Why I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist

By Chris Goswami

Is atheism fundamentally flawed? Chris Goswami investigates

It wasn’t meant as a trick question. It just came up in conversation. I was talking with a lifelong friend who has started attending an Alpha Course.

Like many in our modern, secular world he is open to the possibility that there might be a God but doesn’t see that there is enough evidence. Having faith in a God seems a step beyond reason, a leap in the dark. He is an atheist because he doesn’t think he can have the kind of faith that he sees in believing Christians.

“So…you don’t have enough faith to believe in God – but you do have enough faith to be an atheist?” I asked him.

Atheism is a faith with a set of beliefs

Is atheism really some kind of faith? Yes. Like any other faith it’s possible to identify atheism’s central beliefs. Granted there is some variance across atheist believers – like any other religion. And depending on who you talk to, some atheist believers are even fundamentalists who are intolerant to any other worldview, and evangelistic in spreading their own beliefs – again like other religions. Here is what we could say is their basic creed:

  • The universe exists by chance

  • Nothing exists beyond this life – there is no ultimate source of trust in the universe

  • Humans are the ultimate judge of all things – there is no final moral reckoning

  • Any value or purpose of life can be worked out from the wisdom of mankind

  • Everything can be discovered by science

  • There is no purpose or meaning to the universe (And it’s a silly question to ask anyway – see below)

  • Human ideals are progress, tolerance, and individualism

That looks like a belief system to me. But not only that, secular atheism is pretty exclusive in its beliefs…

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Why I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist