Atheists have faith, too.

faithOften those who identify themselves as atheists will assert that their beliefs are based on science, as opposed to faith.  However, atheists have points of faith in their belief system, just as theists do.

Most of us would agree that if certain events had not happened (causes), we might not be here (effects).  For example, because your parents decided to have children (cause), you exist (effect).  If you trace cause and effect backwards through the expansion of the universe you come to the single point in time that is popularly referred to as “the big bang”.

The question you are left with is, “What caused the big bang?”


From a scientific perspective there is no known answer.  We have no clue why the universe started.  We do not know what happened before the universe.  We also do not know where (in what space) our universe exists.  Why is there something and not nothing?


Atheists have theories to answer these questions.  One popular theory is that our universe is one of many universes expanding and detracting. (known as a ‘multi-verse’)  That’s great.  Except now there’s a bigger problem.  Where do these many universes exist?  What caused ALL of them?


It is at this point that atheists stop relying on science and start having faith in science.  They have faith that there is a scientific answer to the questions raised above.   But those answers are always enslaved to the law of cause and effect.  For every effect, there was a cause.  For every cause, there will be an effect.  And on it goes.  Whether you go backwards in time or forwards through time, the law holds true.


This is where Christians differ in opinion on origins.  Our faith is in an uncaused first cause.  God exists outside of our universe and it’s laws.  God is not enslaved to the law of cause and effect because He created that law.  He is beyond the scientific laws and rules that confine atheists to purely scientific answers for many of the “big questions” in life.


It’s interesting that when Moses asks God what His name is in Exodus 3, God’s response is, “I AM who I AM.”   This can be roughly translated from Hebrew as meaning “BE”.  God says his name is “BE”.  Always was, always is, always will be.  The uncaused first cause.  Later in the New Testament, Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”  Always was, always is, always will be. The uncaused first cause.   


The difference between Christians and Atheists is this: Christians place their faith in God (the uncaused first cause) to explain our beginnings whereas Atheists place their faith in a forever unknowable scientific explanation for the universe’s origins.


So which belief system takes more faith?


Sometimes I think about it like this:

Am I a random meaningless chance, or an intentionally created idea brought into being by the uncaused first cause?


I know where my faith is placed.  What about you?
The logic outlined above is based on the Kalem Cosmological Argument.  The Kalem Cosmological Argument was named by Jewish and Muslim scholars who popularized it in the 11th century.  It is an argument for the existence of God by studying the law of cause and effect.  More recently, Christian scholars such as Dr. William Lane Craig have modernized it to withstand greater philosophical scrutiny.

  4 comments for “Atheists have faith, too.

  1. January 13, 2015 at 2:39 am

    I am not a theist OR an athiest. I am a SUMTHINGIST (I believe in SOME things and I believe in SUMMING THINGS) – oh, lets NOT forget I believe in Thing 1 and Thing 2 (Seuss)

    To me (a scientist, granted), my choices are simple. I can believe in CREATION MYTHOLOGY, which is 100% antithetical to ALL LOGIC, MATH, THERMODYNAMICS, RELATIVITY, GRAVITY, SPACE-TIME, etc. OR, I can believe in INFINITY – which is the basis for all the aforementioned. Take away infinity and EVERYTHING in math, science, and astrophysics, (and I believe even metaphysics) BREAKS DOWN. Period.

    Infinity is no different than immortality, or as believers call it “everlasting life” – nor is it any different than the laws of thermodynamics – you CANNOT create OR destroy ANYTHING, including spirit, intelligence, soul… no way – it is ILLOGICAL to think that you can create or destroy ANYTHING.

    The ONLY thing that never changes is CHANGE ITSELF

    Which is a very, very disconcerting meme (to say the least) for worldviews that used to believe we were going to fall off the earth if we sailed out too far, or that all light showed through HOLES IN A DRAPE that covered the earth. If you polled AMERICANS (who are supposed to be educated) only 2/3 of them can answer accurately whether the earth revolves around the sun or vice versa!!! uh huh. we remain HARDLY A SENTIENT SPECIES – we aren’t even through the first trimester of the sentient species birth canal.

    • Mark Strickland
      January 13, 2015 at 7:00 pm

      I agree with you that Americans (and in my case, Canadians) are falling behind in education. I’m a teacher so hopefully “we” can continue to improve on the next generation. I also appreciate your honesty regarding the nature of belief / faith in the unchangeable or infinite. We have come to different conclusions but traveled a similar journey.

  2. Taf
    January 13, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    Great food for thought

  3. July 22, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    I’ve been recently wondering about the very same issue personally recently. Happy to see another person on the same wavelength! Nice article.

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