Tuesday, 9 June 2009
So, some theists think they are really clever when they use the following argument:
"Atheism is stupid/weird/wrong/etc. because you're only defining yourself by what you aren't, and you wouldn't have to do that if there weren't a god."
Or, some variant on that. So, let me say right now, it's not clever nor is it witty or original.
Let's look at a different example, shall we? Books that are written about real subjects or real events (books that describe reality, like science texts, etc.) are called "non-fiction." Why would we define books about reality by what they aren't, books that are made up? You wouldn't have to do that if those made up books weren't really about real stuff, would you?
The sad fact is that theism is a real phenomena, there are people who believe in gods and the supernatural. It's a quirk of our culture and our language that we identify those that don't hold such superstitions to be a-theistic, just as we hold that books that aren't made up are non-fictional. The terms and usage only show that theists exist, not that god exists.