Why atheism is more than just a “non-belief” in God.
The more time one spends debating atheists, the more often one will encounter the argument that atheism is just a “non-belief” in God, and therefore does not need to be logically defended.
Andy Bannister humorously highlights the absurdity of this idea by telling a story about a guy who denies the existence of the nation of Sweden (in his book The Atheist Who Didn’t Exist):
“You think that my denial of Sweden is an actual claim of some kind, that it’s a belief. But it isn’t. It’s a non-belief. There’s nothing I need to explain – rather, I’m talking about something I lack, namely a belief in Sweden, so I don’t need to give any evidence for it.”
“Come again?” I said. “Yes,” he continued, warming to his theme, “I don’t have to provide evidence for my non-belief in Atlantis, El Dorado, Shangri-La, or the Customer Support Department at American Airlines, and nor need I for my non-belief in Sweden. I’m not making a claim of any kind – in fact, quite the opposite: I’m claiming nothing. I’m merely rejecting one of your beliefs, your belief in Sweden.”
The point is that all truth claims (including atheism) need to be logically defended…even the ones that portray themselves as merely “non-belief.” And if atheism is not a truth claim, then it cannot be true. Andy Bannister continues:
The problem is that only beliefs or claims can be true or false. For example, it makes perfect sense to ask whether a statement such as “It is raining today” or “The Maple Leafs lost at hockey again” are true. Those are claims, they are beliefs, and they have what philosophers call a “truth value”. They are either true or false.
On the other hand, it is utterly meaningless to ask whether the color blue, a small off-duty Slovakian traffic warden, or Richard Dawkins’s left foot is “true”. That would be a bizarre category error. These things are not claims or beliefs and thus do not possess any kind of truth value. They simply are.
So what about atheism? Well, as far as I can make out, I think my atheist friends are claiming that their belief is true; that they really, really believe it to be true that there is no God. Well, if that’s the case, then it makes atheism a positive claim and claims must be defended, evidence martialled, and reasons given. Otherwise, if atheism is not a claim, it cannot be true or false. It simply is, and to say “I am an atheist” is up there with saying “Wibble, wibble, wibble”.
If the statement, “There is no God” is not a truth claim, than it cannot be true. Something which is not a truth claim cannot be true (or false).
I’m an atheist, and I’m now happy to make the following claim: I don’t believe in the existence of any Gods. Said that way, there’s no particular burden of justification. I simply haven’t been convinced by the evidence I’ve seen to date that any God claim is true. How do you like that?
If I wanted to convince you to agree with me and believe the same, that’s clearly a different matter. And since I’m a ‘hard atheist’, I do make the positive claim that certain Gods do not exist, as well as the above claim which deals simply with my personal belief.
I’m quite certain that the Christian God, for example, definitely does not exist. There are many pieces of evidence that I’ve seen that support this notion, too numerous to mention here. One quick way to show this would be the following:
1. The Bible says God answers* prayers.
2. In reality, prayers are not answered.
Conclusion: prayer answering deities such as the Christian God do not exist.
*It also says how the alleged God will answer prayers. In contrast to what deluded believers tell me to excuse the fact of 2., the Bible does practically state that God is like a magic genie.
Just a quick comment.
I understand how you may feel, so please don’t be offended by my questions. These are just my opinions/feelings.
How do you know prayers are not answered? What evidence do you have for this? Just because you may have not experienced an answer to a prayer, doesn’t mean all prayers are not answered. Sometimes, the answer to a prayer may not be the particular answer that we would like and therefore feel it wasn’t answered. At other times, we don’t get an immediate response like we want – It has been said that God’s timeframe is not our timeframe. I know, sounds corny, but it is possible. Leave room for the possibility however remote you think it might be.
You made a statement about God answering prayers, then made the gigantic leap of faith to state that “In reality, prayers are not answered”. I personally, am not a philosopher, or therapist, but something seems to be a little faulty in the leap from statement 1, to conclusion 2.
Seem like you might be jumping to a conclusion that could go either way at the very least.
Keep searching, the fact that you where on this site tells me that you are interested in this topic. Your non-existent God may be working on you without you realizing it.
I think you are on the right track, and if you don’t mind, I’m going to pray for you (admittedly, I’m not much of a prayer myself because I don’t feel worthy of asking for anything), but I am a believer – hey, you never know!
