I will now offer helpful but simplistic definitions of why a position of atheism could be chosen it is of course just an over generalization but it will highlight the main idea though it always will be more substantive in reality and who is applying it.
Here is my list of non-theistic and theistic assumptions
- Weakest implicit Nontheistic/Atheism “negative” / “weak” / “soft” nonbelief similar to Non-Theism
- Strong implicit Atheism “negative” / “weak” / “soft” nonbelief similar to Apatheist Atheism.
- Weak Explicit Atheism “negative” / “weak” / “soft” atheists similar to Agnostic Atheism.
- Strong Explicit Atheism “negative” / “weak” / “soft” atheists similar to Ignostic Atheism.
- Strongest Explicit Atheism “positive” / “strong” / “hard” atheists similar to Antitheist Atheism.
- Weakest implicit Theistic thinking/Theism “negative” / “weak” / “soft” belief similar to Vague Theism
- Weak implicit Theism “negative” / “weak” / “soft” belief similar to apatheist theists.
- Weak Explicit Theism “negative” / “weak” / “soft” theists similar to agnostic theism.
- Strong Explicit Theism “positive” / “strong” / “hard” theists similar to standard theism.
- Strongest Explicit Theism “positive” / “strong” / “hard” theists similar to gnostic theism.
Adeist atheism: as you can see, we are dealing with a negative definition, an antonym, just like the words a-theist and a-symmetric. Deism is the belief that a supreme being created the universe and is no longer interfering, intervening or interacting with the universe or laws of nature (no miracles, revelations etc.) and an a-deist, rejects deism or does not share the beliefs of the deist most likely denies a supreme being created the universe exists or ever existed. Adeism is the position of unbelief, or non-belief in the existence of any God or supernatural being. 1
Agnostic atheism: addresses the issue of what one knows or claims to know about the existence of god/gods. Asserts an inability of any claim about the existence of god or nonexistence, Agnostic atheists are usually individuals who claim no one can know if or prove there is or is not a god, does not believe any god exists, but doesn’t claim to know whether this is actually true. In some cases, the agnostic atheism will assert that the answers to questions about the existence of gods are unknown and unknowable so the questions are essentially meaningless as “god” is ill-defined. 1
Analytical atheism: comes to disbelief because of deliberative analytical thinking on the god concepts. Psychologists believe that humans process information in two main ways: some thought processes are more intuitive and automatic, whilst others are more analytical and deliberative. In studies it has been shown that religious and supernatural beliefs are associated mostly with intuition and deliberative analytical thinking is less likely to hold religious and supernatural beliefs. 1
Anarchy atheism: advocate of freethought and anti-religious activism. If you don’t believe any god should control you, you shouldn’t believe any other human being should believe in a sky king or supernatural master and more than human kings or masters. An anarchist would most likely be atheist, anti-theist, agnostic or apatheist believing there should be no rulers thus reject god whether they think one does or doesn’t exist. Certainly excludes rulers like gods, kings, or the state. Anarchy atheism likewise could be anti-religion as well seeing parallels between organized religion external control instead of the individual (even if god was removed) and the state (the primary target of most anarchists) are striking thus rejected. Politicians and preachers are one and the same: both work for a higher power than you, money and power. Ultimately, anarchy to atheism, goes past a simple atheism tendency to only attack god, while ignoring the state, capital, and other possible forms of domination, when anarchy atheists believe they have to attack all of it. 1
Antagonist atheism: someone who doesn’t just think that God does not exists but actively goes out of their way to openly ridicule or otherwise attack peoples having faith. Antagonist atheism would be excessive mocking of people and ideas many out spoken atheists may attack thinking but this is more confrontational to people. “New Atheists” actively assert that God does not exist and “evangelize” their worldview. Some who employ Antagonist atheism could be termed “Hatetheists” this is not to say all Antagonist atheism are or that many new atheists who often desire to antagonize go as far as becoming Hatetheists. to describe those who cannot help but espouse their hatred (not just disagreement) with people in theism. Despite its alliterative charm ‘antagonistic atheism’ seems like a tag invented by those proponents of religion who cannot tackle atheistic arguments head on. 1 2
Anticlerical atheism: disbelief from an opposing or clergy for reasons including their actual or alleged power and influence in all aspects of public and political life and their involvement in the everyday life of the citizen, their privileges, or their enforcement of orthodoxy. Philosophy of atheism built on an attacked the religious claim of leadership and holiness thus claiming things like saints, holy persons or priests are oppressive classism and morally corrupt so if divined by a god then there can be no god. Anticlerical atheism would say the clerics live like kings or god in freedom while we live in bondage and poverty oppressed by their imposed sin and the requirement to give them our money! 1
Antireligionist atheism: is opposition to any religion, religious beliefs, religious institutions, and god myths. Antireligion is distinct from atheism and antitheism (opposition to belief in deities), although antireligionists may be atheists or antitheists. The term may be used to describe opposition to mostly organized religions, or can describe a broader opposition to any form of belief in the supernatural, holy, godly or divine. 1
Apistevist atheism: an atheist is one who is not a theist, one who is not a believer; an agnostic is one who lacks knowledge; apistevist is the term for one who lacks or denies faith, especially of the religious or superstition variety. I happen to know many people who are hard-core theists and insist that their faith is rational, based on things they see as evidence supporting or convincing what they feel is a need for religious faith. Then there are others religious believers who go the route of pure and simple faith without feeling the need for evidence. Apistevist atheist rejects how many theists arguing for their beliefs coming from faith alone even if believers think it has some kind of evidence. 1
Axiological atheism: is a constructive Value centered ethics driven atheism which rejects the existence of gods in favor of a “higher absolute,” such as humanity and society. This form of atheism favors humanity as the absolute source of ethics and values, and permits individuals to resolve moral problems without resorting to faith or god myths. Axiological or constructive atheism conveys messages of liberation, full-development, and unfettered happiness. Axiological or constructive atheism life meaning in humanity, ethics and values surpasses one of the most common criticisms of atheism that denying the existence of a god leads to moral relativism, leaving one with no moral or ethical foundation or renders life meaningless and miserable. Axiological Atheism can be thought to involve ethical/value theory reasoned and moral argument driven atheism, anti-theism, anti-religionism, ignosticism, apatheism, secularism, and humanism. Axiological Atheist, can be understood as a value theory or value science Atheist. As such axiological atheism’s ethically reasoning is constructive and pro-humanity. We who believe we are thinking rational, leading to opposition or hate of religion may that be limited to the nonfactual or oppressive ideology and not the people. Beyond just not being something lets be something, rational thinking should challenge myths but also prove our love for humanity and care for all living beings. In most cases, Axiological atheism would assert the traditional concept of “Atheism” answers only a single question: Is there a creator god or not? That is an important question, but if your answer is “no”, it is only a starting point and not a way of life. You may have reached that viewpoint based on your respect for logic, evidence, science,and