Do you have enough faith to be an atheist?

Do you have enough faith to be an atheist?

It wasn’t meant as a trick question. It just came up in conversation. I was talking with a lifelong friend who has started attending an Alpha Course. Like many in our modern, secular world he is open to the possibility that there might be a God but doesn’t see that there is enough evidence. Having faith in a God seems a step beyond reason, a leap in the dark. He is an atheist because he doesn’t think he can have the kind of faith that he sees in believing Christians …

So … you don’t have enough faith to believe in God – but you do have enough faith to be an atheist?

… I asked him. Meaning what?

Atheism is a faith with a set of beliefs

Is atheism really some kind of faith? Yes. Like any other faith it’s possible to identify atheism’s central beliefs. Granted there is some variance across atheist believers – like any other religion. And depending on who you talk to, some atheist believers are even “fundamentalists”, intolerant to any other worldview, and evangelistic in spreading their own beliefs – again like other religions. Here is what we could say is their basic creed:*

  • The universe exists by chance
  • Everything can be discovered by science
  • Humans are the ultimate judge of all things – there is no final moral reckoning
  • Any value or purpose of life can be worked out from the wisdom of mankind
  • Nothing exists beyond this life – there is no ultimate source of trust in the universe
  • There is no purpose or meaning to the universe (And it’s a silly question to ask anyway – see below)
  • Human ideals are progress, tolerance, and individualism

The universe and chance

….. that looks like a belief system to me. But not only that, secular atheism is pretty exclusive in its beliefs:

Atheism is a faith that claims there is only one kind of truth

If it’s not scientific it doesn’t count

The idea that we must answer all questions about our universe and our being by science alone is widespread. There’s even a name for it “Scientism” – which roughly means that all questions must be answered by scientific method, all truth must be amenable to science. Now science certainly is an excellent tool for understanding our world but it cannot answer a lot of questions we as humans have, like say … Why is there a universe at all? … What is the value of a human being? Richard Dawkins says these are “silly questions”, which is a cheap shot at saying there’s something wrong with you if you ask them.

Let’s look at another faith – the one that believes in God.

This faith takes on board not just science that emerges empirically from a lab, but ALL the evidence. As well as science, this faith takes on board historical evidence for the life of Jesus Christ and the reliability of the Bible (evidence which is a mile high compared with many historical events). This faith considers the facts of an empty tomb and the witness of early disciples who were transformed into starting a worldwide movement called the church. This faith takes seriously the notion that our universe is incredibly “fine-tuned” for life to an almost incomprehensible extent.  And this faith takes into account peoples’ experiences over 2,000 years – people who convincingly claim their lives have been changed. This faith understands that there are other kinds of evidence and other kinds of truth besides scientific … there is spiritual, ethical and moral truth, there is experiential truth, truth as allegory and metaphor. There is literature, history, philosophy…. There is not just science.

Scientism in any case is self-defeating. Saying “it’s not scientific so ignore it” … is itself not scientific. There is no scientific theory that says “all answers must come from science”,  no experiment that can prove “science must be your only worldview”. Surely the way to approach all questions is to say, I want to find out the truth – even if that that truth lies outside my narrow comfort-zone.

Atheism and Christianity

Atheism is a faith that doesn’t add up

John Lenox, Professor and Christian at Oxford points out something else: if your brain is the result of mindless, unguided processes – why would you even trust it?

To be sure, atheism is a belief system in many ways like any other. Yet when you say that to atheists it touches a raw nerve as I have found – but great discussions can result!**

Prof John Lenox again:

Atheists like to say that Christianity is a fairy tale for people who are afraid of the dark; I suggest that atheism is a fairy tale for people who are afraid of the light

I don’t have enough faith to believe that the universe is some kind of gigantic car-crash, a colossal accident that just happened to come about. I don’t have enough faith to believe that there was a big bang followed by an ordered world. It’s a step beyond reason, a leap in the dark. I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist.

This blog was published by Premier Christianity and attracted a lengthy comment threads as did a reply post by atheist Cory Markum.