Best regards, and don’t give up!
Thanks for your response. When talking about answered prayer, we’re not talking about yes, no or maybe questions here. The Bible has this to say on the subject:
If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. [ Matthew 21 : 21 ]
If you ask anything in my name, I will do it. [ John 14 : 14 ]
Ask, and it will be given you. [ Matthew 7 : 7 ]
Nothing will be impossible to you. [ Matthew 17 : 20 ]
Believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. [ Mark 11 : 24 ]
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. [ John 15 : 7 ]
There’s also Luke 11: 9-13, but I think you get the picture. Do you wish to abolish famine, child poverty, AIDS, to fix the melting ice sheets, render all atomic bombs inert etc. etc., tomorrow? I could think of a million different ways you could use the power of prayer to improve the world as it is now, if it were real. Not for you and I necessarily, but perhaps for all those for whom this life, the only one we have, is hellish. Sadly, we know prayer has no appreciable effects on the real world whatsoever. Can your God, working through you, regenerate one limb of one amputee? How about if all the Christians in the world prayed at once?
Far from moving mountains, all the faith in the world could not move a single grain of rice. Your God, since he is a work of fiction and nothing more, will not and cannot do for a human being what a salamander can do for itself. We all know that, if prayer had the effects as mentioned above, the world would be a very different place.
I’m on the right track, but it’s not the one you believe it to be. It’s not a case of feeling, but thinking and observing the world around you. Consider this: prayer could never work even in principle. God’s plan can’t be altered, right? Why pray for God to cure your cancer if you’re going to heaven anyway? In addition you’ll always go there when he wanted you to and knew you were going to, not before nor after? Then there’s the impossibility of granting everyone’s conflicting desires. Well, maybe God simply creates a new Universe for everyone each time that happens?! Except, it’s all make-believe, old superstitions and nonsense. The good news is this: you’re free; make your own choices, enjoy your life as best you can, ‘cos it’s the only real one you’ll ever have!
You are taking these verses out of context. Just as one example, John 14:14 is not meant to suggest that you can “name it and claim it” from God. It is not intended to suggest that God is a “genie in a bottle” who will give you whatever you ask. Please read this commentary on John 14:14. A copy and paste:
John 14:13-14 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. (NKJV)
Most of the confusion with this verse comes from people want to use it as a prooftext which means they take it OUT OF CONTEXT to support some preconceived idea they have.
This verse is a favorite of the “name it and claim it” positive-confession teachers. Regardless of your opinion of positive confession, this verse HAS NOTHING TO with us personally and specifically today.
The confusion disappears when you realize that Christ is talking to and addressing HIS DISCIPLES who would go on after He was gone and establish the early church and finish the inspired Word.
Back in John 13:31, Jesus informs the future 12 Apostles that He would be leaving them soon. He goes on to comfort them with instruction and encouragement. He tells Peter of his upcoming denial. He comforts them by telling them about heaven and how He will return for them.
He answers Thomas. He answers Philip. He tells them how they will go on to do greater work than He did (in quantity, establishing the church, writing the New Testament, taking the Gospel to the Gentiles).
Then He builds their confidence by telling them “whatever you do or ask in my Name, I will honor it”. This was not some “secret key to spiritual power” or one of the “ten steps to kingdom success”.
As Christ’s personally chosen representatives to launch the church age, Jesus was imparting full power and authority to them by giving them His name to impart. In that time, to speak under the name of someone else meant to fully represent them in all ways.
Jesus was promising His disciples, whom He was about to leave, that while they were fulfilling their mission, He would do anything they asked Him to do while asking with the authority of His name, a blessing He personally imparted to them specifically.
So you see, to rip this verse out of Scripture, apply it to us today and proclaim that all we have to do is say “in Jesus name” (even sincerely) and Jesus will “grant our wish” is simply perpetuating this “Genie In a Bottle” mentality that is so prevalent today. The vast majority of verses employed in the “prosperity” doctrine are clear examples of prooftexting. In fact, the overwhelming majority of pet doctrines, doctrinal confusion and “fad doctrines” are derived by gross prooftexting. Sadly, much teaching today is the product of prooftexting (“here’s what I believe; let me find some Bible verses that seem to support it”).
