Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

Atheism Does Not Require Certainty

Posted in Atheist Revolution by Skepdude on August 7, 2009


For a variety of reasons, some Christians erroneously insist that atheism entails absolute certainty that no gods exist. This reflects either a misconception about the meaning of atheism or another less innocent motive. In fact, atheism does not require any particular level of certainty. All it requires is the failure to affirm belief in some sort of god(s).

Consider each of the following two questions for a moment, and notice the important difference between them?

  1. Do you believe in some sort of god or gods?
  2. Are you absolutely certain of your answer to question #1 to the degree that you have no doubt whatsoever that your answer is correct?

Only one of these questions is relevant to atheism. I’ll give you a hint: it isn’t the second one. Okay, that is not really fair. Both are relevant, but only the first is necessary to classify someone into the mutually exclusive categories of theist and atheist.



3 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Rose said, on August 7, 2009 at 11:02 PM

    I’ve noticed a google ad on a lot of fundie blogs – “Atheists believe in something scientifically impossible: the belief that nothing became everything”

    I’m sure that a lot of the misconceptions about atheism stems from fear, but it’s very frustrating to battle such a popular ignorance.

    • Skepdude said, on August 8, 2009 at 8:20 AM

      That sort of stance, stems from the idea that we simply must have all the answers, and saying “I don’t know” necessarily equates with “everything came from nothing”. A false dichotomy of sorts, either God did it or it’s the above. The thing that I find so interesting is that the believer is willing to accept an everlasting God who was always there and needed no first cause, yet they are not willing to even consider that idea for the Universe itself.

      Either way the way I handle this sort of thing is by saying that I don’t know and that I am making a statement about God not the creation of the Universe, two separate issues.

  2. A Free Spirit said, on October 26, 2009 at 8:59 AM

    A person wrote me to tell me that I was proffering mere opinion…as distinct from the facts of theologians. Interesting, huh? Well, I posted on the matter.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: