I say, I say, I say

Why is an Atheist Like a Four-Sided Triangle?

Because, as defined by Richard Dawkins, atheists are beings with mutually incompatible properties, i.e.  rational beings who think that they know that God does not exist, even though it cannot be proved and is therefore not the rational position.

Atheists do not have faith and reason alone could not propel one to a total conviction that anything definitely does not exist.

Dawkins Richard The God Delusion Black Swan Edition 2007 p.74

If this is all that were to be said about the matter, then Dr Dawkins has just proved that atheists are a delusion. Which would leave some of us with a surfeit of imaginary friends.

Don’t worry, it isn’t all that is to be said.  The word faith is used by religious people, to describe their feelings of trust in God.  Clearly in this sense atheists do not have faith.  This doesn’t mean that they are stuck with reason alone and therefore no way to form emotional commitments.

Atheists too have the ability to form emotional extra-rational beliefs, and are therefore able, like a large number of theists, to believe that fairies, celestial teapots and spaghetti monsters definitely do not exist.

Dr Dawkins, here lists a range of things that he feels (i.e. is emotionally convinced) to the point of outright disbelief (definitely?) do not exist.

All of us feel entitled to express extreme scepticism to the point of outright disbelief – except that in the case of unicorns, tooth-fairies, and the gods of Greece, Rome, Egypt and the Vikings, there is (nowadays) no need to bother.  In the case of the Abrahamic God, however, there is a need to bother, because a substantial proportion of people with whom we share the planet do strongly believe in his existence.

Dawkins Richard The God Delusion Black Swan Edition 2007 p.77

So my dear atheist when even Richard Dawkins is willing to commit himself emotionally to so far beyond what he can prove, there is no reason for you to be ashamed of doing likewise.


Atheism-gravity (Photo credit: AlphaBetaUnlimited)


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