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← Atheists should be allowed to argue their case

PaulJ's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by PaulJ

The problem with the original (Baggini) article is that it erroneously places atheism and theism as equal and opposite to each other. The argument goes like this: those abrasive new atheists can hardly complain about the proliferation of religious points of view when their own statements of unbelief are so strident.

But though atheism is opposite to theism, the two are not equal. Atheism does not set up a whole panoply of beliefs in opposition to theism, it simply doesn't accept theistic beliefs. "Lack of belief in a god or gods" is as far as atheism goes*. Theism, on the other hand, is replete with myriad fantastical nonsense that appears to have no end, and when any particular variety of this nonsense is promulgated within atheism's earshot, theists object when reasonably asked to give a rational basis for their beliefs.

*That's my preferred definition of atheism. It's simple, concise and easy to understand. My worldview, though derived from atheism, is more complex than this.

Thu, 02 Apr 2009 14:14:00 UTC | #343080