What is Atheism? Why The Definition Matters

Hi all—been tied up recently and unable to write anything worth posting.  The past few weeks I have found myself frustrated by the continual lack of understanding what atheism is by both theists and some new to atheism.  There are many ways that this can manifest itself.  For the purposes of today’s post, I am reposting something that I wrote for Martin Pribble’s blog a while back.  It addresses many of, but not all of the frustrations I have been feeling recently.  If you are not a reader of Martin’s blog, this will be the first time you have seen this post, as I have never published it elsewhere prior to today.  ,

What is Atheism?  Why The Definition Matters

A few months ago Martin Pribble was kind enough to write a guest post for my blog.  His post was called “Fear of Atheism”.  You can read it here if you like.  It is an excellent post that seemed to cause some controversy with a theist blogger.  I do not want to rehash all of that today.  I bring it up as a springboard to a topic that has been bothering me lately.  It seems to me that most of us atheists know what the word “atheism” defines.  That is a good thing.  The problem lies in the fact that many theists do not understand the word.  I would posit that the failure to understand what atheism means is at the heart of many debates between theists and atheists. It is also clear for anyone who spends some time on reddit’s r/atheism (and other places on the web,) that many new atheists also are not sure what atheism means.  They often ask questions in some form of “I do not really believe in god…now what do I do?”  The answers are often helpful, but not always.  I wanted to take a few moments to shed some light on this topic as it seems important if the atheist movement is to move forward.

Atheism, in its most basic form is not a belief.  In fact, it is the absence of belief.  This is something that many of us realize but often concede when debating with theists.  There is a major difference between a belief and the absence of a belief.  Atheists are not people who believe that gods do not exist.  Atheists are people who do not believe in the existence of gods.  The difference between those two sentences is profound.  (These definitions were taken from George Smith’s “Atheism: The Case Against God”—it is well worth a read if you have not done so).  I want to spend a few minutes looking at the difference between those two statements.

The false statement, “Atheists are people who believe that gods do not exist” is a statement of positive belief.  If I say to you, “I believe that gods do not exist” I am making a statement of belief.  You would be well justified to then ask me, “Well, RB what evidence do you have to support that belief”.  This would put me in a troublesome spot.  It is widely acknowledged that at this point in time it is not possible to definitively prove that gods do not exist.  Perhaps the most famous iteration of that position is Richard Dawkins’ scale of belief where 1 is a theist who “knows” gods exist and 7 is an atheist who “knows” gods do not exist.  Dawkins identifies himself as a 6.  There is no concrete proof, at this point in time that proves gods do not exist.  In my 20 years of being an atheist, I have yet to meet anyone who claims to be an atheist who is a 7 on Dawkins’ scale.  The person that this false statement describes rarely exists, if he/she exists at all.  If a person with this belief were encountered, they would be dismissed by most atheists as irrational and incorrect.  For theists to attack this (wrong) definition of atheism is nothing more than attacking a straw man.  This (wrong) definition is not atheism, it is lunacy.

The second statement above, “Atheists are people who do not believe in the existence of gods” has a very different meaning.  To follow the same line of thinking from the above paragraph…If I say to you, “I do not believe in the existence of gods” I am not making a statement of belief.  I am stating the absence of belief…there is no positive belief that requires proof in my statement.  The next logical question for you to ask me would be, “Well, RB why do you not believe in the existence of gods?”  My response would be, “Good question.  I do not believe in the existence of gods because a)there is very little evidence to support the idea that gods exist and b) the evidence that is put forth has quite a bit of holes in it.”  The conversation from this point can then become a debate about the theories for the existence of gods.

At this point it becomes necessary to discuss the idea of the “burden of proof”.  Without question, the person who is making the positive claim has the burden of proof.  This is why the above definition and distinction of atheism becomes important.  If we have a person that is one hundred percent convinced that god does not exist—a 7 on Dawkins’ scale—that person would assume a burden of proof.  However, that is not atheism.  That is irrationality and ignorance.  That person is an extremist on the opposite end of the scale of the theist.  Likewise, the theist always has the burden of the proof.  It is the theist that is claiming that gods exist.  That is a positive belief that requires evidence.  The vast majority of atheists listen to that evidence and they reject it.  They do not make a positive statement of belief.  They are simply rejecting the reasoning of others.  Atheism is not a belief.  Atheists do not get off the hook that easily though.  If we are going to reject the arguments for deities, we had better be able to explain why we reject them.  If we cannot do that, we do not win the debate.  Our burden, if you will, is to be able to explain the holes in the theists “proofs”.

