Atheists Can’t Make Up their Minds

According to atheist Jay Wexler,

Atheists all believe there is no god that governs the universe, but other than that, nothing necessarily unites us.

But even that belief does not unite the atheists.  From some, we are told that atheists merely lack belief in any gods.  Of course, I’m not sure how that is supposed to differ from agnosticism, but I guess that’s not supposed to matter.

Anyway, so which is it?  Are atheists people who merely lack belief a god that governs the universe or are atheists people who believe there is no god that governs the universe?

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10 Responses to Atheists Can’t Make Up their Minds

  1. nsr says:

    Atheists believe that there is no God until they are asked to give some arguments supporting that idea, at which point they quickly retreat to it just being a lack of belief.

    They’ll liken their unbelief to the position of someone who doesn’t collect stamps, who doesn’t actively “not collect stamps”, he just fails to collect stamps. Of course, you don’t get many non-stamp-collectors going around telling stamp collectors that stamps don’t exist.

    Atheists who are motivated by their atheism to get involved in the God debate are more than just people who lack a belief in God. The ones who simply lack a belief in God are the ones who just get on with life and don’t think about it.

  2. Featherfoot says:

    To be honest, I don’t see why all atheists should have to agree on much, including the definition of atheism. They’re going to have different ideas, and you’ll just have to address the ideas individually. This is true of pretty much any large group of people. There’s plenty that Christians disagree on, too, which is a big part of why we have many different denominations. I don’t see how a less-than-perfect unity weakens either position.

    Now, if the same person is trying to use the same term in two different ways, then by all means call them out on it. I’ve seen people do that often on the internet. I haven’t heard of Wexler before, so I don’t know if he has.

  3. Ilíon says:

    An intellectually consistent ‘atheist’ denies that he even has (as people say) a mind in the first place. So, of course they can’t make up their minds.

  4. hikayamasan353 says:

    Whatever you believe in, a single belief or its lack, on its own, does pretty much nothing to unite people. Even religious scholars have difference of opinions and methods despite common baseline beliefs. Common opinion is one thing, while a church, a movement or a school is way another. The main difference between a group of people with common opinion and a church/movement is that churches and movements are more organized, controlled and devoted to their points, as well as they intend to proselytize them. Two people who don’t believe in God is one thing, but four strong-opined atheist activists with their like-minded fanbase is another.

  5. keithnoback says:

    Me: “I’m an ignostic”
    Them: ” Well, do you go to church?”
    Me: “No”
    Them: “Then you’re an atheist.”
    Me: “No, no! Let me explain…Oh, what the hell. Sure. I’m an atheist.”

  6. Ilíon says:

    Whether or not one goes to church, if one does not actively affirm that there is a Creator, then yes, one is an ‘atheist’; no matter what one calls oneself.

  7. TFBW says:

    @keithnoback: you’re not an atheist because you don’t go to church. Plenty of atheists go to church, and plenty of theists don’t. You’re an atheist because “ignostic” is just a special way to assert that there is no God (specifically, by asserting that “God” is a meaningless word, which is a terrific way to avoid all that pesky “reasoning” and “argument” baloney).

  8. keithnoback says:

    Read my blog. Or better yet, read Steven Hoyt’s. I am not ignostic regarding his assertion, though I remain quiet about it (assuming that you are familiar with quietism generally).

  9. TFBW says:

    Read my blog.

    You overestimate your appeal.

  10. Ilíon says:

    You’re an atheist because “ignostic” is just a special way to assert that there is no God (specifically, by asserting that “God” is a meaningless word, which is a terrific way to avoid all that pesky “reasoning” and “argument” baloney).

    If God-deniers *cared* about engaging in sound reasoning, and affirming the deliverances of sound reasoning, they wouldn’t be God-deniers in the first place.

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