Posted on Aug 14, 2013 by Tom Gilson
I’m still trying to get a handle on what atheism is. My last post on it did not meet with much approval from the couple of atheist commenters who had something to say.
But I’m learning, and I think some, maybe many, most, or maybe even almost all atheists would put reasons for God, or evidence for God — the lack thereof — at the heart of their position. Here are some samples of where I gathered this information
1. Recently on this blog I wrote,
The terminology of “no evidence” is far too absolute to be rational, but atheists use it all the time. The existence of life is evidence for God. The existence of the universe, when considered against the question of how it came to be is evidence for God. The historical record of the Bible is evidence for God.
David P, atheist, answered,
None of these is evidence for the existence of God. That is a huge mental leap.
2. Yesterday, also on this blog, Michael wrote that an atheist may be “someone that makes their own decisions based on evidence provided, and has encountered no evidence for a God or Gods.”
3. Dan Barker defines atheism as “the lack of theism, the lack of belief in god(s). I am an atheist because there is no reason to believe.
4. Richard Carrier, writing his definitions on “What is Atheism Really All About?” says, Christians find no reason to believe that Zeus exists, so they do not believe in him. For the same reason, I do not believe in Jehova.”
At the basis of these “no reason” claims there is the matter of evidence, just as my two local commenters affirmed: There is no evidence for God.
5. rationalwiki’s “Atheism” page says,
At the root of the worldview of most atheists is evidence, and atheists point out that sufficient evidence for the existence of gods is currently very lacking, and thus there is no reason to believe in them. Evidential arguments are less ambitious than logical arguments because, rather than proving that there is reason not to believe in a god, they prove that there is no reason to believe in a god.
6. Argumentsforatheism.com, on its “What Is Atheism?” page, says, “Atheists believe that there is no proof or evidence for the existence of gods, and they see no need for, or use for, gods.”
Atheists reading here, do you agree? Is it fair to conclude that atheism generally includes the belief that there is no reason to believe in God or gods, and/or no evidence for God or gods?