personal experience which too are vital values. Yet, after you have reached that initial “no god” answer, all the other important questions in life, all the options for mental and emotional wholeness and social and environmental harmony, ethics and morality, personal fulfillment, social values, philosophy and psychology remain open. That is where “Axiological Atheism” holds a connection to both further challenging the god concept and devaluing religion and adding a value meaning and ethical axiological ideology to guide universally desirable secular ethical way of being or a value driven life lived in this reality. What is Axiology, Formal Axiology & Axiological Profiling? Axiology is the name for “value theory.” It is derived from the Greek word “axios” meaning “worth.” Formal axiology is the logic-based science of value anchored in a “hierarchy of meaning” from the most meaningful or richest value to the most destructive or greatest value loss. The logic specifies 18 different levels of richness. Hartman’s “hierarchy of value” is the mathematical measuring standard for human evaluative judgment and decision-making in life and in all social sectors of life in our culture. When people make value judgments, they use both their mental and emotional capacities to arrive at their decision. Some people have very solid and reliable decision-making abilities – while others routinely make wrong or inaccurate choices. Axiological profiles measure the quality of the respondent’s judgment and decision-making by gauging both their mental clarity and their emotional orientation & conditioning. Dr. Leon Pomeroy in his book, The New Science of Axiological Psychology (Pomeroy, 2005), has shown that formal axiology is also empirically valid. Thus, in our axiological assessment profiles we have the solid support of both scientific methods: the deductive logic-based axiomatic method and the inductive, empirical method. Dr. Pomeroy spent over 20 years collecting statistical data for his book cross-nationally, from numerous and diverse eastern and western countries and cultures, and proving that cultures all over the world make value judgments in the same way. Neuro‐Axiology: merges Neuroscience understanding how the brain works with Axiology’s formal science that makes possible the objective measurement of value how humans make value judgments. (You will ALWAYS choose what you think adds the MOST value to your life.) Accepting the standard of neuroscientific model of consciousness means that everything we think, feel, remember, and do is a function of the brain. This includes the emotion of empathy. We are not empathic because it makes sense to be empathic – meaning that most humans don’t simply reason their way to empathy. Nor do we simply learn empathy (although brain development is an interactive process with the environment, so we can’t rule out environmental influences). For the most part, we have empathy because our brains are wired with empathy as a specific function. Like every function of the body you can think of, if it is not essential for survival then some subset of the human population likely has a disorder or even absence of this function. We recognize the biological limits of empathy or absence of empathy as the disorder, psychopathy. It is estimated that about 1% of the general population are psychopaths, while about 20-30% of the US prison population. Dr. Robert S. Hartman discovered that people hold back a 40% latent reserve of cooperation and productivity until they have been valued as human beings. Axiology is the science of how humans value and make value judgments as well as how they relate to ethics (not moral values often religious or culture relative). The basics of Axiology are in its 3 Classes of Value and 6 “Advisors”. The following are the Classes of Value: 1. Systemic: plans, rules, best practices, procedures; ideas or expectations 2. Extrinsic: practical or situational; measurable, tracked; tasks (tangible) 3. Intrinsic: personal or transcendent; infinitely valuable; irreplaceable; human beings (intangibles). The following are the 6 Advisors which consist of 2 views of one inward and one outward and one must remember people are neither their thoughts nor their advisors. 1. World View: Empathy-Intuition “people”, Practical Judgment “tasks, & Systems Thinking “plans & ideas” 2. Self View: Self-Esteem “who you are”, Role Awareness “what you do,” & Self Direction “where you go”. The word “Axiological” (to the term “Axiological atheism” is meant to denote an atheistic “Value” rejection of the existence of gods or supreme beings and in favor of a “higher absolute” such as humanity or universal ethical principles. The perception of moral obligation removed from ethical sensitivity to universal justice [is] thus unintelligible as “higher absolute”. As a form of atheism, Axiological favors humanity as the absolute source of holistic ethics and care values which permits individuals to resolve moral problems without resorting to a god’s moral obligation which is anti-humanity and not needing to connect to equal justice. Axiological Atheism can be seen as ethically reasoned antitheism and antireligionism where it is all about axiology values that underlie the universal truths. A few examples of universal truths such as there is no such thing as just rape, no honorable thoughtful unwanted torture, and no just humanistic caring abuse of the innocent. You can offer excuses but the true values violations hold true. Axiologists are broadly concerned with all forms of value including aesthetic values, ethical values, and epistemic values. In a narrow sense, axiologists are concerned with what is intrinsically valuable or worthwhile—what is desirable for its own sake. All axiological issues are necessarily connected to ontological and epistemological assumptions. Axiology in Axiological Atheism can be seen as applying science of morality, referring to its ethically naturalistic views basing morality on rational and empirical consideration of the natural world. The idea of a science of morality has been explored by writers like Joseph Daleiden in The Science of Morality: The Individual, Community, and Future Generations or more recently by neuroscientist Sam Harris in the 2010 book The Moral Landscape. Harris’ science of morality suggests that scientists using empirical knowledge, especially neuropsychology and metaphysical naturalism, in combination with axiomatic values as “first principles”, would be able to outline a universal basis for morality. Harris and Daleiden chiefly argue that society should consider normative ethics to be a domain of science whose purpose amounts to the pursuit of flourishing (well-being). “Science” should not be so narrowly defined as to exclude important roles for any academic disciplines which base their conclusions on the weight of empirical evidence. The term “science of morality” is also sometimes used for the description of moral systems in different cultures or species. The axiological movement emerges from the phenomenological method. The axiologists sought to characterize the notion of value in general, of which moral value is only one species. They argue against Kant, that goodness does not exclusively derive from the will, but exists in objective hierarchies. They emphasize the extent to which it is through emotions and feelings that human beings discern values. The notion of right action is understood derivatively in terms of the values which emotions reveal. Evolutionary psychology seems to offer an account of the evolution of our “moral sense” (conscience) that dispenses with any reference to objective values. Its apparent elimination of objective values on the grounds of their being unneeded in explanation has led the skeptical writings of J.L. Mackie and Michael Ruse. By contrast, Robert Nozick has resisted this interpretation of evolution (1981) arguing that an evolutionary account of the moral sense can no more dispense with values than an evolutionary account of perception can dispense with perceptual objects objectively present in the world. Axiologists in contemporary ethics are Platonists such as Iris Murdoch and Neo-Kantian theorists such as John Rawls and Robert Nozick. Tenets of Secular Ethics involve a width and diversity of their philosophical views, but secular ethicists generally share one or more principles:
• Human beings, through their ability to empathize, are capable of determining ethical grounds.