Next in our series The Atheism Thread: The Atheist Who Didn’t Exist
*List mainly derived from Mission Under Scrutiny, Andrew Kirk
** See for example extended comment threads on a previous blog and also here.New Atheism

  • Cathy Buntin

    Hi Chris thanks for this that is a really interesting concept I have never thought that Atheism is a faith. I really enjoyed this article thanks for sharing

    • I guess the only people who could credibly claim to have no faith are people who do not believe anything …. and esp dont believe the bulleted list of beliefs above. Thanks Cathy!

  • Great insights Chris! As you rightly point out atheism is itself based on faith – that there is no meaning or purpose to the world and everything is a matter of chance. But if I am going to say that I don’t want to say that I have no meaning or purpose either – instinctively i want my life to matter. Also it is tautological – if there are no absolutes how can I make an absolute statement that there are no absolutes? The real issue seems to be I don’t want there to be a God, and there are a lot of people who also don’t want there to be a God as it makes us accountable. And I don’t want to be accountable!

    • 🙂 Good summary! I was just about able to follow your thought process there….. Key point for me is that new atheists like to poke fun at people of faith …… but in fact are themselves people of faith.

  • APK

    Not sure I will remember all your points but really good summary of what exactly atheists believe (even though they say they don’t believe!)

  • mart

    One of the best yet! Excellent! Many thanks …… typo …”fairy take”

    • Thanks Martin – you have a VERY keen eye – typo duly corrected 🙂

  • Ron Hyde

    Hi Chris Just read the Atheists Faith blog. really good and certainly made me think. Some really good points I will use next time I get in a debate with an atheist!

    • Yes agnostics for example could possible claim to have “no beliefs”., but atheists have beliefs and need to own them instead of just throwing rocks at others’ beliefs. Thanks for commenting.

  • Atheism is like faith and has many attributes of a faith but it is also different from the faith as traditionally understood. I have the first hand experience of some of the features that make it very much similar to a faith. In the Soviet Union atheism or naturalistic worldview blended in with atheism and scientism was systematically enforced through educational system. When I was growing up, there was a time when simply talking about God or taking religion seriously would make people laugh at you.
    So yes, atheism is kind of a faith.

    • Hey Agashin, your Soviet Union experience is incredibly interesting – thanks for sharing that. I wonder if it is still the case there that, unless you are an avowed atheist, you are ridiculed?

      • Actually, it is quite opposite nowadays, Chris. I grew up in Azerbaijan (Muslim-majority nation) and during the Soviet regime (it was one of the 15 republics within the USSR) majority of people in my country were secularized Muslims who did not care much about (any) religion. Basically, the religion (in this case Islam) was reduced to folk faith of older generation.
        But after the fall of the Soviets the situation drastically changed. Nowadays conservative Islam is on the rise and being atheist in my country is not as accepted as it was, say, twenty years ago. Nowadays, atheism is kind of minority faith there.

        • Interesting Agshin. Of course militant Islam is on the rise in many countries so I guess the situation you describe should not surprise us. Although I disagree with atheism as a belief system I would always defend the rights of people to choose their own faith – including atheism.

  • Illum

    Well, the fact that some atheists – the people – might accept some things on faith doesn’t mean that atheism is a position of faith. Atheism – the definition of the actual ism – is that one doesn’t believe any gods exist. That doesn’t have anything to do with faith. Faith is a possible reason for believing something as true; not a reason for not believing something as true. Faith is implied to be belief about something.
    I freely grant you that some atheists – the people (!!) – might possibly accept some of those things. And possibly on faith too. But certainly not all. On the list you composed:
    “The universe exists by chance” I don’t accept that. “Everything can be discovered by science” I most certainly don’t accept that under any circumstances. “Humans are the ultimate judge of all things – there is no final moral reckoning” No, don’t accept that either. “Any value or purpose of life can be worked out from the wisdom of mankind” No, don’t accept that either. And I’m an atheist. And there are plenty of atheists – people who don’t believe in any gods – who accept that there’s an afterlife or that we have a soul for example, or who do not accept big bang theory.
    You can discuss the given things in your list. That’s fine. And you can discuss whether or not it takes faith to believe them. But that’s not atheism. All atheism means is that if you write out the entire completed list of things a person believes, gods won’t come up on that list. And that doesn’t have anything to do with faith. It seems you’re really talking about something like possibly materialism possibly.

