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Atheism and Faith
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I keep coming across the well-worn canard that atheism is basically a religion in disguise, and related ideas such as scientists rely just as much on faith as religious adherents, and that it takes just as much faith to be an atheist as a believer in god.

First off, I've many times gone over the atheist/agnostic distinction, so that basically it is intellectually bankrupt to categorically deny the existence of god. Very few truths can be claimed with absolute certainty. But while I can't rule it out, I believe in god about as much as I believe in unicorns or leprechauns. As Dawkins points out, everyone's an atheist, with regard to each others' conceptions of god and bygone religions. The belief in the Christian and Muslim conceptions of the universe are mutually exclusive, and they're both atheists with regard to Zeus or any religion that's fallen out of favor in the history of humankind.

Anyway, we all believe what we believe based on weighted pieces of evidence, some of which are better than others, and deserve different weightings. The difference is, adherents of religion heavily weight evidence from authority and word of mouth...(to be continued).

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