Atheist: I'm an atheist.
Closeted Atheist: Oh, well, I think you're going a bit too far. I mean, you can't conclusively prove that gods don't exist.
Atheist: So, you are a theist?
Closeted Atheist: Of course not! I'm agnostic; I don't claim that gods don't exist because that's a non-falsifiable claim. It's not possible to prove a negative.
Atheist: I agree and take the same position. So, why do you call yourself agnostic but not an atheist?
Closeted Atheist: Agnostic refers to a lack of certitude with regard to some question. It means, "without knowledge."
Atheist: So, your agnosticism addresses the question of knowledge: you don't know whether gods exist. Is that correct?
Closeted Atheist: Yes. What's your point?
Atheist: Well, I don't know whether gods exist either.
Closeted Atheist: There. That settles it. You really should be calling yourself an agnostic instead of an atheist.
Atheist: Oh, but I do call myself an agnostic.
Closeted Atheist: Didn't you say you were an atheist?
Atheist: I didn't realize the two distinctions were mutually exclusive.
Closeted Atheist: What do you mean?
Atheist: Well, we already established that our agnosticism addresses the question of knowledge. But what about belief? Does agnosticism really say anything about what one believes?
Closeted Atheist: Of course it does! An agnostic person does not believe one way or the other!
Atheist: I thought you said an agnostic person does not know one way or the other.
Closeted Atheist: It's the same thing!
Atheist: Really? Interesting! Does a theist know that gods exist?
Closeted Atheist: I suppose not...
Atheist: So a theist is really just agnostic--someone who doesn't know one way or the other!
Closeted Atheist: But a theist believes that gods exist!
Atheist: And yet the theist does not know that gods exist. So what distinguishes you from the theist? Do you share the belief of the theist as well as his/her ignorance?
Closeted Atheist: Of course not! I'm not a theist, I'm an...
Atheist: Atheist--without belief in gods--"not a theist." Am I right?
Closeted Atheist: Oh, I suppose you are. I never thought of it that way. I'm an a-theist...huh, sounds terrible.
Atheist: That's okay, you'll get over the taboo.