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Atheism requires more faith than religion (Contender: Pro)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/15/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 536 times Debate No: 92756
Debate Rounds (4)
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Does a lack of belief in any god require more faith than belief?

Atheism: Disbelief in any deity based on the lack of evidence (fair definition for both sides)
Faith: Belief without evidence, blind belief.
Religion: Any religion.

Pro may start arguments in Round 1.

Good luck.


I am a devout atheist.

I dismiss most aspects of theistic thought as basic nonsense.

I require deep faith to do this. Let me make the point.

A theist cannot possibly, really, really believe. We as life forms are not programmed to believe in the nonsensical. Yes, we have the ability to create or induce belief but this must be a conscious act by us and an intended course of self deception. I propose that the vast majority of theists are pretending they believe. Unless they have undergone extreme levels of coercion or pressure of some sort from their leaders of their societies then they are really only playing at inducing their internal faith. Do the people of North Korea, love Kim Jung, Yes they do and no they don't. If there was a successful coup , then how long would their deep felt faith last. Theism is a game played by the hapless and the unfortunate.

In contrast , atheism is a 'real' life choice requiring deep levels of personal faith.Atheism is a serious undertaking in that you feel a disconnect to many of your loved ones on a fundamental question of 'life outlooks'. You have to believe that what others are saying is 'rubbish'. You have to have deep faith in your own judgement and you have to constantly find the fortitude to resist a deviation towards the 'fanciful'. Atheism is akin to being on a health diet, ie you cannot eat junk food, no matter how tempting it looks. I am a devout Atheist who works on his faith. I cannot declare that I am correct in my atheism because of the overwhelming majority of people who disagree with me. I can declare that I will remain an atheist for as long as my being allows me to and that I will work on this faith system to keep it healthy. I do not want to fall to the sickness of conversion and I build up my immune system by investigation and considering theism, in all it's absurdity of forms. I recognize my vulnerability and in a way, I pray that I will not fall into the everlasting sleep of theism because of my own complacency and lack of faith in my own assessment of things. Thanks.
Debate Round No. 1


Glad to debate you, Pro. But having browsed through your previous debates, I can certainly say that you are not an atheist., given you believe in some kind of deity. Perhaps the term "deist" or "pantheist" would be more fitting?

A theist does not need any extreme coercion or pressure to have faith instilled. Simple indoctrination from early childhood is all that needs, for most of the theistic population. But is your point just because theists just "pretend to believe" that faith isn't associated? Or that their faith is fickle? If not, I could not find any other point in your second paragraph. About the "pretend belief", given that theists supposedly believe in "basic nonsense" as you have agreed, do you not think that would demonstrate even more so that the fuel for this blind belief is faith? On the other hand, if their faith is fickle, theists would most likely become atheist. Faith is what's needed for religion, to just believe in a deity without any empirical evidence. If they did not have strong faith, religion would crumble.

In the last paragraph, you have displayed a drastically warped image of atheism. Here's your definitions:
1) atheists are disconnected to loved ones (perhaps if those loved ones are in a religion)
2) atheists have to believe other's opinions are erroneous
3) atheists have to abstain from what's tempting or alluring

I would recommend you to stop announcing you are an atheist. Atheism merely rejects claims without evidence, and most undoubtedly has nothing to do with any of your 3 totally inaccurate paradigms. As your points are based on these false perceptions, they are invalid - you have stated that atheists require faith to do those things, but atheists don't do anything like that at all.

For the rest of the paragraph, I am pretty sure I can speak for the audience as we do not require an in-depth elaboration about your personal beliefs and struggles.

Atheism, a mere rejection of claims without evidence, requires no faith.

A: God exists.
B: Any evidence?
A: No.
B: Then I don't believe you.

You don't need faith to not believe in unicorns. You need faith to believe in unicorns. It is that simple.

Pro's actual arguments are eagerly anticipated.


Thank You for debating with me.

I am an atheist, by your own definition of same, ie 'Disbelief in any deity'.

You need to deepen your understanding of these matters. Take a simple example, I do not believe in dragons. I do not believe in the mythical phoenix bird. I do however have first hand experience of the actual entity 'fire'. Likewise, I do not believe in Allah, Yahweh, Thor, la di da di dee. I am an atheist. I do not dismiss the reality that people have felt and attempted to describe the mysteries of their cognitive existences on this planet among connected life forms in ways that use the variable 'God' as a means towards understanding and explanation.

I am a human being. I am an advanced evolved primate that has lived for the last 58 years among my species. I have succumbed to all nuances of this state of being. I am not a logic robot and I am not a holier than thou atheist guru. If my wife goes to church on Sunday and I stay at home then we deal with this status quo as a couple. If my son is an atheist and his daughter is not baptized then my wife deals with her fears on these matters in her own private way. If my granddaughter is excluded from religion class in her Catholic School and has to watch her class friends put on their Holy Communion dresses then that is a real and actual concern for the Atheistic stand that her parents are making. If my wife wishes to be buried in a Christian Cemetery while I wish to be excluded from one then that is another real issue that a couple who have been married for 34 years must deal with. I was reared as a Catholic and to the best of my knowledge I am still one. I think they have to throw you out for this state of being to cease. I give you this information to describe to you the daily issues that confront my atheism. I do not live in a linguistically sanitized world and neither do the billions of religious people on this planet. I need to protect my atheism and I need to work on it. I need to have faith in my own convictions on these matters that are beyond our existing comprehensions.

Look at simple examples of the 'faith requirement' ie the UK Referendum on the EU.
The people need to put their faith in their vote. They either believe in the EU concept and the decisions of their predecessors or they believe in the current advice of some of their leaders on this matter. Most of all they will require belief in themselves if they choose to vote to go it alone as an independent UK. Faith is an assimilation of facts based on your own abilities to decide and being an atheist is a 'faith filled' roller coaster ride for us all.

I look forward to your next submission.
Debate Round No. 2


I see, I see. You have quite a lot of problems with being atheist in a religious household. But share them elsewhere if you may, not this debate as it is irrelevant.

But those problems are your personal problems of being atheist in a religious household, not incited by atheism itself. There is a magnitude of difference between the two. Only now I see where you're coming from - the 3 perceptions of atheism, I get why you see it like that now. But it is still not a valid point on why atheism needs faith as those paradigms are nonetheless false.

Let's address those false paradigms:
1) atheists are disconnected to their loved ones - Some, maybe, but if so, this is the individual's personal matter, it has nothing to do with atheism. ATHEISTS may feel disconnected to love ones, but ATHEISM is not a person.
2) atheists have to believe other's opinions are erroneous - There is much difference between thinking someone's ideologies are false and having to believe they are false. I see if you are a husband whose wife is religious, your ideologies may contradict with hers. Again, this is an atheist's problems, atheism is irrelevant.
3) atheists have to abstain from what's tempting or alluring - Perhaps your wife is talking about heaven but you have to reject it, is that why you came up with this idea? Again, this is an atheist's problems, atheism is irrelevant.

Ok, now let's get back to the debate. But before that, I am sorry to have said you are not atheist before considering where your views come from.

Now, what does the UK or EU have anything to do with atheism? And pardon me, what is your point? What is your argument?

"Faith is an assimilation of facts based on your own abilities to decide and being an atheist is a 'faith filled' roller coaster ride for us all."

What? A sentence with no context whatsoever, no elaboration or explanation given? I can't comprehend this...

Well, here's my case.

Often, people say atheism is a faith position because you cannot prove God does not exist. This makes the mistake of assuming that everything that cannot be 100% proven is equally unproven, which is patently false. Atheists do not believe in God because they see no good evidence that such a deity exists. This falls short of full proof but it is fundamentally an evidence-based position. Many theists, however, believe that there is God while fully accepting that there is an absence of evidence for his existence. Indeed, Jesus said that those who believe without evidence have a purer faith than those who demanded evidence. "Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed," John 20:29.


I am starting to enjoy your responses and I thank you for them. I like that you are now starting to mix logic with metaphor and adding a little scripture to spice things up. Not bad for a declared atheist. This latest response contrasts greatly with the black and white 'building block' approach which you displayed earlier.

