Apatheist

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(This extends this entry to include additional descriptions of Apatheists.)
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'''Apatheist''' and '''ignorestic''' are slang terms that describe a person who is technically an atheist (does not believe in a [[god]]) but does not approach atheism from a rational point of view and has not considered many [[religious]] or [[apologetic]] arguments.
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'''Apatheist''' and '''ignorestic''' are terms that describe a person who is generally uninterested in their own [[religious]] [[belief]]s, the religious beliefs of others, or both. As the term ''apatheist'' is a conjunction of ''apathetic'' and ''[[theist]]'' (or ''[[atheist]]''), the term can apply to believers and non-believers. Those who believe in a [[god]] but do not actively practice their adopted [[religion]] could be considered apatheists. Among non-believers, those who have little or no interest in religious issues could be considered apatheists.
  
Apologists who claim that "[[I used to be an atheist]]" are very likely to have been apatheists. Usually their conversion story does not involve a change in their intellectual understanding of the arguments, but instead revolves around an emotional experience or a first encounter with unfamiliar apologetics.
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The philosophical basis for apatheism was summarized, and the term may have been coined, by Jonathan Rauch in an [http://www.jonathanrauch.com/jrauch_articles/apatheism_beyond_religion/index.html article] published in ''The Atlantic'':
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{{Quote-source|To be in the grip of religious zeal is the natural state of human beings, or at least of a great many human beings; that is how much of the species seems to be wired. Apatheism, therefore, should not be assumed to represent a lazy recumbency, like my collapse into a soft chair after a long day. Just the opposite, it is the product of a determined effort to discipline the religious mind set, and often of an equally determined personal effort to master the spiritual passions. It is not a lapse. It is an achievement.|Jonathan Rauch, ''The Atlantic''}}
  
Apatheism is also a term used to describe those who adopt the position that the belief in a god and religion are irrelevant when evaluating your own actions or the actions of others.  
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==Arguments for==
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Those in favor of apatheism argue that religious [[zealot]]ry is responsible for much [[evil]] while an apathetic stance toward religion is the antithesis of zealotry and encourages a more peaceful existence. They believe that apatheism eliminates [[proselytizing]] and promotes true [[religious tolerance]] and that maintaining an ''"I simply don't care"'' attitude toward religion is an effective rebuttal against religious claims.
  
An Apatheist in essence believes that because the existence or non-existence of a deity is impossible to prove conclusively through rational and scientific means, human beings need not concern themselves with the issue of divinity or religion, when evaluating actions. Whatever the source of a person's belief, it is the actions of a person which matter.
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==Arguments against==
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Those opposed to apatheism argue that it is based on flawed and naïve [[premise]]s. Apatheism would certainly prohibit zealotry and proselytizing - but only among apatheists; and there doesn't seem to be any good reason to presume that apatheism could gain sufficient support to effectively eliminate problems between religions or between the religious and irreligious. This is especially true as those who are apatheistic should be unmotivated to spread their own views on apatheism.
  
Some apatheists, especially those who can be described as agnostic atheists, even take it a step further. Those who fit this categoty typically don't believe there is a deity. But even if someone could prove through tangible, repeatable, predictable, and scientifically-verifiable means that there in fact was a deity as described by scripture-based religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) it still would have no effect on  how they lead their lives. These apatheists would not honor or follow such a deity, as they would consider it an egocentric, sadistic, and generally cruel being.
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Apatheism, appears to simply concede the fight to the zealots in the hopes that, eventually, people will see [[reason]]. For those who feel that religion encourages a dangerous mindset (by promoting uncritical acceptance of claims and a [[dogma]]tic resistance to change that defies reason and [[evidence]]), it is unclear how apatheism can be an effective response. Some would go so far as to say that an apathetic stance regarding religion or an unwillingness to challenge religion is directly responsible for the current power that many religions wield.
  
The apatheistic philosophy could be summarized simply by the following statement: "We don't know and we don't care!"
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Those opposed to apatheism would argue that pointing out that the ''emperor has no clothes'' is far more likely to invoke change than turning away in disinterest.
  
Another statement that is associated with Apatheists is the following when referring to the question of whether a deity exists: "The question is no longer important; the answer is no longer interesting."
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[[Category:Philosophy]]
 
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The term Apatheism was first used by Jonathan Rauch in an [http://www.jonathanrauch.com/jrauch_articles/apatheism_beyond_religion/index.html article] published in The Atlantic. In that article, he briefly defines the position as follows:
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"To be in the grip of religious zeal is the natural state of human beings, or at least of a great many human beings; that is how much of the species seems to be wired. Apatheism, therefore, should not be assumed to represent a lazy recumbency, like my collapse into a soft chair after a long day. Just the opposite, it is the product of a determined effort to discipline the religious mind set, and often of an equally determined personal effort to master the spiritual passions. It is not a lapse. It is an achievement."
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[[Category: Atheism]]
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Revision as of 14:12, 10 December 2008

Apatheist and ignorestic are terms that describe a person who is generally uninterested in their own religious beliefs, the religious beliefs of others, or both. As the term apatheist is a conjunction of apathetic and theist (or atheist), the term can apply to believers and non-believers. Those who believe in a god but do not actively practice their adopted religion could be considered apatheists. Among non-believers, those who have little or no interest in religious issues could be considered apatheists.

The philosophical basis for apatheism was summarized, and the term may have been coined, by Jonathan Rauch in an article published in The Atlantic:

"To be in the grip of religious zeal is the natural state of human beings, or at least of a great many human beings; that is how much of the species seems to be wired. Apatheism, therefore, should not be assumed to represent a lazy recumbency, like my collapse into a soft chair after a long day. Just the opposite, it is the product of a determined effort to discipline the religious mind set, and often of an equally determined personal effort to master the spiritual passions. It is not a lapse. It is an achievement."

— Jonathan Rauch, The Atlantic

Arguments for

Those in favor of apatheism argue that religious zealotry is responsible for much evil while an apathetic stance toward religion is the antithesis of zealotry and encourages a more peaceful existence. They believe that apatheism eliminates proselytizing and promotes true religious tolerance and that maintaining an "I simply don't care" attitude toward religion is an effective rebuttal against religious claims.

Arguments against

Those opposed to apatheism argue that it is based on flawed and naïve premises. Apatheism would certainly prohibit zealotry and proselytizing - but only among apatheists; and there doesn't seem to be any good reason to presume that apatheism could gain sufficient support to effectively eliminate problems between religions or between the religious and irreligious. This is especially true as those who are apatheistic should be unmotivated to spread their own views on apatheism.

Apatheism, appears to simply concede the fight to the zealots in the hopes that, eventually, people will see reason. For those who feel that religion encourages a dangerous mindset (by promoting uncritical acceptance of claims and a dogmatic resistance to change that defies reason and evidence), it is unclear how apatheism can be an effective response. Some would go so far as to say that an apathetic stance regarding religion or an unwillingness to challenge religion is directly responsible for the current power that many religions wield.

Those opposed to apatheism would argue that pointing out that the emperor has no clothes is far more likely to invoke change than turning away in disinterest.

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