Atheism is meaningless

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Definition too broad

"If the term “atheism” simply describes a missing mental property (i.e. a lack of belief), then the definition is too broad to be meaningful. Given this new definition there would be no difference between an atheist and the armchair he’s sitting on [1]"

I could define "dead" as "not alive". This of course applies to armchairs, and most of the universe, but the concept "dead" is clearly meaningful. And so is atheism as a lack of belief.

Lack of belief is meaningless

An argument against having a "lack of belief in God", is that "belief" allegedly entails the beliefs validity:

""Lack" means deficiency or absence. "Belief" means acceptance and conviction that something is true or valid. Therefore, lack of belief would basically mean an absence of belief that something is true. But even the meaning of "absence of belief" is debatable. Someone can say, "I have absence of belief in screaming blue ants," but it is a meaningless statement. So? You lack belief in screaming blue ants. What about it? [2]"
"We do not "lack belief" in invisible pink unicorns. That is, we do not hold a mentally neutral position about the concept.[2]"

We can "lack belief" (or "lack positive belief") in a particular proposition. Disbelief is a type of lacking positive belief in a proposition. That is why atheism is often defined as a lack of belief in God: this definition includes both strong and weak atheism.

Baselessly asserting something as meaningless does not make it so. "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously" is a meaningless sentence because I cannot conceive of what it entails. I can conceive of "screaming blue ants", so it is meaningful.


  1. [1]
  2. 2.0 2.1 [2]
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