Question: "What is atheism?"
Answer: Atheism is the view that God does not exist. Atheism is not a new development. Psalm 14:1, written by David in around 1000 B.C., mentions atheism – “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” Recent statistics show an increasing number of people becoming atheists, with up to 10% of people worldwide declaring themselves adherents of atheism. So, why are more and more people becoming atheists? Is atheism truly the logical position atheists claim it to be?
Why does atheism even exist? Why doesn’t God simply reveal Himself to people, proving that He exists? Surely if God would just appear everyone would believe in Him! The problem with this idea is that it is not God’s desire to just convince people that He exists. It is God’s desire for people to believe in Him by faith (2 Peter 3:9) and accept His gift of salvation (John 3:16). Yes, God could appear and demonstrate once and for all that He exists. The problem is that God clearly demonstrated His existence many times in the Old Testament (Genesis chapters 6-9; Exodus 14:21-22; 1 Kings 18:19-31). Did the people believe that God exists? Yes! Did they turn from their evil ways and obey God? No! If a person is not willing to accept God’s existence by faith, then they are definitely not ready to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). That is God’s desire – for people to become Christians, not just theists (those who believe God exists).
The Bible tells us that God’s existence must be accepted by faith. Hebrews 11:6 declares, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” The Bible reminds us that we are blessed when we believe and trust in God by faith, “Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed’” (John 20:29).
The fact that the existence of God must be accepted by faith does not mean belief in God is illogical. There are many good arguments for the existence of God. Please visit our “Does God Exist?” page. The Bible teaches that God’s existence is clearly seen in the universe (Psalm 19:1-4), in nature (Romans 1:18-22), and in our own hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). With all that said, again, the existence of God cannot be proven, it must be accepted by faith.
At the same time, it takes just as much faith to believe in atheism. To make the absolute statement “God does not exist!” is to make a claim of knowing absolutely everything there is to know about everything – and of having been everywhere in the universe there is to go – and having witnessed everything there is to be seen. Of course, no atheist would make these exact claims. However, that is essentially what they are claiming when they state that God does not exist. Atheists cannot prove that God does not, for example, live in the center of the sun, or beneath the clouds of Jupiter, or in some distant nebula. This cannot be proven, so it cannot be proven that God does not exist. It takes just as much faith to be an atheist as it does to be a theist.
So, we are back at square one. Atheism cannot be proven and God’s existence must be accepted by faith. I believe, strongly, that God exists. I readily admit that my belief in God’s existence is based on faith. At the same time, I strongly reject the idea that belief in God is illogical. I believe that God’s existence can be clearly seen, keenly sensed, and be proven philosophically and scientifically necessary. Again, for more information please visit our “Does God Exist?” page. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world” (Psalms 19:1-4).