Atheism a “faith position” too
Give a theist a good argument against their belief, and often they’ll play the “faith” card. “Ah, well, theism is ultimately a faith position”, they say. And then, very often, they add, “But of course atheism is a faith position too – you can’t scientifically prove either, can you?”
Here are a few examples. First, Alister McGrath in The Dawkins Delusion:
There can be no question of scientific ‘proof’ of ultimate questions. Either we cannot answer them. or we must answer them on grounds other than the sciences. (p14)
(I concede McGrath doesn’t use the word “faith”, but I think it’s clear where he’s going). Here’s another example (not McGrath) I found on the internet (link now dead):
(God’s) existence cannot be proved by physical means. However, neither can it be disproved. What does this mean? It means it takes complete and utter faith to believe there is a god (or gods) and complete and utter faith to believe there is not one.
And here is a recent example – a comment on A.C. Grayling’s piece on Comment is Free.
It will never be possible to prove or disprove the existence of God using science or mathematical logic (read John D. Barrow’s “Impossibility” for a fascinating description of the limits of science). So, you place too much “faith” in the abilities of science and mathematical inference.
Perhaps you are badly informed of the limitations of the scientific experimental method. I suggest you get better informed of the subject in which you place so much faith.
Is atheism a “faith position”? Anything can be, of course. But I challenge anyone to show that my atheism – or Dawkins’ atheism – is a “faith position”. It’s not. I’ll be explaining why in next blog.
But if you want a sneak preview go here.