Can there really be atheistic heretics? Cyngus thinks not. Indeed, Cyngus seems to think the idea is not far off of “married bachelor”:
“In order for atheists to have “heretics”, the “heresy” would be if an atheist would say “I believe in god”, which defies the very definition of “atheist”.”
Cyngus fails to recognize, however, that the idea of a heretic is just that: confession of a name and identity whilst confessing a belief “which defies the very definition of” that name and identity.
For example, in my last article I mentioned Bill Phipps, former moderator of the United Church of Canada. Mr. Phipps identified himself as a Christian while denying that Jesus is divine, a position “which defies the very definition of” being a Christian.
The definition of atheist used to be “a person who believes that God doesn’t exist” just like the definition of “Christian” used to be “a person who believes that Jesus was God incarnate”. But these days just as you can find self-identifying “Christians” like Mr. Phipps, so you can find self-identifying “atheists” who don’t believe that God doesn’t exist. In fact, these folk are not hard to find these days. Often they call themselves “weak atheists” where weak atheism means something like agnosticism. According to popular parlance, weak atheists say things like “I don’t believe there is no God. I’m just without belief in God.” That reminds me of Christian liberals who say things like “I don’t deny Jesus is Lord. I just don’t believe he’s God.”
Well if there can be folk who self-identify as atheists while espousing agnosticism, it certainly is possible that there be folk who self-identify as atheists while espousing theism.
Indeed, they may walk in your midst as we speak, inwardly harboring silent affinity for that being than which none greater can be conceived while outwardly embracing all the trappings of enlightened, progressive atheism.
For all you know, some of them could presently be in positions of power and authority in various secular, humanistic and atheistic organizations.
Perhaps the atheists should take to the public corporate recitation of creeds to find these heretical atheists.