Friday, August 29, 2008

Atheism is a question of faith, not science.

Or so said the sub-headline on the letters page in Wednesday's Metro

 

I couldn't have put it better myself...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

JP,

You are correct to an extent, though your tone in Metro was excessive and dare I say it arrogant.

Furthermore there is a difference between the belief in god and the belief in no god.

Belief in god is the belief in something unlikely, in the absence of any evidence and is a belief usually furthered through parental or other conditioning. People who believe in god are usually very keen to make young children do the same for this reason.

"Confirmed Atheists", to use your language, reach a significantly more probable conclusion (though agreed not proved) based on the available evidence.

If god existed, then proof would be self evident, (if we believe the countless religious texts it was always abundant in the past!). However, you could argue then any unlikely thing existed on the grounds that you had not proved that it existed. I think that most people would accept that waterfalls that defy gravity do not exist naturally. But would you only accept that this was true if you proved that no such waterfall existed? As human beings we are always revising and fine tuning what we hold to be true based on the evidence to hand, what we discover and our ability to determine what is probable or improbable. Why should a belief in god be subject to different rules?

So I would agree that atheism is a view, but to say that it is faith is stretching it.

Before you point out examples that contradict the above, it is worth thinking whether they are representative of what is genuinely true, or somewhat less frequent counter examples.

Dev