[This is a continuation of Section Two, Reason and the First Person. An index with links to all parts of the work as they are posted can be found [url=https://forum.evangelicaluniversalist.com/t/sword-to-the-heart-reason-and-the-first-person/1081/1]here.]
[This series starts Chapter 17, “Atheism and the Justification of Justification Ability”.]
A philosophy that posits that the Independent Fact (the ground of all other facthood and the base for all reality) devises purposes, makes plans, initiates events or otherwise takes action, will fall into one of two mutually exclusive philosophical branches: ‘theism’, or perhaps better for our present purposes, ‘not-atheism’.
‘Atheism’, by contrast, posits that the IF behaves only automatically, nonpurposefully, noninitiatively. An atheist could be (but usually is not) supernaturalistic. She could even (but usually doesn’t) propose that the IF is ‘alive’ in some sense. Neither of these posited IF characteristics necessarily entails that the IF acts. An atheist might even allow that a Most Powerful Thinking Entity exists, which could without gross abuse of language be considered ‘a god’ and which might very easily and forgivably be mistaken for ‘The God’ (in other words, be mistaken for the Independent Fact, and thus inspire a belief that the IF itself is rationally active). However, such an ‘emergent’ god (if its/his/her existence could be established) would not technically falsify atheism, which concerns the properties of the IF itself.
So: I think an atheist, as an atheist, has a vested interest in proposing and defending the proposition that the final, ultimate base of reality does not act.