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What is Apatheism?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 April 2014
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Apatheism refers to a way of thinking about religion and God. Apatheists have an indifferent attitude towards religion and the existence of God, not really caring one way or the other about religious issues. As a general rule, this lack of interest is motivated by a disinterest in God, and a belief that whether or not God exists, God is not relevant to life on Earth.

The roots of apatheism are old, as numerous philosophers wrote about apatheistic attitudes during periods like the 1700s, when religion was a topic of hot discussion among many communities. The term itself seems to have emerged around the late 20th century, and it is a portmanteau of “apathy” and “theism,” or “atheism,” depending on what sort of apatheist is under discussion.

Understanding apatheism can be a bit difficult, and one of the easiest ways to think about it is to remember that the word “apathy” is involved. Unlike theists and atheists, who both care deeply about religious issues, although they are on opposite sides of the debate, an apatheist genuinely doesn't care about religion and God. Some people consider amatheism to be a sort of easy way out, representing a complete lack of interest in thinking about religious topics.

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For an apatheist, religion is an abstract concept which might be interesting, but ultimately not meaningful. Individuals who embrace this approach to faith believe that religion has no real bearing on their lives, and that if God does or doesn't exist, it doesn't influence life on Earth, because God does not seem to take an active role in the events which influence humans.

For an apatheist, God and religion do not matter, even if the apatheist subscribes to a particular faith or believes in God. Some religious officials have expressed concerns about an epidemic of apatheism, even in traditionally pious communities, suggesting that this way of thinking is weakening morality and striking a blow to the heart of religious belief.

Apatheism could be considered a sort of trap, to some extent, because it rejects the idea that religion is in fact extremely important for many people on Earth. As numerous cultures throughout history have shown, religious beliefs and faith have played a crucial role in history, and numerous acts have been performed in the name of God. By suggesting that God and religion are unimportant and irrelevant, apatheists are rejecting a large part of human society, and they may have trouble understanding the cultures that they live in, given what a huge influence religion has on daily life in regions all over the world.

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anon931498
Post 1

"Apatheism could be considered a sort of trap, to some extent, because it rejects the idea that religion is in fact extremely important for many people on Earth".

It does not. It is not a belief system at all. It is a mental attitude/disposition. It is not a statement about what is important to others. Aptheists personally simply don't care.

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