• Human beings, through logic and reason, are capable of deriving normative principles of behavior.
• Human beings have the moral responsibility to ensure that societies and individuals act based on these ethical principles.
• Societies should, if at all possible, advance from a less ethical, less empathy, and unjust form to a more ethical, more empathy and just form.1 2 3
Emotional atheism: are the kinds of unbelievers who, due to some unfortunate personal tragedy or thwarted desires, and see that god appears to do nothing, often come to doubt not only the benevolence, but not the very existence of god. How could people be angry with God if they did not believe in God? Just like God unicorns are believed to not exist but who has ever been angry at unicorns? The issue is they are not really being logical to be angry directly to a god they don’t believe in, if they do it’s not atheism it’s maybe angry theism or some other variant. Emotional atheism can be genuine doubt though its hate can be confused as angry theism (most likely by believers) instead their hate of god concepts or hate of unlikely gods they most likely don’t acknowledge. A study found that faith was least likely to recover if anger toward God was the cause of their loss of belief. In other words, anger toward God may not only lead people to atheism but give them a reason to cling to their disbelief. 1
Empiricism atheism: empiricism is an epistemological theory which argues that that all knowledge must be acquired a posteriori and that nothing can be known a priori. Another way of putting it is that empiricism denies the existence of purely intellectual knowledge and argues that only sense-knowledge can exist. Empiricism is a common philosophical belief among many atheists. They believe that empirical science is the only true path to understanding. If you cannot see it, smell it, taste it, hear it, etc., it cannot be known. Empiricism atheists say that if you cannot prove something empirically, such as the existence of God, you are irrational for believing it. 1 2
Epistemological atheism: highlights a branch of philosophy that deals with determining what is and what is not true, and why we believe or disbelieve what we or others do. On one hand, this is begging the question of having the ability to measure “truth” – as though there is an “external” something that one measures against. From this atheist orientation, there is no, nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be, any “external” something so there can be no god-concept. Many debates between atheist and theists revolve around fundamental issues which people don’t recognize or never get around to discussing. Many of these are epistemological in nature: in disagreeing about whether it’s reasonable to believe in the existence of god, to believe in miracles, to accept revelation and scriptures as authoritative, and so forth, atheists and theists are ultimately disagreeing about basic epistemological principles. Without understanding this and understanding the various epistemological positions, people will just end up talking past each other. it’s common for Epistemological atheism to differ in what they consider to be appropriate criteria for truth and, therefore, the proper criteria for a reasonable disbelief. 1
Ethical atheism: ethics must be equally applied or the concept of ethics has no ethical meaning to begin with. Ethical atheism could be seen as thinking that if the idea of god implies the abdication of human reason and justice; it is the most decisive negation against of human rights, dignity, and liberty. Therefore ethical atheism holds a necessarily requirement to disbelief in order to end such unethical thinking and to end a god only morality enslavement of mankind. Ethical atheism holds all to ethical standards therefor if god did exist, it would be necessary to abolish him so we could be freely utilize human rights, dignity, reason and justice. Ethical atheism promotes atheism because it is both the logical and the ethical position to take in a world where religious people fly planes into skyscrapers, blow themselves up on crowded busses, and do all sorts of horrible things in the name of an imaginary sky monster. 1
Evidential atheism: thinks that whether or not belief in a divine being is epistemically acceptable will be determined by the evidence. I intend to treat “evidence” in a broad sense including a priori arguments, arguments to the best explanation, inductive and empirical reasons, as well as deductive and conceptual premises. (Also note that one could be an evidentialist theist.) The evidentialist theist and the evidentialist atheist may have a number of general epistemological principles concerning evidence, arguments, implication in common, but then disagree about what the evidence is, how it should be understood, and what it implies. They may disagree, for instance, about whether the values of the physical constants and laws in nature constitute evidence for intentional fine tuning, but agree that whether God exists is a matter that can be explored empirically. 1
Existential atheism: existentialism in general says nature and life do not have an objective purpose or meaning other than those we choose or create for ourselves. Existential atheism would thus assert a god concept is invented outside of life thus just a nonsense choice. An existential atheism challenges religious thinking showing it not even worthy of challenging to begin with because it is so meaningless in its reality irrelevant to truth or critical thought. Existential atheism would say there is no reason to believe in things like gods, flying monkeys or pink elephants exist, nor any requirement to prove they don’t. Only a fool believes something just because someone claims that a lack of belief makes you a fool. Existential atheism sees meaningless of a religion in concept it claims to provide a salvation from the guilt and punishment it created in the first place that without religion there is no longer a need to have salvation because of the removing of the inventor of the guilt and punishment to begin with so one is better off without religion in the first place. The term atheistic existentialism refers to the exclusion of any transcendental, metaphysical, or religious beliefs from philosophical existentialist thought. 1
Experiential atheism: The second type of argument commonly advanced against the doctrine of divine omniscience is the problem of experiential knowledge. This is that there appear to be certain kinds of knowledge that can only be acquired by having certain kinds of experiences. The Problem of Experiential Knowledge: (1) There are some items of knowledge that can only be acquired through experience. (2) Some of the experiences through which items of knowledge that can only be acquired through experience are acquired are such that they cannot be had by God. (3) If some of the experiences through which items of knowledge that can only be acquired through experience are acquired are such that they cannot be had by God, then there are some items of knowledge that cannot be acquired by God. Therefore: (4) There are some items of knowledge that cannot be acquired by God. (5) If there are some items of knowledge that cannot be acquired by God then it is not the case that God is omniscient. Therefore: (6) It is not the case that God is omniscient. 1
Feminist atheism: is a momentum within feminism that advocates atheism, opposing religion and its manly make gods as a main source of female oppression and inequality, believing that the majority of the religions are sexist and oppressive to women. Atheist feminists object to the fact that women are not eligible to be equal members as well. 1
