Lately, I’ve been in a few discussions with people I know in real life about atheists and atheism in general. These don’t happen very often, not because I hide my atheism, but because the subject just doesn;t come up and I’m not one of those people that stand on the street corner shouting about my non-belief.
One of the more frequent questions I a posed is how I know that God doesn’t exist. My response is simple: I don’t know that for a fact. That’s where see others lean back and think they have me because they don;t know what atheism actually expounds. I have no way of knowing whether the is a God, or any gods at all, but I have found no evidence to believe their are any gods at all.
Now there are some atheists that will tell others that there is definitely no God, but how would they know? Lack of evidence only suggests there aren’t any gods, but it’s not definitive. We’ve all been there, as atheists, when someone demands that we prove our non-belief. I can’t in the same way that they cannot prove there is a God. Referring to some ancient text is not proof, and belief is not fact.
As I’ve discovered, none of this seems to matter to any believers I’ve ever known, Unless I, an atheist, can prove there is no God, then there has to be one. That’s similar thinking to those Ancient Alien theorists we all see on television (well, at least I do, it’s a really funny show). I can’t say how the pyramids were built (and archologists only have theories about it) so there must have been aliens to help them move all those 2 ton limestone blocks into place.
I don’t believe aliens had anything to do with any construction of ancient monuments, but I cannot prove they didn’t. I just don’t see any evidence that affirms that “theory”. That’s the same with gods. I, as many, think that humans invented gods to explain what for them was unexplainable at the time.
The other question asked is that if there were proof of God, would I then believe? Of course, if the evidence was demonstrable. Why would anyone hold onto something that could actually be proven to be incorrect? There may be some, as there is with believers with evolution, that no matter the evidence may not believe, but I don’t think I could. If we say we believe in evidence, then no matter how inconvenient that evidence may be to what we currently think (or believe), we can’t just dismiss it out of hand. That would make atheism a religion, wouldn’t it? As we all know, that’s what believers think of us anyway – we’re just another religion.
I have turned that question around though and asked if there were absolute proof of no God existing, would that mean that they would give up their belief? I sometimes rceive a strange look then but the answer always comes back – and yes always in my experience – that there’s no way I can prove there is no God.
That wry smile comes across my face.