Apatheism
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18-10-2012, 03:12 PM
Apatheism
Apatheism is defined as apathy towards belief and disbelief in gods. This definition of apatheism is derived from the fact that apatheism is a portmanteau of apathy and theism/atheism. Apatheism can be described as the position that neither the existence nor the nonexistence of gods is important, thus neither belief in nor denial of gods is important. For this reason apatheism overlaps with pragmatic atheism and practical atheism.

On a practical level, apatheism eschews positively asserting the existence or nonexistence of gods. Apatheism must therefore be regarded as an attitude towards a type of belief, not a belief or disbelief itself.

Apatheism sometimes goes a bit further and asserts that even if it were proven conclusively and without a doubt that some sort of god existed, then the person's general behavior and life would not change — thus the existence of gods is not only irrelevant now but would be irrelevant in the future no matter what sort of evidence or proof is present.

In some cases, apatheism is applied more broadly to all religions and even to all belief systems and ideologies, not just to belief and disbelief in the existence of gods. This broader sort of apathy and apatheism would be more correctly labeled Indifferentism, though because that label comes from Catholic theology it's not one familiar to most people.

Pronunciation: ap-uh-thee-ist
Also Known As: pragmatic atheist, practical atheist
Common Misspellings: apathiest

Examples:
Apatheism is to be celebrated as nothing less than a major civilizational advance. Religion, as countless acts of violence in the name of God have underscored, remains the most divisive and volatile of social forces.
- Jonathan Rauch, The Atlantic Monthly, May, 2003

[sic]

#####

I thought about my own stance on god and religion for a bit and I think Apatheism describes my position much better than Agnostic Atheism. This is because I don't really care about whether or not there is god. Even if it was, hypothetically, proven without a doubt that the god of any religion exists, it would not affect my life. I still would not feel obligated to follow the (moral) laws of that deity or even worship it. The debate about whether or not there is a god is ultimately meaningless to me as well, because regardless of the outcome, nothing in my life will change because of it.

What are your thoughts on this?

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18-10-2012, 03:23 PM
RE: Apatheism
I think it's funny, we're even talking about this.
Craig & co, are writing ranting diatribes, stomping their feet, jumping up and down, screaming, crapping in their pants, pounding on the pulpits, that we no longer take the shit seriously, arguing "atheists ARE a belief system, dammit". Meanwhile people who have been "atheists" for a while are talking about "hmm, am I'm an Igtheist, or what".

I'm a "meh"-er, as in a "there are better things to doer" / "who gives a shit". Tongue

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein Certified Ancient Astronaut Theorist and Levitating yogi, CAAT-LY.
Yeah, for verily I say unto thee, and this we know : Jebus no likey that which doth tickle thee unto thy nether regions.

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18-10-2012, 03:30 PM
RE: Apatheism
I wanted to post a reply but I just didn't care.

Big Grin

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18-10-2012, 03:53 PM
RE: Apatheism
I am probably an apathetic atheist. I know that God doesn't exist but at the same time I don't give a shit. I am apathetic to most things. :/

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18-10-2012, 04:03 PM
RE: Apatheism
(18-10-2012 03:53 PM)tazmin98 Wrote:  I am probably an apathetic atheist. I know that God doesn't exist but at the same time I don't give a shit. I am apathetic to most things. :/
That'd make you gnostic apathetic atheist, wouldn't it? Consider

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18-10-2012, 04:04 PM
RE: Apatheism
I've met a few people who are like this, I can't really see myself not caring about what happens possibly in the future or my death, but hey, that's just me.

Bury me with my guns on, so when I reach the other side - I can show him what it feels like to die.
Bury me with my guns on, so when I'm cast out of the sky, I can shoot the devil right between the eyes.
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18-10-2012, 04:40 PM
RE: Apatheism
(18-10-2012 04:03 PM)Vosur Wrote:  
(18-10-2012 03:53 PM)tazmin98 Wrote:  I am probably an apathetic atheist. I know that God doesn't exist but at the same time I don't give a shit. I am apathetic to most things. :/
That'd make you gnostic apathetic atheist, wouldn't it? Consider
I don't know. I really don't think much about labels. Too tiresome. Dodgy

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18-10-2012, 04:49 PM
RE: Apatheism
Seriously? Drinking Beverage

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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18-10-2012, 05:32 PM
RE: Apatheism
(18-10-2012 03:12 PM)Vosur Wrote:  Apatheism is defined as apathy towards belief and disbelief in gods. This definition of apatheism is derived from the fact that apatheism is a portmanteau of apathy and theism/atheism. Apatheism can be described as the position that neither the existence nor the nonexistence of gods is important, thus neither belief in nor denial of gods is important. For this reason apatheism overlaps with pragmatic atheism and practical atheism.

Fair enough. I don't think we need a new word for this (not blaming you, just saying in general).

(18-10-2012 03:12 PM)Vosur Wrote:  On a practical level, apatheism eschews positively asserting the existence or nonexistence of gods. Apatheism must therefore be regarded as an attitude towards a type of belief, not a belief or disbelief itself.

This already describes "atheism" which is also not a belief but a lack of belief. Maybe the only difference is the level of apathy about not having a belief, hardly a distinction that I would care about.

(18-10-2012 03:12 PM)Vosur Wrote:  Apatheism sometimes goes a bit further and asserts that even if it were proven conclusively and without a doubt that some sort of god existed, then the person's general behavior and life would not change — thus the existence of gods is not only irrelevant now but would be irrelevant in the future no matter what sort of evidence or proof is present.

