I’ve recently been involved in a number of discussions with various people regarding matters of a spiritual nature. For some reason, over the past month or so, I have found myself in a good number of debates and discussions relating to religion, philosophy and various matters concerning spiritual growth and awareness. And, more than a couple of these exchanges took place with self-proclaimed atheists.
Now, I do not agree with the atheist philosophy, but I strive to maintain tolerance toward all religious (or a-religious) viewpoints. I don’t believe that anyone has all the answers. In fact, I believe that life’s fundamental purpose is to act as a theatre in which a search for those answers may be carried out. So, for this reason I hold to the idea that I, or anyone else is completely unqualified to judge another’s religious viewpoints as being without merit. I, myself, can not be certain what the ‘truth’ is, and I can not know what personal evidence has been revealed to an individual holding a specific viewpoint, so how then can I rationally dismiss any viewpoint as an outright fallacy or improbability? It is not my place. It is my place to conduct my own search, and leave others to conduct theirs. Unless someone tries to force their religious beliefs on me or others, somehow obstructs my own search, or the search for spiritual growth and enlightenment of others, or impedes others in their struggle for happiness or security, then I am glad that they have found the path which makes sense to them and works to enrich their lives, no matter what that path may be.
With that being said, I have noticed a number of things about the atheistic ideal that bothers me. I will address those things in this article and I hope that I might receive some responses from atheists that will lead to further discussion. I am open to all points of view, and I wish to learn as much as possible about all points of view, so as I might best equip myself to find answers which make the most sense to me.
I don’t like to make blanket statements regarding groups of people, however, as I had stated earlier, over the last little while I have been involved in debate and discussion with a number of atheists. And, I have noticed certain troublesome characteristics displayed by each of them. I am sure that these characteristics do not apply to all atheists, but instead I may have just happened upon a group of them that did possess such traits.
The most bothersome of these, ironically, was a sort of ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude. Each of the atheists that I spoke with seemed as though they believed that they were somehow more intelligent, more highly evolved than anyone who held any kind of theistic belief, because they weren’t ‘dumb’ enough to be ‘duped’ into believing falsehoods regarding spiritual matters. They were fond of making statements like: “Believe all the fairy tales you want, I don’t live my life by believing in fairy tales.” Or, “I gave up on fairy tales when I was five.“ Or, “You wont find me worshipping at the feet of some make believe God up in the sky!”
Each one of them claimed that theistic beliefs existed only out of ignorance, fear, manipulation and/or irrationality, and implied that if people would strive to be rational, increase their education and awareness of the world around them and not give in to the influence of others, everyone would soon be an atheist. With each, the implication was definitely: Theists are either stupid or frightened people, Atheists are intelligent people who have lost their fear.
Also, all of the Atheists with which I spoke seemed to possess an utter disdain for organized religion in all of its forms. Now, I have no great love for any organized religion, but with these people, it was so prevalent that it led me to suspect that in most cases, they were wielding their atheistic beliefs as a sort of weapon against organized religion. That is to say, they weren’t so much atheists as they were anti-theists, or more accurately, anti-religion. They didn’t seem to cling to their atheistic ideologies simply because they truly believed them, it seemed as though a major factor in convincing them to accept these ideologies was an underlying hatred of religion. A very weak rationalization seemed to appear: “Organized religion is stupid. I don’t agree with it. Ergo, there is no God.” It seemed to plague each person that I spoke with.
When asked why they were atheists, why they believed in the non-existence of God, common responses were things like: “Why would anyone believe in religion when religion has been responsible for so much evil?” Or: “Why would I believe the teachings of any religion, when they can offer no empirical evidence for their claims?” Or, “I don’t believe in God because I can show you hundreds of factual errors and contradictions in the bible.” The problem here of course, is that I didn’t ask why they were against organized religion, or any particular faith; I asked why they believed in the non-existence of God. Again, weak logic: ‘I don’t believe in the teachings of a particular religion, or all religions, ergo: there is no God.”
I do strive to keep my mind open. As I said earlier: I don’t believe that anyone has all of the answers. No one can be certain of what the truth is. We have only our faith to guide us. In my mind, a truly rational person can come only to one conclusion: that any given religion might be entirely accurate, entirely inaccurate, or partially accurate. This also holds true for atheism. Concerning the question of the existence of God, any rational person can again come to only one conclusion: God may exist, or he may not. My own belief tells me that God does exist. However, I accept his existence on faith and I am aware of the fact that a possibility exists that my faith might be ill placed. For this reason, I remain open to atheistic beliefs. I will not dismiss them as an ultimate impossibility. I ‘believe’ they are inaccurate, yet I know that there is a chance that they are not. So, if an atheist is reading this, I encourage you to comment on this article and provide your own perspective on the ideas expressed herein. I sincerely wish to learn from you, as I wish to learn from the ideas of all people.
