Who Is One of Them There Atheists? Maybe You Are and Don’t Even Know It
The term theism is derived directly from the classical Greek word for god,
so at a minimum being a theist requires that one be reasonably (but not
necessarily absolutely) confident that at least one supernatural, conscious
deity that either created humanity and/or is involved human affairs exists.
Because a-theism merely means the absence of theism, anyone who is not a theist
is automatically an atheist even if they don’t like being tagged with the
term. Because lots of atheists don’t like being called the same, the number of
atheists is often under realized, contributing to their second class
minority status. The degree to which atheists are atheists varies tremendously.
Coined by Thomas (Darwin’s Bulldog) Huxley, agnosticism describes those who
think the non/existence of any gods cannot be entirely determined based on the
current evidence. That describes a big chunk of atheism. Absolutist
atheists who have no doubt that there are no gods based on philosophical logic (as
controversially proposed by Ayn Rand whose libertarian economics have become
amazingly popular among theoconservatives; (www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/guest-voices/post/from-jesus-socialism-to-capitalistic-christianity/2011/08/12/gIQAziaQBJ_blog.html) are pretty scarce.
The term “new” atheism is not particularly descriptive of today’s up and
coming movement, it is more correctly assertive atheism. Even more inappro
priate are the propagandistic “militant” or “fundamentalist” atheism.
Fundamentalism means a perceived return to the fundamentals of something like
scripture, none of that can apply to the absence of theism -- it is as abjectly
impossible for an atheist to be a fundamentalist no matter how strident they
may be any more than a person zealously opposing ghost belief can be an
antighost fundamentalist. Nor are assertive atheists employing violence to
further the cause the way actually militant Muslims, Hindus and Christians are
fighting for their faith.
This highly skeptical albeit agnostic assertive atheist, by the way, often
describes himself as an antisupernaturalist, or nonsupernaturalist because I
am strongly opposed to belief in all forms of supernaturalism and
paranormalism that have not been substantiated by the evidence. You know, ghosts,
speaking to the dead, fairies, gods, poltergeists, psychic powers, astrology…