Atheism/The unknown


Is atheism sufficient to encompass the unknown? Or could there be something else we have yet to imagine at this time?


This question actually misconstrues atheism. It isn't the business of atheism to investigate, analyze or classify the "unknown". That is the business of science. If there is an "unknown" to the cosmos that requires analysis and future dissection and explication, that is reserved to science, in particular physics (the most general science).

However, to the extent atheism relies on and depends on science, it will base its ongoing premises of Materialism (or more technically, Physicalism) on what science finds.

There may always be "something else" we are yet to imagine in the cosmos, but if there is, it will be science that identifies it! Steadfast and dedicated atheists will then concur with that finding.

Bear in mind also, the investigation of science is limited to physical entities, processes. As there is no way anyone has shown how to investigate non-physical entities, then for all intents these do not exist for science. Hence, they do not exist for atheists.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Philip A. Stahl


I specialize in the areas of scientific materialism and consciousness described as a materialist epiphenomenon. Also can answer questions pertaining to general atheism, atheist-agnostic differences etc.


I have been an atheist for over 36 yrs. and have written four books on the subject: 'The Atheist's Handbook to Modern Materialism'(2000), and 'Atheism" A Beginner's Handbook', 'Dialectical Atheism' (2011), 'Beyond Atheism, Beyond God' (2013)

Intertel, Mensa, American Mathematical Society, American Astronomical Society, American Geophysical Union

Atheist articles: 'The American Atheist' magazine, assorted U.S. newspapers (e.g. Baltimore Sun, Denver Post); papers-articles published in Intertel's Journal: Integra. Books: 'The Atheist's Handbook to Modern Materialism'(2000), 'Atheism: A Beginner's Handbook' (2007), 'Dialectical Atheism' (2011), 'Beyond Atheism, Beyond God' (2013)

Master of Philosophy in Physics. Also took more than 3 yrs. of theology and metaphysics courses at a Catholic University (1964-67) - before I became an atheist. Thus, I have much more religious familiarity & background than many atheists.

Awards and Honors
Writers' Digest Award for the essay 'The Atheist in America' (2000), Government of Barbados research in solar physics award (1980-84), AAS Solar Physics Award (1984)

Past/Present Clients
American Atheists, Barbados Philosophical Society, Harrison College- Barbados, Colorado Springs Freethinkers

©2016 All rights reserved.