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What is an Atheist?

Can we know that God exists? The skeptic doubts God’s existence because it can’t be proven by science. The agnostic says it’s impossible to know whether God exists. But the atheist firmly declares, “There is no God.”

The skeptic is not in such a bad place. For anyone might doubt a truth, and be mistaken about how that truth can be proven. A skeptic believes that only sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell are reliable indicators of truth. But with a little friendly encouragement to think at a slightly different angle, skeptics may easily recognize that realities they hold dear in their everyday life cannot be proven to exist by science. What is the smell of beauty? What does love taste like? Does honesty have a sound or a texture? Most people will agree that these concepts are real—your love for your children is as real as any mountain range or galaxy. I would gladly let the mountains and galaxies go, rather than relinquish my love for my family as a delusion. Just as you cannot prove the existence of joy or hope using the scientific method, you cannot use that wonderful but limited tool to prove God is. But we know in our inmost center that joy, hope, beauty, honesty and love are real, “and so is God,” our soul whispers to us, quite apart from our eardrums or our fingertips.

The agnostic says no one can know whether God exists. We’re limited creatures, and we’re unable to get real knowledge about God. Perhaps she’ll be glad to know that this is not true, because though we are limited, God is not, and He’s quite capable of making Himself known to us. He’s done it, too, in a myriad of ways, from DNA to flamingos to the Bible to the aforementioned love for our families that we experience. We just have to open our eyes to the evidence of God splashed across the skies and heaped about us all over the planet.

The atheist is a different creature. He has put all his eggs in one basket, and declared that God is not. It takes great hubris to maintain this, however, because he can’t prove it one bit. He can’t prove Someone is not, unless he has been everywhere Someone might be. Currently, I believe atheists are limited to one planet in one galaxy, and about four dimensions of existence. Does the atheist know everything? If not, he must admit that God might exist and he just doesn’t know it, yet. The atheist really has just decided to believe, or at least act as if, God does not exist, which is a different matter entirely and a very sketchy lifetime plan, in my opinion.

If I may suggest an alternative to those identifying themselves as atheists, agnostics, or skeptics…become a seeker after Truth. Determine to search for it unceasingly, and follow the evidence wherever it might take you. Allow for the possibility that the universe is grander and wilder and magnitudes more astonishing than you had previously suspected. You have only your cramped, materialist worldview to lose and a mysterious, magnificent, love-saturated, everlasting reality to gain.

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