These distinctions are quite important.  When I surf various atheist and theist blogs, reddit, and other areas where debates between atheists and theists occur it seems as if this distinction often gets lost in the shuffle.  The accomplished apologist is quite adept when it comes to shifting this burden of proof.  Be aware to not let that happen.  The ignorant theist is often unaware that the shift of “proof” they are seeking is incorrect.  Be aware of that as well.  Almost every debate that I have stumbled upon between a theist and an atheist, where the atheist has struggled, these two things manifest themselves.  The atheist has either allowed the burden of proof to shift and/or is not able to successfully argue why the position of theist is full of holes.

If, as an atheist, you find yourself arguing with a theist who is trying to shift the burden of proof and does not understand what atheism is, stand your ground.  Be able to explain the difference between what atheism is—the absence of belief, and what it is not—a positive belief.  Be able to explain why the theist has the burden of proof.  This can be challenging.  One of the key arguments theists make is that the atheist position is just a “cop-out”.  That is fallacious and shows a profound lack of knowledge in the logic required to have this debate.  Stand your ground.  If you get nowhere then walk away.  You are wasting your time dealing with an irrational person.  Irrational people are not worth the time to debate.  Rational theists often relish the opportunity to prove their deity exists.

If, as an atheist, you find yourself unable to point out the flaws in theists’ reasons for the existence of god, you probably should not be debating theists. We hear all the time that atheism is nothing more than a lack of belief in gods.  This is true.  It is nothing more than that.  However, as an atheist, we should be able to express why we have a lack of belief in gods.  After all, atheism is not irrational, as many theists try to claim.  There are very rational reasons why atheists do not believe in the existence of gods.  Stating those reasons, in reference to a theists’ claim for a deity is not making a positive statement of belief, but it is expressing a rational explanation of where the theist goes wrong.  There are many reasons why someone may define themselves as an atheist.  Each atheist should be able to express those reasons.  If the atheist cannot do that, they should not be out seeking converts to atheism, but should be reading and studying their own reasons for being an atheist.

The correct definition of atheism matters.  Theists often try to discredit us with nonsense that is in no way implied in the definition of atheism.  In this century it is important that the atheist movement progress.  All around us, we see fundamentalist theists attempting to wrest power from governments.  If successful, the future looks dim.  Civil rights would be curtailed for certain groups and scientific inquiry would be in serious jeopardy.  It is paramount that we atheists make ourselves heard and stand up for what is right.  Things like science and social justice, while not a part of atheism, are subjects that many of us feel strongly about.  In order for us to be able to push for the non-atheist societal and political goals that many of us possess, we will need to fight against theists who have the opposite goals.  This will require us to understand what atheism is, it will require us to force theists to understand what atheism is, for no other reason than to disallow theists from defining and marginalizing us.  That is why this piece was important for me to write.  I am sick and tired of hearing from theists that “As an atheist I must be ________”.  No.  As an atheist I am a person who does not believe in the existence of gods.  I will not let the theist falsely define me or this debate any longer.

Now that the debate is properly defined and framed, the next step, at least for me, is to express why the battle between theists and atheists needs to happen.  I have written a post on my site that goes in conjunction with one.  You can read it here: Why It Is Important for Atheists To Speak Up.

Thanks for reading.  I look forward to your comments.

—-RB

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If you would like to share your story of how you became an atheist, please do that on my “Share your Atheism Story” forum.  Our stories may help to encourage others with similar feelings to know that life is more than just okay without god(s).

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26 thoughts on “What is Atheism? Why The Definition Matters

  1. makagutu from Kenya

    I agree, many theists are adept at use of words and may corner an atheist who has not looked at the proper definition of the term and/ or can justify their reasons for their position and as you say, they should avoid debates with theists until they defend their position

    Reply
    1. reasonbeing from Duluth, MN, United States Post author

      Well said. Just because one can prove my, or any atheist's argument, or any argument, for that matter wrong does not automatically infer the other person is correct. Example, if I mess up some cosmology in an argument, it only proves that I need to learn more about cosmology, not that a god exists or that the theist is in fact correct. This is a common tactic that I see employed by apologists online.

