Apology for atheism


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?

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

48 thoughts on “Apology for atheism

  1. Ubi Dubium says:

    I looked at Lyle Duell’s post to see what the comments said about his three strawman assumptions. And of course he doesn’t allow comments. He’s happy to preach at us, and tell us that he knows what we think better than we do ourselves, but he’s not going to allow any rebuttal.

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  2. renudepride says:

    Most of the theists always are enthusiastic in their views on atheism. They prefer that it be regarded as a belief system so they can argue against it. I’m of a much simpler mindset. Non-believing (as I am), there is no unilateral definition of atheism – period. Naked hugs! 🙂

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  3. Lyle is a classic coward Christian who is none too bright considering his inept arguments that he regularly repeats after being shown that they don’t work.

    Theists are certainly desperate to insist that atheists are just like them. Just more need for validation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      I noticed Lyle has been repeating his lame arguments for ages. It is not the first time I have answered his post.

      The theists must be working with the adage the more the merrier

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    • rautakyy says:

      Yes, they somhow do seem desperate in that regard. But what is it, that they want from atheists by this silly attempt to drag us on their level? Do they realize, that faith is actually a bad reason to believe anything and thus would want the atheists to believe their views on equally bad reasons as the theists do? What is going on in their minds, when they create these silly arguments? To whom are these meant for? Is it for the person making the ridiculous claim, that atheists hold faith just like the theists do, or is it for some religious audience who need to keep to the flock, or is it really for the atheists to realize, how wrong they are? Because, if they are for the atheists, they sure are not having much effect…

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      • makagutu says:

        I can hazard a guess. They want it to be seen there is no difference between the theist and the atheist. In a sense, there isn’t. We are all human and all but the critical difference is what we believe or don’t believe for that matter

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      • IMO, they really are just that stupid. They can’t think of a better argument so they end up with something a child would use.

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  4. “So, you’re an atheist,” the theist asks me. “How then, do you explain the start of the universe?” “I have no fucking idea,” I reply, “but nothing any theist has EVER said has in any way convinced me a god exists.” “AH!” shouts the theist.” “That is your faith, then! You are saying a god definitely does not exist and that’s a belief system.” I then reply, “No. I not implying a god does not exist. I have no fucking idea if one does because I see no evidence to convince me it does, but I’m open to it. So, when a god pops down and reveals itself, I’ll be happy to shake its hand or tentacle or paw or whatever.” I’ve become absolutely certain of one thing in all my years of asking questions about how the universe came to be. I do not know. Theists do not know either. They claim they do, but they can show no evidence for their beliefs and get angry as fucking hell when you question them. Since I see no evidence for their claims, and often see reprehensible behavior in their attempts to force others to believe they are right, I simply choose to live my life as best I can without buying into their nonsensical beliefs. Not only do I not know how or why the universe came into being, I’ve accepted I will never know this and I no longer really care. So, does a god exist? I’ve no fucking idea, but I see nothing to convince me one does–least of all the ludicrous claims made by theists.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. rautakyy says:

    When I was a baby, I had not heard of, or originally could not even comprehend a concept like a god. I was a non-believer in regard to any suggested god, even though I did not know it – as I simply did not believe it to exist. I had no faith in any gods, just as surely as I had no faith in pixies, trolls, or dragons. This is the state of things so far.

    Most people on this planet are non-believers in regard to any particular god. That is just how it is. There is no one so big uniform religion, that has extended it’s doctrine about any particular god concept to the majority of people.

    Even if we did not cut Christianity in peaces according to religious dogmas, and thus granted it the label of THE biggest religion, there are only barely over 30% of the world population who are Christians (and this is streching it, because for most of them the other sort of Christians are not proper Christians at all, exept when they want to count noses. This means that almost 70% of the world population hold no belief nor faith, that the concept of the most popular god as defined in the most broad terms Christianity allows, actually even exists.

    The truth is not measured by popularity, so the truth of Christianity is not defined by wether it is the biggest religion or if the majority of people do not believe it to be true. However, even if these people do not identify as atheists, they do not hold faith in this particular god to exist.

    People who do identify as atheists generally do not hold any faith in any gods and they have this label because they recognize the state of affairs regarding their own beliefs. How much more simple could this be?

    It is such a shame that the world is full of nincompoops, who do not recognize the burden of proof, even when it seems to be tied to their most dear ideals. If the burden was on the atheist, then it would be on the theist of any particular brand to de-prove all other religions and their concepts of gods. Even the ones they have never heard of. How would they go about that then? Would they need to exist everywhere within and outside the universe to do that? Would it require for them to be everywhere and even beyond the universe to prove their particular god to be true and all the others false?

    When anyone refers to the IQ of a nother person to prove their common beliefs to be true, that is when I do believe I have spotted an actual moron.

    Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      The requirement to be everywhere is absurd and can also be used as an argument against theism. Why if god is everywhere should I go looking out of the known universe to find it? Maybe it just doesn’t exist?

      I found the IQ argument quite lame and I agree with you.

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  6. jilldennison says:

    Good post … thought-provoking. For myself, I find it impossible to believe in some god who is omnipotent, yet fails to step in to keep planes from crashing to the ground. I find it impossible to believe in a set of beliefs that are every changing to suit the desires of those who claim to be god’s voice on earth, yet they rob from the poor and live in million dollar homes. I go with Marx’ idea that religion is the opiate of the masses, invented to keep people following a certain set of standards to the advantage of those in power.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ron says:

    It all makes sense when you consider that the apologist’s primary concern isn’t about bringing non-believers into the fold so much as it is in preventing present believers from leaving it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Swarn Gill says:

    Well now I missed getting to comment and everybody has said everything already. lol

    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.

    There is so much wrong here with this person’s thinking, it’s hard to know where to begin.

    Ideas and beliefs simply aren’t the same thing. So what if we can say it’s an idea. It’s a very particular idea that opposes a claim. I can have idea for an Indian spiced pierogi. That’s just an idea, not a belief. Now if I say my idea is original and no one else has thought of it, then I’m claiming something about the idea, and for me to prove that it’s true, I have to gather evidence. I can also claim that the Indian spiced pierogi exists. That is also now a claim, and I must prove that it is true. The problem with theists is they keep arguing by a logic in which truth is solely determined by belief, which clearly isn’t true. They apply this logic only with God and the debate about God’s existence. They would surely never apply this elsewhere. Atheism may be about a lack of belief, but atheists do make claims about the divine. If I claim that God has never been proven, then this is a claim and I must examine the arguments used for God are not valid, and this atheists spend a lot of time doing. Atheists might claim that there is no personal God. This can be demonstrated with evidence, and no belief is necessary. So there are parts about God’s specific nature as reported by theists that we can dispute with evidence. Should we need to, given that the theist has never supported their claim? Not really, but it can be a useful analytic exercise. However this does not make atheism a belief system either, because again, no belief is required if I can provide evidence against a theist claim.

    There are big questions that we can’t answer. inspired made an excellent argument above. There are questions that I don’t have the answer for. When theists choose God as the answer, they have divorced themselves at that point from the God of their particular religion. Because the God they are arguing for could be any type of God with a large variation in nature. A could be a creator who just sits back and watches the show. They could be either good or evil. Their could be one, two, or many Gods. None of that is answered by their assertion because they have no evidence for it. Even if the first cause argument was valid, it in no way implies that the Biblical God is that first cause.

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    • makagutu says:

      No, everything hasn’t been said.
      This is an excellent contribution to the discussion.
      It would be a leap of faith to move from the first cause to a particular god.
      There are days I ask if these fellows have friends who could tell them the problems with some of their arguments or posts?

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Swarn Gill says:

    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.

    There are many scientific theories, I don’t feel good about. I don’t feel good about climate change for instance. I’m not even all that crazy about the second law of thermodynamics. Especially because of what it means for solving energy problems.

    What’s interesting is the way this person makes it sound like we try to convince people of science the same way they try to convince people about God. He uses words like “feel” and “encourage”. If using logical argumentation, talking about things that can be proven through empirical evidence, that can be observed in this plane of existence, is the same thing as God, I cannot think of a worse analogy.

    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.

    This is classic theist apologetics right here.

    1. Assert that there is a God. Provide no proof.
    2. When asked for proof, the theist realizes they have none and then adds to the definition of God that God cannot be proven because it by definition has characteristics that don’t fit reality as we know it.
    3. Now any claim about God and his nature can be made, and they can continually refer back to 2.

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    • makagutu says:

      I don’t even know if there’s a scientific theory I am crazy about. I think I am totally lost!
      That argument for looking for god everywhere is so weak it doesn’t deserve more than 2 sentences in refutation

      Liked by 1 person

      • Swarn Gill says:

        That argument for looking for god everywhere is so weak it doesn’t deserve more than 2 sentences in refutation

        Well the problem with these statements is that they are literally unfalsifiable. Which is to say they are faulty in their assertion and thus unfalsifiable. But this is the goal. You simply can’t refute something that tries to claim the conditions are beyond any method of knowledge acquisition that we use to derive truth.

        I would argue that something that is everwhere, cannot be proven maybe to exist everwhere, but can be proven to exist somewhere. Electromagnetic radiation is everywhere in the universe (at least a low levels in empty space) and I can prove the existence of electromagnet radiation and its properties by studying it where I can observe it. So his particular argument is even less sensible than most. lol

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        • makagutu says:

          To claim that we haven’t looked at every crevice for god is in my view evidence that the claim that God is everywhere is doubtful and weak that even the believer doesn’t take it seriously.

          Liked by 1 person

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