    • Hi Illum
      Thankyou for commenting! I will take your comment in 2 parts:
      First, you make the often quoted statement that an atheist “doesn’t believe any Gods exist” ie you feel that atheism is “a lack of belief”. This is what atheists often say but if it was true then anything which “doesn’t believe any Gods exist” could be called an atheist – eg my keyboard and my desk would both be atheists. So actually atheism is more than that. Atheism is a belief / a claim / a positive statement that there is no God. That is a belief, and a belief in which atheists have faith (they believe it to be true).
      Second, we find that atheists actually do believe other things. Most often – in my experience at least – there is a commonality between these things atheists believe. The list above was meant as collection of some of the more central beliefs – its not perfect or complete but it is a collection. Now it seems that in your case you actually DON’T believe the majority of items in this list even though you are an atheist. That surprises me. So eg you reject:
      1. “The universe exists by chance”
      Then please explain: how would you say the universe came about?
      2. “…there is no final moral reckoning”
      Then please explain: are you saying there is a final moral reckoning of some sort?
      What do you believe?

      • Damien van Hoogen van

        WOW! Not sure how I got to this page, but ill leave my mark.
        Atheism is not a belief system – its an adjective like blonde or tall. You cannot infer anything about an aetheist other than they don’t believe in god. Just as I cannot infer that theists are weak minded or homophobic. I can statistically infer things, and those statements would be valid, but not polite to infer, as you may have just discovered. This is called stereotyping.

        Atheists mostly to be children of the enlightenment who cant be pressured or frightened into believing things without evidence, it doesn’t even have to be good evidence, just in existence. Theists have no evidence for god.

        There is one piece of excellent evidence against the existence of a good (morally), omnipotent god: Currently 7 million (ish) children suffer and die before the age of 5 from various ailments. Toddlers have no real free will and they certainly don’t have the mental capacity to understand morales as the bible preaches. Only a cruel, bloodthirsty god would allow this, which is the conclusion many ancient societies came to (Mayans .etc) that prompted them to systematically torture and sacrifice millions of human and non-human animals to the gods. The Greeks had a better conception of God than the Abrahamic faiths do: as cruel, self-interested, capricious beings.

        • Hi Damien – thanks for reading and taking the time to comment – I appreciate a site like this is not your usual source for reading material!
          “Atheism is not a belief system – its an adjective”
          We keep hearing this statement. And yet we see that atheists do have beliefs.
          We can infer a set of beliefs that atheists share (in addition to the starting belief that there is no God). Eg most atheists would say that the universe and life have arisen through natural causes, or “naturalism”, that there is no ultimate source of trust in the universe, that there is no final moral reckoning. Most atheists would hold to some version of Scientism. That is another belief. If we stack these up (and I say in the article there is variation across atheists), we get a system of beliefs. Mostly these are not provable in any empirical sense and they mostly follow from the starting statement “there is no God”.
          One could try to avoid this line of discussion by using the weaker statement “I don’t believe there is a God”, but I suggest this is tending towards agnosticism – which is somewhat different – as well as an attempt to avoid the problem that we all have a belief system.
          Second, there is plenty of evidence for God Damien – but one has to consider all sources of evidence – not just those we prefer to see.
          On your last point, the problem of suffering is indeed difficult … but consider your example – children who die before the age of 5 – this is mostly from treatable ailments. We (people, mankind, you and I) have the wherewithal to provide treatments if we wished. There is other suffering which is not preventable and which arises from the nature of our fallen world.

          • Damien van Hoogen van

            Hi Chris,

            You seem to have ignored a large chunk of my contribution or perhaps just not understood it.
            Another example perhaps: Just as the label theist does not tell you whether a person believes in Allah or Zeus, nor does the label atheist tell you somebody believes in evolution. Again; yes you can make statistical inferences based on survey data but then your not describing a person, your making inferences about a person.

            To your second point: it is completely wrong that we could provide treatments for these suffering and dying children

          • Damien van Hoogen van

            whoops…. hit post prematurely

            To your second point: it is completely wrong that we could provide treatments for these suffering and dying children. There are many thousands of ailments we cannot cure even with all the will and resources in the world. Even if we could, this would have only been true for the past decade. As of 200 years ago, a full 1/3 of children died before the age of two. What kind of cruel god would do such a thing. Answer: Loki?

