23 Jun Ex-Atheist Explains Why Atheists Need Faith Just Like The Rest Of Us
I believe that atheists need faith just like us “religious folk.” To substantiate this claim, it’s important that I clarify what I mean by faith. In this instance, I am using faith as such: Faith is trusting the reliability of something beyond your own capacity to understand it fully (for more on this read: Why This Christian Hates Faith) – in short faith = trust.
With this definition as a starting point, why do we all need faith and how are atheists not exempt? It’s quite simple really. None of us have perfect knowledge or the ability to reason perfectly. Therefore, everyone has to put their faith (trust) in something to make up for their lack of perfect and total knowledge. We all have to put faith in (trust) our own rationality. We all have to put faith (trust) in authorities of some sort – be it teachers, scientists, pastors, parents, friends, or even God. Scientifically, we all have to put faith (trust) in the laws of the universe – just because it worked once, or even a million times, doesn’t guarantee that it will work that way the next time. Therefore, we test things and hold on to what is good – interestingly this is a principle from the New Testament – kind of a simplified scientific method. We do experiments putting our trust in our ability to reason, various authorities, the consistency of the mechanisms of the universe, and much more. There are endless elements that we must trust – regardless of our worldview.
The idea that religious people have “faith” and irreligious do not have “faith” is little more than a smear campaign that is based on a lie. This results in at least two clear and distinct ways that this lie harms people. One, it encourages the religious to trust blindly without engaging our minds, which, at least for Christians, is not God’s command. Two, it encourages the irreligious to take a prideful stance on their own understanding. Pretending to be strictly rational beings who are so self-sufficient that their worldview is not based on any form of faith, is deceptive and harmful. We all put our faith in something and we would all do well to recognize that and move on to another subject rather than levying attacks on the “faithful.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Do we all put our faith in something? Leave a comment below and share to get your friends in on the conversation.
For more like this, check out: IS ATHEISM A RELIGION?