Belief in Atheism
Actually, atheism is like the god named God in that it doesn’t exist. Believers believe in God, and believers believe in atheism, but believing fails to make anything exist. ‘Atheism’ is a made up label from religion used to accuse atheists of all kinds of evil, but the only creed atheists agree about is, “there is no factual evidence that supports the existence of a god named God.” The only creed panatheists agree about is, “there is no factual evidence that supports the existence of any god(s).” With only absence of beliefs as a creed and a condition, atheism cannot be something to “believe in” because it contains nothing beyond that statement of negation. Atheists may “believe in” many things and accept many others as true. Not all atheists support all the same beliefs, and all their beliefs will be recognized by their own common labels among the non-atheists with whom they share those beliefs.
Evidence gets a different treatment with a similar result. Usually, evidence is directly accessible to one or more of our animal senses. It is not something to “believe in” because we can know what it is and verify that with others. “If it looks like dead fish, smells like dead fish, and tastes like dead fish, it is dead fish.” An indirect approach, requiring experimentation after making a prediction, requires data: “If it looks like dead fish, smells like dead fish, I predict that at least 95% of those we try to give it to will agree it is dead fish.” Or, “If we put a ten pound open box of it in the hot sunlight ten hours, then transfer it to a warm room where people wait for us to interview them, I predict that most will agree they were in the presence of dead fish if asked, ‘What is that I smell?’ I also predict that, due to guilt or self-doubt, fewer will acknowledge smelling anything if the box is kept hidden from their sight.” To learn if any of that is true requires an experiment. That is science.
Predictions that make acceptable statements about acceptable evidence get accepted as hypotheses. If a hypothesis passes its trials well enough to deserve trust, it gets accepted. If it fails, it gets rejected/revised and retried/set aside for further study/or consigned to abeyance. Acceptance of a result does not mean it is “believed in”. Science proposes nothing that requires belief or to be believed ‘in’. Nor does it deny anyone that right if they so choose. Those who criticize atheists for any kind of beliefs are pressing a moot idea, or else, without justification, seeking to elevate their own beliefs to the higher plane enjoyed by atheism and science.
Thank you, Tommy, for finding Today’s Sign :)~