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Going One God Further
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Apatheism (a portmanteau of "apathy" and "theism") is a position that the very question of whether or not deities exist is not relevant or meaningful in life. Apatheists are not interested in addressing any claims for or against god(s). Almost literally "I don't care about gods". Apatheists maintain it's not a claim, belief, or belief system, but rather an "attitude".

Author and journalist Jonathan Rauch described apatheism as:

[A] disinclination to care all that much about one's own religion and even a stronger disinclination to care about other people's.

A more nuanced apatheist view might be that to invest any great amount of emotional or mental energy in God — whether in a positive or a negative sense — is to maintain the central importance of God, to maintain that God is a matter that commands attention. An apatheist might take the position that treating God as an important matter and expecting others to place the same importance on God is precisely the problem.

Less abstractly, an apatheist may feel that they have only a finite amount of mental and emotional resources, and that for them the subject of God is not a productive investment of time.

Or it may be, simply, "I accept that other people need these antiquated absurdities, but I don't. I don't see why I should bother to engage them — or why I should be expected to. I have more enjoyable ways to waste my time."

Criticism of the idea[edit]

One criticism of the idea of apatheism is that the assumption of "any gods existing or not is irrelevant to life" only works in the event that any existing deities are essentially non-interventionist — a deistic god has little relevance to the world, while the Greco-Roman pantheon (known in mythology for meting retribution for the slightest of perceived insults) being real would have several real-world implications, as would many other religions' mythological figures.

  • From the apatheistic perspective, this criticism presumes the importance and relevance of God, or at least the idea of God, in order to convince the apatheist of the importance and relevance of God. In other words, what it attempts to prove is contained in the premises. (Assuming, of course, that the argument is actually intended to convince apatheists, rather than talk about apatheism to some other audience. This cannot be taken for granted.)
  • Besides, why would an apatheist even be interested in whether gods exist, or how interventionist they are — let alone be motivated to fear their intervention?[note 1] Anyone who would be convinced away from apatheism by such an argument is already not an apatheist, essentially by definition.

See also[edit]



  1. Fear as an argument for belief… where have we seen that before?