Now, with all of that out of the way – I will follow with a discussion of the things that I was most unable to reconcile with my own observations regarding how the universe seems to operate. Again, if an atheist reads this and thinks that he or she may be able to shed some light on my observations, or can point out how I may have been mistaken in some or all of these observations, the input would be very welcome.
1) The atheist seems to turn his back on over 8000+ years of human experience. For as far back as we have records to attest to human thought and understanding, we see that theism is by far the accepted norm. We have to realize that for millennia, countless multitudes of people, from all areas of the earth, from many, many different cultures, have devoted their entire lives to theistic study. Almost exclusively, the common conclusion has been: The daily life that we experience on this earth is not the totality of human existence. Yet, even though atheism has only ever been accepted by the minutest section of people to ever have inhabited the earth, the atheist comfortably dismisses the life’s work, study and experience of many billions of people in exchange for the quick ‘rationalizations’ of a relative few. And, of these few, I know of no atheist in history who has devoted their entire lives to the study of the atheistic philosophy.
Are we to believe that if human life is indeed a chance occurrence, and that the only thing that exists for any one human is the sum of his or her experience between the time of birth and death, that over the span of the entirety of human history, all of these multitudes of people would still, now, be continuing to delude themselves? Would not enough of them have discovered that theistic belief is so without merit, their observations so devoid of spiritual confirmation, that by now the rest of humanity would have no choice but accept such facts? Yet even today, after thousands of years of study, observation and experience, the vast majority of the world’s population, regardless of ethnicity, intelligence, education, social station, still accept a theistic view of some sort regarding the nature of human existence.
The atheist holds as much empirical evidence for the non-existence of God, as the theist does for the existence of God. (I.e. – none.) Would it not then be more rational to use available anecdotal evidence to judge possibility, of which there is an enormous amount? Would it not then be more rational to conclude that based on the vast majority of human observation, the existence of God is more likely than not?
2) False claims of adherence to scientific principles, or principals of logic. With every single one of the atheists I spoke with, each of them attempted to add weight to their argument by claiming that an atheistic view is more in keeping with scientific principals or principals of logic than theistic views. In each case these claims were characterized by the egregious misuse or misunderstanding of the scientific principals or notions which they directly appealed to. They were:
a) An appeal to ‘Occam’s Razor”
Each of the atheists to whom I spoke, all cited Occam’s razor as adding substance to their argument. And, each one of them either used Occam’s razor incorrectly, or lacked an understanding of exactly what it is. Each of them claimed that the atheistic model for human existence is more reasonable than a theistic model, because the atheistic model adheres to Occam’s razor. Unfortunately, the problems with this are many.
i) Occam’s razor is not a scientific law like the various laws of thermodynamics. It is merely a guide, and it is a guide that is to be used only in the absence of any substantial evidence. Each one of the atheists that I talked with made this mistake. They all seemed to think that Occam’s razor was an infallible scientific law, and it’s conclusion was always applicable on face value. However, Occam’s razor DOES NOT say that: “The simplest explanation is always the true explanation,” as the people I spoke with seemed to think. A more accurate description of Occam’s razor would be: “In the absence of any substantial evidence, the more simple the explanation, the more likely it is to be the correct explanation.” The more evidence we gather, be it empirical, circumstantial or anecdotal, the more useless Occam’s razor becomes. Parsimony should never negate reason, logic, observation or experimentation. Yet, every atheist I talked to seemed to think that parsimony rules – That it is reasonable to simply discard all evidence of any nature (except perhaps empirical) in favor of parsimony.
