RE: What is the evidence that atheism is *true*?

From: John E. Rylander (
Date: Thu Jan 13 2000 - 17:00:57 EST

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    Why not this?

    > 1. One to mean agnosticism


    > 2. One to mean positive belief that God (or Gods or gods or "the" gods,
    > etc.) does not exist.

    ("Antitheism" sounds to me simply like opposition to God, rather than one
    who thinks that "not-theism" is true, which is etymologically fairly

    > 3. One to mean lack of belief in God, *regardless* of whether
    > this takes the
    > form of agnosticism, mere lack of interest in the issue (which, I suppose,
    > would be technically a form of agnosticism), or a positive denial
    > of God (or
    > gods, etc.).

    "unbelief", or ideally but more clumsily, "non-belief".

    I don't see anything -logically- hanging in the balance here, so far as
    Craig or any other arguments go, where the burden of proof lies, etc.

    But I think using "atheist" in the broadest sense some dictionary would
    support (NB, not the -typical- sense the dictionaries report, nor typical
    philosophical or ordinary usage, in my experience) is going to confuse
    people and be seen by some as a bit slippery -- "what else is he trying to
    slip by me??".
            Of course, if you make clear what sense of "atheism" you're using -- as you
    have -- this confusion is avoided. But it may take some seriously uphill
    persuasion to get everyone else to go along with your lexically permissible
    but nonetheless atypical usage.
            If the "a" in "atheism" were typically taken simply to negate the belief
    (one has "no belief in God"), then your usage would be standard. Instead it
    typically negates the object of belief (one believes there is "no God").


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