I realize that this is a double negative, though grammatically acceptable. It’s like saying, “Why I don’t not believe in God.” But as some atheists are extremely dogmatic about their beliefs and can’t seem to understand why others don’t agree with them, I felt I needed to say a few words. It’s sort of like telling the Jehovah’s Witnesses who knock on my door, why I am not a Jehovah’s Witness.
First of all, there are many Atheists whom I admire. Their writings and questionings are thought-provoking and I often find myself in agreement with many of their observations.
One area where the Christian and the Atheist are in agreement is on the fact that there is such a thing as truth and that that truth is capable of being known. Both groups are, for the most part, not relativists or subjectivists. Of course, we differ extremely on what is truth and what is not.
The greatest defense of objectivity and universal reason I’ve ever read is the book, The Last Word, by Thomas Nagel, who freely professes to be an Atheist. I recommend it to any thinking person: Atheist, Christian or anyone in between. I could also list other Atheists whose writings I devour and probably a few others whom I suspect of being Atheists, but who do not find it necessary to make the claim.
However, there is a number of those who some refer to as, among other things, “The New Atheists.” These guys clearly are not only Atheists but Anti-Theists. They are not content to simply disbelieve in God or a god. They aggressively campaign against this God in whom they don’t believe (maybe we could call them “evangelistic Atheists” – Uni). I wouldn’t say that they have an agenda, but they definitely have a belief system to which they are committed.
I’ve tried to ascertain the main points of that belief system. I realize that I am generalizing and that not all Atheists hold to all of these points, and I may not be accurately describing these points. I also realize that I’ve undoubtedly missed quite a few and that a number may appear to be self-contradictory.
· All beliefs are based on “science.” By this is meant current scientific theories and hypotheses. And at the same time the data used to formulate these beliefs must be empirical – capable of being observed.
· There is no God. Though one would assume this should come first, the belief is supposedly based on the fact that one cannot “prove” God empirically.
· Atheists do not “believe” or have “faith.” They simply “know” certain matters to be true. Some are quite touchy about this matter.
· The Bible (of course) is not to be believed. It is merely a set of myths. Any evidence of its factuality is not to be heeded. (Of course, if one doesn’t believe in God, why should he believe a book that claims to be inspired by Him?) Even any evidence of the New Testament’s first century dating is to be rejected.
· The doctrines of Christianity were invented in the fourth century by Constantine. This is clearly documented in the book and movie, “The DaVinci Code,” which is to be taken by faith.
· All or most of the evils in this world are caused by religion.
· Religious people’s beliefs are due to indoctrination or cultural predispositions. Atheists do not have this problem.
There are undoubtedly many more doctrines in their A-theological system, but these are the main ones I’ve observed.
I believe it take great faith to be an Atheist; to find purpose in a purposeless universe; to find a moral system in an amoral universe …
I guess I just don’t have that kind of faith!
As Steve Martin’s song says, “Atheists Don’t Have No Songs.”