Today I’d like to put forward an idea you might not have considered: that atheism is built on a foundation of blind faith. That might surprise you given the typical atheist vitriol directed against Christians accusing them of blind faith, or “believing in spite of the evidence”, and so forth. But let’s work through this today and see where the evidence leads.
First, let’s define key terms. What do I mean by “blind faith”? Faith is simply trust. If you say you “have faith” that a friend will do well in a performance, it’s a way of saying that you trust that they will perform well, perhaps because you have personally seen them practice, or have heard from others of the long hours they have invested in practice. The Greek word used for faith in the Bible (πιστις, pistis) was also used by secular authors of the same time to denote instances of trustworthiness . And the Bible gives us a definition of faith that is very compatible with our English word “trust”: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” [Heb 11:1]. Our trust in God, based on His record of what He has done, is what gives us assurance and conviction about those things not yet done. Consider how frequently God reminded the Israelites of His past miracles in bringing them out of Egypt. This was a constant reminder to them that He had been trustworthy in the past, and should be trusted in their current and/or future trials. That is belief because of the evidence. Now, blind faith is also trust, but it is trust without evidence. For example, while I appreciated the encouraging intent behind the comments, friends who said they had faith in me that I would do well on a recent engineering exam, without having any familiarity with my engineering work, were actually exhibiting a blind faith in me. Blind faith, or trust without evidence, can still be correct, but it is only accidentally correct, and not a place any of us should really want to stay. Now, with that understanding of what blind faith is, let’s look at 3 areas where I think atheists demonstrate this trait.
- Atheists tend to trust in the goodness of man. As they are fond of plastering advertisements on buses that “You can be good without God” and so on, this seems a fair statement of their view. Of course, there’s the little problem that “good” isn’t good enough before a perfect Judge, but they also generally seem to think that humanity is on an ever-evolving upward spiral of advancement, especially compared to the “primitive Bronze-age sheepherders who wrote the Bible”. I would not only say this is without evidence, but rather that this is in spite of the evidence. Atheists like to point to a handful of people dying at the Salem witch trials, thousands dying in the Spanish Inquisition, and hundreds of thousands dying in the Crusades, but this last century has been the bloodiest in human history, with low estimates of around 60 million being killed by regimes that rejected any accountability before God (and that’s not counting any wars). I don’t think it’s a coincidence that regimes like Lenin, Stalin, and Mao Zedung felt empowered to slaughter any of their own citizens who were perceived to be threats to their power. In an atheist state, the government is god.
- Atheists tend to trust in future explanations of past events that contradict their worldview. How the universe could have a beginning (as the Standard Cosmological Model, or “Big Bang” has pointed to for the last hundred years) without a Beginner defies explanation, but don’t worry: “Science will explain it someday, and it certainly won’t involve any God!” Likewise for the origins of life. Likewise for the incredible fine-tuning of both our universe and our biosphere, both balanced on a razor’s edge to support life – and advanced life at that – in a very special location. Likewise for an explanation of consciousness in this one species of advanced life on this one oasis of life in a (so far) barren cosmos. But just ignore the issues that are problems in an atheistic universe, but readily explained in a God-ordained universe; we’ll figure out the “real” answer someday….
- Atheists tend to trust in possible future events rather than present observation. As mentioned previously, Earth is, so far, a lone oasis of life in a cosmic desert. But we can’t be alone in an atheist universe. There must be nothing special about us in an atheist universe; for uniqueness and remarkable suitability for one’s environment can make the mind wander too close to thoughts of purpose and design and… a Designer. So while we seem to be absolutely unique in the universe so far, “Science” will someday find abundant extra-terrestrial life out there and confirm all our hopes of meaninglessness and anonymity in the crowd. For the atheist, “Science” is their savior that will someday deliver them from present signposts pointing to God.
All truth is God’s truth, for truth is the way things actually are, the way God made them. In trying to deny the existence of God, atheists must cling to unsupported dogmas because reality will always point back to its Creator. We can place our faith in a fallen humanity that will disappoint us just as much 1,000 years from now as it did thousands of years in the past. We can place our faith in future events that may never occur, or future explanations of past events that may never be answered. Or we can place our faith in our Creator, who has left His real and present signature across the cosmos and in every cell of our body, implanted a craving for eternity in our very souls, and demonstrated His love for us throughout recorded history, but most especially in His gift of Jesus. Will you choose the blind faith of atheism, or the reasonable faith of Christianity?
 See my blog post from 1/12/2015, here, for more information.