PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Ryan Peter
 
Comments: 246
Article views: 2039
 
 
Latest Badges:

 
View all Ryan Peter's badges.
 

Atheists do have faith - just like everyone else

21 February 2014, 11:06
This is a short response to Schalk van Zyl's post at http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/Atheist-trust-not-faith-20140221 about atheists having 'trust' not 'faith'. That was a post that was in response to another post from Charles Dumbwin.

Why am I responding? Well, I love philosophy, and as a result I'm intrigued by these sorts of conversations. Furthermore, I do think atheists, in general, need to think a little more about philosophy. Many don't and, as a result, are weaker for it. Furthermore, the fact that they'll argue philosophy when, in fact, they're not so strong in it can be as unfruitful as a theologian arguing about science when, obviously, they're just not very good at it.

To get to the core topic - Schalk is trying to say that atheists don't have faith, they have 'trust'. Besides the obvious point that the words are actually synonyms, along with others like 'assurance' or 'belief', it shows a common misconception that atheists tend to shout from the rooftops - that they simply "lack" faith in God and therefore don't operate from any faith basis at all. The argument is made to force theists to "prove" that God exists.

Unfortunately, however, it's just not true. Every single person, regardless of their beliefs (and not the use of that word) actually operates on faith. Faith is a basic human activity that is common to us all.

Here's why. The moment an atheist 'decides' that God cannot possibly he exist, he makes a positive claim - that being, "God cannot possibly exist." The very decision is an act of belief - an atheist decides he will believe "that" and not "this" as it were. Belief is what faith is.

The common argument that an atheist doesn't "believe" he "disbelieves" is false for a number of reasons. Firstly, the atheists very language often betrays them. Secondly, it's impossible to not believe anything in life. It betrays the argument - can an atheist prove that science works? The will say, of course! But you see, the reason why is because we all share a common faith - that faith, whether we can express it or not, is a faith in cause and effect. We all believe that if we push something, it moves. No one disbelieves that. The fact that it's so intrinsic to life doesn't mean that we don't believe it as true - every day we act as if it's true, because we believe that it's true. You can't be agnostic about it. In fact, even the agnostic makes some kind of faith statement ("we can't know").

Every person runs their life on presuppositions - assumptions about life and the universe. No one is without them. The atheist, at some point, makes a decision on what presuppositions they will have (God cannot exist). The theist does likewise. Many atheists like to take the position of the agnostic these days and claim that they don't say God cannot exist, they simply say they don't believe we can know. Well, besides the fact that that in itself is a faith statement (you believe that we can't know) it means that the atheist is agnostic, not atheist. Might as well admit it.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
246 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

The Modern Cuddle

One thing throughout all these many advances still remains the same and that is humans will remain human. Read more...

0 comments 53 views
Submitted by
Chris Khanye
Taxi violence a pain

The scourge of taxi violence robs most families’ breadwinners Read more...

1 comments 48 views
Submitted by
Joel Riffel
Monte casino balloon shot down

Is it a bird? Is it a bat? Superman? No it's a balloon. Read more...

3 comments 612 views
Submitted by
Holly
Hard, hot rage at our politicians

What is happening in Parliament is a mirror of the anger and frustration of the people of South Africa. Read more...

12 comments 924 views
Submitted by
woadstress
Wisdom

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. Read more...

6 comments 129 views
Submitted by
woadstress
Meditation

 Read more...

8 comments 160 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.