Hello and welcome back!
It’s Monday night and I have just returned from discipleship class at church. I am teaching on the beatitudes and the parables of Jesus. It is always a wonderful time and the community is so enjoyable!
Community is what Christianity is all about! The closer the body (the local church) comes together and all of the parts (individuals) are in harmony, the closer is the church’s relationship with Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior!
I hope your week has been a fruitful one and you are ready to investigate another worldview that is prevalent in today’s world. That worldview is atheism. Let’s develop a working definition for atheism.
For the purpose of this post’s investigation into atheism, we will describe the term atheist to mean an absence of belief or empirical evidence in deity or the supernatural (God).
If atheists do not believe in God, just what do they believe in?
“Theists, on the other hand, believe that there is a difference between the creator and the created.”
A Pew Research Center report that was conducted in 2012 suggests that 2% of the entire population of the United States reports to be atheist. Among all of the nonreligious (claiming no religious beliefs), 12% of these people claimed to be atheists.
We will take a generalist view of atheism in this article. Atheism, like every worldview, is not cut and dried in its description because there are several schools of thought concerning the worldview. In the book, 21st Century Confusion: Finding Your Path to Hope and Purpose, we will delve more deeply into these various specific forms of atheism as well as the other worldviews.
In the book, we will consider how the more specific forms are viewed by those who hold them. For the purpose of this brief article, we will keep it to the general overview of this worldview.
Atheists claim that there are two worldview positions within the worldview of atheism and that atheists do not believe in anything:
- Weak Atheism.
- Strong Atheism.
Weak atheism is that of disbelief in deity or gods. You could say that some weak atheists believe that there is no such thing as the Christian God. What this stance boils down to is considered skepticism (not a belief system), rather than certain knowledge.
Strong atheism suggests that the atheist beliefs explicitly that there is no such thing as deity or a higher power. They believe that the only things that exists is materialism — period. If you still have difficulty discerning between these two sub-types, consider this. The main difference between the strong and weak stand is skepticism vs. absolute belief.
Weak atheism then holds to the fact that the atheist disbelieves the reality of deity because there is not enough evidence for them to believe in it at this time. They also may disbelieve in the reality of deity because they do not perceive any importance to look into it any further.
Strong atheism then holds the view that there is no possibility of the reality of a higher power or deity. They consider such a belief to be a total fabrication.
Atheists claim that they do not hold beliefs for or against theism. They claim that the lack of empirical evidence of deity and miracles deny the possibility of the supernatural. They claim that belief has nothing to do with their stand.
On the other hand, atheists also claim that theists (believers in a higher power) believe in ignorance and not by experience of something or through experimentation. Atheists claim that theists accept the belief of deity out of ignorance and that theists believe ignorance is superior to empirical knowledge.
They claim that atheist rely upon provable fact while theists see no need for facts, only belief.
Theists, on the other hand, believe that there is a difference between the creator and the created. In other words, empirical evidence and discovery applies to material matter, the creation; whereas, the creator (being outside of time and space) created matter and matter constitutes the creation. Empirical evidence does not apply to the non-material and supernatural being of the creator God.
Remember, these posted articles are only brief overviews of the detail on the worldviews that will be represented in the book. If you desire, further reading on any of these worldviews before the book is published, feel free to ask me by mentioning it in the comments for this post and I will be glad to provide them.
That’s it for the worldview of atheism! We will consider the worldview of agnosticism next post!
Until next time…
QUESTION: Does atheism make sense to you? If there is nothing but materialism, where did the first material come from?