Agnostic atheists are atheistic because they do not have belief in the existence of any deity, and agnostic because they do not claim to know that a deity does not exist.
The view of those who do not claim to know
of the existence of any deity, but still believe
in such an existence.
Apathetic or pragmatic agnosticism
The view that there is no proof of either the existence or nonexistence of any deity, but since any deity that may exist appears unconcerned for the universe or the welfare of its inhabitants, the question is largely academic.
The view that a coherent definition of a deity must be put forward before the question of the existence of a deity can be meaningfully discussed. If the chosen definition is not coherent, the ignostic holds the noncognitivist
view that the existence of a deity is meaningless or empirically untestable. A.J. Ayer
, Theodore Drange
, and other philosophers see both atheism and agnosticism as incompatible with ignosticism on the grounds that atheism and agnosticism accept "a deity exists" as a meaningful proposition which can be argued for or against.
(also called "hard," "closed," "strict," or "permanent agnosticism")The view that the question of the existence or nonexistence of a deity or deities, and the nature of ultimate reality is unknowable by reason of our natural inability to verify any experience with anything but another subjective experience. A strong agnostic would say, "I cannot know whether a deity exists or not, and neither can you."
(also called "soft," "open," "empirical," or "temporal agnosticism")The view that the existence or nonexistence of any deities is currently unknown but is not necessarily unknowable; therefore, one will withhold judgment until/if any evidence is available. A weak agnostic would say, "I don't know whether any deities exist or not, but maybe one day, when there is evidence, we can find something out."
The view that universal ethics
can guide actions more effectively than questioning the existence of deities. A spiritual agnostic would say "It doesn't matter which religion you might follow, nor does it matter whether or not you believe in God. What matters is what you do, not what you believe."