Monday, August 26, 2013

Believe In Nothing II

In my previous post on this topic I suggested that one response to the charge that "atheists don't believe in anything" is to say that we believe in reality.  It occurred to me recently that this response lacks sufficient emotional punch, in part because it is circular (i.e., assumes that atheists are right and that our view is reality) and, more important, because it lacks a moral aspect to counter the moral condemnation implicit in the "believe in nothing" accusation leveled at us.

So, I would like to suggest that a better response is:

"Atheists believe in the truth."

That is our primary concern:  Is the assertion at issue true.  Concern for truth is moral and is morally superior over any view that does not concern itself with the truth.  Of course, if you continue the conversation with a believer after using this reply, you will have to explain to him why this is an accurate statement about atheists but not about religious people. 

Accepting a proposition on faith is, by definition, not a determination based on an assessment of its truth.

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