Atheists Profess
There Is No God?
David J. Noonan

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "David J. Noonan"
Subject: Re: PA-via_Positive_Atheism_Index
Date: Tuesday, December 21, 1999 4:21 AM

No.

(This may be too brief, so I listed the main points below.)

Only some atheists assert that no gods exist. Most atheists simply lack a god belief. In this sense, a-theism means lack of theism and an a-theist is one who is not a theist.

A few atheists disagree with me on this definition. Most theologians also disagree with me, as it is in a theist's best interest to define atheist as someone who adamantly denies that their particular diety of choice exists. Finally, a certain type of agnostic also derives its self-definition from portraying both theists and atheists as being adamantly dogmatic; thus, for these agnostics ("symmetrical agnostics"), theists dogmatically assert, atheists dogmatically deny, and they (agnostics) hold the "reasonable" position of suspending judgement.

In my case, I have yet to hear a god claim that makes sense or holds water. I even go so far as to suggest (but not state) that those who assert that no gods exist may be thinking fundamentalistically.

I do, however, state that certain particular gods don't exist (such as Zeus, Jesus, Allah, Quetzalcoatl, Yahweh the Volcano God, etc.), but my assessment is always on a claim-by-claim basis. Unless someone tries to convince me that a god exists, I am simply a human being.

Many atheists are unaware that they are atheists because theists have succeeded in popularizing this erroneous definition for the word. Even among those atheists who know what an atheist is (and who, thus, know that they are atheists), most rarely if ever think about religion or atheism. They simply lack a god belief and live their lives.

For a thorough write-up on the historical use of the word atheism, see two articles by George H. Smith, who has done extensive research on the subject, in his articles, "Defining Atheism" and "The Scope of Atheism."

Please help us out by popularizing this notion of atheism within your circle of discussion; it is the majority opinion among atheistic philosophers.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "David J. Noonan"
Subject: Re: Thanks
Date: Wednesday, December 22, 1999 6:09 PM

I would then say that you know nothing about atheism -- despite the fact that I spent a good fifteen minutes composing an explanation to you.

Again: An atheist simply lacks a god-belief -- for whatever reason (including admitted ignorance).

You probably are an atheist, but have been so spooked by the theists' millennia-long hate campaign against us that the word atheist has become synonymous with wicked or stupid in your mind.

Have a nice life.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine

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