A Question I Was Asked:

What is "Practical Atheism"?

The Actual Question:

I am a keen reader of your articles. I notice that you sometimes use the phrase, "practical atheism," how would you define that?

UK Apologetics Reply:

I use this term to refer to those who lives their lives on the assumption that no God exists even though they may never have considered this question at any sort of deeper philosophical or religious level. This applies to the great majority of people in modern, liberal western society.

Here is where the forces of liberalism have unquestionably been successful. A true liberal does not believe in God - only in people, and how those people can live successful and comfortable lives without interference from anybody or anything. Liberalism has now successfully infiltrated just about all stratas of society and it is especially pervasive in the teaching, educational and 'professional' parts of society, therefore most (though not all) doctors are liberal, so are teachers, lecturers, educators and especially those employed in the media, and by the government. A leading philosophocal liberal probably will have given thought to the concept of God but will have rejected it, yet he or she will come into contact with many, many people and will readily influence them in living their lives as though there were no God. Thus, many doctors and nurses, seemingly without a qualm, will recommend abortion to impressionable teenage girls who become pregnant, many lawyers (again, often seemingly without any conscience) will advise their clients in what to say in order to achieve a successful courtroom conclusion to their case, even to include blatant lying, and many educators have used, and continue to use, just plain lies in order to prop up their teachings on evolution, climate change and much else. These people always seem to believe that propaganda is more important than morality and truth, this is because modern liberalism rejects both morality and religion (even while being blind to the religiosity endemic in their own devout passion to liberalism). Moreover, for them, 'truth' is only a relative thing (what is "true" for me may not be "true" for you). The problem is that society tends to follow these people because people usually long to conform, and people always hate to be considered "uneducated."

The question might be asked: Couldn't you have a liberal Christianity? Yes, and we do, moreover it's been around for quite a long while! Liberal Christianity states that Jesus was just a "good, moral teacher," He is then placed alongside the Buddha, Confucius and the rest; the Gospel is then no longer a message about salvation and Eternal Life (as true Christians understand those concepts), but becomes a 'romantic' and 'poetic' message concerned with one's private 'noetic, spiritual life.' Sin also becomes pretty much meaningless, just about "what is right and wrong for you." If all that sounds horrendous (and it should!), just bear in mind that that form of deficient "Christianity" is already present in many of our great churches and cathedrals!

Practical atheism, then, is to live one's life in the assumption that God does not exist. Time was when the Church would encourage people to consider this question at some personal philosophical depth, but liberalism has now replaced the Church as the leading and most influential underlying philosophy and paradigm of the West (after, first of all, spending about half a century undermining Christianity and Christian-influenced morality at every turn).
Robin A. Brace, October 21st, 2009.