July 8, 2006

Letter to the Editor: You Don't Need Faith to be Atheist

This is a great letter to the editor from Florida's Sun-Sentinel. The author corrects a common Christian misunderstanding - that atheists also rely on faith to support their beliefs.

In addition to the points made by the author, I'd like to add that many atheists do not accept faith as a valid way of acquiring or verifying knowledge. Make no mistake - this tendency is not synonymous with atheism. Remember, atheism means nothing other than the lack of theistic belief. I could be an atheist and still have faith that my family was abducted by aliens or some equally absurd notion. However, this does not detract from my original point that many atheists do not accept faith as a valid way of knowing.

I am such an atheist who also rejects the proposition that faith is a valid way of knowing. I believe that knowledge is derived through the senses and evaluated through reason. My lack of belief in god is no different from my lack of belief in bigfoot, alien abductions, Tom Cruise's heterosexuality, etc. I see no evidence to support these beliefs.

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