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).

About Jeffery Jay Lowder

Jeffery Jay Lowder is President Emeritus of Internet Infidels, Inc., which he co-founded in 1995. He is also co-editor of the book, The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07515414035373189099 Mellodee

    In a world where an enormous number of people are willing to judge other people who disagree with them about all sorts of matters, the chances of "friendly" disagreement about anything seems to be getting more and more remote!

    "My Way or the Highway" seems a whole lot more dangerous than "In God We Trust" ever was!