Gnostic (anti-agnostic) atheism: addresses the issue of what one knows or claims to know about the existence of god/gods. Denies any claim about the existence of god, gnostic atheists are individuals who claim to know that the claim there is no god can be demonstrated as true. Typically, the claim of god as disprovable and all belief in or knowledge about god is esoteric and mostly attributed to divine revelation myths claimed in manmade holy writing. In some cases, the gnostic atheism will assert that this knowledge of gods nonexistence is available through historical, logical, theoretical, empirical or scientific evidence etc. tend to believe in rationalism, are critical of any belief system that demands from people faith or simple acceptance instead of relying on reasoning and critical thinking. Atheists of this type, including Goldman, argue that religion and belief in God are not just irrational, or unreasonable, but also destructive and harmful because of the influence of religious institutions over people’s lives. 1
Humanist atheism: humanist atheism is most likely secular humanism with atheism added. Secular humanism is alternatively known by some adherents as Humanism, specifically with a capital H to distinguish it from other forms of lowercase humanism. Humanist atheism embraces human reason, ethics, social justice and philosophical naturalism, while specifically rejecting religious dogma, supernaturalism, pseudoscience or superstition as the basis of morality and decision making. Humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence (rationalism, empiricism) over established doctrine or faith (fideism). Generally, humanism refers to a perspective that affirms some notion of human freedom and progress. In modern times, humanist movements are typically aligned with secularism, and today “Humanism” typically refers to a non-theistic life stance centered on human agency, and looking to science instead of religious dogma in order to understand the world. Humanist atheism believes there is a need to hold disbelief on the god question because most concepts god holds that god is the only giver or definer of rights, ethical, justice or truth. Thus Humanist atheism assorts only disbelief and god removal in relevance can then embrace human reason, ethics, and social justice. Humanistic atheism values human reality in naturalism, rejecting religious dogma, supernaturalism, pseudoscience or superstition as the basis of social morality and human decision making. It posits that human beings are capable of being ethical and moral without religion or a god. It does not, however, assume that humans are either inherently evil or innately good, nor does it present humans as being superior to nature. 1 2
Ignostic atheism: ignosticism is similar to agnosticism, but where agnosticism is the claim that you can’t know something (god), ignosticism is the claim that, if the definition of something (god) is incoherent, then it can’t be meaningfully discussed, and if the definition of something (god) is unfalsifiable, then it has no meaning. Ignosticism or igtheism is the idea that every theological position assumes too much about the concept of God and other theological concepts. Ignosticism could possibly be one of the best argument against god concepts ever as it sees all efforts surrounding existence of a God concept semantically twisting the definition of God to mean that which is incomprehensible. If God is incoherent then the experiences believers attribute to God are by extension unintelligible and therefore meaningless. In which case you void any and all purported experiences of God because you couldn’t comprehend them. Ignostic atheism holds two interrelated views about to reject all God concepts. They are as follows: 1) The view that a coherent definition of God must be presented before the question of the existence of god can be meaningfully discussed. 2) If the definition provided is unfalsifiable, the Ignostic atheist takes the theological noncognitivist position that the question of the existence of a God concept is rendered meaningless thus must stay refuted. As with any topic, and especially in the realm of the supernatural and woo, the subject of any debate should be coherently defined. If one offers a clear definition of an entity, then in order to take a position whether it exists or not the definition of the entity must be one in which its existence can be falsified (there is a rational and logical method by which we can test the existence of the subject as it has been defined). Few theists ever offer a clear definition of God. The few who do offer a definition almost never offer one in which the existence of that God could be tested. The rare falsifiable definition offered regarding God’s existence is easily falsified. And so as with any subject (such as the existence of almost all supernatural entities) debate about the existence of God is, for the far majority of such conversations, pointless. 1 2 3
Investigative atheism: investigative atheism may take some interest in showing how the skeptical theistic way of reasoning, brought into the larger flow of total evidence skepticism, can be used to expose certain additional sources of doubt about theism sufficient to prevent overhasty migration to theism on the part of those left unconvinced by atheism. Moreover, and more positively, it can be used to inspire a greater openness to new religiously-relevant investigative results in the future. With these thoughts in mind, let’s add two more skeptical theses to our list: We have no good reason for thinking that the arguments from horrors or hiddenness against theism we know of are representative, relative to the property of (potentially) constituting a successful proof that theism is false, of the arguments from horrors or hiddenness against theism there are. And we have no good reason for thinking that the possible goods we know of are representative, relative to the property of consistency with a person being axiologically ultimate, of the possible goods there are but are always investigating and open. 1
Logical atheism: logical atheism holds that the various conceptions of gods, such as the personal god, are ascribed logically inconsistent qualities. Such atheists present deductive arguments against the existence of God, which assert the incompatibility between certain traits, such as perfection, creator-status, immutability, omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence, omnibenevolence, transcendence, personhood (a personal being), nonphysicality, justice, and mercy. Logical arguments for atheism attempt to show that the concept of god is self-contradictory with some known fact. These incompatible-properties arguments attempt to demonstrate a contradiction in the concept of God. If an argument of this type were successful, it would mean that the existence of god is utterly impossible; there is a 0% probability that gods exists. 1 2
Materialistic atheism: materialists most likely value physicalism and may say that morality and concepts of god evolved thus extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence so god is not reality nor is such myths authoritative. Atheists are usually materialists of some sort, rejecting the idea that there exists anything independent of the workings of matter and energy. Materialism often entails atheism unless a person believes in a purely physical god, but atheism does not entail materialism. It may be hard to believe in a god in a materialistic philosophy, but an atheistic philosophy need not be materialistic. Materialistic atheism could involve an individualistic thinking earthier consciously or subconsciously to fulfill a survival of the fittest “things” or “needs” (to consume or accumulate) in order to “survive” are a value physicalism requires since you are the only thing you can count on, knowing no god is waiting to help. 1
