Author: Dave Rowlands

In Response to Daniel Goldman on Belief

Introduction Recently I encountered Daniel Goldman a couple of times on Twitter.  The first time was during a discussion about the use of the words atheism, theism, agnosticism, etc.  The conversation was pleasant enough, especially when we consider how many of those kinds of discussions go!  The second encounter was a discussion about belief, and how it is defined.  Daniel disputed the definition of belief that I presented, and a discussion about said topic ensued.  There was a lot of......

Scepticism, Dogma, and the Definition of Atheism

Introduction The collective moans of all those reading the title of this article can be heard.  I wouldn’t blame you for moaning either.  After all, who needs another article arguing for what the definition of atheism is?  And I would agree with that!  There are plenty of arguments out there about what the ‘true’ definition of atheism is, and why it is the ‘true’ definition of atheism.  Getting into an argument about the definition of atheism is also pretty simple. ......

“If atheism is true…”

Introduction When it comes to asking questions about atheism, there are many malformed questions that the theist may put forward.  Anyone who has been an atheist and active on any social media platform will have come across such questions. Those questions that make us kind of tilt our heads and go ‘huh?’.  Two of those questions that often make some atheists go ‘huh?’ are ‘If atheism is true…?’ and ‘Can you prove atheism?’.  When these two questions are posed by......

What’s in the Box?: A Three-Pound Rabbit

Introduction Imagine that someone presents us with a box.  That box weighs three pounds.  The person presenting us with the box says that there is a rabbit in the box, and the fact that it weighs three pounds proves that there is a rabbit in the box.  This is not the case of course, just because a box weighs three pounds does not prove that there is a rabbit in the box.  There could be some other explanation for why......

Atheists, Atheism, and Ambiguity

Introduction An argument that I often hear is that ‘lack of belief in God’ and ‘do not believe God exists’ are the same thing.  Or the argument that ‘Just because I do not believe Y does not mean that I believe X’.  I will say outright now that I tend to agree with this, with some caveats.  You see, it is not always the case that these statements are true.  It all depends on the conversation being had, and the......

Rockin’ Atheism Part 3: Atheism in Greek Antiquity

Introduction In the previous two parts of this series we covered why prescribing words for others does not work, and had a brief look at various definitions of atheism.  This part will cover, in brief, the history of atheism and atheists in Ancient Greece.  It is not uncommon for some atheists to argue that they are using the ‘original’ definition of atheism based on its Greek root, atheos (ἄθεος).  We see this in Aron Ra’s argument for atheism being defined......

Rockin’ Atheism Pt 2: Defining Atheism

Introduction In the previous part of this series we looked at the problems inherent in the idea of stating that the word atheism can only have one definition, and arguing that everyone must use one particular definition.  In this part of the series we will look at the various ways in which atheism is defined, using the works of writers like Lorkowski, Walters, Flew, Draper, and some others.  It will not be argued here that a particular definition is what......

How Rational Are You?: A Nightmare on Reason St.

Introduction Many of us have our favourite characters from TV shows and films, as well as favourite TV shows and films.  We laugh at our favourite comedies, or cry at our favourite dramas, or jump at our favourite horrors.  We become so engrossed by the content that the stalker on the screen holds us in a kind of state of fear, as we wait for the future victim on screen to either escape or meet their fate at the hands......

Rockin’ Atheism Pt. 1: The Wrongness of Aron Ra

Introduction A discussion involving Aron Ra, centered around the definition of atheism, blew up on Twitter the other day.  Generally, it is not a discussion I tend to get involved in.  That is not to say that I have not got into discussions about how it is defined, it is just to say that for the most part I will avoid getting into the discussion. There are several reasons for this, some of which will be covered in this series......

Is it rational to form beliefs based on testimony?

Introduction When the word testimony is brought up most people’s minds will immediately be brought to a court room scene, or to someone bearing witness to some religious experience.  A witness in the box stands in front of the court and gives their eyewitness testimony as part of the evidence for either the prosecution or defence.  Testimony is more than that though, testimony is the act of one agent passing on information to another agent through a speech act alone. ......