Igtheism, also referred to as ignosticism, is the intellectual stance that the question "Does God exist?" is meaningless. "Ignosticism" was coined by Rabbi Sherwin Wine, a humanistic jew, while "igtheism" was separately coined by Paul Kurtz, a notable secular humanist, in his 1992 book The New Skepticism.
The concept of God has many potential meanings, such as "An old, robed man in the clouds who can make bad things happen to good people," and "An entity which is omnipotent and omniscient." An igtheist's approach to these myriad meanings is twofold:
- Each person has their own idiosyncratic definition of God, which makes discourse about God meaningless.
- Each definition of God is self-contradictory, unable to be proven true nor false, which makes discourse about God meaningless.
The practical result of this belief system (or non-belief system) is that an igtheist considers the question of God's existence, or lack thereof, to have no bearing on his or her life.
The rhetorical foundations of igtheism mainly revolve around the lack of quantitative proofs applicable to the concepts involved in a theistic debate. For example, an atheist and a Christian may make specific claims as to the existence of an "omnipotent God", but an igtheist would question the meaning of "omnipotence", asserting that its very definition is impossible to achieve without severe contradictions. One concise igtheist point of view states that "Theism cannot be debated without the use of words that have no root in the physical, empirical world, and thus cannot be constructively debated at all."
Igtheism is compatible with many belief systems, including most eastern philosophies and religions, and certain western religions. Many igtheists have chosen to identify themselves as "brights" (see the-brights.net).