What Would It Take for Me to Become an Atheist?
by Sean McDowell
For some reason, people frequently ask me what it would take for me to give up my Christian faith and become an atheist. Given that many atheists (who consider themselves former Christians) cite an emotional experience as pivotal to their loss of faith, I won’t venture to guess what kind of subjective experience might cause me to abandon faith. Rather, I will focus on the intellectual component. In other words, what would convince me rationally to become an atheist?
In the book Evolution 2.0, Perry Marshall suggests four points that would convince him to become an atheist. They include:
- proof that random selection and natural mutation can build elaborate structures like eyes and ears
- a rigorously tested principle that shows what percentage of the time mutations are genuinely beneficial
- proof that all things really need to evolve is time and chance
- evidence the first cell could emerge without any kind of intelligent agency
This is a good start.
And I agree with Marshall that there are not adequate naturalistic explanations for these phenomena. But to me, atheism needs to explain much more than these four facts to be considered true. In fact, any worldview needs to have the resources to explain certain features of the natural world. Any worldview that cannot give a sufficient explanation for these phenomena is simply inadequate.
For me to abandon my faith, atheism would need to rationally explain the following phenomena better than theism…
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