Lack of belief in God is too subjective

by Matt Slick

Most atheists that I have encountered in the past few years have abandoned the definition of of "atheism" as being the belief that there is no God. That assertion is impossible for them to defend. So, they have gone to a definition which says "atheism is a lack of belief in God". I've written several articles on this and here is another. Lack of belief is a subjective issue. Therefore, I present this series of points I hope demonstrates it another problem with that definition.

  1. Belief is an experience, just as thinking and love are experiences.
  2. Belief is the subjective experience of an individual.
  3. Lack of belief is a lack of this subjective experience.
  4. An atheist who challenges the Christian to convince him that God exists is asking the Christian to induce belief by overcoming the atheist's personal lack of subjective experience.
  5. But, the Christian cannot grant the atheist this subjective experience, since it is, after all, purely subjective to the individual.
  6. In addition, being convinced of something based on information is also a subjective experience since what convinces one person might not convince another.
  7. Therefore, the atheist must provide the criteria by which his personal subjectivity can be affected and belief be the result.
  8. If the atheist, for whatever reason, does not provide this criteria, then he should not ask the Christian to demonstrate that God exists, and induce belief, since he is asking the Christian to overcome his personal subjectivity without providing the subjective criteria by which this might be accomplished.

So, when atheists who "lack belief in God" ask Christians to prove that God exists, they're asking them to overcome the atheists subjectivity. This is, of course, problematic.


About The Author

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