One of the blogs on my blogroll, Samizdata, had a post on Tony Blair and atheism or something of the sort, I forget. Anyways, it quickly shifted tone in the comments to centre on the what is the nature of God, religious belief and whatnot. You know, the usual stuff when you get clashes between atheists and religious people.
Although, perhaps that’s the nature of the problem. Atheists refuse to believe that they, too, espouse a religious belief. Which, to modern ears, sounds quite logical; after all, atheists don’t have a belief in a god, or many gods. But when you break down that simple statement, you begin to understand the scope of the nonsense that passes of most of atheism nowadays.
You see, the nature of the issue is simple. Atheists say they hold a negative belief; they do not believe in God (or gods). They go on to say that this does not mean they believe that there is no God. Why is this important? Well, because that positive statement “There is no God (or gods)” is a theological statement and a theological belief, which makes it religious in nature. And atheists can’t admit they, too, have a faith of sorts.
This is clearly demonstrated using any other example. If I don’t believe in acupuncture, it’s not really that that I don’t believe in its existence, but that I don’t believe in its claims. However, if I speak of not believing in the Yeti, then indeed I don’t believe in the existence of the Yeti. Which means I believe the Yeti does not exist.
Right, moving along then. The other reason, of course, is because when you espouse a positive belief, you can be challenged to prove it. Far easier to espouse it negatively, that is to say, you do not hold on to a particular belief. But logically, you see, in every instance but especially this one, you cannot readily escape the situation. The statement “There is a God (or gods)” can either be true, false or undetermined; logically speaking. Those who believe it say it’s true. Those who don’t believe it say either it’s false or undetermined. Those who say it’s undetermined are called agnostics. Therefore, atheists are the ones calling it false. And if that statement is false, then then the opposing statement “There is no god” must be true. And if so, then by the Law of Contradiction, the atheists must believe the opposing statement is true.
Well, if that is the case, then the atheist must also defend his position. He cannot assume it as given or as a default. If he wishes to do so, then he admits that his belief is, rather than something rational, in fact is more of an axiom than anything else. Which leaves him on exactly the same level as any other religious believer, who also base their metaphysical framework on axioms.
But here’s something I want all atheists and agnostics to think about carefully. As a Christian, I am constantly being asked why I believe what I believe. Part and parcel; you have to be ready to defend your faith. But let me turn the question around to the atheists in a different form. What would make you believe in God? Bearing in mind that we’re talking about an omnipotent Being that is far beyond our understanding and our intellect to grasp.
You know what? I’ll bet anything you like that every single atheist will have a different answer, and it will all involve God acting like a cosmic performer trying to ace His audition. Oh, there are some atheists who have seen the evidence, and changed their minds after reviewing the facts, but the rest? Hah!
Whereas I can tell you that if you show irrefutable proof that Jesus Christ never existed, or that he died and was buried and NEVER ROSE AGAIN, that would end Christianity dead in its tracks. This is because Christianity is a religion rooted in historical fact. Atheism isn’t.