William of Occam never meant for his razor to dictate truth, he meant for it to be a useful tool for someone to use in determining likelihood when faced with a question for which they held no substantial or certifiable evidence from which to draw a conclusion. It is arguable that 8000+ years of human study and testimony sort of renders Occam’s razor invalid in this instance. And, even if it doesn’t, Occam’s razor can only tell us which possibility is more likely the safer bet. It cannot tell which conclusion is the accurate one. It does nothing to add any merit to either conclusion, theistic or atheistic.
ii) The other problem with Occam’s razor in this instance, is this: Exactly how simple or complex any explanation is, is highly subjective. When faced with the question: Which is the more complex model: That humans were created by pure chance in a non-sentient universe? Or, that humans were designed, created and given life by a sentient being? We have no objective way of answering this. We do not know which situation is more complex. The spontaneous creation of the universe, what exactly caused that creation, followed by all of the events which led up to the formation of our sun and our planet, the spontaneous creation of scientific laws and principles, the creation of matter, energies, followed by the appearance of organic matter on the earth, followed by the entire history of evolution – the catalyst for all of which was either chance, or something which is currently beyond science to understand because it occurred outside of the realm of our scientific observation (although it’s impossible that it was the will of a sentient being.), is a process which is so amazingly complex, it is currently far beyond the comprehension of every living person on this planet. No person does exist, or has ever existed who could relate, without omission, a complete, coherent, verifiable explanation for the entire history of the universe, from the moment of creation, to the appearance of homosapien on this planet. Yet, this is the more ‘simple’ explanation? What if the universe was brought into being by a sentient force? The relative complexity of each argument is highly subjective and therefore, Occam’s razor cannot apply.
Science has no idea regarding any events which took place before a fraction of a second after the universe came into being. The understanding of our scientific laws and principles break down before that point. So, we have the atheist argument that simply states: “We have no idea whatsoever regarding what happened.” And, we have the theistic argument: “A sentient being created the universe, yet we can offer no empirical evidence to substantiate this.” So, which is the simpler of the two? We have no way of telling, and again, Occam’s razor cannot apply. However, again I see seemingly weak atheistic logic: “The universe was created in a way which we do not know, we have no idea at all, not one iota regarding the exact events which caused the creation of our universe. It is a complete mystery and is currently beyond our scientific abilities to know. However, I arbitrarily conclude that it could not have been due to a sentient being. Therefore, there is no god”
iii) The original meaning of Occam’s razor has been skewed. William of Occam originaly said: “Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily” Sir Isacc Newton sheds more light on this by saying: “We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances.” Now, the problem here is that the atheistic model, does not contain enough “causes” that are “both true and sufficient to explain their appearances” in relation to the questions of ‘why’ and ‘how’ regarding human existence. I’m not claiming that any theistic model does either, but the fact that neither model does renders Occam’s razor inapplicable in this instance. If the atheistic model could account in entirety for human existence, then Occam’s razor might apply. It then might be reasonable to say that since we know the entire story of how human existence came to be, it is useless to add a sentient creator into the mix. But, the atheistic model does not even come close to explaining the circumstances of human existence, so Occam’s razor quite simply does not apply.
b) Unreasonable call to the “burden of proof” A few of the atheists with whom I spoke, claimed that the burden of proof lies with the theists. Of course, this is partly true. In fact, the ‘burden of proof’ lies with the person making the claim. So, if a theist says: “God does exist and you should believe this to be true.” He then has the burden of proof upon him if he is rightly to expect another to take the statement as fact. However, where the atheists seemingly go wrong is here: If the theist, after making his claim, is then unable to provide the proof, it does not give one the right to assume that the statement is false. It merely allows one to either reserve judgment or conclude that the accuracy of the statement remains questionable. 1000 years ago if someone made the claim “Matter is made of tiny atoms, secured by an electro-magnetic bond.” They would then have the burden of proof upon them to provide proof of the validity of their statement. 1000 years ago, they most likely would not have been able to do this. However, their statement would have nonetheless been accurate.
Along with this, any reasonable person should be able to see that while the theist does indeed have the burden of proof upon him to substantiate his clams, so does the atheist! If an atheist makes the claim: “God does not exist” He then must provide proof of the non-existence of God. Until such a time as either party provides proof of the validity of their claims, the reasonable and rational person has no choice but to either reserve judgment, or make a personal decision on which seems ‘more likely’ to them. When confronted with this, the atheists who made this claim responded that this was nonsense because it is impossible to prove a negative and this relieves them of the burden of proof. This of course does not relieve them of anything, for a couple of reasons:
i) First of all, if we are to adhere to the letter of scientific principle with which they claim justifies their argument, we would see that not only is it impossible to prove a negative, it is also impossible to prove a positive. Science has never provided proof of ANYTHING. When a scientist says: “I have proven that X+Y=Z”, he is speaking for simplicity’s sake. What he is really saying is: “I have demonstrated that X+Y=Z, and my conclusion has thus far stood up to all tests and experimentations put to it, so I may conclude that as far as we can tell, given our current knowledge and understanding, X+Y most likely equals Z.” Science always deals only in likelihood. Without omniscience, it is impossible for humans to prove a single thing, positive or negative. If scientific principle excuses the atheist from the burden of proof based on the inherent difficulty in providing that proof, then it must also exclude the theist.
