According to the 2006 census, more than a third of all New Zealanders claim to have no religion. Few, however, would agree to being called an atheist. For some, calling yourself an atheist is a certain path to derision. But for many, the term atheist just doesn’t accurately reflect their particular version of disbelief. Instead, they often opt for a different term: God Indifferent.
Producer Justin Gregory talks to three different people about their take on disbelief. Academic and unashamed atheist Dr. Bill Cooke, radical theologian and Presbyterian minister Professor Lloyd Geering (the only person to have been tried for heresy in New Zealand), and “constructive skeptic” Arch Thompson speak to the tradition and variety of atheism, the emerging trends of fundamentalism and indifference, and the possibilities for new forms of belief, free from gods or dogma. God Indifferent was produced by Radio New Zealand as a part of the Global Perspective series on belief.
God Indifferent was produced by Justin Gregory of Radio New Zealand. It originally aired as part of our special Global Perspective Series on Belief.
The term nontheism covers a range of religious and nonreligious attitudes which are characterized by the nonbelief in the theistic concept of a personal God or gods.
Church of Reality
The Church of Reality is a religion based on the practice of Realism, believing in everything that is real. Our motto is, "If it's real, we believe in it."
Demographics of New Zealand
Information derived from the religion section of the 2001 New Zealand census
Wisdom to Doubt: A Justification of Religious Skepticism
by: J. L. Schellenberg 2007
The Wisdom to Doubt is a major contribution to the contemporary literature on the epistemology of religious belief. Continuing the inquiry begun in his previous book, Prolegomena to a Philosophy of Religion, J. L. Schellenberg here argues that given our limitations and especially our immaturity as a species, there is no reasonable choice but to withhold judgment about the existence of an ultimate salvific reality.
Schellenberg defends this conclusion against arguments from religious experience and naturalistic arguments that might seem to make either religious belief or religious disbelief preferable to his skeptical stance. In so doing, he canvasses virtually all of the important recent work on the epistemology of religion. Of particular interest is his call for at least skepticism about theism, the most common religious claim among philosophers. The Wisdom to Doubt expands the author's well-known hiddenness argument against theism and situates it within a larger atheistic argument, itself made to serve the purposes of his broader skeptical case. That case need not, on Schellenberg's view, lead to a dead end but rather functions as a gateway to important new insights about intellectual tasks and religious possibilities.
Non-Existence of God
by: Nicholas Everitt, N. Everitt, Everitt Nichola 2003
Arguments for the existence of God have taken many different forms over the centuries: the ontological, cosmological and teleological arguments; arguments which invoke miracles, religious experience and morality; and prudential arguments such as Pascal's Wager. On the other hand are the arguments against theistic belief: the traditional problem of evil; the logical tensions between divine attributes such as omnipotence, omniscience and eternity; and arguments from the scale of the universe.
In The Non-Existence of God, Nicholas Everitt reconsiders all of these arguments and examines the role that reason and knowledge play in the debate over God's existence. He draws on recent scientific disputes over neo-Darwinism, the implication of "big bang" cosmology, and the temporal and spatial size of the universe; and discusses some of the most recent work on the subject, such as Plantinga's "anti-naturalism" argument in favor of theism. Everitt'scontroversial conclusion is that there is a sense in which God's existence is disprovable, and that even in other senses a belief in God would be irrational.