• Why Atheists Need Faith

    From (David P.)@21:1/5 to All on Thu Oct 7 10:44:32 2021
    Why Atheists Need Faith
    By Michael Guillen, 9/23/21, Wall St. Journal

    Atheism’s central conceit is that it's a worldview grounded
    in logic & scientific evidence. That it has nothing to do
    with faith, which it associates with weakness. In reality,
    faith is central to atheism, logic and even science.

    I became an atheist early in life & long believed that my
    fellow nonbelievers were an enlightened bunch. I relished
    citing studies appearing to show that atheists have higher
    IQs than believers. But when I was studying for my
    doctorate in physics, math and astronomy, I began
    questioning my secular worldview.

    Like one of Hermann Hesse’s tormented intellectuals,
    I set off to explore alternatives—beginning with Hinduism,
    Buddhism & Judaism. This turned into a decades-long intel-
    lectual-spiritual journey. Ultimately I became a Christian,
    but along the way I discovered fascinating differences &
    similarities among humanity’s many religions & philosophies.
    I learned that all views of the world differ in
    3 essential ways.

    First, foundation. All worldviews are built on core beliefs
    that cannot be proved. Axioms from which everything else
    about a person’s perception of reality is derived. They
    must be accepted on faith.

    Even reason itself—the vaunted foundation of atheism—
    depends on faith. Every logical argument begins with
    premises that are assumed to be true. Euclid’s geometry,
    the epitome of logical reasoning, is based on no fewer
    than 33 axiomatic, unprovable articles of faith.

    Second, size. Every worldview—that is, every person’s
    bubble of reality—has a certain diameter. That of atheism
    is relatively small, because it encompasses only physical
    reality. It has no room for other realities. Even humanity’s
    unique spirituality and creativity—all our emotions,
    including love—are reduced to mere chemistry.

    Third, deity. Without exception, every worldview is ruled
    over by a god or gods. It’s the who or what that occupies
    its center stage. Everything in a person’s life revolves
    around this.

    When I was an atheist, a scientific monk sleeping 3 hours
    a day & spending the rest of my time immersed in studying
    the universe, my worldview rested on the core axiom that
    seeing is believing. When I learned that 95% of the cosmos
    is invisible, consisting of “dark matter” & “dark energy,”
    names for things we don’t understand, that core assumption
    became untenable. As a scientist, I had to believe in a
    universe I mostly could not see. My core axiom became
    “believing is seeing.” Because what we hold to be true
    dictates how we understand everything—ourselves, others &
    our mostly invisible universe, including its origin. Faith
    precedes knowledge, not the other way around.

    Atheism demands a small cosmos, so that's all secularist-
    materialists see. They bend over backward to interpret
    every pixel of evidence solely in terms of space, time,
    matter & energy. For them, that’s all there is. It’s a
    religious conviction they cannot prove but take on faith.

    Atheists commonly believe that science will ultimately
    demystify everything. But science’s worldview is becoming
    more mystical, not less. Witness supernatural-like concepts
    such as virtual particles, imaginary time and quantum
    entanglement. Even atheist Sam Harris admits: “I don’t
    know if our universe is, as JBS Haldane said, ‘not only
    stranger than we suppose, but stranger than we can suppose.’
    But I'm sure that it's stranger than we, as ‘atheists,’
    tend to represent while advocating atheism.”

    The overwhelming evidence, I’ve discovered, makes it
    crystal clear: Faith is the foundation of the entire
    human experience—the basis of both science and religion.
    Our faith in physical reality drives us to seek treatments
    for deadly diseases like Covid-19, to explore the depths
    of the sea, to invent the perfect source of energy. Our
    faith in spiritual reality drives us to create breath-
    taking works of art, music, and architecture; to see life
    as a divine creation, not an accident of nature; to be
    curious about things that are not of this world.

    For all those reasons and more, I’ve come to learn that
    atheists are greatly mistaken: Faith is anything but a
    weakness. It is the mightiest power in the universe.

    Mr. Guillen is author of “Believing is Seeing: A Physicist
    Explains How Science Shattered His Atheism and Revealed
    the Necessity of Faith,” just out from Tyndale Refresh.


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