Quite some time ago I noticed that all atheists do not approach nonbelief the same. I, for one, was first a doubter, then an agnostic, then an atheist who still believed in woo, then a full on skeptic and atheist. One of my new friends on Facebook, Cursus Walker, put it clearly the other day in a strange conversation a bunch of atheists had in a new group I joined called People for the Ethical Treatment of Atheists. (lol!)
Cursus Walker said, "I make a distinction between Pure and Skeptical Atheism. The former refers only to lacking belief in gods, while the latter extends the attitude to all supernaturalism."
I couldn't agree more! I like the terms and thought I'd share them with you.
Pure Atheism: A lack of belief in gods.
Skeptical Atheism: A lack of belief in all things supernatural.
As a skeptical atheist, I have trouble understanding how people can believe in ghosts, ESP, life after death, or anything along those lines, while not believing in any gods. So the concepts aren't mutually exclusive. But it still amazes me to run into atheists who use no skepticism or logical reasoning when it comes to supernatural woo. Can't you just feel the cognitive dissonance?
And why do you think that is? Is it a need for comfort? Is it fear of the unknown and death? Is it ignorance in science and the laws of nature? All of the above? Probably.
Of course, as synchronicity would have it, I stumbled upon a QualiaSoup video (thanks to my awesome husband) shortly after and it was so good I have to share it with you here. It's kind of relevant, but excellent in its own right. About 10 minutes long.
Putting Faith in its Place