Is Atheism a Belief System or “The Result of Critical Thinking?”


                Recently I have seen a surge of memes over the internet and quotes from people like Ricky Gervais (English comedian/actor) that atheism is not a faith or religious system, but merely the result of critical and rational thinking. Naturally given my position on this blog I was puzzled by this statement. I would like to take a few minutes of your time to ramble a bit over some of my avenues of thought that I have pursued to provide an answer to this statement.
                So to begin, one should probably start with a fundamental assumption, being the definition of atheism. From the Greek “atheos” meaning “without gods”. So by this framework, one would assume that atheism means literally no God or gods. Atheism to me is the belief that the Christian God or any other gods exist. Also by this anyone who claims that monotheists are atheists many times over with the exception of the God of their choice I argue is making an erroneous statement by way of categorical error. To be a monotheist doesn’t necessarily mean that we have consciously rejected all gods, but we have found enough evidence, at least for Christianity, that our God is the one true God.
 Back to the matter at hand, I’m sure you have noticed that I have defined atheism with belief in the definition. I contend that atheism is a belief, not the direct result of rational thinking, though this “rational” train of thought will certainly bring people to the station of atheism. Atheism is not the direct result of critical, rational thought; otherwise all highly educated/intelligent people would be atheists. I would hope that I number in that intelligent crowd so I am the one exception, though I know there are countless more of us intelligent people who still retain a belief in God that we can rationally explain. Atheists, much like the theist, have a very daunting task ahead of them if they are to increase their number among the intellectual. We both make knowledge claims of the supernatural world that cannot be directly measured by science, which can only probe the workings of our natural world. We must collect our scientific, historical, and philosophical evidence that God does/does not exist. As I have said, God is a supernatural being that cannot be directly viewed through scientific methods, but there are scientific theories (The Big Bang Theory for example), that collaborate belief in God and passages of scripture. We have historical accounts that he has intervened in human history, the most common being the person of Jesus Christ.  If one can prove these accounts inaccurate, then more power to you my Atheist colleague. I will not go into these historical accounts here, but by all means research the matter for yourself.
 If anything, those of you looking for a 100% logical position to maintain intellectually that requires no leaps of faith, I would argue for agnosticism, which maintains a position that there may or may not be a God, but we cannot know either way. If God had followed through with creation, then stepped away, then maybe I would be an agnostic until we can probe beyond the Big Bang. Fortunately, God has intervened in human history in multiple ways, and arguably his biggest being the ministry of Jesus Christ. I would hope that  during this Easter weekend, you would at least take the time to seriously examine the person and ministry of Christ and come to understand what that means for each and every one of us. If you do come to a decision and accept the gift of salvation that is open to you, let me be the first to welcome you as a brother in Christ. In either case, no matter your decision this day, may God bless you and have a good rest of your day.

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