Excellent distinction, and a very brave stance to make, but not very practical. If the Christian God showed up, proved himself, and I realized I had to kiss his butt or burn in hell forever, well, I doubt I could be apathetic about that choice or what I would do with it.

(18-10-2012 03:12 PM)Vosur Wrote:  I thought about my own stance on god and religion for a bit and I think Apatheism describes my position much better than Agnostic Atheism. This is because I don't really care about whether or not there is god. Even if it was, hypothetically, proven without a doubt that the god of any religion exists, it would not affect my life. I still would not feel obligated to follow the (moral) laws of that deity or even worship it. The debate about whether or not there is a god is ultimately meaningless to me as well, because regardless of the outcome, nothing in my life will change because of it.

What are your thoughts on this?

Very brave. Kinda crazy.

It's easy to say "I wouldn't feel obligated to worship that deity" but you're saying that in a vacuum. In our reality, you don't have to feel that obligation. It's like the guy who says "If a bear were about to eat me or my friend, and we couldn't do anything to stop it, I would let my friend run away while I stay to get eaten." Most of us would say that. Most of us would mean it when we say it. But how many of us, during a real bear attack, would actually stand there and get eaten while we buy time for our friend to escape? Maybe all of us, maybe none. Probably some.

My point is, until we get out of our safe little world and into a real bear attack, we're just talking the talk and most of us don't even really know whether we will have the courage to walk to the walk during the bear attack.

Same with the religion, or apatheism.

I can honestly say that I detest Yahweh (or the imaginary delusion that people call Yahweh) and I detest the concept of kissing his butt my whole life only to be rewarded with an afterlife of kissing his butt for all eternity. I can bravely say that I would defy him, refuse to worship him, be apathetic if he turns out to be real.

But the realist in me says that doing so would condemn me to an eternity of hell and I'd rather kiss Yahweh's butt for an eternity of heaven than spend eternity being tortured in hell for my apathy.

I am willing to bet that you would make the same decision if you were really faced with a real live Yahweh and really faced with a real, true decision between heaven and hell. I am willing to bet that your apatheism would go right out the window and you'd pucker your lips for Yahweh's butt just as fast as I would.

A real eternity in a real hell is just not an option. Not one that any sane person could choose just for the sake of standing firm on his apatheistic view.

(standing firm on apathy seems oxymoronic to begin with)

So I contend that if you really could remain apatheistic in a world with a real Yahweh threatening to burn you for eternity in a real hell, and you were 100% convinced that this were true rather than some made up delusional religious view, then you must be insane.

And if your contention is that you're perfectly sane and you could remain apatheistic in that world, then I call bullshit - you're only fooling you, not me.

Now, I am also willing to bet that if it turns out that Buddhism is right, we could both bravely be apatheistic about that religion and not have to worry about it.

Hmmm, I guess I cared after all...
Blink

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18-10-2012, 05:57 PM
RE: Apatheism
(18-10-2012 05:32 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  It's easy to say "I wouldn't feel obligated to worship that deity" but you're saying that in a vacuum. In our reality, you don't have to feel that obligation. It's like the guy who says "If a bear were about to eat me or my friend, and we couldn't do anything to stop it, I would let my friend run away while I stay to get eaten." Most of us would say that. Most of us would mean it when we say it. But how many of us, during a real bear attack, would actually stand there and get eaten while we buy time for our friend to escape? Maybe all of us, maybe none. Probably some.

My point is, until we get out of our safe little world and into a real bear attack, we're just talking the talk and most of us don't even really know whether we will have the courage to walk to the walk during the bear attack.
I don't think anything is worth dying for. Consequently, I wouldn't save my friend if I had to give my life in exchange.

(18-10-2012 05:32 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  I can honestly say that I detest Yahweh (or the imaginary delusion that people call Yahweh) and I detest the concept of kissing his butt my whole life only to be rewarded with an afterlife of kissing his butt for all eternity. I can bravely say that I would defy him, refuse to worship him, be apathetic if he turns out to be real.

But the realist in me says that doing so would condemn me to an eternity of hell and I'd rather kiss Yahweh's butt for an eternity of heaven than spend eternity being tortured in hell for my apathy.

I am willing to bet that you would make the same decision if you were really faced with a real live Yahweh and really faced with a real, true decision between heaven and hell. I am willing to bet that your apatheism would go right out the window and you'd pucker your lips for Yahweh's butt just as fast as I would.

A real eternity in a real hell is just not an option. Not one that any sane person could choose just for the sake of standing firm on his apatheistic view.

(standing firm on apathy seems oxymoronic to begin with)

So I contend that if you really could remain apatheistic in a world with a real Yahweh threatening to burn you for eternity in a real hell, and you were 100% convinced that this were true rather than some made up delusional religious view, then you must be insane.

And if your contention is that you're perfectly sane and you could remain apatheistic in that world, then I call bullshit - you're only fooling you, not me.

Now, I am also willing to bet that if it turns out that Buddhism is right, we could both bravely be apatheistic about that religion and not have to worry about it.

Hmmm, I guess I cared after all...
Blink
Apatheism does not adress the question of whether or not there is an afterlife, merely the question of whether or not there is a god. An Apatheist's answer to the latter question would be "I don't give a damn either way (and I will live my live accordingly)". The existence of hell does not necessarily follow from the existence of god. That being said, if it was proven that heaven and hell exist and that I had to choose between endless torture and eternal bliss, obviously I'd go for the latter one.

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