I remember having similar discussion on alt.atheism years ago (back when news groups were cool - how many years ago was that?)
At the time someone proposed that atheists were categories into:-
* Weak Position Atheism - Don't believe in God
* Strong Position Atheism - Believe God does not exist
I didn't like either definition at all. (In fact I think the proposer was a Jesuit).
I'm not sure about the choice between Dawkin's 6 and 7 either. I think it relies too heavily on "know" just being a somehow stronger
feeling than believe
. Look at the opposite position, item 1, the quote from Jung, to see what I mean. I'm worried that depending on the definition of "know" you could demonstrate that position 7 is impossible unless the person holding it is omniscient.
I certainly feel
more at home with 7 and "strong position" as it was.
My true position is as follows:
* Like everyone else I have a "model" in my mind of how the universe works, what is is, what is in it, how it is made up, my position within it, the laws of nature etc. Another word for it is "world view" I suppose.
* Unlike some people, I don't expect my model to be perfect or complete.
* My model also includes mechanisms on how best to expand and verify the model.
* My model does NOT currently have any God in it, although it did in the past.
* Prior models with God were demonstrably inferior, in that they failed to really model anything. Simply replacing large unknowns with the label "God" and then declaring the model complete, is not an attempt to understand anything.
Getting back to my penultimate point, my model doesn't have a God in it.
Some people would read that as "believe God doesn't exist", hence I categorised myself in the past as "strong position" atheist back in the day.
But I still can't quite say "I know God doesn't exist". What I can say is, I'd need a heck of a lot of direct evidence to be persuaded that any model proposing a God is a model at all. By direct evidence I mean angels flying around Grafton St., Jesus making wine in my living room, all cancers in the world disappearing, Irish Rail running on time, etc. Also by the time I accepted the model, it wouldn't really be a god at all but rather: "the thing referred to as God which is some kind of very powerful entity that makes a number of outrageous claims (most notable being: (a) that it loves us and and (b) that it created the universe) and is prone to act in a vicious, irrational and unpredictable manner usually to the detriment of whatver defenceless humans it happens to notice".
So does that make me 6 or a 7?
Sorry for a very self absorbed post and failing to provide a straight answer