Is Atheism Neutral and Unbiased? No, It’s Not.

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One common claim is that atheism is neutral and unbiased, whereas Christianity begins with many unjustified, unproven assumptions. However, this claim is false because there is no such thing as philosophic neutrality.

Quotes About Atheism Being Neutral

So, let me make my somewhat seditious proposal explicit: We should not call ourselves “atheists.” We should not call ourselves “secularists.” We should not call ourselves “humanists,” or “secular humanists,” or “naturalists,” or “skeptics,” or “anti-theists,” or “rationalists,” or “freethinkers,” or “brights.” We should not call ourselves anything. We should go under the radar—for the rest of our lives. And while there, we should be decent, responsible people who destroy bad ideas wherever we find them.

Sam Harris

Atheism Is Not Neutral

Harris says, “We should not call ourselves anything” and “We should go under the radar,” but what he says immediately afterwards completely undermines these statements.
He says, “we should ”’be decent, responsible people”’ who ”’destroy bad ideas”’ wherever we find them. Two questions we must ask in response to this are:

  1. What does it mean to be a “decent,” “responsible” person? From where does he get the standard for what is “decent” or “responsible”? He does not have a right to merely assume these concepts without justification. However, in order to define these concepts, he must “call himself something,” and can no longer “go under the radar.”
  2. By what standard does he “destroy bad ideas”? His standard is likely something like logic, science, or experience, but does he have any justification or reason for the existence of rationality and intelligibility, or does he simply assume them? Unless he accepts that his arguments have no philosophical foundation, he needs to provide some kind of worldview or foundation that justifies his use of logic, science, experience, or rationality, at which point he can no longer “not call ourselves anything” or “go under the radar.”

More Resources

Below are additional resources about Presuppositional Apologetics.

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