Thursday, 5 October 2017

Where a World View Leads

There are far too many people labouring under the misapprehension that either atheism is a world view (it isn't) or that atheists derive their world view from their atheism (which I don't think they do, but I guess I can be convinced that some might, if any atheists can argue that case from personal experience).

Here's my position.  I'm generally a sceptical and evidential type of person.  The first means that I don't immediately accept anything as true, whether that be what someone tells me (irrespective of the medium: voice, writing, video ... I might be a little unsettled by telepathy, given that is something I consider to not exist).  I have evidence to support such scepticism given that I know people to hold false beliefs, to misunderstand situations, to be susceptible to illusions and delusions and to misrepresent the truth (whatever "the truth" may be).  The second merely means that I go where the (compelling) evidence leads, and if there is no evidence, I don't go anywhere.  If evidence points towards a number of options, then I might move towards those options, but I don't choose one of them and go all the way with it (at least not based on that one point of evidence).

This scepticism and evidentialism is what lies behind my world view: that people are often deluded, that claims without compelling evidence are almost always erroneous (and even more so when there have been thousands of years in which compelling evidence could have been collated if it in fact existed) and that good intentions are not sufficient.  (That's not the entirety of my world view, but the currently relevant elements are there.)  Out of that falls my overt and explicit atheism, as opposed to the neutral atheism that I had from birth.

Do other atheists recognise something of their position in this?

Do any theists comprehend the difference between this position and the concept that an atheist's world view might be driven by their atheism?

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