Do atheists exist?

A pastor I respect just posted an article on facebook questioning whether Richard Dawkins’ atheism is genuine. (My answer: of course it is.)

He followed it up by saying:

This confirms my Bible-based conviction that there are no genuine atheists; only God-haters. See Romans 1:18-32.

I really, really wanted to respond by saying:

See Psalm 53:1. This confirms my Bible-based conviction that there are no genuine God-haters; only atheists.

The relevant portion of the Romans 1 passage says this:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

and Psalm 53:1 says this,

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”

So, what is the resolution of these two apparently contradictory passages?

And while we’re at it, do these passages mean that we should accuse atheists of being either fools or liars? That seems wrong to me. I’d like to grant people more respect than that, but how does that fit with these two passages?

Maybe I’ll write up my answer later, but for now I’ll leave all this out there for you all to mull over.

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1 thought on “Do atheists exist?

  1. This particular topic has actually come up in a discussion between me and several of my “atheist” friends. I think it’s the term itself that’s the issue. An “atheist” by strict definition is a person who is “godless” ( Look it up on it has some interesting definitions for synonyms).

    I think that a lot of atheists may use the term “atheist” because it is something that most people easily comprehend.

    “Oh, he/she is an atheist. That means they don’t believe in God.” Etc.

    Upon further reflection after the above stated conversation, I realized that atheist is an oversimplification or perhaps just the wrong term altogether. You know me and my need to be precise in my terms…

    I think that this bit from is more precise..

    “An atheist is one who denies the existence of a deity or of divine beings. An agnostic is one who believes it impossible to know anything about God or about the creation of the universe and refrains from commitment to any religious doctrine. Infidel means an unbeliever, especially a nonbeliever in Islam or Christianity. A skeptic doubts and is critical of all accepted doctrines and creeds. ”

    I think that would make me an atheist and a skeptic.. perhaps more of a skeptic, but mostly with regards to religious doctrines and supernatural claims. You get what I mean… and if not, then I guess I will see you after class some Friday 🙂

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