          • Hi Damien
            Not ignoring your points Damien. There is nothing new here that hasn’t been debated many time. I’ll try not to omit anything, but keep things brief:

            1. Your point … labels .. atheists / theists and stereotyping etc
            I’m not talking about labels. I am talking about what the people behind these labels believe – “in the main”.. Let’s go back to your “statistical inferences” point: So for example most people who are “religious” believe in God, but not all of them do. And yet I think it’s a reasonable “statistical inference” that people denoted as religious mostly believe in God even if they don’t all.
            Moving on, I can see that many (I would say most) people using the label “atheist” follow a set of beliefs. Some of these I have pointed out above and yes – there will always be one that some atheists don’t believe (Although I note that you have not disagreed with any of the items in my list of likely beliefs that atheists hold).
            If we take your line ie “well everybody is different” – yes I agree, of course they are and nobody is completely defined by any label. But if we simply leave it there we can’t really discuss anything.
            Conclusion: atheists tend to share a set of beliefs, a belief system – despite protesting that they don’t. This is patently the case and this is the topic of this blog – happy to discuss other issues but let’s not lose the main point.

            2. Then back to suffering and your point…… “there are many thousands of ailments we cannot cure even with all the will and resources in the world” …. Really? Please tell me exactly what some of these thousands of ailments are……?
            Clearly it cant be …. malnutrition related or malaria or the many diseases from infected water … Please be a little more specific here.
            There are a very few problems of suffering which cant sensibly be blamed on mankind – I already noted the Christian doctrine of a fallen world and things not being as they should.

            BTW – where are you located Damien? Just interested  …. And Happy New Year to you!
            cg

          • Damien van Hoogen van

            HI Chris,

            You are talking past me at this stage regarding my first point. In case it has been lost in the semantics: Atheism says nothing about a person other that they don’t believe in a god. But you can take it or leave it I suppose.

            Re suffering, just to name a few: Cancer, Alzheimers, HIV, AIDS and type 1 diabetes. There would be many others if you cared to look. If we are talking infants specifically then: Premature babies (20 weeks), SIDS, Pnemonia, Whooping cough, cogenital diseases, infections and general birthing problems like asphyxiation. The first two on this list are fatal as they are beyond our technology and we don’t understand them respectively. The others are common issues that CAN be prevented/cured but DO still kill countless children each year even with our best medical tech.
            I cannot believe that you did not already know at least some of this already though. So what sin did these infants commit to warrant a painful death? The millions of infants that die annually in third world countries of much more preventable diseases/complications COULD be cured if we mobilized, you are correct in this. But then those infants are suffering for our “sinfulness”. How is that justice?

            Of course, your other problem is that there is no scientific (or GOOD philosophic) evidence/theory for free will. You can still work god into a deterministic universe but he remains as sadistic and evil as in a non-deterministic universe.

            I’m outside of Melbourne, Australia – was a balmy 35 degrees down here for Christmas, or 100 degrees F, assuming your American

          • I am British and based in the UK – its freezing! – good to made your acquaintance.

            Point-1 You feel I am talking past you, whereas I feel you are sticking to a single isolated point and not wanting to see the consequences of that point. I’ll try a slightly different approach:
            Let’s AGREE that “Atheism says nothing about a person other that they don’t believe in a god”. I agree. ………… However, for people who actively argue against the existence of a God, which you are tending towards, (so called hard atheists but in any case not agnostics) there are consequences of this position. It leads to a worldview. I have pointed out some of the consequences (beliefs) often held within this worldview in the above. As we both know its very easy to throw rocks at someone else’s beliefs …. But you yourself must have beliefs which your atheism leads you towards, and you should be able to defend those.

            Point-2 Thankyou for being specific, now I know what suffering you are referring to.
            Christians believe that suffering as you describe is a result of our fallen world. Suffering in most cases cannot be traced back to specific “wrong-doing” (Jesus said as much). As Christians we believe that disaster and sickness were never part of God’s original creation which was perfect and included man’s ability to exercise autonomy. In addition, suffering has no part in God’s final creation. Right now however we live between the ages in a world that is not as it should be. In the meantime we use direct social action and prayer to support those who do suffer.
            Christians also believe that God himself identified with his creation thru his own suffering. Christianity has at its very core the degradation, suffering and death of its own God. God has an intense, personal knowledge of suffering, anguish and loss.