Metaphysical atheism: metaphysical atheism can include any doctrines that hold to a atheistic metaphysical monism (the homogeneity of reality). Only a metaphysical atheism is based on absolute metaphysical atheism thus subscribe to some degree of physicalism, and explicitly deny the existence of non-physical beings most notably gods. Metaphysical atheism may be either: a) absolute — an explicit denial of God’s existence associated with materialistic monism (all materialistic trends, both in ancient and modern times); b) relative — the implicit denial of God in all philosophies that, while they accept the existence of an absolute, conceive of the absolute as not possessing any of the attributes proper to God: transcendence, a personal character or unity. Relative atheism is associated with idealistic monism (apantheism, pantheism, panentheism, deism). Metaphysical atheism could be the view that a god exists but doesn’t have a mind, which is basically a special type of deism. One important distinction is precisely whether an atheist can be a deist or pantheist. One view of atheism is that no gods can exist. Another view is merely that personal gods don’t exist. 1
Naturalist atheism: naturalist atheism is the philosophical doctrine that the observable physical world is all there is thus there can be no god. Most philosophers of science adhere strictly to this view and positively deny that any supernatural or miraculous effects or forces are possible thus one is almost required to hold a view of atheism. Naturalist atheists are driven by the humility lacking desire to plumb the depths of reality, to know what objectively exists, to understand how things fundamentally work, and to have maximally transparent explanations of phenomena. Naturalist atheism thus is a philo-scientific way of knowing what can justifiably believe which gets us reliable beliefs about the world. Naturalist atheism can be called a philo-scientific epistemology because it combines openness to philosophical critique with a reliance on scientific criteria of explanatory adequacy as vetted by that critique and the actual practice of science. Naturalist atheism holds that science and philosophy are continuous, interpenetrating and collaborative in our investigation of reality; neither is foundational to the other. Naturalist atheism mainly wants not to be deceived by supernatural or divine being claims, or to make errors of logic or method or assumptions when understanding the world which leave open the possibility of a God’s existence. 1
Nihilistic atheism: judges of the world as it is that it ought not to be, and of the world as it ought to be that it does not exist. According to this view, our existence (action, suffering, willing, feeling) has no meaning and “true morality” is unknown, and secular ethics are impossible; therefore, life has no truth, and no action is known to be preferable to any other. Thus it is incompatible for religion or the concept of a god (won’t accept god, or a moral code based on belief in god) is for people to pursue their “will to power”. Nihilistic atheism presented in the form of existential nihilism, which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value. Moral nihilists assert that morality does not inherently exist, and that any established moral values are abstractly contrived. Nihilism can also take epistemological or ontological/metaphysical forms, meaning respectively that, in some aspect, knowledge is not possible, or that reality does not actually exist. 1
Noncognitivism atheism: is the position that religious language — and specifically religious terms like “god” — are not (cognitively) meaningful. Noncognitivism atheism argues that religious language is not meaningful because its empirical claims cannot be verified, even in theory. Likewise they further think there are no positive attributes that can be ascribed to entities like “god,” and entities without attributes are meaningless.This means that noncognitivism denies the essential meaningfulness of religious language, religious arguments, and religious apologetics. If they aren’t meaningful, then they can’t be either true or false and believing them to be true is pointless. 1
Non-evidential atheism: goes beyond a limitation in common atheism which likely is using evidentialist theory of knowledge which is any theory of knowledge that says that having evidence for a thing is necessary for knowing that thing. A non-evidentialist theory of knowledge denies this most commonly offering instead two additional non-evidentialist theories of knowledge: the causal theory, and reliabilism. Even if a belief lacks a credible rational it is not automatically irrational it may simply be utilizing a less supported or even wishful idealism stance that may even be somewhat flawed and yet still not irrational which is to be without the faculty of reason or deprived of reason. According to the Causal Theory of Knowledge, the difference between a true belief that isn’t knowledge and a true belief that is amounts to the following: if a true belief that P is knowledge, then it is causally connected to the fact that P. The simplest sort of causal connection would be direct: one where the fact that P is the cause of a subject’s belief that P. Causal connections can also be indirect: perhaps the fact that P causes the fact that Q which causes the subject to believe that P. It allow that you can know P if P is “logically related” to a fact that is causally connected to your believing P. According to the Reliabilism theory of Knowledge, which holds that the difference between mere true belief on the one hand and knowledge on the other is that the latter is formed via a reliable process: Reliabilism S knows that P if and only if S’s true belief that P was caused by a reliable process. What is a “reliable process”? Well, think of an analogy. A reliable car is one that generally works when you want it to. What “work” do we want our belief-forming processes to do? We want them to form true beliefs. So a reliable belief-forming process is one that generally leads to true beliefs. Reliabilism says that knowledge is true belief that was formed by a process that can generally be relied on to form true beliefs. As long as perception, memory, testimony, and reasoning are reliable in this sense, they can give us knowledge. If the processes of reasoning that lead us to form inductive generalizations (like “All men are mortal”) are reliable, then according to RT, they can lead us to knowledge. 1
Objectivism atheism: objectivism holds that in order to obtain knowledge, man must use an objective process of thought. The essence of objective thought is, first, integration of perceptual data in accordance with logic and, second, a commitment to acknowledging all of the facts of reality, and only the facts. In other words, the only thoughts to consider when forming knowledge of reality are those logically derived from reality. objectivism as an atheistic thinking upholds ultimate reason, not faith of any kind could be seen as a form of agnosticism. Objectivism atheist asserts proof of disbelief by our level of knowledge such as a certainty of religious rightness only a subjective deduction, probability of rightness is an unreasonable inconclusive induction, probability of wrongness is the most reasonable conclusive induction, certainty of complete wrongness holds more reason but still can be only a subjective deduction. Regardless of what certain religions, scientists, or philosophers believe or say they have to either prove that a thing is certain (i.e. it can never be altered) or they have to accept its probabilistic nature (i.e. there might be a time in the future or unobserved past when the reason does not hold). 1
