He helpfully points
To the cracks in the joints–
You will give them attention, he’s hopin’
That should cut down the breeze
Unless nobody sees
He’s conveniently propped the door open.
There’s a draft in the room
But he’d rather assume
That the open door isn’t the cause
Just attend to a crack,
Cos he’s coming right back
With an armfull of hole-cutting saws.
So… which is more important? To stand up for “belief” in the face of atheists? Or to throw the other believers under the bus, to try to distract atheists? Sometimes, I guess, you just want to do both. Tony Arsenal starts off complaining that the definition of atheism is intended to absolve atheists of the burden of proof, but that the real definition of atheism is considerably more active in its anti-god stance, but moves on to complain that atheists aren’t active enough when it comes to religions other than christianity.
Over at The Theological Arsenal (Yes, it’s his name, but the image is just too much fun), atheism is once again defined in such a manner as to justify christians feeling butthurt:
Simply defined, Atheism is the believe that no god exists. Don’t believe that garbage they spew about it simply being the lack of a belief… lacking a belief or being unsettled on a belief is agnosticism, this tactic is something agressive atheists try to absolve themselves of the burden of proof in a debate. Rather, Atheism is either the positive belief (I believe that god doesn’t exist) or the negative belief (I do not believe that god exists) that resolves in a lack of theistic deity in the universe. Now, most atheists will try to say that this is applied generally to all theistic systems… however I rarely see this to be the case. Very rarely do we see an assault on Judaism’s monotheistic beliefs (unless in the context of a broad attack on Judeo-Christian theism). I have yet to see a substantial Atheist figure attack the concept of Allah. I have never seen a leading Atheist figure confront the polytheistic systems prevalent in the various strains of Hinduism, or the theistic overtones of Taoism or Buddhism (although strictly speaking neither of these are theistic by definition).
No. Atheism is, and must be, a privative category. Positive definitions, of course, require a particular definition of a set of beliefs. Your claim that “god doesn’t exist” is the positively defining characteristic of an atheist, requires us to define the god in question. As a colleague of mine once asked, “which god don’t you believe in?” It is perfectly understandable that a believer in one god might be a non-believer in another; by your reasoning, though, that makes this person both a believer and an atheist. We already have words for those who are not christians (heathens), those who are not muslims (infidels), those who are not jews (gentiles or goyim); we do not call those people atheists, because only *some* of them are actually atheists–others are simply nonbelievers in that particular god. (I am well aware that the three examples I have given are all Abrahamic religions, who arguably believe in the same god. When you can get an ultra-orthodox jew to agree that his god is the triune god of catholicism, I will cede that point.)
Atheism is the privative, none-of-the-above category. The fact that your observations have been in a predominately christian culture has allowed you to see the antichristianity you do. Even there, though, you are wrong. Christopher Hitchens consistently attacked islam in his writings, and there are few bigger names in atheism. As for others, you may have to go to countries where these religious traditions are more common. Here, it is the christian majority that attempts to insinuate their beliefs into law, and that is worth fighting against. Here, it is a christian view of morality that attempts to keep some Americans as second-class citizens, and that is worth fighting against. Here, the greatly privileged christian majority resists any attempt to make them play by the same rules as everyone else when using federal dollars, and that is worth fighting against.
Besides, atheists don’t have to attack all those other religions. Christians already do that. Of course, it’s phrased as missionary work, proselytizing, and soul-saving, but tomayto tomahto.