Replies to Matt Slick’s ‘Questions for Atheists’ – Part 1

Aaaaaand…. that pretty much completes the background of why I’m an atheist. If you read through it, thanks; I hope it was of some interest. And now, on to other topics.

There are, I have found, quite a lot of people out there with lists of questions for atheists, and I thought that answering some of these might make for interesting discussion. I decided to have a shot at this list of questions, from an evangelism group called CARM (the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry), run by Matt Slick. It’s a long list (and he has two more after that!) so my plan is to break it down over multiple blog posts.

1. How would you define atheism?

Nonbelief in any form of a god or gods.

2. Do you act according to what you believe (there is no God) in or what you don’t believe in (lack belief in God)?

I don’t understand what the difference would be in terms of my actions. I mean, the only effects my atheism has on my actions are that I don’t join any form of religion and that I’m writing this blog, and both of those are ways I’d act with either belief.

3. Do you think it is inconsistent for someone who “lacks belief” in God to work against God’s existence by attempting to show that God doesn’t exist?

Again, I’m not quite sure I follow the question. How would it be inconsistent for someone who lacks belief in God to attempt to demonstrate the reasons why they believe that? And what does ‘work against God’s existence’ mean? Did you mean ‘argue against God’s existence’? (I’m not trying to be awkward here; I just want to avoid a situation where we end up tied up in knots talking past each other because I’ve tried to interpret something you’re asking but misunderstood it.)

4. How sure are you that your atheism properly represents reality?

Probably about as sure as you are that your Christianity properly represents reality, although obviously for different reasons. 🙂

5. How sure are you that your atheism is correct?

I don’t understand how this is different from the previous question. (Unless I misunderstood the previous question and you were actually asking me whether I’m sure I’m really an atheist? In which case, the answer to question 4 is that, yes, I’m sure I’m really an atheist, and the answer to question 5 is the one I gave to question 4.)

6. How would you define what truth is?

‘That which is both honest and correct’ is the best definition I can think of.

7. Why do you believe your atheism is a justifiable position to hold?

I think the best way to summarise that is that I don’t believe that any of the reasons for believing in the existence of a god actually stand up to critical scrutiny. If you’re interested in a bit more discussion of my reasons, this post explains why I identify as an atheist rather than as an agnostic, and these two posts discuss reasons why, more specifically, I don’t believe in the God that people in Western culture/religions typically mean when they use the term.

8. Are you a materialist or a physicalist or what?

Hmmm. I’ll go with ‘what’ as I think that best sums it up.  🙂

9. Do you affirm or deny that atheism is a worldview? Why or why not?

I’d say it’s a position that may contribute to informing a worldview, but isn’t a worldview in itself. I mean, one person might develop the view that life is meaningless as a result of becoming atheist; another might feel that this made it even more important to create the best life possible on earth; still another might not care very much or find it particularly important, being more focused on day-to-day tasks and finding those the important things. So, in each case, you’ve got a different worldview, with the person’s atheism being at most one of the factors that help to form it.

10. Not all atheists are antagonistic to Christianity but for those of you who are, why the antagonism?

I find the idea of a god who would doom millions of people to eternal hellfire for not following the correct religion, and who can forgive sins (even the most minor and trivial) only through blood sacrifice, to be reprehensible.

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About Dr Sarah

I'm a GP with a husband and two young children.
This entry was posted in Answers to questions, Atheism and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Replies to Matt Slick’s ‘Questions for Atheists’ – Part 1

  1. dfxc says:

    “How would it be inconsistent for someone who lacks belief […] to attempt to demonstrate […] why they believe that?”
    That’s how.

    Like

  2. Pingback: Answers to Matt Slick’s ‘Questions for Atheists’ – Part 3 | Thoughts From An Atheist

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