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"These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own." G.K.Chesterton

"You cannot grow a beard in a moment of passion." G.K.Chesterton

"As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that."C. S. Lewis

"I blog, therefore I am." Anon

Thursday, July 03, 2003

Question: When is an atheist not an atheist? Answer: When he's not a theist.

The frequent claim on atheist websites is that theism means “a belief in God” therefore atheism means “the absence or lack of a belief in God” but this is misleading – and wrong. An “ism” is a doctrine or belief system based upon certain propositions. “Theos” is Greek word transliterated into English; its meaning and usage stem from the original Greek, not from the English, i.e. its English usage follows the Greek original in that the emphasis is upon “God” not upon “belief”. A theist affirms that God exists, thus he has a worldview and beliefs (theism) based upon the proposition that God exists. An atheist affirms that God does not exist, and thus has a worldview and beliefs based on the proposition that there is no God. Theists don’t affirm theism so much as they affirm the existence of “theos” - god; theism is but the worldview that flows from the affirmation of god’s existence.

Atheists likewise don’t affirm atheism they affirm “a theos” - no god. Atheism is the worldview that flows from the affirmation of the nonexistence of God. The “ism” - the belief system doctrine or worldview, is not the substance but the container in which the essential substance is housed. For this reason the claim that one can affirm that one merely lacks belief in God and still call this atheism is specious.

If your claim is merely that you can only "weakly" dismiss God then you are not really an “a-theist” at all. I really do wonder why such “weak atheists” flock to Christian forums in order to attack God, the Bible and Christians. Shouldn’t they be out getting on with their lives instead of wasting time tilting at windmills? It is irrational and illogical to work oneself up into a lather of moral indignation about what is supposedly a myth, a fairy tale, or a nonsense inside other peoples’ heads. Such a position is absurd in the extreme. Yet an overwhelming percentage of atheists obviously are focused on putting the boot into - to really negate - the God of the Bible. In that case then what they must accept first is the nature of God as he is described therein.

The God of the world’s three great monotheist religions is NOT an anthropomorphic god like the human inventions of Zeus and the rest of the Graeco-Roman pantheon, or like Thor or Woden and their kin amongst the Norse pantheon, nor like Floob or the IPU or the Santa god. You cannot construct a god in the image of your own prejudices and then seek to tear that straw man down claiming some sort of victory of the transcendent God of the universe. This is more of the same irrationality and absurdity. The God of the Bible is wholly other, existing outside of space and time. “Yahweh” literally means “I am who I am, the eternally existent one”, omnipotent, omnipresent, all knowing creator and sustainer of all that exists, the supreme and sole sovereign Lord of the universe, the beginning and the end, the first and the last, the source of all that is, “the ground of all being.” There are indeed many gods in the word but there is only one God.

The essential question that one needs to address is

Does God exist?

What can the “weak atheist” say in response? He can only dissemble, either avoiding it, or ignoring it, for there can only be three possible answers:
1. Yes
2. No
3. I don’t know

A weak atheist cannot logically answer with any of the above alternatives because to do so undercuts the ground on which he claims to stand. For to give any of these answers he would reveal himself to be either
1. a theist
2. a “real” atheist, or
3. an agnostic

So the question remains forever unanswered by the weak atheist. Does God exist?

9:26:00 pm