The opposite and correct teaching approach is “expository” (explaining the meaning of verses): find out what the Bible says, in context, then teach that regardless of our preconceived ideas.
Matt, please also read this commentary about Matthew 21:21, which demonstrates that you have also taken this verse out of context.
No Scott, you’re wrong there and on several levels. In John 14, Jesus is indeed talking to his disciples, but checking the context he actually refers to ‘whoever believes in me’, or ‘He that believeth on me’, depending on the translation, and claims: ‘You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.’
In Matthew, he is giving the sermon on the mount. Are you claiming that was solely for the disciples now? In Mark, right before the passage I quoted, Jesus says, “That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.”
I realise that causes a critical problem for your faith and not only that my original argument stands, but that the context only serves to reinforce it, in fact. Let’s pretend though for a moment that it is as you say, and the Bible does not promise prayers will be answered, and does not suggest that your God is a kind of ‘magic genie’. Why is that prayers to the one true, almighty God appear to have no effects in reality? Shouldn’t there be some appreciable difference between praying to any other, presumably false, deity and the creator of the Universe? There should of course be some difference between praying to it and, let’s say, my left shoe, right? Or does that depend on taking the bible out of context as well?
“Can your God, working through you, regenerate one limb of one amputee?” I hope this over-used childish piece of rhetoric is not meant to be serious? I often hear it raised with even sillier questions like
1) “who created God”?
2) Why cant God create a rock so big he cant life it”?
As for the amputee claim: Let’s see what prayer and the gift of intelligence has allowed mankind to achieve. We all know that transplant of organs is only limited by the number and suitability of donors, such is the expertise of modern medicine. And of course, limb reattachment and replacement is also a reality.
So yes, God works through us to achieve miracles in making this world a better place as the following real life stories conveys.
Now consider what some parents/cultures might do or have done with an infant born without limbs. If we’re merely “a bunch of selfish genes” or a “collocation of atoms” would any parent want to raise such a deformed child if there was no evolutionary advantage to do so? I commend to you the life of Nick Vujicic, an amazing individual, born with tetra-amelia (with no limbs) whose faith in God and his ministry as a motivational speaker has inspired a generation of both disabled and able-bodied young people that anything is possible for those who trust in their own gifts.
According to his autobiography, his mother refused to see him while the nurse held him in front of her, but she and her husband both active Christians eventually accepted their son’s condition and understood it as God’s plan for them and their son.
Vujicic thrived in his teenage and young adult years despite being bullied. After his mother showed him a newspaper article about a man dealing with a severe disability when he was seventeen, he started to give talks at his prayer group. Vujicic graduated from Griffith University at the age of 21 with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, with a double major in accountancy and financial planning.
In 2005, he founded Life Without Limbs, an international non-profit organisation and ministry. In 2007, he founded Attitude is Altitude, a secular motivational speaking company. He starred in the short film The Butterfly Circus. At the 2010 Method Fest Independent Film Festival, he was awarded Best Actor in a Short Film for his starring performance as Will. The moral of the story is God may not always answer our prayers as we might expect. Perhaps the road to self knowledge and wisdom is necessarily thwart with obstacles, some might say the whole idea of suffering what we call ‘the way of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.” 1 Corinthians 1:18
Gerry, I’ve just rebutted all your ‘scientific’ arguments for the existence of God, and as if I’d never spoken, you’re on to the next fallacy. Strange how that happens. Could it be you’ve just made up your mind in advance, and the real world has no power to affect what you simply want to believe?
Why is it childish to expect the God of the Bible to answer prayers exactly as described in the Bible?! Sounds pretty straightforward and logical to me, unless it’s totally obvious that that God doesn’t exist! So, according to you, the way God answers prayers is by science doing all the work? Sorry, but that argument works the same for any proposed God, including the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and it also works for my left shoe, which at least has the advantage of existing, in exactly the same way.