Let us be clear. Our conversation has been 'kicked to death' many times in the past. As soon as an atheist starts to speak about God they loose the high moral ground. They wish to expound on something that they do not recognize to exist in any shape or form. I on the other hand recognize that the vast majority of my species pursue a faith filled search for the 'God thingy'. I therefore recognize that there must be a reality that underlies these tendencies. I also recognize that as an evolved primate my deliberations on these issues are going to be limited, emotional, subjective and ultimately flawed. I therefore place myself along side these poor wretches, ie in the category of constant searching. I reference religious thought as would a jungle traveller reference tiger tracks. The tiger may lead me to water but it might ultimately devour me. I rely on what I have which is not much, in truth. I must have self belief and fortitude not to follow the norm and this I believe to be faith. The fact that I ignore the considered ramblings of thousands of years of theistic doctrine is because of chance. I was born with the predisposition of the sceptic, I live in an environment that provides for free thought and ultimately I am being an atheist just as a guy would choose to grow a beard. It would be extremely doubtful that I would have the moral courage to declare my atheism under Sharia Law in Syria.

You describe religious and atheistic standpoints as 'ideologies' and I think that that is the perfect word.

= a system of ideas and ideals

Are you aware that the a-typical Atheist dismisses all theistic deductions based on the single fact that they are deduced from deceptions. That is how I view theism. I am anti-theism in the same way that I abhor the violence in 'Game of Thrones'. When I do this I have to deal with the fact that there are marvellous wisdoms embedded within these fortresses of religious thought and not to mention the sheer sense of enjoyment that the young seem to extract from watching the thrones series.
I would be a fool to subjectively appraise all these matters without constantly calibrating my personal abilities to 'call things right'. You need a faith in yourself that is without compromise to do these things and it must be kept healthy through vigilance. We can all fall into the ramblings of bigotry and fundamentalism. IMHO
I look forward to your next submission.
Debate Round No. 3


I am enjoying this debate with you too. Rarely is a debater as civilized as you.

Okay, so to sum up your second paragraph, your point would be:
1) Not following the tiger tracks (religious teachings) would be considered faith to you.
2) As a vast majority of humans pursue a faith for an ultimate being, you recognize that there must be a reality that underlines these tendencies.

I'm sorry, but many of the other sentences are not much relevant to this debate.

But first, my condolences, I can imagine the pain of living under that law as an atheist. But be careful not to go too far with voicing out, alright? I've heard there could be serious consequences.

Now, to address those points. For the first one, I guess with the heavy influence of religion in your country, you would consider "God exists" as the default position, and to not believe is to be considered faith. That is not the case. On the contrary, "no God" is the default, just as a child wouldn't know there was even an idea of a God if he was not introduced into religion. It is then that the child is brought to church, or a mosque, that he is indoctrinated. So, if others tell you there is a God, and you don't believe them, that is not faith, just like you don't need faith to not believe in unicorns. The faith is when people ask you to believe and without asking for any proof or evidence, you believe them.

For the second point, this is what's called a popularity fallacy. Just because a vast majority supports something doesn't mean there must be some truth in it. Just because a vast majority of people like fast food doesn't mean it's the best thing to eat. In this case, people tend to favor comforting lies over painful truths.

"Are you aware that the a-typical Atheist dismisses all theistic deductions based on the single fact that they are deduced from deceptions"


Now, for the wisdom inside religious thought and enjoyment of the people (in this case comfort religion provides), I will have to dismiss this once again as it is not relevant to faith. Faith deals with truth and fiction. To believe fiction as truth you need faith. But the morality (I highly doubt it) or the comfort religion provides is an effect of the faith.

Does a deity exist? --> faith it exists --> comfort

Now, why this is irrelevant is because it deals with the last two parts. Faith is presupposed to have comfort. What this debate is about is the first two parts, whether you need more faith to believe in a deity or more faith to not.

For your last paragraph, I understand you mean one needs faith not to fall into religious fundamentalism. I disagree, this is a matter of critical thinking and reason, not faith.

