An atheist doesn't believe in an omnipotent deity


Susan Jacoby, an atheist columnist at the "On Faith" web site, describes an atheist in this way:

Today, as in the past, atheists can say only that on the basis of the available evidence, we don't think an omnipotent deity has anything to do with either the ultimate origins of the universe or the ethical dilemmas that human beings confront every day.
According to that definition, a fair number of people of faith who don't believe in a omnipotent deity, ranging from bishop John Shelby Spong to process theologians, are actually atheists. Apparently they just don't know that they are atheists.


Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

And many fundamentalists would agree! ;-)

Joel Monka said...

Her definition is just an extension of the Hitchens definition, and equally a conceit: "I get to define your beliefs such that they fit my arguments."

My library contains references to some 2,700 gods that men have worshipped in the last 15,000 years or so. Of those, only about a couple of dozen claimed to have created the universe. Of those only one- two if you believe Jehovah and Allah are not the same God- claimed to be simultaneously omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnibenevolent. And these people keep finding fault with that one (or two) God(s), and say that invalidates the other 2,700... and if by some chance they didn't skewer you, they explain it's because you're not really a Christian, or now, not even a theist.