Theists claim God cures cancer, why not expect him to regenerate limbs too, if he existed? So a guy without limbs, living in a caring, rational society managed to have a decent life. I wonder what happened to the countless hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions of other individuals in a similar plight, throughout the several million years of hominid evolution…
“Just show we the evidence”
“prove to me your God exists”,
” I have no burden of proof”,
“atheism make no claims”
The real questions an honest person should be asking are
a) is there any reason why I shouldnt want God to exist (as Jean Sartre declared b/c loss of freedom and accountability)
b)If I regard myself as openminded, intelligent, truth-seeking person, what evidence should I expect to find if God exists and what evidence might indicate he doesn’t?
Unfortunately when asked these questions what I often assume to be a genuine request, often turns out to be a rhetorical question, (from a closeminded cynic, who is not even interested in listening to the evidence, believing there is none). Assuming the sincerity of the your request, can I begin by asking you, have you ever thought about what criteria would you deem acceptable and what objective standards would need to be met? The same honesty applies to whatever you consider your worldview to be e.g methodological naturalism, scientism, evolutionism, humanism, taoism etc.
c) Consider firstly what evidence we should expect to explain creation -aka the beginning of all time matter and space (a concept that deeply troubles scientists like Hawking and Krauss (read the scathing NY Times review of Krauss’ book “A Universe from Nothing.”
1) In our search for meaning, is it reasonable for our inquisitive human nature to begin with a philosophical question like “why there is something rather than nothing”?
2) Atkins and Dawkins state that science is only concerned with process – how events occur. Is it reasonable for them to then declare “why” questions are silly questions”?
3) Assuming you accept General relativity and the impossibility of an infinite regress of past events or states, which is more plausible a) all time, matter and space, including the laws of nature, created themselves out of nothing or b) some reality outside of nature that is non-contingent, immaterial, atemporal, uncaused and powerful?
4) What kind of universe should we expect for atheism to be true if random forces, unguided mindless processes and chance created every ‘thing’ in the finite past? Einstein said we should have expected a priori, an incomprehensible, lawless lifeless chaos not the “miraculous” universe we do observe.
5) Does the rational intelligibility of the universe suggest a rational mind behind it? PCW Davies says “the evidence for DESIGN is overwhelming”. Roger Penrose on chance Vs fine-tuning says “The conditions of the BB were so special that the probability that they came about by chance are a (mind-blowing) 1x 10^123 power. “There has got to be incredible FINETUNING in the initial organization of the universe” See /evotionarynewsDOTorg. Would the evidence for fine-tuning and design, the narrow pre-conditions of the BB and the values of the major forces be evidence for God or no God?
6) no one believes in a static, eternal universe anymore, apart from a few dissenters, “An infinitely old universe would relieve us of the need to understand the origin of matter at any time in the finite past” Rob Dicke Princeton (absolving atheists of the need to examine a cause beyond the universe). Which is the more plausible explanation, matter/energy created itself, or by some external cause?
7) Should we accept Brian Greene multiverse hypotheses for “Why our particular universe is fine-tuned for life” when there is no actual evidence for them? Of course multiverses would still commit the infinite regress problem as well as require a “multi-unverse generator” with its own .set of abstract laws.
8) Everyone in fact, is a creationist required to accept ex nihilo creation. The only difference is atheism demands a purely natural cause. Hawking wants us to believe a “law like gravity can and will create the universe out of nothing.” On naturalism he has no explanation for where gravity came from, how it could pre-exist nature (as a natural law) or how it stands in causal relationships with matter. “It just does”.
9) If all the evidence points to a finite, awe-inspiring, incredibly fine-tuned, abstract law-abiding universe, the best, if not only plausible explanation leads us inevitably to an atemporal, non-contingent, incredibly powerful, immaterial cause, (aka a Creator)
10) No matter how much some may want to, I don’t believe anyone could logically suggest a universe, least of all a rationally-intelligIBLE one could pop into existence uncaused out of nothing. If the laws of nature are part of nature, one would have to believe ‘x’ created ‘x’, a logical absurdity. Such a universe that is defined by the most extraordinary set of immutable abstract laws and the language of mathematics demands a rationally-intelliGENT cause.
11) Now for Theism. The principle of the law of causality demands that a cause cannot give to its effect what it does not have to give. In order to produce the effect of intelligibility, power, precision and predictability the cause must itself be even more so ordained. Intelligibility cannot come from blind forces and mindless processes
12) The classical philosophical axiom maintains Information, Intelligence and personhood cannot come from non Information, non-Intelligence and non-personhood. A sentient, moral, intellectual being such as us are the ultimate purpose (and effect) of Creation.
