Evidence for atheism

(This is my response to an e-mail from someone who asked not to be quoted online.)

At this point, because of the volume of e-mail I get, I no longer participate in debates that I can’t post on my blog. Sorry about that — it was eating all my time so I had to draw a line. I will answer your question about arguments for atheism by saying that I do not have an argument for atheism because I don’t believe there needs to be one. I am an atheist because I have not seen compelling evidence that God exists, and I believe that the burden of proof is on theists. Atheism is the default position. We can go into this further if you like, but only if you don’t mind my posting our correspondence to my blog (with any private info about you removed if you like, of course) so that all my readers may benefit.

Posted on August 27, 2008 at 10:24 pm by ideclare · Permalink
In: About atheism, Evidence

11 Responses

Subscribe to comments via RSS

  1. Written by dontbelieve
    on December 13, 2008 at 11:14 am
    Reply · Permalink

    Hi,

    For some time I have been searching the Internet for information that provides a good argument in favor of atheism. You may not have time to answer my questions, and if not, thanks anyway.

    “I do not have an argument for atheism because I don’t believe there needs to be one.”

    Accepted. In my opinion everyone is free to believe what they want regardless of whether the belief is based on evidence or fantasy.

    “I am an atheist because I have not seen compelling evidence that God exists, and I believe that the burden of proof is on theists.”

    Agreed, a burden of proof that a god exists rests on the theist who claims a god exists, but my question is that shouldn’t a person have a valid reasoning to claim anything, including a claim that a god does not exist? I myself do not care about pushing my beliefs on the public, nor of my convincing anyone of anything, but rather what I want is to convince myself. If I were a theist I would demand of myself to possess evidence of a god, and with the same self-demanding logic I also require evidence that no god exists. Does such evidence exist?

    I have read the endless authors who structure their atheism logic on the fallacies of religious books, but for myself I cannot find it logical that a book’s errors proves a thing to not exist. “Alice in Wonderland” is not a true history, but the falseness of the book does not necessitate that I must then believe that no girl named Alice can exist. Yes, religious books are incorrect, but an incorrect book proves nothing more than the book is incorrect.

    I am hoping to find a valid reasoning that supports the conclusion that no god exists. Surely someone somewhere has presented a good sequencing of evidence that supports the conclusion that no god exists.

    If you post this on your blog, I would appreciate it if you do not give my email address or any other information about me. Like you, I don’t need the hate email. :)

  2. Written by Joe
    on January 19, 2009 at 5:49 pm
    Reply · Permalink

    Atheism, by definition, is the belief in the non-existence of any deity. I am non-religious, but no sir, I am not an atheist. I believe there is something more to life then what we can possibly come close to understanding through science or religion. If you cannot truly believe(<—key word there) that there is no deity at all, then you will have to fess up and admit that you are an agnostic, not an atheist. But then you would have to change up this website and that would take up too much time.

  3. Written by Jairo Mejia
    on July 30, 2009 at 11:32 am
    Reply · Permalink

    Atheists and Gnostics are right in most of their thinking

    It has been common among religious believers to look with misgiving to atheists and Gnostics, and to think that they are mistaken; however, in many instances the opposite is the truth; some religious beliefs are not just irrelevant, but baseless. The “God” of main line traditions simply does not exist. I accepted the challenge of finding the One who may be recognized even by Gnostics and atheists: the Existence itself, “All-That-Is.” If something is there, that is God. Look at the book “Christianity Reformed From ist Roots – A life centered in God” (Amazon.com). I am confident that some of your friends will be relieved of the illusion, as I did myself.

    Jairo Mejia, M. Psych., Santa Clara University
    Retired Episcopal Priest
    Carmel Valley, California

    http://www.mbay.net/~jmejia/Grudzen.htm
    http://www.mbay.net/~jmejia/Churcher.htm

  4. Written by theblackbook
    on September 2, 2009 at 6:30 am
    Reply · Permalink

    Joe: Athiesm is NOT the belief in the nonexistence of a diety. It is the disbelief in the existence of a diety. The prefix ‘a’ (as in a-theist) does NOT mean “anti” or “against”- it means, literally, “lacking”. So an a-theist lacks theistic belief, but DOES NOT DENY theistic belief. I am an atheist because I have no faith in the existence of God- that does not mean that I deny that God exists. I do not have all of the evidence- I don’t claim to know everything, and I don’t know an atheist who does, or would. I admit that there is tiny tiny bit of a chance that God does exist (and he/she/it is very angry with me), but then, there’s also a small chance that the sun won’t rise tomorrow. I have found no evidence supporting the outstanding claim that God exists, and outstanding claims require outstanding evidence. The burden on proof lies with the theists, and until I get some proof, I am staying a-theist: lacking belief.

  5. Written by theblackbook
    on September 2, 2009 at 6:33 am
    Reply · Permalink
  6. Written by Eric Robert Hauser
    on November 8, 2010 at 7:06 pm
    Reply · Permalink

    God exists because HE is the Creator of the Universe.
    Can you create what God has created?

