More baloney from Alister McGrath

This ad has been popping up on my Facebook page:

It's an ad for a page that promotes Christian apologetics.

I've heard several prominent Christians claim they were atheists – McGrath, Lee Strobel, and Ravi Zacharias to name a few off the top of my head. In every case, they seem to characterize atheism as an ideology unto itself – one which can only lead to hopelessness and despair.

But here's the thing – atheism is a lack of belief in gods. That's it! Atheism is not a philosophical framework; rather, atheism is the outcome of a rational, evidence-based view of the world. It is not the belief that gods cannot exist, or that the existence of gods can be conclusively disproved. It's simply the belief that there is insufficient evidence to warrant belief in gods.

And yeah, we all have heard the canard about "Well hey, isn't that agnosticism?" No, it's agnostic atheism. A/theism relate to belief; a/gnosticism relate to knowledge. Agnosticism is not a mutually exclusive position – it co-exists with both theism and atheism. A gnostic atheist would be someone who says that no amount of evidence could possibly convince them a god or gods exist; a gnostic theist would be someone who says that no amount of evidence could possibly convince them that there are no gods – y'know, like William Lane Craig.

That's why statements like McGrath's – that he lost his "faith in atheism" don't make any sense. It's like saying you lost your faith in the non-existence Cthulhu. If there's any philosophical framework at work that underpins atheism, it's evidentialism, about which there are these two very excellent videos on Youtube:


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