“Atheism a faith position too” – best shot?
While we run the “atheism is a faith position too” competition, perhaps we should also, to be fair, try and see what the strongest argument for this claim might be. We looked at some really terrible ones back here (The Dawkin’s Delusion‘s author Alister McGrath‘s version is pretty awful [well, it’s an assertion, not an argument], despite his Oxford don credentials). But perhaps the theists can do better.
Here’s an opening suggestion or two from me.
(1) Science is dependent on inductive reasoning. It is based on the assumption that what has happened up till now provides us with a good, if not a fool-proof, indication of what will happen in the future. Unfortunately, as Hume points out, this assumption cannot be justified. But then inductive reasoning cannot be justified. In which case science cannot be justified. It too ultimately rests on “faith” – faith in that background assumption. And if atheism is based on science, then it too rests on a “faith” assumption. So you see, atheism and theism are intellectually on par. Both are ultimately “faith” positions.
(2) Here’s another version. The sceptic about the external world shows that our belief that our senses are a reliable guide to reality cannot be justified. But then, as science and indeed all our beliefs about the external world are based on the assumption that our senses are a reliable guide to reality, they too are rooted in “faith”. So belief in God is no more a “faith position” than is empirical science.
What, if anything, is wrong with these arguments?