            I don’t know if you have come across the Unbelievable podcast – it’s a weekly show that normally brings together a Christian and non-Christian (often an atheist) for debate. On last week’s show there was a lady who’s 4 year old son died of a brain tumour. Her story is worth hearing. There’s not a great deal of “theology” there, but its real. http://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Saturday/Unbelievable/Episodes/Unbelievable-How-I-lost-my-child-but-kept-my-faith-Jessica-Kelley

            One last question: You are fixed on the question of why bad things happen. I would ask another question: Why do good things happen? Why should there be mountain views, days at the seaside, job satisfaction, a welcoming smile or even a sunny day? ….

          • Damien van Hoogen van

            Hey.

            No I don’t have any beliefs that aetheism has let me towards (as you say). Why would it? If you started from a belief in god then it might change things for you but that’s not a sensible starting point. I began life not believing and continue to not believe in any gods. The absence of a god does not figure into my assessment of almost every decision I make and thought I have.

            That’s fine I knew you could not account for the suffering in any sensible way. Many academic religious scholars more articulate and knowledge than both of us combined have no answer. Just wanted to see if you would concede this or try and waffle your way around it

            Why do both good and bad things happen you ask? Evolution. Pain is only bad because my brain tells me it is, same goes for the sunny day. But on balance life is 95% pain and 5% smiles. I’ll take the pleasure and be thankful for it but atheists are still waiting for an answer on the pain question, which as you have demonstrated, is unanswerable for the time being

          • Damien
            Hey – and apologies for the delay – sometimes (both of) my jobs just kick off but I will always TRY to come back and answer comments. (I will also remain polite and not accuse you of waffle :-))
            On the main point: atheism leads to a specific worldview / set of beliefs, I think that is entirely self-evident but you strongly disagree. I think we have probably had that discussion by now. That’s OK.
            But let’s go back to your suffering point which you still claim as a key argument against the existence of God: You say that a real God would not allow suffering. So my question to you: how much suffering is it OK for God to allow? Clearly the many diseases / illnesses and calamities you listed above are not allowable if God made this world. OK but is it “allowable” for God to allow one child to die? Is it OK for one adult to die from a disease. I ask since you are raising this as one of your arguments, so I feel the responsibility is on you to complete your argument and say “how much suffering”. I suspect you won’t want to answer directly – go on surprise me!
            Talk to you soon – good discussion!

          • Damien van Hoogen van

            Hi Chris,

            Feel free to accuse me of waffle if you think I’m guilty of it – I definitely wont take offence, although I may disagree.

            No I never said “god would not allow suffering” or any permutation of this. This term is pretty popular now; strawman – you are responding to a point I never made. The point I did make was made repeatedly and has been made by many great thinkers and religious scholars – although you seem to be much busier than i am, so I will be charitable and assume it was an innocent mistake. In addition to all the biological causes of death (that I discussed above) of children under the age of two, who couldn’t possible have deserved their painful deaths through acts of free will, I neglected to mention natural disasters, colloquially known as ‘acts of god’. Avalanches, tsunamis, hurricanes, droughts, floods, earthquakes and all the other disasters that regularly massacre infants by the tens of thousands.

          • Hey Damien – this is becoming a “scroll fest” right, but maybe we can squeeze in a couple more comments (… or we both get RSI in our fingers )
            I get your point Damien, but I have to push your argument to its practical outworking, otherwise its simply can’t be real. I feel you are adopting similar approach in both your arguments ie
            1. With the “atheism does not lead to a particular world view”, you take atheism on its own and separate it off from the practical set of beliefs we find that atheists generally share. (I know you completely disagree with this BTW). And then to your point ….
            2. Similarly now you take a situation – lets say of “children under + natural disasters”. You say that God if he existed would not allow such suffering. But what about older children / teens / adults? Should God not also prevent them from suffering even (let’s assume) if these people never did anything wrong in their lives? Should God not allow one adult to … even become ill? I am not extrapolating theoretically. In the world you suggest where (arbitrarily) children under 2 don’t die needlessly these are the pressing questions. They follow from your argument. What’s your answer?