Ontological atheism: ontological atheism asserts Ontological theism arguments aim too high. Just like logical calculus cannot ascertain a specific basic proposition is correct, existential calculus should not be able to conclude that some specific being exists. Logical calculus can show that if a bachelor exists then a man exists (since a bachelor is, specifically, a man), and existential calculus might be able to show that if certain things exist then god exists. But ontological arguments try to prove that something (god) exists without committing to the existence of any specific thing. They can therefore be roughly divided into several types:- (a) ones that assume that god exists from the get-go, but disguise it in some way; (b) ones that make an error in existential calculus, so are not sound; (c) ones that are correct but trivial, e.g. showing that the sum of all things exists in some sense. rethinks if one agrees that the existence of god has indeed been proven, you still really don’t know much about that god other than that it is infinite and perfect. These characteristics seem to be quite dangerous in light of the characteristics of god that have been posited by many organized religions. They posit someone who cares for us and who would simultaneously damn us to eternity in hell for our failure to believe in him thus we cannot and should not believe in a god. Using rationality, one cannot conceive of a god with infinite perfection, with anthropomorphic qualities (i.e. human motivation, characteristics, or behavior) or an infinite god holding judgments or care about what humans do. Ontological atheism reveals that the Ontological theism argument is problematic on four grounds: A) It defines God as a Necesary being which is necessarily O, and then “derives” that god is a necessary being. This isn’t so much a flaw as it is misleading. B) It assumes that which it seeks to prove, namely it assumes that the Necessary-God is logically possible, which denies the very possibility that god doesn’t exist. Instead of wrestling with the claim that god doesn’t exist and showing it is false, the argument a-priori assumes that it is false. C) It relies on a confusion between epistemic and logical possibility. As a broad proposition the Necessary-God needs to be treated as an epistemic possibility, leading to a weakened 1B which cannot support the rest of the argument. D) Even the weakened 1B should not be accepted. Like all Necessary postulates, that a Necessary-God exists is either true in all possible worlds or not true in all possible worlds. The argument doesn’t advance the position that it is true in all possible worlds. 1
Panatheism atheism: the assertion that no god or gods exist and that then nothing can be correctly termed holy or be considered sacred. The belief in “all atheism” which holds the position that all people are atheists to at least one or more god models thus belief all god concepts should be rejected and because there is no God, nothing can properly be termed sacred or holy. Panatheism atheism comes to disbelief by the simple absurdity of competing beliefs all saying only there way is true when if one is true all others are false thus all are false because all cannot be true and if you had all them in front of you like flashcards how could one be desired over another anyway? A panatheism atheism belief can be also understood as because there is no right conception of god, nothing can properly be termed sacred or holy. panatheism atheists believe “all are atheist” or the position that all people where they acknowledge it or not are atheists to at least one or more god myths or beliefs held by someone or even your belief in only one concept is to be atheist to another. It is not an atheist term of a pantheistic outlook (minus the theism). Pronounced ‘pan-atheism’, this word attempts to overcome the seeming incompatibility of ‘pantheism’ and ‘atheism.’ pan-atheism can be seen as rejecting Spinoza asserted that for a concept of god to make any sense at all, it must simply be nature, (god is nature = pantheism). That is, Spinoza pantheism asserts god cannot be something outside nature that controls it, but must necessarily be part of it. Indeed, if all Being is God, that is, if Nature is God, then simultaneously, this implies that God does not exist as a transcendent entity, especially not one with a face or personal identity. If Nature ‘is’ God, then God ‘is’ dead: a new an beautiful ‘syllogism.’ God here invokes Nietzsche’s observation of God’s death as the ‘end’ of transcendence or the subordination of transcendence to immanence. Indeed, those who posit a plane of univocal immanence are panatheists. And if panatheism is Nietzschean/Spinozistic ontology, then transcendental empiricism is its epistemology. 1
Philosophical atheism: uses philosophy to justify non-belief. Philosophical atheists have not shared a common set of atheism no god or gods exist views, philosophical convictions can often set them off from other groups of atheism thinkers. There are different kinds of philosophical atheists as well as many philosophical justifications for atheism. Many atheists feel that the idea of God as presented by the major religions is essentially self-contradictory, and that it is logically impossible that such a God could exist. Others are atheists through skepticism, because they see no evidence that God exists. Of course, some people are atheists without having any particular logical argument to back up their atheism. For some, it is simply the most comfortable, common sense position to take. Philosophical atheism is different addressing one of agnosticisms biggest objections the limit to knowledge God exists or agnosticisms believed impossibility to prove the nonexistence of something. There are many counterexamples to prove the nonexistence of something. For example, it is quite simple to prove that there does not exist a prime number larger than all other prime numbers. Of course, this deals with well-defined objects obeying well-defined rules. Whether Gods or universes are similarly well-defined is a matter for debate. However, assuming for the moment that the existence of a God is not provably impossible, there are still subtle reasons for assuming the nonexistence of God. If we assume that something does not exist, it is always possible to show that this assumption is invalid by finding a single counterexample. If on the other hand we assume that something does exist, and if the thing in question is not provably impossible, showing that the assumption is invalid may require an exhaustive search of all possible places where such a thing might be found, to show that it isn’t there. Such an exhaustive search is often impractical or impossible. There is no such problem with largest primes, because we can prove that they don’t exist. Therefore it is generally accepted that we must assume things do not exist unless we have evidence that they do. To assume that God exists is to make an assumption which probably cannot be tested. We cannot make an exhaustive search of everywhere God might be to prove that he doesn’t exist anywhere. If God interacts with our universe in any way, the effects of his interaction must have some physical manifestation. Hence his interaction with our universe must be in principle detectable. If God is essentially nondetectable, it must therefore be the case that he does not interact with our universe in any way. Many atheists would argue that if God does not interact with our universe at all, it is of no importance whether he exists or not. A thing which cannot even be detected in principle does not logically exist. Things do not exist merely because they have been defined to do so. We know a lot about the definition of Santa Claus–what he looks like, what he does, where he lives, what his reindeer are called, and so on. But that still doesn’t mean that Santa exists. 1
