Yesterday I read a blog post about by “The Closet Atheist @thclosetatheist concerning the different kinds of Atheism and what kind of Atheist he is. You can read the post here:
Since this is an interesting topic, that many are confused about (especially theists) I thought I might as well write about this topic myself. I’m going down the list found here and we’ll see where I end up:
So the difference that we can draw is gnostic Atheism vs agnostic Atheism i.e. whether someone claims that he knows that God doesn’t exist vs someone who doesn’t know but doesn’t believe in a God.
I would have to say, that I fall into a middle ground between those two but I would have to go with agnostic. I do claim to know, that certain deities do not exist. For example the kind of God that Ken Ham believes in, the God that created the universe and life 6000 years ago does NOT exist. Period. On the other hand, the Christian God Yahweh who used evolution (although there needs to be reconciliation with scripture) and raised Jesus from the dead may or may not exist. I don’t think it’s likely that he does but I can’t know, that he doesn’t.
The next one would be strong Atheism vs weak Atheism i.e. merely lacking belief vs strong Atheism where one claims that no gods exist.
Essentially it’s the same as above. I’m a strong Atheist or a weak Atheist based on the proposed deity. It depends on the case.
Then we have broad Atheism vs Narrow Atheism.
I would probably fall under both categories again. While I can’t fully deny the existence of all gods, as I am not aware of all the gods all people in the world have believed in, do believe in and will believe in I can confidently assert, that Zeus or Thor or Ra certainly do not exist. I am narrow in the sense, that I affirm, that omnipotent omniscience and omnibenevolence are incoherent and self refuting concepts, that are as it seems to me, incompatible with the world as well as with Christian/Muslim/Mor(m)on theology. The traditional omni-God doesn’t exist. Now that doesn’t mean that Yahweh or Allah don’t exist, it means that the definition would have to be adjusted. God as defined with the omni-attributes doesn’t exist. A weaker God potentially could.
The next category would be “Difference in the Assessed Rationality of Theism” .
This may surprise some people but I do believe one can be justified in believing a deity.
When one has for example a “personal revelation” from God (as he claims, I don’t think he truly does), then he has confirmation and evidence for himself. Based on that, as long as it doesn’t contradict overwhelming evidence, that the deity from which he got the revelation doesn’t exist (for example if the deity denies observed reality) he has the justification to believe. If however, overwhelming evidence comes forward that the theist is wrong, then he is not justified.
this article will be continued in a future post.
Goodbye from yours truly,
Rene von Boenninghausen @Renevelation