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  • De Ha

    It wasn’t meant as a trick question. It just came up in conversation. I was talking with a lifelong friend who has started attending an Alpha Course. Like many in our modern, secular world he is open to the possibility that there might be a God but doesn’t see that there is enough evidence. Having faith in a God seems a step beyond reason, a leap in the dark. He is an atheist because he doesn’t think he can have the kind of faith that he sees in believing Christians …

    So … you don’t have enough faith to believe in God – but you do have enough faith to be an atheist?

    ***THORAN***
    Faith is the closed-minded pig-headed refusal to question your beliefs lest God punish you for thinking. It is anti-intelligence. BEYOND stupid. Not just an inability to think, REFUSAL to think.

    ***YOU***

    … I asked him. Meaning what?

    Atheism is a faith with a set of beliefs

    ***THORAN***
    That doesn’t make any sense.

    ***YOU***

    Is atheism really some kind of faith?

    ***THORAN***
    No.

    ***YOU***
    Yes.

    ***THORAN***
    **** you.
    ……… deleted after this point due to profane language

    • This comment is pending deletion due the contributor’s use of profane language. There will be no response.

  • Paul Hobson

    As someone who came to faith 10 years ago I’ve concentrated much of my reading since then on deepening my understanding of the Christian faith, and how to better live it out. It’s been valuable to understand a little more the varied thinking of people who do not believe in God/a God. Thanks for writing the blog and inviting comments.

    • Thanks Paul. Of course atheists hold a wide spectrum of views on all sorts of things although, as this blog suggests, they will have common views on matters concerned with the nature of the universe, the nature of being etc.

  • Matthew Scheffer

    I’ve found that Christians love to equivocate on the term “faith.” Biblical faith is not merely something like, “oh, I have faith that the sun will come up tomorrow” or “I have faith my car will start.” Biblical, religious faith is belief even when there is no strong evidence or reasons to support your beliefs. Some typical examples of this kind of faith, which are highly praised by “God,” come from Hebrews 11 (the “Hall of Faith” chapter): Abraham went out of his country (by faith) not even knowing where he was going, and Sarah was past childbearing age, but they had “faith” that she would have a child. This “faith” is all a strong trust or belief even when things “aren’t clear.” The average Christian has this type of faith when he/she comes under any sort of extreme hardship; they have an active faith that, despite the circumstances, evidence, and against all odds, “God” will provide.

    Atheist have beliefs. Some have beliefs that are based on evidence and reasons (Example: A belief that Chemists should be trusted when they say not to mix certain chemicals together, since they’ve studied these things and have demonstrated chemical reactions in papers, talks, and videos); however, it may also be admitted that some atheists could certainly have beliefs not founded on good evidence or reasons (e.g. some might have superstitions).

    What certain atheists “believe” does not tell you what atheism actually is anymore than “theism” tells you what Christianity is. Right or wrong?

    This is really the crux of the matter: Is “theism” a religion? Can you honestly say that it is? No. We do not speak of the religion of “theism” or talk about the church of theism, and it’s equally absurd to run around talking about “atheism” as a religion.

    I think Christians have a particular interest in claiming that atheism is based on faith. If they can get away with that claim, then they can dismiss atheism as another “false faith,” and it’s easier to claim all sorts of nonsense on behalf of atheists (see the bullet points above). Christians could dismiss the so-called “faith” of atheism in a similar way that an atheist would dismiss the faith of Christianity, and this allows Christians to argue like an atheist, which may be something they’ve been wanting to do for some time.

    “Theism” is a position one takes when one believes in a deity(s)–that’s all. “Atheism,” is a position one takes when one does not believe or “lacks belief” in a deity; it’s not a religion or a “set of beliefs.” Atheists may have a religion (e.g. Buddhism) or a set of beliefs, but those are all particular to the individual(s), not to atheism, which tells you nothing about what one believes about the “purpose of life,” about the limitations of science, or about what “human ideals” are. It’s that simple.

    It’s dishonest to say that atheism is a “religion” or that it’s based on a religious faith. Do you not believe in the 9th commandment?