    We are talking about more than what you can see….
    We are talking about love, feelings and the devil who
    thrives on hatrid.
    Please think about these things.
    Eric Robert Hauser
    You can respond directly to my e-mail address:
    rbroker@ca.rr.com

  7. Written by Anonymous
    on December 27, 2010 at 1:03 am
    Reply · Permalink

    The world is far too complex to be created out of nothing. Something can’t come from nothing, point blank. Anyone to say that it can is illogical. To every design, there is a designer. Another thing to consider when asking if their is a God is this: where did morality come from? Throughout the entire infrastructure of humanity there is an “unwritten law” of human ethics. A yearning for knowledge, and a sense of right and wrong. What is honorable, and what is unjust. As C.L. Lewis said in his book “Mere Christianity,” even the people that refute absolutes in morality, debunk themselves in their case, by trying to make excuses against accusations from others for them being “not fair” or “unjust.” In making an excuse for why they did what they did, proves that they do accept a standard for morality, or they otherwise would not care enough to make an excuse.

    • Written by Anonymous
      on February 17, 2011 at 5:45 pm
      Reply · Permalink

      If everything has a creator, then who created God? As you say, “Something can’t come from nothing.”

      As for the world being too complex, that’s just a “God. Of the gaps” argument. Just because you can’t explain how the world got here doesn’t automatically mean that, “God did it.”

      Where does morality come from? It comes from the fact that we humans live in societies and those societies would fall apart if we didn’t have morals to follow. They are an outgrowth os people realizing that its better for everyone if they have some agreed upon rules to live by.

  8. Written by Anonymous
    on November 29, 2011 at 4:10 am
    Reply · Permalink

    @anonymous feb 17 2011
    the argument you are using implies a God that is created.
    if God required a creator, then he is not truly “God” now is he? fortunately for monotheistic (jews and christians. and to a lesser degree the babylonian influenced islamics) believers their God does not fit a “created God” description, and therefore do not need to answer this question since they do not claim their God began to exist. christians and jews believe in a God that is transcendent, heck his name is translated “I Am”. the monotheistic God did not begin to exist as he always was and always will be, without begining and without ending. that is why it says in Genesis he is the alpha and omega in an attempt to explain this incomprehensible idea.

    as for a god of the gaps argument that is false. it is based in testable reality. something has never come from nothing at any point in human history. the poster is correct in his belief that something coming from nothing is illogical. unless God made it happen, which would be a miracle. that is why our universe has rules and operations that are standard such as the strength of gravity, speed of light, chemical properties, biological systems, ect, ect… there are a multitude of constants that if changed would end all life on this planet. over 300 of them began simultaneously at the big bang (the odds of this happening at random are so astronomical its sickening) and if any of them changed even slightly the universe would not even exist. oddly enough those astronomical odds remind me of the numbers of prophecies Jesus Christ fulfilled in his lifetime that would be physically impossible for a man to accomplish. you are correct that just because it is outside of human ability to explain something that it does not mean “God did it”. but i would have to say that it seems highly unlikely that some of the things we have proven to be true seem highly unlikely without divine intervention.

    where does morality come from? not society agreeing that is for sure. unfortunately for you, i believe you misunderstood the true intent of the question the poster you are responding to asked. this question is where does objective morality come from? because your response is assuming that morality is subjective only. on this i disagree completely. there is a subjective morality that people operate on regionally, but there is also a superior objective morality that governs the whole of humanity. so if you would rethink your positions and respond accordingly it would be appreciated.

  9. Written by Randy
    on April 18, 2012 at 3:26 am
    Reply · Permalink

    I’m an atheist without any doubt. I love reading people’s takes on the subject. Mostly i don’t believe in God because I have many infinitely more productive things to worry myself over. My life is way more important to me than wasting my time contemplating an unanswerable query. I respect any and all other’s beliefs, but until given evidence, I will not waste my days attempting to believe in something that my brain so disagrees with. I am just being as honest with myself as is possible.

  10. Written by Rising Early
    on April 9, 2013 at 10:02 pm
    Reply · Permalink

    I have been looking for a place to have reasoned dialogue with atheists and it looks like this is such a place.
    I used to be an atheist but have become persuaded by the evidence that God; specifically the God of the Bible, does indeed exist. As an atheist, I always assumed ownership of a positive position. After all, we are dealing with ultimate questions here. It is easy to take a “default” position regarding the existence of unicorns, but when it comes to questions like, “are we here because of a deliberate intentional action or because of a mere accident of physicality?”, it is crucial that we be invested in pursuing a legitimate answer. When I was an atheist, I was so because I believed that the evidence supported atheism, but above all, I remained dedicated to pursuing what was true.
    I am wondering if anyone would be interested in eating the elephant one bite at a time? I propose that the evidence clearly indicates that life requires a Creator. Would anyone be interested in engaging me on this specific proposition?

Subscribe to comments via RSS

Leave a Reply