      Reply
  2. Loren Miller from Bedford, OH, United States

    Insofar as I am concerned, there are no gods, whether you want to talk about Zeus, Baal, Brahma or Yahweh. Why? In two blunt words, NO EVIDENCE. The concept of gods is an INVENTED concept, used at least in part to give an explanation to the happenings ancient man saw going on around him which he didn't understand. A great number of those happenings have since been understood and described through the means of science. The gods have yet to show up.

    By the same token, I also assert that there are no left-handed zindlefingers. Why? Again, NO EVIDENCE. On this count, I can be a touch more certain because I INVENTED THE IDEA OF THE LEFT-HANDED ZINDLEFINGER! In that regard, I suspect my zindlefinger is right up there (more or less) with the Invisible Pink Unicorn and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. All of the above are concepts without objective referent. They are MADE-UP, and among an uncountable number of such things which simply have no substantial existence.

    So … are we SURE there is no Invisible Pink Unicorn or Flying Spaghetti Monster or left-handed zindlefinger? I'm going to go out on a limb here and say, yes, we're sure there are no such things. That said, why shouldn't we be equally sure that there are no gods? The ONLY advantage that the concept of gods has is TIME. That concept has been around for millennia, but it remains as wrong-headed as the unicorn or the spaghetti monster or my zindlefinger, and as insubstantial as leprechauns, fairies and boojums. Yet for some reason, we're not supposed to say we are ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN there are no gods? Come on!!!

    There are things that a possible and things that are probable. I suppose that it is possible that, somewhere in this universe, gods exist. By that same reasoning, it's possible that pigs can fly without an assist from Boeing. LOTS of things may be possible.

    Probable? 'Nother matter.

    Reply
    1. reasonbeing from Duluth, MN, United States Post author

      Loren, my main point can be summed in your last few words…the entire thing comes to probability…and the probability that any deities exist is negligible. Which I think is what most atheists believe. Most atheists I know are around a 6 on the Dawkins scale and not 7's. We can't prove with 100% certainty that gods don't exist, just that the arguments for a god's existence are problematic and that the existence of any such being is highly improbable. The same goes for zindlefingers. From my chair I could only prove them highly improbable, but could not definitively prove they do not exist. So, while I am an atheist, as you well know, I reject every argument for god that I have heard, I believe that science has greatly narrowed the gaps for where god can hide, and will, in the future eradicate the need for gods at all, at this point, I cannot say with 100% certainty that no gods exist only that they are highly improbable—extremely improbable.

      Reply
      1. Loren Miller from Bedford, OH, United States

        RB, my problem with that reasoning is that it essentially says that we have to acknowledge that ANYTHING that can be invented by the human imagination can exist or must be allowed the intellectual possibility to exist. Indeed, it reminds me slightly of one of William Lane Craig's justifications for the existence of his particular brand of deity, and I'm not having any of his crap, either. The pragmatist in me just rebels at such an assertion, as much as to my zindlefinger (which I haven't fleshed out beyond the term) as to gods. BOTH ARE INVENTIONS and neither have any demonstrable indication of their existence, yet some would have us insist on wiggle room which starts to smell awfully like Pascal's Wager, yet one more concept I have no truck with. Hell, anyone want to try to deal with the existence of a circular square?

        Until someone definitively demonstrates to the contrary – there are no zindelfingers. There are no gods.

        Reply
        1. reasonbeing from Duluth, MN, United States Post author

          Loren—Thanks for the comments (as usual). However, I must continue to disagree. I think you have extended the problem to where it needn't go. Outside of god(s) and perhaps aliens, we do not have worry about accepting whatever people cook up. There is no, and most likely will not be a leprechaun or unicorn movement.

          The argument from Craig you speak of is the ontological argument. There is a huge difference between Anselm/Craig and myself. They insist that god must exist. I conclude that there is a teeeeeny chance that he is probable. That is a huge difference.

          You mentioned the concept of time in your previous statement. That is important here. The theist will point out that over time there has been tons of evidence for god's existence (miracle and such). You and I both think that is bullshit. However, and this is the key, the MOST we can conclude is that it is highly improbable. As I mentioned below, to claim "there are no gods" would demand that you now have the burden of proof. You would need to "demonstrate that god does not exist—to the same standards that you would demand from a theist claiming that he does–i.e.–falsifiable and repeatable tests with strong and predictable evidence. None of us can do that. That is why Dawkins says he is a high 6, and why I really don't think you are a 7." From my comment below.