Political or State atheism: is the official promotion of atheism by a government, sometimes combined with active suppression of religious freedom and practice. In contrast, a secular state purports to be officially neutral in matters of religion, supporting neither religion nor irreligion. Political or state atheism may refer to a government’s anti-clericalism or antireligion, which opposes religious institutional power and influence in all aspects of public and political life, including the involvement of religion in the everyday life of the citizen. State promotion of atheism can be to remove all opposition to the governments power not always a true disbelief only of reason. Political or state atheism as a public norm was first practiced during a brief period in Revolutionary France. Since then, such a policy was repeated only in Revolutionary Mexico and some communist states. The Soviet Union had a long history of state atheism. 1
Polyatheist atheism: the act of having many gods you do not believe in. A term used by atheists to point out the fact that basically everyone on earth is an atheist to some extent. Nobody on Earth believes in every god, therefore everyone is an atheist. Such as one saying I am a Christian thus without saying it is an atheist to many or all other gods, one saying I am a Muslim without saying it is an atheist to many or all other gods, or Such as one saying I am a Buddhist without saying it is an atheist to many or all other gods. Therefore an Atheist who is using Polyatheist atheism would say see I don’t believe in any of those gods including yours, therefore I am a polyatheist. 1
Practical atheism: mostly consist with an intuitive system, so intuition to such an atheist is a really practical type of knowing. Practical atheism uses mental shortcuts and gut feelings. This type of thinking uses a kind of “atheistic common sense” to justify their non-belief in gods. Usually there would be a use of the old reliable saying “seeing is believing” or they have never proved themselves to me to justify a practical atheism non-belief in gods or anything supernatural. In practicalistic atheism, individuals live as if there are no gods and explain natural phenomena without resorting to the divine. Practical atheism develops conscious thoughts and common sense counter beliefs to challenge seeing the need to believe. Some of practical atheist’s using such personal common sense disbeliefs could be seen as accurate and useful, where as some could be inaccurate and limiting in actual application to convince to others understanding of such a personal relative atheistic common sense. Moreover, the existence of gods may not always be completely denied just inferred, designated unnecessary to prove or disprove or useless to their lives; gods neither provide purpose to life nor influence everyday life anyways they see. A practical atheist could state, I am me, I am hear in reality therefore I exist; gods’ that are claimed to exist are not about me nor exist in my reality. Gods’ existing is about existence of lives that are placed outside reality. So the gods proposed are limited because they cannot be shown in reality and I am not limited because I can be shown in reality. Seeing gods in reality would allow belief but since nonreality cannot be seen outside reality, I am thus an atheist because my intuition lives in reality where gods do not exist. 1
Psychological atheism: how do psychologists who believe in God and follow a religious tradition reconcile their beliefs with adherence to the science of psychology? In Adieu to God: Why Psychology Leads to Atheism, Mick Power argues that science has all the answers. Psychological atheists are those atheists that say god is only a human invention. Research shows that Psychologists are the least religious amongst professors in America. Sigmund Freud famously argued that God and other religious beliefs are human inventions, created to fulfill various psychological and emotional wants or needs. Psychological atheism also addresses psychological, sociological and economical arguments: Some thinkers, including the anthropologist Ludwig Feuerbach like Sigmund Freud argued that God and other religious beliefs are human inventions, created to fulfill various psychological and emotional wants or needs. Marxists like Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels and the Russian anarchist and revolutionary Mikhail Bakunin have argued that belief in God and religion are social functions, used by those in power to oppress and enslave the working classes. Psychological atheism will differ depending on the psychology approached followed or valued because “psychology” is not some unitary disciple: experimental psychologists are scientists; clinical psychologists are not medical doctors; organizational psychologists are not much concerned with religious salvation; social psychologists often sound like sociologists but they are not. 1 2
Relative atheism: relative atheism or relative metaphysical atheism maintain an implicit denial of a particular concept of god based on the incongruity between their individual philosophies and attributes commonly applied to god, such as transcendence, a personal aspect, or unity, etc. Examples include pantheism, panentheism, and deism. This is contrasted be the more common absolute atheism or Absolute metaphysical atheists subscribe to some form of Physicalism, which explicitly denies the existence of non-physical beings. 1
Religionist atheism: religionist atheism can mean different things kind of like wanting to keep religion or add religion to one’s atheism even when god has been abandoned. It seems like religiosity or religious beliefs with the belief in god missing. Religionist atheism can range from a godless religion to simply those who speak atheism in the guise of language taken broadly from the religious traditions. These atheists though utilize religious traditions may not believe in a god as a being or creator but highly value religious thinking, goals, practices, ceremonies, and religious morality or religious figures, most notably jesus. Likewise, a religionist atheist could hold a positive disbelief or an unsure lack of belief. Religionist atheism could also entail a gentler, more diplomatic atheism that is somewhat pro-religion or not antireligious; they could have “Religion without God”. Religionist atheism would be very drawn to places like The Unitarian Universalist church or The Sunday Assembly, an “atheist church” this is not to say all who attend The Sunday Assembly are religionist atheists. It is possible religionist atheists may adopt a “religious attitude,” a worldview which “accepts the full, independent reality of value,” as distinct from scientific fact and which holds that both individuals and the natural world they inhabit have intrinsic, transcendental value without believing in a personal god. However, this independent reality of value which could be a kind of moral realism is not saying all moral realists have to be religious, or connected to religionist atheism thinking. Religionist atheists think of themselves as atheist but in the no gods way not much else. Most other atheists have a larger disconnection to most things religious not a religionist atheist they are manly disconnect from belief in a god concept or the supernatural but hold value in the religious teachings even if they are possibly all myths. Most of these atheists may be more like moral realists but some may seem more like moral “anti-realism,” “non-realism,” or “irrealism”. 1
