Friendly Atheism, Reasonable Nonbelief, and Unfriendly Apologetics

I am what William Rowe calls a “friendly atheist.” I respect many Christian philosophers and other theistic philosophers. I do not believe they are irrational or suffer from a mental disorder, as some “unfriendly atheists” have claimed.

Similarly, I know Christian philosophers who I happily describe as “friendly theists;” I’ve always enjoyed my interactions with them. Other theists, on the other hand, may be described as “unfriendly theists.” For example, some theists seem to believe–almost as a matter of doctrine–that all nonbelievers are guilty of irrationality that is motivated by sin. In the terminology of John Schellenberg, they just can’t admit that reasonable nonbelief obtains.

I’m hoping for more friendly atheism, friendly theism, and friendly “otherism” (my catchall word for anyone who doesn’t identify as an atheist or a theist).

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