          I agree with every single argument you have made in these comments, but come to the conclusion that all of it leads to say that "I do not believe in the existence of god(s) because there is no evidence indicating I should do, what evidence is provided by theists is poor. Yet, I cannot prove that god(s) does/do not exist, only that he/they are incredibly improbable." I am not comfortable saying "There are no gods" because I cannot prove that statement, nor have I seen anyone else do so. I also don't think this means we need to accept whatever idea anyone creates, as I stated earlier, this dilemma only seems to exist with gods (and maybe aliens) and that is largely due to time.

          Reply
  3. BorealisMeme from Apex, NC, United States

    Just curious as to your reaction to posts like PZ Myer’s about “dictionary atheists” (link at end if this comment system will allow). I personally am more inclined to side with dictionary atheists, as I think that cluttering the definition only leads to confusion and straw man attacks, and what do you then call a person that doesn’t believe in gods but doesn’t fit the rest of the criteria?

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/02/01/why

    Reply
    1. reasonbeing from Duluth, MN, United States Post author

      I disagree with PZ’s rhetoric in the post you link, but have read his work on this topic in the past. I disagree with him, but not as much as it may seem. I think he does a large disservice when he denounces dictionary atheism. The fact is that there are people out there who just want to leave it at that. Everything else that he proposes, and much of what he proposes I personally agree with, is not atheism, but something else—secular humanism for example. I completely get what he is saying about his own values—science, reason, and his social justice causes. I would state that I value those things greatly as well, but they are not part of my atheism, but something else.

      I agree with him when he writes that most people don’t just stop at the dictionary definition of atheism—they define themselves as much more than that. I know that I do. But those other “things” are not part of atheism. The dictionary definition of atheism, is all that it is. Anything else that we are—science buffs or experts, humanists, social justice advocates, etc are all something else. One need not be an atheist to be any of those things and not all atheists are those things as well.

      In short, while I value many of the same things that PZ does, I will not call them part of atheism or even my atheism. They are stand alone things for which atheism is not required. This does not make them less valuable. In fact, I would argue my humanist values are the most important part of who I am–not my atheism. But to me, they are separate parts that make up the whole of who I am.

      Reply
  4. hausdorff from Troy, MI, United States

    This is definitely a topic I have seen come up over and over lately, and I'm honestly not sure how I feel about it. Yes, I would say that I don't believe in the existence of God, but I would also say the stronger statement that I believe God's do not exist. Do I believe it 100%? No. Do I claim I can prove it? No. But I can explain why this is what I believe.

    Think about it this way, none of us believe in Santa Claus. Do you say "I don't believe in the existence of Santa Claus", or do you just go ahead and make the stronger statement "I believe that Santa Claus doesn't exist"? Sure the first statement is weaker and we all would agree with it, but let's be honest, we all would make the second statement too. Does the second statement require more proof than the first? I don't know, I think they both invite the same exact question "Why don't you believe in Santa?"

    So when it comes to God, why pussyfoot around so much? I think that God doesn't exist. I think Santa doesn't exist. I think the easter bunny doesn't exist. I think the tooth fairy doesn't exist. The existence of all of these things would have effects on reality that don't seem to bear out, so I don't think they are real. I believe they are nonexistent.

    Do I lose some philosophical grounds by saying that? Maybe, I don't know. I guess I don't really care. If I say I believe God doesn't exist and they ask me to prove it, I will pretty much say the same thing as if I had said I reject the claim that god exists and they asked me why. It seems to me that an equivalent conversation will emerge, so I don't really care much about the distinction. I don't really see what I would have gained by going with the atheistic statement rather than the anti-theistic statement. I'm definitely both, why not go with what is more natural to say, what I believe, and what the theists will probably hear regardless of which way I say it?

    Sorry for the bit of rambling. This was a bit off the top of my head. I clearly need to think about this some more, maybe I'll do that and make my own post on this topic.

