universe. A God is not possible under materialism, but is possible under spiritual dualism, dualist pan-psychism, or under dual aspect monism (again pan-psychist). If you have not excluded the possibility of a God, you are not a definite materialist. But a god as CREATOR is not really possible for dual-aspect monism or dualist pan-psychism, as the God would not precede the existence of matter, so you are not saying you hold by either of those ontologies as fairly certain either. This suggests you are ontologically also uncertain, and openminded.

The particular God concept that you lean toward as most plausible is Deism -- a creator is not currently communicative or interactive in the world. Deism is difficult to acquire evidence for or against, but acts of creation do leave a mark on the universe -- that is the sort of thing that Paley's Watch example relies upon, and the SETI program searches for. The apparent fine tuning or our universe for life to exist is one of the things that would support Deism. It is not enough evidence to convince most people, but the Fine Tuning concept is an avenue to evaluate the Deism proposition, an prevents agnosticism from being the most appropriate judgement on Deism.

  • the creator may communicate but many who claim they have experienced directly such communication have no basis for this claim. similarly those who accept for example biblical accounts of humans interacting with the creator have no basis for this.
    – releseabe
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 14:36
  • @releseabe -- I tried to answer without presuming too much about your personal views, or presenting mine. From this comment, I wonder if your worldview is somewhat close to mine. I am a spiritual dualist, and a religious empiricist. My research into spirit communication actually supports that most who CLAIM to get messages, DO get messages. But that the messages are not trustworthy descriptions of spiritual reality. For an engrossing book on untrustworthy spirit messages, Joseph Fisher's The Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts is a great read.
    – Dcleve
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 16:57
  • Here is an excellent review/summary: zaporacle.com/the-siren-call-of-hungry-ghosts/…. For a similar book revealing the untrustworthy nature of spirit communication, here is my review of Johannes Greber's book on spirit messages: amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R1DX7Z1BLMJ1MZ/…
    – Dcleve
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 17:08

Describing a few of the creator's attributes is necessary to label the person beyond calling him or her a nonbeliever. From your description I would guess that such a person is an agnostic theist.

  • Is the creator's existence or nonexistence knowable to a reasonable degree of certainty?
  • If it's knowable to a reasonable degree of certainty, does it exist or not?
  • If it's not knowable to a reasonable degree of certainty, does it probably exist or not?
  • If it probably or certainly exists, is it reasonably described as divine or godlike?
  • If yes, does it intervene in the natural order of the universe, except perhaps in a very discrete way, such as carrying souls to the afterlife?

Strictly an agnostic holds that the existence of the being is at least presently unknowable, although many people self-describe and/or describe others as agnostic who simply don't know and don't care to guess.

Unfortunately, gnostic has another meaning and can't be used as the antonym for agnostic, so the next best thing is to leave the absence of any adjective as the antonym.

A theist believes with a high level of certainty in a being (or beings, for a polytheist) who is divine or godlike and intervenes in the natural world.

A deist believes with a high level of certainty in a being who is divine or godlike but who does not intervene in the natural world, except perhaps in a very discrete way.

An atheist believes with a high level of certainty that there are no godlike beings.

An agnostic theist believes that a godlike being or beings probably exists, and may or may not intervene, but that it's unknowable to a reasonable degree of certainty.

Agnostic deist is not a term that is commonly used to describe anyone.

An agnostic atheist believes that a godlike being probably does not exist, but that it's unknowable to a reasonable degree of certainty.

An agnostic (self-described) probably believes that a divine being might exist but doesn't care to guess.

A theist does necessarily need to believe in a creator at all, just a god or gods. Technically, neither must a deist, although almost all self-described deists believe in a creator for whom the act of creation was the final act of overt intervention in the natural world.

Conversely, there's nothing stopping an atheist from believing that the creation of the universe involved an intelligent creator. For example, plenty of atheists believe that our universe is a computer simulation created by intelligent beings unknown to us.

  • Many athiests are prepared to accept if you can tell them which God is your God because not any god can be true. To answer your definition, ah but there could be because they cannot offer a complete negative proof. Logic dictates to the athiest.
    – Willtech
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 8:03

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