Does Atheism Entail Nihilism?

I take it that most (though not all) non-theists assume that atheism does not entail nihilism.  More specifically, most non-theists don’t believe that denying the existence of God or the immortality of the soul entails that truth, love, beauty, goodness, and justice are empty words.

But as we’ve seen in numerous discussions, the anti-materialist holds that this commitment is not one to which we are rationally entitled.  Rather, the anti-materialist seems to contend, someone who denies that there is any transcendent reality beyond this life cannot be committed to anything other than affirmation of power (or maximizing individual reproductive success) for its own sake.

The question is, why is the anti-materialist mistaken about what non-theists are rationally entitled to?   (Anti-materialists are also welcome to clarify their position if I’ve mischaracterized it.)

305 thoughts on “Does Atheism Entail Nihilism?

  1. Here is a video that could easily be a metaphor for human behavior; except with penguins, it looks funny.

    Consider the poor bloke working hard and following the rules; and then get ripped off for his naïveté

    As for the thief, as the narrator says, “It takes one to know one.”

    What if penguins believed they had an all-seeing penguin deity?

    The question comes down to how educated and enlightened does a society have to be in order to be able to dispense with deities; and can that ever be achieved in reality?

  2. A link to one of my recent posts at After the Bar Closes about The Morality Debate at Uncommon Descent is here.

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