I’m the reason you’re not a Christian?

‘Why don’t you believe God exists?’ is asked of professing Atheists all the time.  One of the answers I hear most: no one has given me a good enough reason/enough evidence to believe in God.  This answer seems vacant to me, and should be to the Atheist who offers it, especially a philosophically minded Atheist.

You say you haven’t been presented with enough evidence, but that means your opinion of whether God exists is dependent on some theist and his reasons.  My lack of apologetic skills isn’t a very good reason to hold to atheism.  This makes the Christian, and not you, responsible for your belief in God or lack thereof.  I would hope belief-lackers have their own reasons as to their own views, as rational people do.  How much credence would you give a Christian who claimed their belief in Christianity is based on Atheist’s lack of compelling reasons to not believe?

But if there are reasons, why is there such an aversion to discuss them?  Why does it seem like so many Atheists grasp at some sort of loophole to avoid having to argue for their position?  Everyone who has a view on a particular subject ought to have their own reasons (and not simply pass the responsibility for your opinions onto someone else).  At this point, the Atheists reading this are preparing to comment with: But…but…you have the burden!   Ok, fine, we theists have a burden to show God exists, but for the sake of discussion, let’s hear your reasons for your own position.

If atheism is the voice of reason, why are Atheists so reluctant to offer reason for their “lack of belief”?  Why so hesitant to discuss your own view if it is based on actual reasons, and not just some theist’s failure to convince you?  Why is your belief or lack thereof my responsibility, and does that responsibility ever fall on you at some point?  Can I make it your job to prove to me I’m wrong?

Comments

  1. Nope, you are not the reason I am not a Christian. Your lack of apologetic skills is not relevant. Would you say the reason you’re not a follower of Islam because you didn’t like how the imam was preaching to you? No – it’s the material.

    My lack of belief is not based on your presentation – it’s based on evaluating the evidence presented by those making the claim, whether you’re asserting that peanut butter causes cancer or that the Christian God exists. The reason I do not accept the Christian assertion is because I am far more critical of the validity of your holy texts than you are.

    I noticed you used the word “responsible” many times in this post. Why do you feel that blame should be assigned here? Non-believers simply reject your claim. It’s not their job to rebut your position – it’s your job to make a case for yours.

    • Z

      When you say this:

      ” it’s based on evaluating the evidence presented by those making the claim”

      it makes my point.

    • And when you say this:

      ” I am far more critical of the validity of your holy texts than you are.”

      Not only is it not that good of a reason, since you don’t explain your methodology for discounting the Bible apart from, to you, it sounds fantastical.

      The truth is, you are far more critical of religion than you are of anything. You set the bar impossibly high.

  2. The exact same thing could be said of you from a follower of Islam.

    Just like you do not accept the Koran as a credible source for knowledge, I do not accept the Bible as a credible source either.

    Without getting bogged down in details, the Bible fails both historically and scientifically far too much for it to be given the perfect status that Christians give it. If you’re going to complain about impossibly high standards, you need look no further than the bar set by the religion itself.

  3. John,

    I’m not sure I catch your drift. It seems to me that the burden of proof rests on those making the claim. “God exists” is not the default answer in this day and age, so “not enough evidence” is a perfectly valid answer in my opinion. Certainly I question their reasoning, but I wouldn’t say their view is invalid or “not good enough.”

  4. @Terrance

    Thanks for your perspective. I agree with you.

    My experience with John is that he would rather argue about the criticism against his faith instead of presenting an argument supporting his position.

  5. vincedeporter says:

    Hi John! Long time no see my friend.

    The reason I do not believe in god(s) is explained in this short article I wrote.
    I don’t usually link an answer like this, but I took time to write this argument.

    Hope all is well! :)

    http://vincedeporter.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/cant-prove-a-negative-think-again/

  6. I don’t believe any god exists because there is no evidence to support their existence. Your opening paragraphs seem to hinge entirely on the grammatical construction of the atheists response. No, my lack of belief is not dependent on a theist and his reasons. Reasons weren’t mentioned, even by you, evidence was mentioned. But if theists are going to make a claim then it is not unreasonable to expect them to be able to support their claim. We are not reluctant to offer reason for our lack of belief, we do it all the time. The reason is the total lack of evidence to support any god claim. We need offer nothing more because despite your attempted burden shifting that burned really is on you as the one making the claim.

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