There has been a strong reaction to my last post on atheism. Those opposed to my article say that I’m shifting burden and that I’m “silly.” They contend that atheists only reject the Theist God. They say that’s the definition of atheism. Really? The last time I checked, Scientologists, Hindus, Buddhists, and my German Shepherd all reject the Theist God too. According to the atheists, these must be atheists too. Why does this not make sense? (My dog is offended by the way).
Can Atheism also be “Apathetic-ism?” Can someone call themselves an atheist and also say that they are NOT making any claims about God? That they “just don’t buy what Christians are selling?”
I agree that people who are truly in the “apathetic” category don’t owe me or anybody anything. They are the ones who aren’t buying anything anybody is selling because they don’t care. They aren’t making propositions about the universe, God, gods, religion, etc., and they aren’t attaching any labels to themselves either (like atheist).
An atheist, however, is not apathetic. By definition an atheist is categorized by his belief and affirmation that “there is no God.” That isn’t an apathetic statement. It’s a very opinionated one.
Pick up your categorical logic book and look at the rules for obverting (A) & (E) propositions. “Atheism is true” is the same as “Theism is untrue.” Not apathetic.
Let’s use a favorite character of atheists for an analogy: Unicorns.
Let’s say that I call myself an “A-unicornist.” I reject the idea that unicorns exist.
If someone wants to argue that unicorns exist, I would ask him to provide evidence. I do not believe that there is any historical, scientific, philosophical, or moral evidence for them. Not only that, I believe that there is good evidence from science to prove that unicorns can’t exist. If there is some evidence for unicorns, my opponent should provide it. I would have to look at it and make a decision about whether or not the evidence was convincing. If I don’t find it conniving. What I mean is that what I know about unicorns still seems to be stronger than my opponent’s reasons for unicorns. I’m reject their claim, but…. I am still be giving reasons for why I don’t believe in UNICORNS.
How can I take my self seriously as an “A-unicornist” and not have a single reason for why I call myself that. Saying that I merely reject the claims of “Unicornists” may make me apathetic to the issue, but it doesn’t suffice as a reason to be called an A-unicornist. A real A-Unicornist is not apathetic on the issue of unicorns. Nobody is fooled. Everyone knows that I am asserting my belief in the non-existence of the horned horse. Any attempt to dodge that claim is dishonest and illogical.
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