Letter to the Editor: Atheism is more rational than religion

Editor:

I am writing in response to Jeff Fullmer’s column (“I’m graduating in philosophy and I believe in God,” April 26).

Atheism is A-Theism. The “a” in front of theism denotes that it is not or without theism. An atheist is simply someone who does not believe in God. An atheist is not someone who believes that God does not exist. That type of positive atheism is very rare, and is as equally dogmatic as some religious beliefs.

It is important to remember that the burden of proof rests on the person who asserts a claim-in this case, the person who believes in God. An atheist does not have to prove God’s non-existence. An atheist can critically examine the idea of God purported by theists without assuming the burden of proof.

Negative atheism possesses the capacity to change. Theism does not. Atheism is not tenacious, or dogmatic-it is rational and critical, unlike many theistic beliefs based solely on faith.

Faith is blind belief. It is an emotional belief without proof. It cannot be confirmed. Faith can provide the grounds of belief for anything from belief in God to pink invisible monkeys. It is imbued with subjectivity.

If belief in God is rational, why is there the need for faith? Why not use reason alone to prove God’s existence?

Fullmer states that faith is hope for something that cannot be seen, but is true. How can something that cannot be seen be verified as true? It cannot. Something has to be true as well as justified to be considered knowledge or rationally justified. Theistic belief is not.

Questioning does not mean rationalizing a belief that has always been held. It means to critically examine a belief without assumption. It is not starting with a belief and then developing reasons for holding that belief after the fact.

Joe Bell

Junior, Sociology and Political Science