    Reply
    1. reasonbeing from Duluth, MN, United States Post author

      I care about the "philosophical ground" as that can be so important depending on who I am debating. You write, "If I say I believe God doesn't exist and they ask me to prove it, I will pretty much say the same thing as if I had said I reject the claim that god exists and they asked me why. " Some might not let you off the hook that easily. I choose to bypass that entire part of the discussion and go straight to the theist owning the burden of proof. If I state that I do not believe in the existence of god, or that I reject the arguments that I have heard for the existence of god, or something along those lines, something that is not a positive statement of belief, it becomes clear where the burden of proof lies—-with the theist. This is important to me, as "burden shifting" is one of the most commonly deployed tactics that I see in my discussions with theists. To quote John Loftus, "Many theists insist I prove their god impossible before they will even consider it improbable". It is not up to us to prove their god impossible, but rather for them to prove it probable. How we frame our argument can go a long way to achieving that end, at least in my opinion. Lastly, please don't apologize for "the bit of rambling"….your comments are always welcome here and no one rambles more than I do!

      Reply
      1. hausdorff from Troy, MI, United States

        hmm….very interesting. I think the key here is what you said at the start, it depends on who you are debating. When I wrote that yesterday I did have in my mind debating more rank and file Christians (I guess those kind of people are who I have been talking to lately). In those types of debates, I do sometimes see other atheists use this tactic and it mildly bugs me as it doesn't seem the best tactic. But you are right, in certain discussions, with certain people, it is a good move.

        Reply
        1. reasonbeing from Duluth, MN, United States Post author

          Why does it bug you and why do you not feel it is the best tactic? I would tend to disagree, I think it is the best tactic. I think it important that the theist offer some proof for their claim. I see no need for me to refute an argument they have not put forth, nor to defend my position by stating a theistic argument only to knock it down.

          Reply
          1. hausdorff from Troy, MI, United States

            very good question, and I am not sure that I will be able to give a completely satisfactory answer, I clearly need to think about this a bit more. Indulge me a minute while I think out loud (or think in text I guess).

            I think I dislike it because it feels dishonest. One minute I am saying that God is contradictory, Christians make claims about God that don't bear out in reality, prayer doesn't work, the 3 omni's don't make sense together (or by themselves), problem of evil, various counter apologetics, etc. Then the next minute I am saying "Whoa, hold on there, all I am saying is that I reject the claim of the existence of God. Atheism is nothing more than that."

            Technically this is true, atheism is the rejection of God claims, sure. But that's not really why I'm here. I didn't simply see the claims of God and decide that I don't think the burden of proof has been met. I grew up surrounded by this shit, I saw the damage it does, I see the problems in the world that are caused by (or perhaps just made worse by) religion. Furthermore, there is not a shred of evidence that their God exists, even where there should be. I don't simply refuse to accept their God claim, I reject their God claim.

            Does that put me in a place where the burden of proof is on me? I don't know. I can still give my reasons as to why, which include the fact that there is no evidence for this God. It seems to me that it still leads to the same conversation, and I guess that is what I really care about.

            But ultimately, I think it does just come down to a feeling of it being disingenuous. If I personally were to say "Atheism is just about rejecting a god claim, nothing else" it feels like a lie. Maybe it is a technical truth, but it doesn't feel that way. It's not why I'm here, it's not why I started a blog, it's not why I argue with people on twitter. It is a statement that boils the situation down to its essence, but it feels like something has been lost.

            I imagine my Christian self arguing with my atheist self. If this statement gets made I wonder if my old self would detect this effect and find it distasteful. If I thought my atheist self was trying to sweep something under the rug I might have just disregarded the whole conversation. The more I think about it, the more I think this is the thought itching the back of my mind that is bothering me about this whole thing.

          2. hausdorff from Troy, MI, United States

            actually yeah. I think when we are talking about some vague godlike being that we don't really know any actual properties about, then dictionary atheism probably makes a lot more sense. Now that you mention it, when it comes up in those contexts I don't think it bugs me at all, it actually seems like a pretty good way to go in those cases.

  5. negrounder from United Kingdom

    I'm with Loren. There may be a difference between the UK and the US in this. I take atheist to mean "I believe there are no gods" and would tend to use the term agnostic for "I don't believe there is a god". Perhaps that term would be 5 on Dawkins' scale, with 6 being contested territory.

    Anyway. I appear to be a Dawkins "7".

