of questions and dumb questions

Now some of you visit quora as often as I do. Some of you don’t. That’s also ok. So today I saw this question which at first glance I think is dumb. On second reading, I still think it is dumb but it raises a very interesting question; nature of existence.

First the question

Why do we believe in the existence of atheism and not the existence of god.

My first reaction was does this investigator know what atheism is. Defined simply as a lack of belief in deities, it does seem to me atheism, if it exists, it does so only as an idea. A concept. Or as others might say, as a conclusion. In what sense then do we say an idea exists? My view is that an idea exists as long as it has been defined or expressed somewhere even if no one still holds onto it. It is not subject dependent.

What gods are, we don’t know. Unless by tying the two questions together, the investigator meant to also argue that god exists only as an idea in our minds but has no separate existence in time and space. If this is not the case, the question, I think is fallacious (equivocation?) in some way even if I can’t pin it down.

Now I come to the reason why I said the question is interesting. Philosophers have argued over the same question and identified two areas which because I am lazy I will just quote and I hope you do the reading when you have time. 

Is existence a property of individuals? and

Assuming that existence is a property of individuals, are there individuals that lack it?

Or maybe I missed something.