How does "I disbelieve in gods" differ from "I believe there are no gods?"
How does it differ from "I am not saying I believe there are no gods, I just do not believe in gods?"
I believe there are no gods. Also, I believe there are no ghosts, there are no unicorns, that nobody can bend spoons with psychic powers alone.
Thomas...love ya, Buddy, but how can it mean both?
It is a superset of both statements. It differs from each in that its meaning includes the other statement as well.
Are you yanking my chain?
I disbelieve in gods is a statement based on what the individual perceives to be his knowledge about god with the current knowledge one has. It speaks to current knowledge which might change with future knowledge. I believe there are no gods is a conclusive statement about any possibility of a god.
That would be a most welcome fringe benefit, but it isn't my intent. The sentence "I disbelieve in the supernatural", if true, merely informs you that the sentence "I believe in the supernatural" is false. No more, no less. I understand that you want the former sentence to tell you how the latter is false. But it doesn't. If somebody tells you "I disbelieve in the supernatural", she might be agnostic about supernatural things, or she might actively believe that supernatural things don't exist. You simply cannot tell by the sentence "I disbelieve" alone.
Don't like it? Tough titties. Take it up with Mr. Webster.