Apatheism (a portmanteau of "apathy" and "theism/atheism"), also known as pragmatic or critically as practical atheism, is acting with apathy, disregard, or lack of interest towards belief, or lack of belief in a deity. Apatheism describes the "manner" of acting towards a belief or lack of a belief in a deity; so applies to both theism and atheism. An apatheist is also someone who is not interested in accepting or denying any claims that gods exist or do not exist. In other words, an apatheist is someone who considers the question of the existence of gods as neither meaningful nor relevant to his or her life; nor to human affairs.

Apathetic agnosticism (also called Pragmatic agnosticism)—the view that there is no proof of either the existence or nonexistence of God or gods, but since any God or gods that may exist appear unconcerned for the universe or the welfare of its inhabitants, the question is largely academic anyway.

Practical atheism can take various forms:
*Absence of religious motivation—belief in gods does not motivate moral action, religious action, or any other form of action;
*Active exclusion of the problem of gods and religion from intellectual pursuit and practical action;
*Indifference—the absence of any interest in the problems of gods and religion; or
*Ignorance—lacking any idea of gods. [harvnb|Zdybicka|2005|p=21.]

Historically, practical atheism was considered by some people to be associated with moral failure, willful ignorance and impiety. Those considered practical atheists were said to behave as though God, ethics and social responsibility did not exist; they abandoned duty and embraced hedonism. According to the French Catholic philosopher Étienne Borne, "Practical atheism is not the denial of the existence of God, but complete godlessness of action; it is a moral evil, implying not the denial of the absolute validity of the moral law but simply rebellion against that law." [cite book | last = Borne | first = Étienne
title = Atheism | year = 1961 | publisher = New York: Hawthorn Books | id = ISBN 0-415-04727-7

The eighteenth century French philosopher Denis Diderot, when accused of being an atheist, replied that he simply did not care whether God existed or not. In response to Voltaire, he wrote,:It is very important not to mistake hemlock for parsley; but not at all so to believe or not in God. [cite book |last=Herrick |first=Jim |title=Against the Faith |year=1985 |pages=p. 75 |location=London |publisher=Glover & Blair |id=ISBN 0-906681-09-X ]

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". [Rauch, Jonathan, "Let It Be: Three Cheers for Apatheism", "The Atlantic Monthly", May 2003]

ee also

*Cosmicism (see "cosmic indifference")
*God in Buddhism


External links

* [http://www.hermetic.com/dionysos/apatheist.htm Apatheism, Allognosticism, and the American Religious Landscape.]
* [http://www.wunderland.com/WTS/Ginohn/cetera/apatheism.html The Church of Apatheism] , a web page first published in August 2000 which also uses the terms “apatheism” and “apatheist”
* [http://atheism.about.com/library/glossary/general/bldef_apatheist.htm Apatheism defined on Atheism.about.com]
* [http://www.jonathanrauch.com/jrauch_articles/apatheism_beyond_religion/index.html "Let It Be: Three Cheers for Apatheism"] by Jonathan Rauch "Atlantic" May 2003
* [http://www.abc.net.au/newsradio/txt/s1620158.htm ABC New Radio:wordwatch, Apatheism]
* [http://apatheticagnostic.org/ Apathetic Agnostics]

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