The Atheist’s Creed
The term “creed” derives from the word “credo,” which means “I believe.” Now, an atheist is someone who does not believe in God. Because atheism is characterized by non-belief, atheists do not subscribe to any formal creed. However, not believing in God implies believing in an alternative worldview which excludes the existence of God. So even though atheists might not subscribe to any formal creed as such, they do follow an often unstated creed of sorts. After all, even though atheism as a system of thought might seem like a negative belief system (“negative” in the sense of rejecting belief in the existence of God), beneath the surface of denying God’s existence is a system of thought that assumes positive beliefs (“positive” in the sense of affirmations of belief). So while consistent atheists reject belief in the existence of God, they cannot help but affirm (in credo, “I believe in” fashion) alternative beliefs (such as belief that the material universe of time, space, matter and energy is all that has, does or ever shall exist, objectively-speaking).
If a consistent materialist atheist were to compose a creed, what would such a creed affirm? The atheist’s creed would look something like the following:
(1) I believe that something came from nothing.
(2) I believe that life arose from non-life.
(3) I believe that consciousness arose from that which was inherently non-conscious.
(4) I believe that morality arose out of a material universe which by definition is inherently non-moral.
(5) I believe that order arose out of disorder by a random, unguided process.
(6) I believe that the apparent design, purpose and orderliness of the universe are illusions which most certainly cannot be ascribed to a designer, and that it is a delusion to think otherwise.
(7) I believe that human thought, reflection and the capacity for reason can be trusted to yield true understanding of the external world and ultimate realities, even though in a consistently materialist atheist worldview human thought and rationality are merely chemicals firing off in our brains — chemical reactions which are the result of a blind, unguided evolutionary process which didn’t have us in mind.
(I’m sure that some atheists would look at the above “creed” and argue that I have mischaracterized their views. To which I would reply: “With which of these assertions would you, as an atheist, disagree?”)
And atheism is suppose to be “rational”?
In the words of the title of a book written by Dr. Norman Geisler and Frank Turek, “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist”.
(Credit: The above “creed” is based on statements made by the late Christian apologist and OPC pastor, Dr. Greg Bahnsen, in a recorded lecture he once gave on Practical Apologetics.)