Hoyt wants to insist there is a standard definition of atheism, which he defines as
atheism entails a belief about the existence of deity
and any other definition incongruent wth his definition is incoherent or absurd. And one wishes he was right, but it does seem that is not the case. If one were to read Stephen Bullivant’s The Oxford Handbook of Atheism, they would discover, quoting Stephen, that
THE precise definition of ‘atheism’ is both a vexed and vexatious issue.
In fact, he (Stephen) goes so far as to give 5 definitions of atheism from scholarly works that show no consensus in the definition of the term.
Theists are interesting people. And Lyle Duell is no exception. In his recent post he is defending an absurd position that atheism involves three basic assumptions. But he doesn’t just stop there, no, he tells us atheism is a faith. How is it a faith?
it is a faith because it is an ideal that exists in the human mind and is supported by other human beliefs. The idea that it is a non-belief is nothing but atheistic sophistry. Call it a non-belief is like calling it a non-idea.
I have no idea what that means.
Over to the assumptions.
1. The first is that there is no God.
And he says this is absurd. To prove there is no god, one would have to be omniscient. In his words
No one can prove that there is no God for in order to do so they would have to be everywhere in the universe at the same time and also outside of the universe at the same time for the very place that they were not, might be the very place that the Uncreated one is present.
which if you ask me is such an absurd demand. The theist says god is everywhere. One need only to point one place where they don’t see god to show the argument of the theist is false or incompatible with reality. This argument against the first assumption, assuming there is such an assumption, is easily defeated.
2. The second assumption that I have found in most atheists is the belief that they are smarter than those that believe in God.
Against this 2nd assumption, he tells us William James had a higher IQ than Einstein and also
The most intelligent living person is Christopher Langan. He is considered by many to be the world’s smartest living person with an IQ of over 200 and he is a believer.
Assuming for a moment that the second assumption is held by many atheists is true, listing two individuals believed by the author to be intelligent is no evidence for god. In fact he admits as much. Anyone who believes donkeys can talk, snakes walk and zombies have roamed the earth can not claim honestly that he is smart when it comes to religious questions. This is not say the said individual cannot replace a flat tyre, far from it, it only means that in one area of their lives, they have opted to abandon their reason. I would think that is what is meant in that second assumption.
3. The third assumption is that science has proven that there is no God
I would ask for citation for this. From what I have read, it is argued science has reduced the sphere of operation for god[s]. No scientist has gone to the labs to prove the [non]existence of god. What would be the variables to be tested?
I know many of the atheists who land on this spot have been wondering whether or not they have faith. Worry no more. I finally have the answer to this question.
What is faith? Do you put your trust in someone? Something? Then you have faith. We are told
Faith is the result of placing our trust in something (e.g. an idea, a person, in God, etc), and that “something” reassuring us that our selection (or placement of trust) was correct.
He continues to say
For example, the atheist who places their trust in a scientific theory feels good about their decision, and many times will encourage others to feel the same way. In the end, I believe that that feeling of “reassurance” is, in essence, faith.
Then we come to the critical question of whether the faith of the atheist and theist are similar? The answer, dear friends, is a resounding no. It is only in appearance. ANd why is this so? The bible has answers
The reason these types of faith are not the same is because there are in fact different degrees of faith. The Bible speaks of “. . . a measure of faith,” that is given to all men (Romans 12:3). However, the Bible also speaks of great faith (Matthew 15:21-28), unwavering faith (Romans 4:20-21), and also faith without works (James 2:18). Although there are other types of faith, these are the main ones reference in the Bible, some on multiple places.
In conclusion, the atheist just has a measure of faith. You need to believe in god to have great faith. What are you waiting for?