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It Takes More Faith to be an Atheist

The popular Christian argument is that in order for atheists to reject the claim that a god exists, we must first know everything. What they are claiming is that atheists must know the entire set of facts about the universe before we can look and that set and see that their God is not included in that set of facts. Of course this argument is pretty absurd.

First it claims that atheists are claiming to know with faith-based, dogmatic, absolute certainty that the Christian God does not exist. While some atheists might claim that, this is really just a false caricature or “straw man” of what most atheists think. Most atheists simply see no evidence and thus no valid reason to believe.

Second, this argument assumes that we have to know what is in order to know what isn’t. I’m not a computer expert and so if someone asked me how computers work, I really couldn’t tell them. But if someone told me that there is a gerbil inside which powers the computer, I would be a bit more than skeptical. Even though I don’t personally know how computers work, I am reasonably certain that gerbils are not involved. I don’t need to know everything about computers to know that gerbils are not in that set of facts. Common sense informs me that gerbils do not power the computer.

Third, this argument focuses on the Christian God, but we could really switch that focus to anything. As with the popular atheist example of the unicorn, Christians would have to admit that if their argument is true and that in order to reject belief in something, we would need to know everything, than they would have to admit that they should also believe in the unicorn because to not believe would mean that they know everything about the universe and see that unicorns are not in that set of knowledge. It is just such an absurdly ridiculous argument and yet Christians seem to use it all the time.

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