Sunday, November 4, 2018

Atheism Isn't A Faith (part 1)

One of the common arguments I come across when debating Christians is the assertion that either "atheists believe in nothing", or "atheism is a faith, like all the other faiths".

The "atheism is a faith" line grates me somewhat, as atheism isn't faith or a faith. Atheism is actually the rejection of faith, not the embrace of it in an alternative form.

This idea is the core tenet of IDHEFTBAA, but here I want to write about the idea on a more informal level.

To be clear and to be very clear, the most fundamental tenet, the only tenet of atheism is this: a rejection of the belief in any God or gods. This is all atheism is - being without god/s.

Atheism doesn't mean evolution. It is entirely possible that someone is an atheist and does not believe that the theory of evolution by natural selection is the best explanation for the variety of life forms we see on this earth. I would hold that position as unscientific, however.

Atheism also doesn't mean immorality. Firstly, plenty of Christians have done plenty of immoral things, so belief in God is no guarantee of having a superior morality, and secondly, where an atheist gets their morality from is the same place Christians get their morality from - from inside their brain. This is an indisputable finding of neurological science.

To further prove that atheism doesn't equate to immorality, I will quote the famous illusionist and atheist activist Penn Jillette:


The question I get asked by religious people all the time is, without God, what’s to stop me from raping all I want? And my answer is: I do rape all I want. And the amount I want is zero. And I do murder all I want, and the amount I want is zero.

Atheism also doesn't mean nihilism. Atheists have sons, daughters, husbands, wives, friends, bosses, employees, just like Christians do. Atheists have feelings and wishes and desires and fears and worries, just like Christians do. Atheists share the same societal space that Christians do, and atheists have things to live for, just like Christians do. The only difference is that atheists don't live for the idea of an eternal afterlife, which most atheist rationalists would consider as irrational and unascertainable.

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In later posts, I will further discuss this topic.

However, if you feel I have said something wrong/incorrect, please let me know in the comments.

Until next time, be good to each other, and yourself.


-Damien

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