I’ve been having a discussion on Twitter (yes, yes, I know—that’s how these things always start) about the lack of claims made by atheists. (Or, rather, as I have tried to point out, that some people are confused about what constitutes a claim.)
At one point I was sent a link about the nature of disbelief as opposed to denial. This seems to be the gist:
Disbelief in a proposition may be nothing more than the absence of belief that the proposition is true and this may be due to nothing more than ignorance of the proposition, though it may be due to other reasons, like a desire to think longer about it or gather more evidence.
This reminded me of Douglas Adams’ claim that he was a strong atheist. I do not have access to that particular book, but this definition accurately reflects the distinction:
‘Strong’ atheism positively affirms the non-existence of any form of god or gods, and is generally regarded as ‘genuine’ atheism. On the other hand, ‘weak’ atheists do not believe in a god, but do not go as far as positively affirming the non-existence of any form of god or gods.
It seems to me that these two definitions fit together, and accurately describe the position I encountered last night. In response to my assertion that a denial of a claim was a kind of claim, I received this reply:
@Dylstra @elucidatus That’s not accurate. Not believing in something does NOT mean you believe the opposite is true. 🙂
15/03/12 7:46 PM