Your next submission is eagerly awaited.


I wish now to give your submissions, the scrutiny that they deserve. Can I just state at the outset of this dissection that there are no absolute truths for 'evolved primates' such as our selves and that believing in God or Country is as valid for us as living in a cave in Alaska observing moon shadows on the wall. The human is a limited creature that declares 'truth' to a cacophony of celestial laughter, IMHO. Seriously..................................

You attempt to make this point, for example.

'For the second point, this is what's called a popularity fallacy. Just because a vast majority supports something doesn't mean there must be some truth in it. Just because a vast majority of people like fast food doesn't mean it's the best thing to eat. In this case, people tend to favor comforting lies over painful truths.'

I cannot think of a thing that warrants popular 'currency' that is a complete fabrication.Take the example you give and you find the underlying truth that is the fact that we need to eat regularly to exist. God belief has a source and a reality of its own. Man extracted it from somewhere. We should explore the source of this thing which emanates from our earthly existence as humans within life.

You state............

'On the contrary, "no God" is the default, just as a child wouldn't know there was even an idea of a God if he was not introduced into religion.'

If no God was the default, then that position would be the status quo, which it is not. You can only hold the logic of the above statement by declaring that all humans throughout time have been and are, self deceiving idiots. Good luck with that stance as the human as a species has made many real and amazing evolutionary advances. Why would the human 'invent' an entity like God without real stimulus to pursue this. It makes no sense.


In short, this evidence based position that you attribute to the atheist is not an actual reality. Atheist's are not people looking for evidence, as a norm.You will never find evidence for something that you do not believe in. In short, I cannot, not believe in something that someone else believes in while declaring this to be a valid position. I need to express my own opinions and reference them to those of others. A simple example of this is the mossy stone that is the 'origins argument'. If a Baptist tells me that there was a Garden of Eden and that god made man specifically in his image then that is his/her declaration of faith. It is not for me to ridicule unless I have formulated a competing explanation as to how 'all this' came about. How do you think 'all this' happened. Do you go for randomness or what. Regardless of your deliberations you will end up looking at shadows. In this situation the depths of wisdom in religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism carry equal validity with scientific conjecture, IMHO.

Thank You for your participation on this thread and if a third party considers our writings on this subject then I thank them for the generosity of their efforts.

Good Luck.

Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by RedAtheist912 2 years ago
I'm not sure what to say here.

So I'm just going to agree with your last sentence.
Posted by zeromeansnothing 2 years ago
Hi RedAtheist,

You are now going with this definition .....'"A rejection of claims of any deity based on the lack of evidence."

Consider the actual implications of the above.
I am an Atheist. I reject all claims that attempt to describe a 'deity'. ie Allah, Yahweh, Thor, Christ, etc etc including and especially a humanistic old guy on a throne. The reason I do this is because it is fanciful conjecture that is without physical evidence or precedence in my surrounding environment.

I do not dismiss the actuality of my existence and the almost universal tendency for people to feel a commodity that is undefined within our situation that people label with the variable 'God'.

God is real because we collectively detect it through our senses and through our primate intuition. I believe that all life forms can detect this shared phenomena that has not as yet been satisfactorily explored by us. Many of the more enlightened religions expound on the nature of 'being' in ways that are easy to validate by observation, ie Buddhism, Hinduism etc.

In short an Atheist is not a person who does not believe in God, they just do not believe in 'a God'.
Posted by RedAtheist912 2 years ago
Alright, here is the most impartial definition I could find. "A rejection of claims of any deity based on the lack of evidence."
Posted by zeromeansnothing 2 years ago
'Atheism, a mere rejection of claims without evidence, requires no faith.'

How many definitions of Atheism do you want , RedAtheist912. The above is not one!
Posted by vi_spex 2 years ago
a guess is a guess
Posted by CaptainBallarms 2 years ago
Atheism is not the objection to the preposition that any religion is true but that any God exists. Shouldn't your debate therefore be about the truth of preposition of the God exists. Also to what degree do you mean faith? Wouldn't it be more helpful to simply have an argument about which preposition is more likely to be true?
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