2nd debate, Atheism and Morality, 2nd Round, Atheist's Post
Second Round: Chad's Post
>Matt: I apologize for taking a long time to respond to this,
>but I have been extremely busy. I will try and be more
No problem. It's too bad that I tend to have more time during the day while you are free in the evenings, but perhaps we'll get lucky and be able to share more than one exchange per day!
>>We can also imagine a person who was raised in a controlled
>>environment such that he or she reached adulthood without
>>being exposed to the concept of God. That person would lack
>>belief but would certainly be different from what we
>>conventionally mean when we say someone is an atheist.
>Matt: It is only an opinion of yours that someone raised in
>isolation would not conclude that there is a God.
Fair enough. My point was mainly that we could imagine a person who had never been told of God and who didn't think of God independently (not asserting that such a person wouldn't, but IF he or she didn't) and that this person would "lack belief" but would still be quite different than an atheist in the conventional sense.
>Matt: In light of these, I offer this definition of atheism.
>Atheism is the denial of God's existence, and/or the lack of
>affirmation concerning His existence.
>Matt: Another way to put it is, Atheism is the position held
>by a person characterized by lack of belief in God, and/or
>denial of the existence of God, due to the lack of sufficient
>evidence supporting God's existence.
I think this is fine to move forward with, but with one important point: replace "God" with "God or gods".
Theists naturally think that "God" is a single being and that one either believes in God or does not. However, different theists ascribe different and contradictory attributes to God. To the atheist, these are all concepts that may or may not be instantiated in reality -- the atheist sees insufficent evidence to merit belief in any of them.
Also, it may be a minor point but I would remove the words "the position held by a person characterized by". This would leave us with, "Atheism is lack of belief in God or gods, and/or denial of the existence of God or gods, due to lack of sufficient evidence supporting the existence of any God or gods (as well as possibly evidence indicating the non-existence of specific concepts of God or gods).
I hope that wasn't too pedantic.
>Matt: By the way, I did not mean to be insulting or
>patronizing. My apologies.
None necessary...I'm sure you didn't intend to be. I've sometimes come across poorly on CARM and have appreciated it when friendly theists and atheists alike have pointed it out.
- Apologetics Dialogues
- CARM Radio
- Cut and Paste Information
- Discussion Boards
- Email and Responses
- Evidence and Answers
- Lost Books
- Objections and Answers
- Online Schools
- Preachers and Teachers
- Recommended Websites
- Research Links
- Responding to Critics
- Verses Examined - OT
- Verses Examined - NT
- Women in Ministry
- Women's Issues
- About Angels
- About Apologetics
- About Baptism
- About the Bible
- About Bible Verses
- About the Church
- About Christianity
- About Demons
- About Doctrine
- About End Times
- About Ethics
- About Evangelism
- About God
- About Heresies
- About The Holy Spirit
- About Jesus
- About Man
- About Marriage
- About the Occult
- About Pastors
- About People
- About Prayer
- About Philosophy
- About Religions
- About Salvation
- About Sanctification
- About Science
- About Sexuality
- About Sin
- About Theology
- Other Questions
- Skeptics Ask
- What is atheism?
- The failure of atheism to account for existence
- The failure of atheism to account for morality
- The failure of atheism to account for rationality
- Is atheism viable?
- "I lack belief in a god"
- Answers to positions held by atheists
- Concerning atheist attacks on theism
- There is no proof that God exists.
- Why do you believe in Jesus but not Santa Claus?
Help CARM by Liking It!
15% Discount off of Logos Bible Program.
CARM highly recommends using the Logos Bible Research Program. It is what we use. It is the best in the world. Just go to http://www.logos.com/carm. Use the coupon code of CARM6.