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Responding to New Atheists' Non-belief Argument

Think Christianly: Responding to New Atheists' Non-belief Argument

Monday, March 1, 2010

Responding to New Atheists' Non-belief Argument

It is often common to hear an atheist object to belief in God by saying they just don't have a belief and are not required to advance any reasons for that view.

Here is how the question was asked: "I've grown frustrated with Atheists saying to me that they don’t have to give any arguments or evidence to support their view, because they are not making any claims. They have a "non-belief". One atheist told me he is not required to provide evidence that there are no fairies living under his house either. This seems so cheap, so lame, yet I'm not sure how to make that obvious to them. What do you suggest? "

Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason offers a video response to this objection here.

For more on responding to these kinds of arguments, see the resource page on the New Atheism at Think Christianly here.

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Blogger Jim Fisher said...

I'm not sure why this kind of argument is such a thorn in the side of atheists. I supposed it is because it is so fundamentally wrong to assert that an absence of belief constitutes a belief.

It is exactly the same as me insisting that you have a belief in the absence of belief in Thor or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It is a ridiculous assertion.

I'm sure you can identity with the fact that calling atheism a religion is like calling "bald" a hair color.

This argument is but an attempt to force the round hold of atheism into the square hole of religious belief. If you can show that we atheists have just as much "belief without evidence" as religionists, then it is easy to put atheism on the same intellectual level as fundamentalism - and knock it down just as easily.

The attempt at building a straw man just doesn't work.

The author asserts that "it is impossible for an atheist to write a book about their absence of belief." That is untrue. There is tons of stuff to write about - just as I am doing now. Books on atheism tend to equip the atheist with logical arguments to use against people who make claims about invisible men that cannot be substantiated in any way.

I could write a book about how the bible contradicts itself. I could write one about how the entire story of Jesus is likely a plagiarization of much earlier sun/son gods from other religions. I could write reams about the secular origins of the Ten Commandments.

The fact is, there is a lot to write about and a lot that you either do not know or refuse to realize.

If there were a god, He would certainly appreciate critical examination over the blind faith the author of the video displays.

March 9, 2010 at 12:34 PM  
Blogger Sprinkle said...

@Jim Fisher,

You are not writing about your "absence of belief," but rather your belief that "claims ... that cannot be substantiated in any way." It is impossible to write about an absence of belief. An absence of belief is nothing. It is not a position, view, perspective, point of view, belief, or anything else. It is not something of substance. If it lacks substance, how does one write about it? You can't.

Now, excuse me while I go write a book about not stamp collecting.

March 20, 2010 at 10:47 AM  

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