Re: the weak argument of atheism

The clarification of some definitions would help this discussion, because there are two different ways to define atheism.  Weak atheism is the lack of belief in a god, and strong atheism is the belief that a god doesn't exist.


A weak atheist lacks belief in a god for the same reason that any rational person lacks belief in unicorns, leprechauns, and flying whales: there is no evidence. Someone who doesn't believe in talking toasters is not required produce a systematic study proving their nonexistence. Similarly, a weak atheist is not required to support his position with any arguments of his own. The most he can do is show that the arguments supporting the existence of a god are flawed. Refuting theistic arguments does not prove the nonexistence of god, but the weak atheist is not attempting to do this anyways.

A strong atheist, on the other hand, must make an argument that a god doesn't exist. There are many different ways to define 'god', so a strong atheist's evidence might only disprove a particular subset of the gods. For example, a god that created each individual species of organisms cannot exist, because it is known that all organisms evololved gradually through an unintelligent process. Someone who is a strong atheist with respect to one god might be a weak atheist with respect to others.

Also, atheism and agnosticism are not mutually exclusive. Agnosticism simply rejects the idea that it can be known whether a god exists or not. There is nothing contradictory about calling oneself 'an agnostic atheist'. Concerning a god that simply created the universe but left no other trace of himself, it would seem logical to adopt the agnostic position.

I see nothing weak about strong or weak atheism.

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