    And so is he, if he is honest.

    Reply
    1. reasonbeing from Duluth, MN, United States Post author

      "I don't believe there is a god" is not agnostic. Agnosticism is just and "I don't know if there is a god". There is a huge difference between those two things. You also state that Dawkins is dishonest, which implies to me, that you have missed much of what I am trying to say and what he is saying regarding the "scale". I think he is quite honest when he states that he cannot definitively prove that god does not exist. No one can. Therefore, the most one can be and still be reasonable is a high 6 on the scale. If you claim to be a 7, then you had better be able to demonstrate that god does not exist—to the same standards that you would demand from a theist claiming that he does–i.e.–falsifiable and repeatable tests with strong and predictable evidence. None of us can do that. That is why Dawkins says he is a high 6, and why I really don't think you are a 7.

      Reply
  6. Cephus from Redlands, CA, United States

    The problem is, we allow theists to frame the discussion dishonestly. In reality, there is no such thing as absolute certainty, we do not know anything that way. So why do we have to disbelieve God with absolute certainty? I can't absolutely prove that we're not in the Matrix with 100% certainty. I can't even prove I exist with 100% certainty. That is an unreasonable expectation to have and, for no other subject, does anyone expect it. "God doesn't exist" is as reasonable an assertion to make as "Santa Claus doesn't exist" or "flying monkeys don't exist". We can't prove any of those assertions absolutely, but based on the evidence and a reasonable and logical evaluation of the facts, they are sound assertions to make, pending new information to the contrary.

    I will admit that I have adopted language, specifically because of the theists, that reflects their unreasonable expectations, mostly to piss them off. I won't say "God doesn't exist", I will say "there is no evidence to suggest that God exists". That turns it back on them to produce such evidence or stop making the claim.

    Reply
    1. reasonbeing from Duluth, MN, United States Post author

      " I will say "there is no evidence to suggest that God exists". That turns it back on them to produce such evidence or stop making the claim."—that is more or less my point. The burden of proof is on the theist, any other way of wording that statement opens the door to try and burden shift, which would be fallacious.

      Reply
  7. Grundy from Hoschton, GA, United States

    I kinda disagree with you and Pribble about this. I see theist and atheist as the only two labels resulting from answering the question "do you believe in God?" You are an atheist if your answer is "No, I don't believe in God." It is a choice, it is a belief. If you have never heard of or conceived of God then you truly lack a belief on the topic. If you have an opinion, then you have a belief.

    Reply
    1. reasonbeing from Duluth, MN, United States Post author

      You and I had this argument when this posted on Pribble's site think. Our difference, at least to me is mostly semantic. I would agree that as an atheist, I do have a belief—my belief is that the evidence provided for the existence of god(s) is poor, therefore I see no reason to believe in god(s). Naturally, I would need to be able demonstrate why I think that evidence is poor. I really don't have a problem with statements like "I don't believe in god" either…that can get to the same point, as Haus pointed out. What I have a problem with are statements along the lines of "god doesn't exist". That is a whole different can of worms, that once uttered, the utterer has the burden of proof. I most assuredly cannot prove that god does not exist, just that the evidence for his existence is poor and that god is highly improbable. In arguing with theists, this is a trap that I see often.

      One thing does seem clear. There is not nearly as much consensus on this issue as I had thought.

      Reply
      1. Grundy from Hoschton, GA, United States

        Belief and knowledge are different, as you know. Admitting that I don't believe in God isn't the same as making a statement implying fact like "God doesn't exist." To not believe in X, you only need to figure that the probability of X's existence is under 50%. I am willing to make that case in debates.

        But, hey, I'm even willing to say the Biblical God doesn't exist. I'll take the burden of proof for this statement because the internal logic of pretty much every book of the bible breaks at some point, making it necessarily false. It's only the vague definition of a supernatural creator that I can't disprove.

        Reply
        1. reasonbeing from Duluth, MN, United States Post author

          Well said Grundy. I can accept that. Perhaps I should clarify my post, by god, I was referring to the "vague definition of a supernatural creator". When it comes to specific gods, such as the god of the bible, then yes, I think those deities can be dispatched without too much trouble. I think this may clear up much of the disagreement that we (me, you, and other commenters) have had on this topic. It would seem that I need to be more clear when I write on this subject.

          Reply

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