I grow weary listening to the 'true believers' attempting to define atheism. Comments like "Atheism is just another belief system" or "Atheism is a cult" clearly reveal the believers attempt to drag atheism down to the level of irrational belief. Less inane comments frequently stated: " Agnosticism is the admission of not knowing but
atheism cannot prove it's claim".
Clearly, atheism is a unique word. To the Christian, it means non belief in THEIR one and only GOD, while to the atheist it also includes all the many thousands of long forgotten gods the Christians conveniently ignore. There is no word for the non belief of unicorns or 7 headed Hydra or Ganesh, with his elephant head. Stephen Henry Roberts, historian (1901-1971), probably makes the point most eloquently:
I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.
Atheism is merely a lack of belief in all of the gods. To say atheism is a belief is like saying that not collecting baseball cards is a hobby, or that baldness is a hair color. The older Merriam Webster dictionary once defined atheism as evil and immoral, but that error has since been corrected. Noah Webster was a fundamentalist with a mission.
There are many absences that should not be confused for the presence of something. Dark is the absence of light, cold is the absence of heat and a vacuum is the absence of air. Likewise, atheism is merely the absence of belief. See, wasn't that easy?
Bob P Kansas City
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