PLEASE NOTE:

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

 
Ryan Peter
 
Comments: 246
Article views: 2053
 
 
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.

 

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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Michael Mondli Hlophe
What’s next for Hlaudi?

Hlaudi Motsoeneng is like Julius Malema, in that he will use the media to stay relevant, even if it means uttering things that they do not necessarily believe. Read more...

0 comments 1685 views
Submitted by
Mdy Chauke
Matthews Phosa is an ANC leader

Edward Zuma must let his father fight his own battles. Read more...

0 comments 1000 views
Submitted by
Natasha Pelati
Armed Forces Day Durban a celebra...

To the men and women that have dedicated their lives into defending our country, we are truly proud to be involved in this day where our nation can show that we are all as one in defending our land. Read more...

0 comments 317 views
Submitted by
Revelgen
Firing Gordhan would destroy the ...

The plot is so, so clear. Zuma, his immediate cronies and the Guptas regard South Africa's taxes as their own personal private bank. Read more...

0 comments 1029 views
Submitted by
Commissar
SAPS in Dennilton has come to a ...

The superintendent of the station is in such dire straits that he cannot perform on his mandate, that it is actually causing him mental and physical strain. Read more...

0 comments 264 views
AbaThembu royal family's woes won...

The AbaThembu royal family have been at the center of controversy after the incarceration of King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo in 2015. Read more...

0 comments 227 views
 

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 Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

TV Get us in your home, on your television.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2017 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.