The problem I never can understand when listening to an atheist,
is their claim that the term refers to a " lack of belief" .... and bring up the examples "everyone is born an atheist", and even someone who has
never heard the concept of a God and never considered the question, is an atheist (though they are not aware they are).
This is a rather good definition, and a a great argument to use, except that we have the problem of agnosticism then.
Which, by that definition, no longer has a meaning, it fits under atheist, since no belief in a deity is present.
The definition of agnostic as being someone who holds the position that "no one can know if a God exists" is then brought in, but besides being a weak
counter argument (for it STILL means no belief in a deity) that is not the full defintiion of agnostic. In dictionaries, it includes the definition of
being non-commital, or apathetic on the matter.
Hume's agnosticism about everything except tautologies express my own view best. And yet I have been mocked, insulted, and verbally attacked for being
agnostic- by self proclaimed atheists!
The insults are most often the accusation that I am avoiding making a stand on the issue because of some inner desire to be liked by theists, to join
them, or a secret belief in God that I am not admitting.
In other words, pressure is put on me to stop being agnostic, and join the atheist proclaimation.
What else can I pull from such behavior? Only that despite their claims of atheism being simply a lack of belief in a diety, for some strong atheists,
that is not completely true. They have a position on the issue, on the concept, they have a belief about reality. A belief that no God exists.
Perhaps this schism and lack of integrity between word and act is just a product of irrational drives, perhaps caught in conflicts, they sort of lose
it and give a false impression.
But I offer this view just because maybe it can help some atheists understand where and how some people keep acting like atheism is something other
than a "lack of belief in a diety". -Because some of your fellow atheists behave as if it is!
... and I am betting that as we discuss the subject each person has memories running through their head of past interactions and events and people
they've met, who color their opinions. I do, anyhow.
edit on 22-4-2013 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)