ii) The atheist would not necessarily be trying to prove a negative; they would be attempting to prove a positive. I.e. – they would be providing proof that the statement: “God does not exist” IS true. How could this be done? Well, one could provide proof of how the universe, or even life came to be without the need for a sentient creator.
iii) It should also be remembered that under most formal rules of debate, once the claimant provides ANY support for his claim, he has fulfilled the burden of proof. It is then up to the opposition to accept or deny that support. The burden of proof, in effect then shifts to the opposition and if the opposition denies the validity of the proof offered, must then provide a valid argument for why the submitted proof is not acceptable.
3) False claims of scientific evidence for the non-existence of god. A few of the atheists with whom I spoke claimed outright that there was actually scientific evidence that God did not exist. However, when pushed, one of them could not provide any, one of them cited only one example of any such evidence, and two of them could only cite two examples. Both of the examples were of course completely useless for determining the possibility of the existence of God.
a) The one example of so-called ‘scientific evidence’ that two of the atheists mentioned was simply that there was no scientific evidence for the existence of God, therefore that was equal to there being scientific evidence for the non-existence of God. Of course, this is very weak logic and the claim of equality is downright preposterous. While an absence of empirical evidence might speak in a minor way to the possible likelihood of something, it never speaks to conclusion. One of the first and most fundamental rules of scientific debate is: “Absence of evidence is never evidence of absence.” Most people would agree that there is an almost infinite amount of scientific laws, facts and principals that science has yet to discover. Science is still pretty much in its infancy. The total sum of what we currently know about the nature of the universe is far smaller than the total sum of what we have yet to discover. These undiscovered principals are at work in the universe right now. They exist. They are acting upon the universe in some way, even as you read this. However, science as of yet, has no evidence of them. They are unknown to us at the present time. There is a total absence of evidence, yet these things are most likely not absent from anything other than our awareness.
b) The other example that was cited was that science has been able to manually interfere with human consciousness through either surgical means, narcotic means or by subjecting people to various types of electro-magnetic or various types of waveform impulses. I am really at a loss to understand how this is supposed to speak to the reality of the non-existence of God?!?! I believe that the argument was that since we can interfere with consciousness, we may conclude that consciousness must be solely a function of a living brain. This being true, the human must be wholly a biological entity without any higher self or ‘soul.’ If the human is purely biological, God does not exist because there is no need for a creator. If consciousness is wholly a function of a living brain, identity cannot survive the cessation of the life functions of the organism and again, there is no need for God. Unfortunately, the fact that we have been able to ‘interfere’ with consciousness is in no way conclusive in determining if human consciousness is solely the product of a functioning brain. We are, according to the theist, to believe that the human entity resides in the physical body during its short stay on this earth. The vessel, which we inhabit and call the body, can be seen as sort of a life-support system that allows us to interact with the material plane. Artificially interfering with the life-processes and biological functioning of this vessel would most certainly interfere with our ability to process the reality of the material plane and would of course appear as though we were interfering with the very essence of being itself. While science has been able to interfere with human perceptions, we have no way of determining the overall significance of that interference. We appear to be, for at least the time being, biological life forms. What came before, if anything and what comes after our biological bodies stop functioning, is unknown to science. Nothing in science has yet spoken to the ultimate reality of that fact.
Besides this, there is currently remarkable science going on which suggests that human consciousness might actually not reside within the biological human body itself. A paper published by Simon Berkovich, Professor of Engineering and Applied Science at George Washington University explores the idea that DNA information is not complex enough to explain the quantity of information processed in a living organism. The paper postulates that the brain may be an Antenna of sorts; transmitting and receiving information from someplace else. Human DNA might act as a sort of a frequency generator. In his paper entitled: “On the “barcode” functionality of the DNA, or The phenomenon of Life in the physical Universe.” Prof. Berkovich writes:
“The information contained in the genome is insufficient for the control of organism development. Thus, the whereabouts of actual operational directives and workings of the genome remain obscure. In this work, it is suggested that the genome information plays a role of a “barcode”. The DNA structure presents a pseudo-random number(PRN)with classification tags, so organisms are characterized by DNA as library books are characterized by catalogue numbers.”
