Gnobody Gknows

There is an atheist movement in America.

We know it's a genuine movement, because it's developed it's own fashionable nonsense.

They speak of a four-way distinction:

  • Gnostic Theist - One who 'knows' that a deity or deities exist.
  • Agnostic Theist - One who only 'believes'.
  • Gnostic Atheist - One who 'knows' there is no god.
  • Gnostic Theist - One who only 'believes' it.

    The terms are not exactly clear, and not consistently used, but it seems to come down to this:

  • Gnostic Theist - One who believes, and can't imagine disproof.
  • Agnostic Theist - One who believes, but is prepared to imagine that they might be wrong.
  • Gnostic Atheist - One who doesn't believe, and can't imagine that there might one day appear some good evidence or argument for god.
  • Agnostic Atheist - One who doesn't believe, but doesn't dismiss the possibility they might be wrong.

    It's an incredibly unhelpful distinction. Because 99.9% of atheists are 'agnostic' in this sense, and so are 99.9% of believers.

    This 'gnostic'/'agnostic' distinction doesn't describe the belief itself, but an attitude towards hypothetical future evidence.

    This makes no more sense than dividing vegetarians and meat-eaters according to whether they think they might change their eating habits if the nature of meat were to change.
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