Scientific atheism: uses the scientific method to justify non-belief in gods or the supernatural and scientific atheists may also reject all things not materialistic or evolutionary derived. Scientific atheists often start with the position of philosophical atheism and then, due to their scientific theorizing, concluding that the actions of a “god” have no place in a any scientifically-controlled experiment and are simply myths people created to explain the natural scientific world they in less modern times could not understand. Informed consensus rule is a cornerstone of Atheistic thought. Scientific Atheism works on the principle that the utilisation of credible evidence in personal, political and national decisions be the main guide for societies. The consequences of choices take into account the understanding of a common empathy and compassion. Scientific Atheism analytically examines the failings of systems, which allow preferential treatment to the disadvantage of arbitrarily victimised groups. It acknowledges that the rich tapestry of humanity is not open to the selective interpretation of writings from ignorant times. Pigeonholing scientific Atheism into a decidedly unacceptable category reeks of irresponsible promotion. It misrepresents a positive response to the dire circumstances afflicting a world in turmoil. Scientific Atheism places Homo sapiens in proper perspective in the Universe, away from unevidenced, dangerous and improbable illusions erroneously manufactured in the superstitious cauldrons of antiquity. Scientific Atheism unequivocally affirms that we are alone in a cosmos devoid of supernatural realms. The existence of such mental notions are invalidated by the total absence of evidence. Consequently, humanity has to deal with the psychological implications of that knowledge effectively if we are to survive. 1
Seeker atheism: you embrace the fact that you may not have all the answers, you may not be sure if others do either or what answers you have need clarification. You’re part of a category, which tends to be among the least critical of religion as most other groups. You come across as non-committal, which hopefully doesn’t bleed over into your personal life as well, but it might, and you may get harassed for being somewhat of an intellectual coward from other atheists. Nonetheless, you embrace your uncertainty. 1
Skeptical atheism: takes on fundamental religious claims directly, claiming religious tradition need skeptical investigations and without external proof the only thinking is atheism. Skeptical atheism feels skepticism towards the paranormal claims, astrology and psychic healers should go hand in hand with skepticism towards the claim that gods exist, religious and holy claims are true are often treated separately but skeptical atheism asserts that they should not be because both criticisms generally stem from a common commitment to a naturalistic and materialistic view of the universe rejecting the paranormal, supernatural, and magical thinking. This atheism arises in the context of total evidence skepticism and so (given my particular way of developing that skepticism) with an awareness of human immaturity in scientific time. The seeming paradoxicality of this idea is erased when we notice that total evidence skepticism may be accepted for the purposes of deeper inquiry and so along with the aim to make what progress we can, even at our relatively primitive stage of development, by reference to (among other things) what seems to us most obviously true. The Skeptical atheist will think their own position may represent such progress. Nevertheless, skepticism still marks the larger context in which they operate. 1
Spiritual atheism: spirituality seems to be one of those words which have as many definitions as it does people trying to define it. Spiritual atheists can come to disbelief from the outrageous thinking that god is not spiritual but there is spirituality thus we must remove an unnecessary god. Spiritual atheists see a godless Spirituality possibly involving a variety of very personal things like self-realization, philosophical searching, etc. For many others, it is something like a very deep and strong emotional reaction to “life wonders” stars showing the vastness of the universe on a clear night, seeing a gleam in the eyes of a newborn life, etc. For many atheists even ones that don’t claim spirituality in their atheism may have reached that result buy a kind of life quest philosophical searching and religious questioning. Thus, one might argue that their atheism is an integral component of their “spirituality” and their ongoing search for meaning in life. Spiritual atheism could involve exploring the realms of meditation, yoga, etc. in a godless way far removed from the religiously they originated anciently. 1
Theodicean atheism: theodicean atheists believe that the world as they experience it cannot be reconciled with the qualities commonly ascribed to god and gods by theologians. Theodicean atheism is a specific branch of theology and philosophy that exposes the irreconcilable existence of evil or suffering in the world with the assumption of a benevolent god or the problem of evil. An attempt show there can be no co-existence of an “all good” creator god thus the irresponsible creation of “all bad” evil meaning one is true the other cannot be true. 1 2
Theological noncognitivism atheism: theological noncognitivism atheists – holds that the statement “god exists” does not express a proposition, but is nonsensical or cognitively meaningless. A theological noncognitivist atheist claims “god” does not refer to anything that exists, “god” does not refer to anything that does not exist, “god” does not refer to something that may or may not exist, and “god” has no literal significance, just as “Fod” has no literal significance. The term God was chosen for this example, obviously any theological term [such as “Yahweh” and “Allah”] that is not falsifiable is subject to scrutiny. Many people who label themselves “theological noncognitivists” claim that all alleged definitions for the term “God” are circular, for instance, “God is that which caused everything but God”, defines “God” in terms of “God”. They also claim that in Anselm’s definition “God is that than which nothing greater can be conceived”, that the pronoun “which” refers back to “God” rendering it circular as well. Others who label themselves “theological noncognitivists” argue in different ways, depending on what one considers the “theory of meaning” to be. Michael Martin, writing from a verificationist perspective, concludes that religious language is meaningless because it is not verifiable. 1
I am not sure we can get all people to agree on any of this which is not my point anyway it is to inform and offer new possible ideas concerning disbelief but just like the exact diffusion of a god concept existence some stuff will hold a never ending problem. Therefore in trying to define or analyze atheism styles in this way I have some aspects may hold possible challenge, similar to those connected to theism and god concepts which should make most atheists somewhat Ignostic.
By Damien Marie AtHope