Definition of Friendly Atheist

This is a quick post about the definition of “friendly atheist.”

Purdue University Emeritus Professor of Philosophy William Rowe famously coined the terms, “friendly atheist,” “indifferent atheist,” and “unfriendly atheist.”[1] What did he mean by these terms?

unfriendly atheist: an atheist who believes no one is justified in believing that the theistic God exists
indifferent atheist: an atheist who holds no belief concerning whether any theist is or is not rationally justified in believing that the theistic God exists
friendly atheist: an atheist who believes that some theists are rationally justified in believing the theistic God exists

Boston University Emeritus Professor of Philosophy Michael Martin wrote a critique of Rowe’s argument for friendly atheism. What do you think of Martin’s critique?

Notes

[1] William L. Rowe, “The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of AtheismAmerican Philosophical Quarterly 16 (1979), 335-341.

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