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Atheism Requires Faith.

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Theland | 03:15 Thu 29th Mar 2018 | Society & Culture
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Atheism require a strong faith in a belief there is no God.
How can you be so sure?

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Works both ways, that question.
You've got me in knots there, Theland.

OK, I can't account for the universe, or conscious life in that universe, or values (most essentially moral ones) which some conscious living creatures hold.

But I haven't yet found convincing explanations of these extraordinary phenomena. And extraordinary they are.

I have a powerful argument against one particular explanation - the theistic moral God one which Theland adheres to.

Technical term is theodicy: if this is the best an all powerful and all loving God can do then He hasn't done it very well, has He?



The usual way this argument runs is that atheism relies on certainty about the origins of the universe - i.e. the proposition that there definitely was no creator. So, if we don't yet fully understand why anything exists, what basis do atheists have (other than faith) to believe that there was no creator?

I confess that this argument stopped me in my tracks for a while when I saw it made by Peter Hitchens, and for some time caused me to consider myself agnostic. But it just didn't settle right with me, and I think there are a few reasons.

1) The idea that there is a creator is not just an idea about the origins of the universe, it's also about the present. Does the universe (as far as we can see) look like it was designed? I find it very difficult to think so, so on its own that makes it impossible for me to really believe in a creator. I also think it's very telling that to believe in a creator one needs to go through a seriously elaborate series of intellectual acrobatics to force it to be compatible with the universe as we know it.

2) I fundamentally do not understand how "faith" or "belief" even comes into questions like the origins of the universe. Theists often accuse atheists of not truly understanding what belief is, and perhaps they are right. But their use of it seems to just step in whenever science doesn't have the answers. So, for a theist, if the origins of the universe remains unknown, the answer to that question becomes one about faith. But how can that be the case? For me, belief seems like an important response to questions that are fundamentally not scientific - how to live, how to be a good person, how to explain beauty, how to tell a good story. "How did the universe come into existence?" is a scientific question specifically about the natural world. If there's no scientific answer then... there just isn't one. I don't understand why faith even comes into it. This usually provokes laughter and scorn for "not understanding faith", but I just don't see how they connect.
//How can you be so sure?//
I cant. Just as I cant be sure that faires, elves or gnomes don't exist but the onus is on them to prove themselves if they do, not on me to believe.
Exactly, nailit. A lack of belief takes no faith whatsoever. I probably couldn't technically explain exactly what a rainbow is, but that doesn't force me to believe it's caused by magic.
Atheist =/= antitheist.
Rainbow. Refraction through precipitation.
Certainty in the existence of something for which there is no evidence is completely irrational. Therefore, until evidence presents itself I can only conclude that it doesn’t exist. The word ‘atheist’ shouldn’t really exist either. The absence of belief is the default position of all human beings. No one is born believing but they inevitably believe what they’re taught. Just think, Theland. Had you been born elsewhere you could now be championing other gods and other religions… or even none at all.
No, jim- atheist means "without a god" not "against a god"
I misunderstood your symbols, didn't I? :-)
Therefore atheism itself is a faith.
//I misunderstood your symbols, didn't I? //
Got be honest Pix, I was trying to work them out as well...
I think... not equal to... But jim will probably clarify.
Waterboatman, //Therefore atheism itself is a faith. //

Not so. Any thinking atheist presented with sufficient evidence to prove otherwise would change his mind. Atheism is an absence of belief so no faith whatsoever.
Faith is believing something in spite of lack of evidence or evidence to the contrary. Atheists don't do that.
Saying that atheism is a faith is akin to saying that not collecting stamps is a hobby.
Lol :-)
:o}
People of faith find it difficult to understand the concept of having none.
Yeah, sorry, =/= is meant to represent an equal sign with a line through it, ie "Not equal to", but it's not the most elegant way of drawing it. Better to have used words.

Although tbh Nailit said it better!

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