Is a ‘lack of belief’ the best we can do?

There is a common view – one you yourself may hold – that the only intellectually honest position for an atheist to have is a ‘lack of belief’ in gods. Today I’m going to argue that this definition is confused, and should be retired. It is too broad to be useful, and that we ought to reserve the word ‘atheist’ for active disbelief in the existence of gods. Furthermore, I’ll try to demonstrate that we have a much stronger positive philosophical case for rationally believing that no god – theistic or deistic – exists.

Definitions: the folk vs. the precise

The best place to start in any philosophical squabble is with the definitions of the words we’re going to use. And since this post is on the definition of certain words, I’d better not skimp on the details!

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Knowledge and Counter-apologetics on Twitter

During my time in the counter-apologetics crowd on Twitter I’ve noticed that several of the arguments deployed by our side rest on a lay-understanding of what constitutes ‘knowledge’. As most people haven’t studied philosophy formally, this isn’t surprising. Their motivation for taking the stance they do isn’t surprising either; it’s easier to deny your opponent’s position than it is to build a positive case of our own (and rebut the criticisms). Yet I believe it can be demonstrated that we can build such a positive case, and this post will be the first part in my attempt to detail how.

This first post will address how you can have knowledge without certainty, and who justifiably has the burden of proof for a claim.

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