BBC Religion and Ethics websites
Atheism is a legitimate faith position therefore has to be open to challenges too.
A theist believes in a God with the classical attributes of omni…
An atheist does not believe the God of classical theism exists
An agnostic believes we have insufficient evidence on which to prove or disprove God’s existence.
The conviction of the theist or atheist is therefore based on intuition!!
Atheists and antitheists object to the effect of religious faith on human behaviour
Dawkins an antitheist suggests religious belief is no longer a satisfactory way of interpreting the world.
‘faith is a great cop-out, the excuse to avoid the need to think and to evaluate the evidence.’
‘The God of the O T is the most unpleasant character in all fiction.’ Dawkins
Are the reasons either for or against supported by the evidence?
Are they decisive?
Are the explanations of religion simpler than those of atheism?
Why do so many still believe in them?
If the arguments against God fail then by default God must exist.
Chatterton: it is up to believers to prove God not non-believers to prove he doesn’t exist. ‘It is impossible to prove a negative.’
Durkheim religion used to control society (functional)
Stunts growth as a species.
Dawkins: bringing up a child in a faith is child-abuse!! ‘poky little medieval universe.’
‘Religion leads to extremism, terror and violence.’
Hume: a non-moral God.
Freud: Religious faith is the result of unresolved childhood issues.
To conclude that God doesn’t exist is still a leap of faith.
Can atheism be empirically verified?
Swinburne: science is the complete explanation.