Religious Studies



Can an atheist believe in God?


ANDREW S. ESHLEMAN a1
a1 Department of Philosophy and Liberal Studies, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, AR 72204

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Abstract

Some have proposed that it is reasonable for an atheist to pursue a form of life shaped by engagement with theistic religious language and practice, once language and belief in God are interpreted in the appropriate non-realist manner. My aim is to defend this proposal in the face of several objections that have been raised against it. First, I engage in some conceptual spadework to distinguish more clearly some varieties of religious non-realism. Then, in response to two central objections, I seek to articulate the most promising version of the view. I conclude by discussing some practical and moral objections to a non-realist form of religious life.