13) What evidence should we expect for a personal God, one who might have created a lifeless, random, purposeless universe or one who actually created intelligent life capable of de-ciphering its precision and wondering in awe at its beauty and grandeur?
14) Evolution has be hailed as the creation/God killer but in fact it says absolutely nothing about the origin and existence of a) the cosmos in the finite past, b) the abstract immutable laws on which all of science or c) and how life came from non life? In fact, how God created man from the dust of the earth ”would seem in this age to be a complete mystery”. Perhaps science one day might have an answer but it will never tell us WHY.
15) If natural selection explains the survival of a species, can it explain the arrival of a species?
16) Is the exceedingly complex DNA information defining all lifeforms, a knockdown argument for ‘common descent’ as Dawkins demands, or common design? (depends what your worldview dictates)
17) according to Ric Lewontin, a geneticist (and self-proclaimed Marxist), certainly one of the world’s leaders in evolutionary biologists, he says “evolution by natural selection is merely a theory that “no matter how counter intuitive, we are forced to embrace it, because of our a priori adherence to material causes…” Does he have another agenda for claiming “Materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a divine foot in the door”? Is there any atheist prepared to give a defense of such a worldview?
18) Lastly, Darwin asks “why should you trust an evolved monkey’s brain”, motivated for survival rather than truth? Which is the more rational explanation -‘ You are merely a highly unlikely biological machine made from blind chemicals bent on survival and oblivious to higher truths, or a rational mind created by an infinite Intelligence endowing us with objective moral values, reasoning skills and the capacity for absolute truth?
Gerry, it’s quite telling you open your lengthy, and unfortunately fallacy-filled, response with a phrase about ‘wanting God to exist’. Do you believe because you want to, or because that’s where the evidence leads? I personally just want to know the truth.
I also think that, were it the case that, like me, you simply wanted the truth, you wouldn’t find any of the arguments you’ve put forward to be the least bit convincing. Let’s have a closer look at some of the points from c):
1. Imagine there were an actual ‘nothing’, would there be anyone to ask anything? Have you ever seen a ‘nothing’? Your question seems reasonable on the surface, but perhaps the answer is simply that there are limits to what can be known. Let’s try a variation, assuming your own world view: why is there a God, rather than no God?
2. Do you have a quote saying ‘why’ questions are silly? Not sure that a mere opinion is worth much in any case, no matter who they are. Is Atkins the guy who invented that no-carb diet?
3. General Relativity is an incomplete model of reality, and appears to break down at the density and energy at the time of the Big Bang (cf. quantum theory). On your view, God is timeless, spaceless and eternal. What if I say that preceding the Big Bang, the energy that is now within spacetime, was at that point in a timeless, spaceless, eternal state?
4. Why is Einstein’s mere opinion worth anything? Let’s see his peer-reviewed paper on that. Also, take a glass tank of water, and pour dirt, rocks and assorted stones in there. Shake it about in a random and mindless fashion for a time. Wait a few hours and come back. Notice how random, unguided forces can sort the largest rocks from the pebbles, the dirt from the stones, and leave clear water on top? Was that God? Does God individually make every single snow flake and crystal of every conceivable kind in the Universe, one by one?
5. You have several arguments in there, all false. There are plenty of things we don’t yet understand about the Universe, and some things we may never know. We’ve spent thousands of years developing logic and mathematics, and we still don’t know precisely what matter is yet. In what sense do you think that makes the Universe intelligible? Take a look at quantum mechanics and get back to me. If you like statistics, what do they say about the chances of your God being real, versus all the other false ones? Also, let’s see Penrose’s paper on the probability of the various parameters being finely tuned – we still don’t know everything there is to know about the Big Bang, we can’t simply assume all the physical constants are independent, AND able to take any values whatsoever.
6. See answer 3.
7. See the end of answer 5.
8. See answer 3.
9. First see answer 3., and then the end of 5. It’s far from clear the Universe was ‘finely tuned’, and your reasoning probably begs the question in any case. Let’s say this Universe was highly improbable, does that make it ‘impossible’? Do all improbable events require magic in order to occur?
