Where the truth will set you free....
What is an Atheist?
Since the question "what is a nonbeliever?" as often as possible comes up, and since there is by all accounts some disarray, here are a couple of fundamental actualities. We here and there wrongly think that announcements, for example, "X is a Christian" and "Y is an Atheist" are comparative proclamations. Yes, they are syntactically indistinguishable, however sensibly they are altogether different (beside being philosophically extraordinary).
The "a-" prefix in "agnosticism" and "skeptic" is the negative prefix in Greek, and it implies basically "non-," "not." Atheist means, then, "not a theist." And that is ALL it implies. (A "theist" is one who has some faith in a god or divinities.) In this manner, to state "So-as is a nonbeliever" is not a confirmed explanation, but rather a negative one. It resembles saying "So-thus does not claim a Ford." Or "So-thus does not eat nutty spread." Or "So-as is not a Hindu." From these negative explanations it is not reasonable to reach any further determinations about So-thus; there is no certifiable data in those announcements.
To put it another way, such an announcement is not saying that so-as is an individual from the agnostic class, on the grounds that there is no such class. In any event, there is no such class about which any important proclamation or speculation can be made. It is a class just quantifiable as far as the theist class, and in this way it is not an important class. That is, the main thing that nonbelievers (non-theists) have in like manner is that one trademark: non-participation in the theist class.
Hitler was not a Hindu. I am not a Hindu. Do you discover much else about me or about Hitler, from those announcements? Do those announcements infer any further qualities he and I may have in like manner? No.
Indeed, even the normal for non-faith in God can take many structures. A few nonbelievers certifiably deny God: "There is no God, that is without a doubt." Others say: "I have no faith in God in light of the fact that the proof I have seen so far does not, in my view, warrant such a conviction." Still others say: "I don't have confidence in God, on the grounds that on the off chance that I did I would need to act in an unexpected way." And others say: "I don't care the slightest bit, one way or the other."
Since none of these individuals have a confidence in God, they are not theists. Subsequently, the term a-theist (non-theist) is proper for them, despite the fact that the term discloses to us nothing more about their convictions, their ethics, or their lives than that one exposed, negative certainty.In this way, don't protuberance skeptics together. Nonbelievers are not a gathering. We have no normal convictions, no sacred texts, nothing essentially in like manner aside from the absence of that one conviction.
To state that "Z is a Christian," notwithstanding, furnishes us with a lot of data: Z is a theist, a devotee of Jesus and the lessons of the New Testament (in any case they might be deciphered). We can get a general thought of what Z accepts by perusing those sacred texts on which the Christian religion is based (despite the fact that our thought might be mixed up in a few points of interest). Z can hypothetically be assessed with reference to how "genuine" a Christian he is by how accurately he translates his sacred texts and by how nearly he takes after the statutes of his religion. For nonbelievers, be that as it may, there is no such standard. It is absurd to state that "X is not a decent skeptic" or "Y is a genuine nonbeliever."