One thing is clear, the exact nature and workings of human consciousness, for the most part remain a mystery to modern science.
4) Atheism has little or no solutions. Every atheist I spoke with seemed to me to be plagued by scientism. Over and over again they appealed to logic, reason, rationality and above all science as the be-all and end-all of human understanding. Yet, each one of them seemed fond of completely discarding the most basic of scientific principles whenever it seemed in their best interest to do so. The most glaring example of this was the scientific usefulness of the Atheistic ideal. One of the first rules of scientific discipline is this: If a theory is not useful, if it does not benefit us or add to our understanding, it should be thrown out. If we are to look upon atheism as we look upon a scientific theory, it does not stand up to the rigors of the scientific method. (I of course do not claim that any realm of theism does either)
1) Atheism cannot be tested.
2) Even if accepted as an act of faith, it provides no solutions. (While Theism provides no empirical evidence for its solutions, it does nonetheless, provide them)
a) Q: How did the universe come into being?
Atheist: “I don’t know.”
Theist: “A sentient force created the universe.”
b) Q: What is the purpose of life?
Atheist: “I’m not sure.” Or, “There is no real purpose, life happened by chance.”
Theist: “We were created to find/love God.” Or, any number of other theistic beliefs.
c) Q: How did life originate from inorganic material?
Atheist: “I don’t know.”
Theist: “A sentient will forced life into inorganic material.”
d) Q: Why are humans capable of higher, abstract thought processes and abilities which seem to be shared by no other known organisms and which seem to bear no real evolutionary need or purpose? Such as art, music, philosophy, spiritualism etc.?
Atheist: “I don’t know.”
Theist: “These things are a reflection of the spirit of God.”
e) Q: Given that motion is not a property of matter, and science now believes that all matter, which is currently in motion, was once at a state of rest (cosmic singularity) How then did matter come to be in motion?
Atheist: “I don’t know”
Theist: “The will of a sentient being acted upon it and forced it into motion”
5) False claims that organized religions are responsible for a disproportionate amount of evil in the world, or that following organized religion results in very little good and a lot of evil. Well, yes, people who used religion to justify their acts have committed a lot of evil. It would seem that in contrast, atheism has not been responsible for nearly as much pain, death and suffering in the world. However, this hasn’t quite been my observation. First of all, when I look around the city in which I live, I see A LOT of good being done by various religious organizations. Various churches run youth hospices, food banks, homeless shelters, abused wives shelters, orphanages, they collect clothing and other items to distribute among the less fortunate, they run free medical clinics, they organize and hold benefits, events, rummage sales etc. to raise money for various charities, they counsel drug addicts, runaway teens, rape victims, etc. etc. etc. They do this every day, and I can attest that many different religious organizations have been at this every day in my city since I can remember. Now, what outright evil have I personally been witness to in my city at the hands of organized religion? About 20 years ago, a Catholic priest molested some children. It was a despicable, heinous, vile, evil act. However, does it negate all of the above-mentioned acts? I suppose that is a matter of opinion. However, the atheists I talked to seemed to be completely oblivious to the amount of good that various religions were responsible for. They seemed to have this notion that the only things that organized religions ever did throughout human history was to: A) Meet every Sunday to re-enforce their views, strike the fear of God into people and indoctrinate new people into the fold. B) Molest children. C) Start wars and kill people. D) Beg for money. It has been my experience, and is my belief that it was ‘people’ who started all organized religions, and it is ‘people’ who run them. And, as such, the religions in themselves hold the same capacity for good and evil as people do; whether they are religious or not. And, organized religions are subject to the same shortcomings inherent to humans – corruption, lust for power etc. It seems a stretch to me to use this as evidence in drawing a conclusion regarding the existence of God. Let us not forget that there have been far, far less organized, atheistic institutions in the history of the world than there have been religious ones. Yet, the atheistic institutions that have existed have been responsible for their share of evil as well. How many people were tortured and killed under the atheistic Stalinist regime? What manners of human atrocities were committed during the rise of atheistic communist China? Let us also not forget that up until very recently; throughout all of human history, almost every living person has clung to one religious ideology or another. If any evil was ever committed, the odds were that people of some religious faith would be the ones committing them. At the very most, I can see this as an argument against organized religion, but I cannot see how this is any argument against the existence of God. The atheist logic here seems to be: “People who adhere to the teachings of organized religions are not perfect and commit evil deeds, therefore there is no God.”
