She asked: "Isn't the entire purpose of being an Atheist to not have faith?" and followed with: "How could you compare the love that the faithful have for our God to the faithlessness of an Atheist?"This made me wonder why anyone would assume that an Atheist doesn't have faith? And this is a question I have encountered over and over again online and have never understood the thinking behind.
The definition of Atheism is NOT to be faithless, it's simply to hold no belief in God. Many (but hardly all) Atheists I know believe in "other" energies, spirits, ghosts and so on. But even those who do not still continue to have faith. They have faith in themselves, in the world around them, the physical, the intellectual... In science and reason... In love and justice... In the righteous and just... The lack of faith in a God or even in the spirit realm is not a lack of faith in life. It's simply a form of belief which doesn't include things that can not be proven. No more, no less!
This concept should not be so foreign to those of us who have faith in Gods or Spirit realms or even Magick... For don't we also have a similar faith in what can be proven? It would be strange not to! I mean, I have yet to meet a Christian, Pagan or anyone else who has questioned the idea of atoms or particles which make up rocks... I can't see them, I can't taste them, I can't feel them... But does that mean I don't have faith that they exist? Of course not! Because some guy in a lab coat with a REALLY REALLY powerful machine CAN SEE THEM! And can prove to me and the world that they are there. Doesn't it take faith for me to believe it if I can't see it though? To me any time you take someone's word that something exists without first testing it yourself it's a matter of faith.
Okay, I'm starting to ramble, but the point is the same... Pagan, Christian, Buddhist, Atheist, we ALL believe in SOMETHING! Some of us believe in things which are "greater than self" others do not. But in no way does one's belief or faith not exist simply because it doesn't fit in to someone else's definition of the word!
Originally posted on my blog "One Witch's Wonderland" on 6/5/11
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