Back in the days when I was a believer in all sort of stuff I well remember one argument I personally used was that Atheism was just another form of belief. I was not alone in thinking like this, its a very common argument (amongst believers) and I recently came across it once again during a friendly chat.
I think we can all work out what atheism is. Broadly speaking, when asked if I acknowledge that a deity exists (pick any, I’m not biased and treat all the same, there are lots to choose from), I would explain that because there is a lack of empirical evidence, I would be inclined to say no. Now, its at this point that the “Ah, but thats just a Belief, you can’t prove that deity X does not exist” argument pulls up, jumps out and waves at me. In reply, I go “Hey, I recognize you, we’ve met before, it fact we used to be best buddies“.
So back to the central question, is Atheism a belief? Well, lets approach this from a completely different direction
- If atheism is a belief, then the fact that I don’t collect stamps is my hobby?
It would appear that I have quite a few of these hobbies, I also don’t darn quilts, nor do I take part in drag racing. If fact, I’m so busy not doing all this stuff I’ve even managed to squeeze in no time at all to not do any amateur dramatics. Would your believe that a play that I’ve not been taking part in has not been nominated for an award, so I don’t keep this award that I’ve not received over the fireplace in the library that I don’t have in the east wing of the country mansion that I don’t live in.
But thats not all …
- I’ve managed to successfully not run a mile in under 5 minutes, so I guess I’m also quite an athlete
I’ve also not been training on a regular basis, so I hope to soon be able to not improve on that and not run a mile in under four minutes. I’m not sure if I’ll not be able to not achieve it, its quite a challenging goal, but you never know, so I persist with my dream of not doing this. My belief is that if I keep up a regular schedule of not training each day, then I might finally be able to not achieve this one day.
Yes indeed, when you think of it like this, it soon becomes clear that Atheism is not a belief at all, never has been and never can be.
Its true that I have no evidence that there is no deity, but its also not reasonable to suggest that atheism is just another religious belief. I’m simply being skeptical, I want evidence.