To be an atheist, some would think, is to be intellectually credible. People of faith are just a bit unthinking. After all, science shows that there is no God, doesn’t it? Add to this that religion is responsible for most of the wars and oppression and the case is made.
Who would want to believe, when the facts are lacking and the results are negative? Q.E.D. It’s nonsense. The whole faith thing is a man-made invention for people who can’t face facts, a fairy tale invented by people who are afraid of the dark.
Atheists frequently say much more than ‘I don’t believe’. It’s often a positive assertion: ‘There is no God.’ (Not all atheists would say that, some are less convinced saying just that they don’t belive in God.) But do the ‘convinced’ atheists have a solid factual basis informing their view? What is the evidence for God’s non-existence?
This is a problem.
It may be someone’s conviction that God doesn’t exist, but it cannot be their knowledge. In order to be sure there is no God one has to have searched, not just planet earth, but the whole of the universe literally, physically and metaphysically, and with complete certainty say, there is no trace of God anywhere. Clearly such a search is impossible. It requires a knowledge base beyond comprehension for any person or persons.
We may not like the idea of God, we may be totally convinced he, she or it doesn’t exist but there is no evidence we can produce, nor a killer argument that disproves it. We may dislike those who say they believe. We may think their arguments are specious. But the conviction of the atheist is not a matter of science, logic, or knowledge. Atheism departs from science and logic asserting as true what one cannot know.
The atheist is in the unenviable position of having an opinion that requires evidence, the absence of which is disturbing. But some people say they are atheists when in reality they are simply ‘unbelievers’. That’s far safer. It may be an honest statement that they are not persuaded by what they have seen. So the burden of proof rests with those who have faith to present evidence that is adequate.
This next page might be worth a read: sceptic?