What’s Apatheism?

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“Apatheism” characterizes an individual who doesn’t care whether or not God exists. Apatheism is therefore not a truth claim such as atheism (the belief that God does not exist) or theism (the belief in God) are. It is thus neither true nor false because it doesn’t assert anything. Since the apatheist is merely indifferent concerning God’s existence it follows that he also doesn’t say anything against the arguments for God’s existence. If he is true to his apothems then he merely doesn’t care. So this shouldn’t somehow count against the theist in his attempt to present arguments for God’s existence.

However, it may be safe to speculate that the apatheist is probably an atheist or an agonistic. Of course, one would have to find this find out by actually talking to him as, for instance, some people might just not care yet at the same time not be an atheist or agnostic. They might believe in “God” but couldn’t be bothered about explaining what they mean by the such a belief. One might also find that the apatheist is just too lazy to really put in the effort to examine the arguments for and against God’s existence. He therefore merely adopts an attitude of indifference, and could possible be the type of person who goes through life asking nothing and examining nothing. But I’d argue that this is clearly the wrong way to think about the question of God’s existence especially since so much rides on this belief. One wouldn’t have to look much further than some profound expositions on this matter by the likes of Camus and Nietzsche, for example. Nietzsche and Camus didn’t mince their words when it came to the ramifications of rejecting God’s existence. If God goes out the window so does objective morality, life after death. and any real purpose to life. Few would say that these aren’t important questions.

If one wishes to share his Christian convictions with the apatheist he should invite him to think of the significance involved. One may ask, “If Christianity is true then what consequences would it have for your life?” But not only Christianity but God too, “If God exists what would that mean for your life?” It is undoubtedly the case that if Christianity is true then there are eternal considerations. Eternity is a very long time. It is also a “time” (or existence rather), given Christian theism’s truth, that one will either live separated from God or be within his presence forever. Theres are important considerations for once one’s decision has been made there’s no going back.

Beyond the eternal considerations if Christianity is true then one has meaning and purpose for his life. If Christianity is true then there is such as thing as objective moral values and duties as well as hope in the facing of eventual death. If Christianity is true then we have assurance of forgiveness for the things that we have done. One also has the opportunity of a personal relationship with God. There is clearly a lot to consider.

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5 responses to “What’s Apatheism?

  1. Most apatheists I’ve know are also atheists or agnostics. They don’t believe in the existence of gods (atheist), and maybe conclude that knowing is impossible (agnostic).

    After years in this state, their attitude shifts to one of apathy or indifference – even if they initially cared deeply.

  2. Pingback: mid-week apologetics booster (1-19-2017) – 1 Peter 4:12-16·

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