Is atheism the default position?

by Matt Slick

Many atheists claim that atheism is the default position.  In other words, they claim that when persons are born, they are naturally atheists; and that it is only through indoctrination that they become theists.  But, this claim is nothing more then an unsubstantiated opinion.  How does an atheist know that people are not hardwired to believe in God?  How does an atheist know that children don't naturally believe in God and have to be taught not to believe in God?

If the atheist says that it must be a cognitive choice to believe in God, then again we have to ask how the atheist knows this.  People believe in things without really understanding why, and often times they're surprised at what they do believe in naturally.  So, that doesn't work either.

So when an atheist says that atheism is the default position, he is offering nothing more than an unsubstantiated opinion upon which he wants to build an argument that atheism is somehow valid or superior or natural.  The conclusion is not supported by the premise.

But, what if it is true that atheism is the natural position of the person?  Now, we are not saying that is the case, but what if it were?  Would it mean that there is no God?  Of course not.  Even if an atheist were to hold the position that atheism is the default position (which cannot be verified), what does that have to do with whether or not God exists?  It is irrelevant to the issue.

So, when atheists like to say that atheism is the default position, I like to respond with a request for them to prove it.  They can't.  They need to stop offering unsubstantiated opinions as facts.


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.