Question about Atheists and Self-Consistency

[Please head over to the newer post On Defining Atheism and Atheists.]

Consider the following description of a human being X:

X believes that a personal God exists and X believes that a personal God does not exist.

I’m interested in which of these options you’d say is correct:

(A) There is no person who satisfies that description;

(B) Any person who satisfies that description is an atheist;

(C) Any person who satisfies that description is not an atheist;

(D) Any person who satisfies that description is neither an atheist nor not an atheist.

It’s clear that any such person is intellectually dishonest, is self-contradictory, is self-deceived, etc.

That’s not the issue.

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.


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