    • Matthew – hi and thanks for reading and commenting.
      Your points have been discussed at length – see the threads above or for a much more gruelling discussion check out the Premier Christianity link – and also Cory Markum;s atheist response which is very helpful.
      I cant respond all over again, however, just in brief:
      – Yes I maintain that atheists have a set of beliefs in common (some of which are noted in the article) and these beliefs have an element of trust … and yes they therefore can be regraded as taken on faith
      – You mention evidence and reason a couple of times. There is huge evidence and reason for Christianity – but I suspect you are only interested in the empirical / scientific kind (ie as opposed to evidence form Philosophy, Literature, personal witness, ethical etc)
      I do think a scan of the other comments will provide responses in depth.

      • Matthew Scheffer

        You’re equivocating on “belief” and “trust.” “Belief” or “trust” in a chemistry experiment or in testable scientific theories is not at all the same as a “belief” or “trust” that god will make a 90-year-old woman pregnant (e.g. Sarah in the bible). You really are violating the 9th commandment here.

        “Yes,” I am interested in empirical/scientific evidence. Hopefully you are too. You wrote that there is “huge evidence and reason for Christianity,” but no one disputes that. Of course Christianity exists and has had a long history. I assume that you meant to say “for god,” rather than “for Christianity,” but I wouldn’t want to put words in your mouth.

        Since there is no empirical/scientific evidence for the existence of god, what is your evidence for the existence of the Christian god? Would you point to “witnesses” who are not alive and who didn’t write anything down at the time of Jesus’ resurrection? A book (i.e. the bible) that was not written during the time of Jesus’ life or by people who actually knew him (i.e. we have no way of knowing who wrote the “gospels”)? Ethics? It doesn’t seem that the slavery of the bible or the commandment that was given for a raped woman to marry her rapist is very ethical (I also assume you mean “moral” rather than “ethical” though).

    • David Snell

      Hi Matthew
      For me there are 4 understandings in the word ‘faith’ mentioned in scripture Hebrews 11 being one.There is also ‘the faith’ which Christians are a part of.
      To reject a Creator God and settle for a 30000000000000000000000000 (at least) chance of creation just happening requires a decision ,a decision based probably on other peoples ideas.

  • De Ha

    “Scientism” is a Theist strawman where you accuse those who believe in Science of taking a completely unscientific attitude towards Science.

    It’s like accusing feminists of kidnapping women and chaining them to office cubicles. It’s A rediculous exaggeration that completely defeats the point.

  • Gary M

    I believe that traditional/conservative Christianity can be proven false in just five minutes by knocking out the three pillars of the Christian Faith (belief system):

    1. The Bodily Resurrection of Jesus
    2. The Accuracy of Old Testament Prophecy
    3. The Witness of the Holy Spirit

    And here is the evidence that destroys these three superstition-based claims:

    1. Based on cumulative human experience, it is much more probable that the early Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus was due to one disciple’s bereavement hallucination (probably Simon Peter’s) than a once in history reanimation of a three-day-brain-dead corpse. Persons who experience hallucinations believe them to be real life experiences. If Paul was able to convince first century Jews in Asia Minor that he had seen a resurrected Jesus based on a “heavenly vision”, then Simon Peter was surely capable of convincing first century Jews (including the other disciples) in Palestine that he had seen the resurrected Jesus, even though his experience had really been an hallucination. The remainder of the “appearances” of Jesus listed in the Early Creed of First Corinthians 15 could simply have been static images (illusions) something we see today with alleged group sightings of the Virgin Mary. The Early Creed gives no details whatsoever of these appearances. The detailed appearances in the four Gospels may well be literary embellishments, very common in Greco-Roman biographies, the genre of literature in which most New Testament scholars, including many conservative Christian scholars, believe the authors of the Gospels were writing.

    2. The Book of Daniel is a blatant fraud. The book very accurately portrays the events in the Greek Empire down to abstract minutia but makes major errors regarding the Babylonian and Persian empires, the empires during which the book’s author infers the book was written. Jesus quotes from this fraudulent book. Jesus, who was not a scholar, was fooled by the author. Modern scholars are not fooled.

    3. The “witness of the Holy Spirit” is a joke. Christians can no more prove that the voice that allegedly speaks to them is their god than can the Muslims, Hindus, Mormons, Jews, and others prove that the voice that speaks to them is their god. Watch this powerful video for proof:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJMSU8Qj6Go