Thursday, July 15, 2010

Apatheism, Agnostics, & Atheists

Prof. Somin over at Volokh is responding to Ron Rosenbaum of Slate on the topic of Agnostics vs Atheists. Rosenbaum portrays Atheism as being a faith, same as its Theist opponents, thus philosophically as vulnerable as theism. Somin, on the other hand, shows that Rosenbaum's argument is incomplete, that a rejection of god(s) does not require an alternate explanation/faith.

Here is a good opportunity to talk about Apatheism vs Agnosticism. Apatheism is another way of confronting the Theism vs Atheism divide, and a morally stronger one than Agnosticism. One criticism of Agnosticism is that it is morally wishy-washy, akin to post-modernism in not making up its mind. Apatheism, on the other hand, reject the whole debate as irrelevant in daily life, and therefore not worth spending time to think over. Essentially Apatheism is the Existentialist answer to the God debate.

The Apatheist ask himself, does the existence of the divine change his choices and actions? At all times, [or 99% of times], the existence of god does not change the outcome of our decision processes. Therefore, by not thinking about god, the Apatheist focuses his mind on more productive concerns.

So if you have a crisis of faith, here is an opportunity to ask yourself, "Do I care if God exists?" If God is there, He would be glad that you're thinking this through.

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