You are here:

Atheism/The "faith" of an atheist


Apologist 101 wrote at 2011-04-23 17:13:55
I disagree with both of you in some ways. Number one I don't believe that Christianity is not based in Logic. We like to throw the word "Logic" around as if it means something that is easily believable. Actually Logic is based on the 3 laws of Logic which are

1.The law of identity: P is P

2.The law of non-contradiction: P is not -P

3.The law of the excluded middle: either P or non -P

In your response you wrote that the Christian committed the fallacy of false dilemma. This would only be true if he stated that it was either Christianity or Atheism. If he did, then fine, that would be a fallacy. A fallacy doesn't mean that it is false it only shows that the argument is not valid. If we are merely discussing just the existence of God then it is not a false dilemma. God either exists, or he does not. There is no 3rd option. I agree that we can disprove a universal negative. I see no reason to believe that Christianity is asking us to abandon logic. For instance, Christianity does not ask us to believe that Rain is Rain, and it is also not rain at the same time. Just because some of us might find something difficult to believe does not mean that particular belief is illogical. I believe that Atheist's have faith. The problem is that they use the word "faith" as a euphemism. I am not claiming that it is a religious faith, but it is something that requires them to put their trust in an idea, concept, or thing. Some atheist's will respond by saying "Our positive argument against theism is the fact that there is no good evidence to support it. Atheist philosopher Kai Nielson saw the atheist's flaw in this. He wrote "To show that an argument is invalid or unsound is not to show that the conclusion of the argument is false.... All the proofs of Godís existence may fail, but it still may be the case that God exists." So atheists can't just assume that they have proven their point just by showing how the theist's arguments fail. He has to provide a positive argument for why we should accept atheism. So in conclusion, Atheism, needs to take a positive stance for their case, and admit that they have "faith" or "Trust" in the process. I however, believe that there are many positive arguments for Christianity being true, and that their aren't too many positive arguments for atheism.

Atheist Keith wrote at 2012-12-14 07:10:25
Apologist 101 does not appear to understand what atheism is.  Atheism is a normal status for a human being.  All humans are atheists unless they believe in at least one god.  Atheism does not require accepting or promoting any specific beliefs, belief systems, philosophical stances, nor articles of faith.  All that is required for being an atheist is not participating in theism.  One does not have ever have even heard of a god, let alone have beliefs about gods, in order to be an atheist.  The only requirement is that an atheist is free of belief in gods.

Sorry to be somewhat explicit, but the point of what an atheist is needs to be clear.  It is important because Apologist 101 and other theists seem to think that there is an atheist claim that needs to be proved.  There is no claim or article of faith held by all atheists.  Atheists are those people who are not theists.

Of course, there are individual atheists (myself included) who do make particular claims about gods that require defending in a debate setting.  However, those are just the claims made by particular persons who happen to be atheists.  In particular, being an atheist does not necessarily entail declaring that the are no gods. Many atheists don't care enough about theism to form an opinion about whether there are any gods.  They simply go about their lives without thinking much about gods.  While theists often think the issue of the existence of gods is of paramount importance, many atheists never give the question a first thought, let alone a second.

There not being an atheist article of faith nor an atheist philosophical stance, there is nothing to defend and nothing to have faith in.  Individual atheists might have faith in something or might hold a philosophical stance that requires defense during debate, but those things are not what qualifies them as atheists.  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Austin Cline


I can address questions regarding atheism, agnosticism, skepticism, humanism, religious philosophy & history, and arguments both for and against theism. I am also familiar with many of the skeptical and atheist resources in print and on the internet.


I have been an atheist and a secular humanist for many years. I actively run a site about agnosticism & atheism and attempt to help people understand more about these topics. I have made extensive study of both philosophy and of a wide vareity of religions.

I belong to the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the Council for Secular Humanism.

My writings appear every week on the Agnosticism/Atheism site

I have a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MA from Princeton University. I have also studied in Germany and Switzerland.

Awards and Honors
Phi Beta Kappa and a Fulbright Scholar.

©2017 All rights reserved.