Daily Archives: February 9, 2011
There are two basic classifications of atheist. The negative atheist simply remains unconvinced that God exists. The atheist doesn’t affirm the existence of any deity, but never explicitly denies the possibility one may exist somewhere.
Most folks I argue with here fall into the category of negative (sometimes called “weak”) atheist. It is often asserted that this is the default position in life and one should remain at this point until evidence is presented to the contrary. Of course, every weak atheist I encounter is absolutely unimpressed by any evidence affirming the existence of God. Such evidence is either believed to be faulty or denied outright as having any significance to judging the existence of God.
More interesting is positive (or “strong”) atheism, which is the explicit proposition that God doesn’t exist. As weak atheists remind us constantly, the burden of proof is on the one making the positive claim. Therefore, when the theist encounters a strong atheist, the burden of proof shifts and it is up to the strong atheist to prove that God doesn’t exist.
Not surprisingly, there are few strong atheists. It’s an extremely difficult position to defend, since the strong atheist has given himself a nearly impossible burden of proof. However, I found Geoffrey Berg at my local library when browsing for another title; Berg attempts to defend strong atheism by formulating new and improved proofs that God is incompatible with logic. He published a book called The Six Ways of Atheism: New Logical Disproofs of the Existence of God. I thought it would be interesting, so I picked it up. Read the rest of this entry