6) Regardless of what Atheists say, atheism seems to deny morality. During the course of my conversation with one of the Atheists with whom I spoke, I mentioned that I felt: “If atheism is truth, if there is no God, and the end of biological life is the cessation of consciousness, then isn’t it the liars, the cheaters, the greedy, the power-hungry that have the right idea about how to live? Isn’t it the sociopath, who will commit any act to any person, without guilt or remorse, in order to make their own existence more comfortable who are truly the most evolved and the highest pinnacle of our species?” The answer I received seemed ludicrous. I was told: “No!” In fact, I was told that my statement would be true only if God really does exist. If God doesn’t exist, then morality, compassion, and the general concern for the well being of others becomes more important. What kind of twisted logic is this? I fail to see how it can make any kind of sense to any rational person. Here we have two options:
a) Theistic: Consciousness is eternal.
b) Atheistic: Consciousness is finite.
With the theistic option, every deed that you commit against another remains recorded. You will never escape it. There will always be awareness that the deed was committed. If consciousness is eternal, then at some point, you will need to reconcile any wrong deeds. You will need to come to terms with those deeds. You will need, somehow, to make amends with the person whom you committed those deeds against. If you do not, you and your victim will be aware of those deeds for eternity. You will carry them with you always. You will always know of the suffering that you inflicted on your victim and your victim will always remember the suffering they endured at your hands. However, with the Atheistic option, there will come a time when there is absolutely no record of any of your actions anywhere. There will come a time when not you, nor the person whom you committed your deeds against, nor any living person will have any awareness whatsoever of the acts that were committed. Everything you have ever done will be permanently erased. For this reason, if the atheistic philosophy is correct, then only this life matters, and this life is finite. Rationally, one’s highest purpose would be to make this life as enjoyable as possible for his or herself, through any means available to them, regardless of how it might affect others. Ultimately, anyone who is wronged or injured in any way by you isn’t going to care. Ultimately, you are not going to care, you will feel no guilt, no shame, no remorse. Ultimately, the person you wronged will have no knowledge of the evil committed against them. Ultimately, it will not matter, to anyone. If the atheistic view is correct, then morality is a useless and damaging trait. Yet, the atheists I have known seem to delude themselves into believing otherwise. My feeling is that they inherently understand right from wrong, and are compelled to observe their own sense of morality. However, to admit to its uselessness in the absence of God, they would be tempted to admit that something within them exists which is more than the sum of their biological parts. They possess something that comes from somewhere other than within their own biological mass. So, they invent a twisted logic about how morality is MORE important if there is no God and there is no continuation of existence beyond the physical.
7) They all, at some point, admitted to not truly being atheist. At some point in our conversation, each one of the people who I spoke to basically renounced atheism. They did this by saying things like: “Well, at least I’m open to the possibility of God’s existence.” Or, “I don’t know if God exists or doesn’t.” I’m sorry, but if you feel this way, I don’t believe that you are really an atheist. It seemed to me that none of the people I spoke with seemingly possessed the moral conviction to fully understand the very nature of the beliefs they professed to adhere to.
atheist: A”the*ist, n. [Gr. ? without god; ‘a priv. + ? god: cf. F. ath[‘e]iste.] 1. One who disbelieves or denies the existence of a God, or supreme intelligent Being.
If you are an atheist, you believe that God does not exist. Is this not an accurate statement? If you accept that you do not know whether God exists or not, or if you believe that you can not know if God exists, but accept that it is possible, then you are an agnostic – not an atheist. Are you not? The word ‘theist’ means: ‘One who believes in the existence of God’ – atheist is simply the opposite of the word. I.e. – one who believes in the non-existence of God, or one who does not believe in the existence of God.
Please remember that I do not believe that all of the observations made above apply to all atheists. However, they do apply to all atheists that I have come into personal contact with. This writing is not meant as an attack, it may be criticism of the ideas held by the specific atheists which I have spoken to, but it is not an attack on atheism in general or atheists in general. If you feel that I have made errors in my observation, I hope you will respond and make your thoughts known. I strive to keep my mind open to all possibilities. I only seek truth.
Derek R. Audette, Feb 16th, 2004