10. See answer 3.
11. If rational thought evolved, as it appears to have done, you’re wrong. It’s pure assertion on your part in any case.
12. Pure assertion, see previous answer.
13. As far as we know at this point, life exists in a tiny fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of an infinitesimally small percent of 0.000000000000000000001% of the known Universe. It is practically a lifeless Universe for all we know. If life appearing were ‘accidental’ and highly improbable, that fact would seem to fit in quite easily.
14. I agree!!! Evolution does nothing to say a God does not exist. Some religious folk don’t like the kind of God it implies though.
15. Evolution is not abiogenesis, if that’s what you’re getting at.
16. Are the incredibly complex and (practically) unique patterns in snowflakes good evidence of an omnipresent, magical snowflake pixie?
17. See answer 14. Lewontin’s mere opinion, like that of any scientist, while it might be interesting is irrelevant. Here he just seems to be stating the obvious, that we can’t invent ‘immaterial causes’ to explain things.
18. People are neither totally rational nor irrational, and what fits in either category has changed over time with our, often scientific, understanding. We use intuition all the time for example, and it often gives useful results. Other times it give incorrect answers, but we still use it. Logic and the scientific method have given proven results, which is why I trust them as opposed to circular reasoning and fables. This Universe doesn’t appear to have been created by an ‘infinite intelligence’, and we don’t seem to have access to ‘absolute truth’.
stating an argument is “fallacy filled” is one thing, providing a cogent, facts based, point-by point rebuttal is quite another. My thesis was based on what evidence should we expect if God exists, and what evidence might suggest he doesnt. You provided no evidence for the later.
My first question was “a) is there any reason why atheists shouldnt want God to exist? And I cited Jean Paul Sartre whose wishful thinking and circular logic says it all “if God exists I am not free. Since I am free therefore God does not exist”. Some neoDarwinians might even suggest freewill is illusory. We dont reason we just react according to our brain chemistry.
Then you falsely claim “Do you believe because you want to, or because that’s where the evidence leads?” On the contrary, i would say disbelief is very much based a rejection of where the evidence leads (as Tony Flew finally conceded)
Blase Pascal and others have observed,” some people believe what ever they want, not on the basis of evidence but what they find attractive”. A life without responsibilities and ultimate justice means who cares, if one dies hugging or mugging, a Ghandi or a Goering?
It’s late here in Oz so i’ll continue to address where the evidence is leading us when time permits
I tackled all 18 of your points and explained the problems with every single one of your arguments. I’m not Sartre and haven’t read him so I don’t see the relevance. Wanting to believe or not does not change the fact of the matter, and I as I said, the fact of the matter is your arguments don’t appear to stand up to scrutiny.
Thus my question, which you misidentified as a claim by the way, seems entirely pertinent. Have you really looked at the evidence, and read my rebuttals? The reasons you’ve given don’t hold water, not a single one, and nobody so far has provided a good reason why God does not answer prayers as promised. Now, the lack of answered prayer doesn’t by itself prove that God does not exist, but that is compelling evidence, assuming we’re talking about the Biblical God.
Now you’ve offered yet another fallacious argument to add to the rest – if atheism is true, the consequences are ‘no ultimate justice’ etc. So what? Reality is either one way or the other, the consequences have no bearing whatsoever. If the sun was hot, I’d get burnt when I went outside on a sunny day. You might not like there being no ultimate justice, whatever that would entail, and I might not like getting burnt. Neither preference has any affect on the reality of the situations.
When you have time, perhaps you’d like to consider the following:-
A) In what way does postulating a God ‘explain’ the existence of everything (rather than ‘nothing’)?
B) If a God exists, then why does God exist, rather than it being the case that no God exists?
C) How would the existence of any specific God, rather than some other one, be determined, if one is somehow required to explain existence?
It certainly looks like you’re attempting to explain one unknown with another unknown, but perhaps you know better.
Scott, there may be a problem with your site. I didn’t receive email notifications for quite a while, then there are a bunch staring in August. As a result, I forgot about a conversation were were having, which is probably almost two years old, now.
Also, replies all seem to begin with an “invalid argument” error. I’m viewing on my phone — not sure if there would be an error on a PC web browser.
FWIW, I agree with your general thesis, here. I think saying atheism is merely non-belief is inaccurate