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If atheists' nonbelief is based on a rational, sober assessment of the evidence, reaching the conclusion that belief in gods is unreasonable, this challenges a religion's claims to truths as well as the assumption that theism is rational. Not all adherents of theistic religions recognize the significance of the challenge posed by the mere existence of atheists, but many do and this may why they have tried to come up with many excuses for why atheists don't believe.


Read Article: Atheists Have Never Tried to Find God, Don't Try to Find God

February 9, 2007 at 2:34 pm
(1) John Hanks says:

Seek and ye shall never find. You can’t hunt down any authentic God like it was a prize turkey. You have to wait and learn to quit being do damn phony. God comes as a surprise.

January 15, 2010 at 3:48 pm
(2) dean says:

John, thanks for so quickly providing an example of the kind of Christian Austin was referring to.

I may disagree with Austin a bit on this. I do believe if you seek you shall find: whatever you think you’re going to find if the only signs you need are coincidences and warm fuzzy feelings. Works just as well for Krishna as for Jesus. I’ve had Christians earnestly tell me if I believe first, God will reveal himself…well, that works with any god that communicates through signs, inner voices and special feelings.

Of course the reverse question can be asked of the theist: Have you ever really tried following the evidence or lack thereof where it leads? If the answer is ‘yes’ then: You didn’t really doubt with a skeptical heart. Or maybe: You have to learn to quit being so damn phony.

January 15, 2010 at 3:51 pm
(3) dean says:

Oh, John, one more thing: Are you saying Jesus was lying or mistaken when he said ‘seek and ye shall find’? Perhaps you don’t believe he actually said that? Please clarify.

January 15, 2010 at 4:31 pm
(4) Fauxrs says:

I’ve never searched for god. So yes I’m one of those atheist’s they think are foolish. But here’s the rub, I’ve never searched for unicorns, Apollo, Zeus, Thor or shamash either, do they think I should spend much time looking into them?

What I have done is read the bible, both the OT and NT and I haven’t found anything there that would lead me to believe in ANY gods let alone the jealous destructive and grotesque Xian god.

January 15, 2010 at 6:52 pm
(5) Leah says:

I hate this argument! I get this all the time. I did try to find God. When I tell theists this, the typical response is, “Well, you didn’t try hard enough or long enough or the right way.” Oh, yes I did!

January 16, 2010 at 8:08 am
(6) Eupraxsophy says:

I did try and seek the face of God and instead I found truth. No god that I know of is greater then truth. It has saved me from being ignorant of itself and in turn I have been able to quit drinking and stop believing in superstition. With truth I have been able to move on with my life and give this life purpose and meaning instead of investing in some after-life insurance policy. When I was a Christian I was arrogant and full of pride, but thanks to truth I realized that my god was nothing more than a manifestation of my own pride, and that deception is the wisdom of pride.

I now face, accept, and respect the truth for what it is and I am able to move on with this life and give it self worth as opposed to selfish worth. This is what is known as integrity.

January 16, 2010 at 10:30 am
(7) Liz says:

It is amazing that theists can say something like “You didn’t try hard enough/the right way…” etc. The comment (1) from John Hanks is especially annoying. As someone who was raised Catholic (K-12 Catholic school, church every Sunday and holiday – midnight mass as Xmas and that super-long Palm Sunday extravaganza complete with incense and palm fronds waving), I can tell you I did a lot of different things: praying, singing, Eucharist, confession, listening to priests.

Now, of course, many Xians will say (and I’ve read it in comments on this site and in the forum) that Catholicism is not the “right” kind of Xianity, but come on, how is a 7- or 8- or 10- or 16-year old supposed to *know*?? Shouldn’t god give some kind of sign?

I even studied comparative religions in high school, attended other services (Baptist, Episcopalian, Lutheran, that I remember) and went to Jewish services (Orthodox and conservative). We looked into some Eastern religions too. Don’t you think that god could have given me a little sign?
Seriously, I think that god should realize that someone is sincerely looking and “nudge” that person.

And this “you didn’t look hard enough” or like comment (1) “you looked too hard” or “you didn’t look in the right place” or “you didn’t get immersed/your head sprinkled/incense up your nose…”: that is utter nonsense. What, is god some kind of passive-aggressive teenager?

Now, as a Catholic at mass, I can remember moments of bliss and euphoria. At first I thought that was god, but I soon realized that those moments came when the organ was playing, a choir was singing, and the whole congregation was united in song and prayer. I was euphoric for the moment of connectedness. I experienced similar feelings in other groups/crowds. The human experience of feeling united to a group is exciting and fulfilling.

January 16, 2010 at 11:13 am
(8) Liz says:

Another thought: how many religious people actually went looking for god? Most religious people I know were simply born into a religion.

January 17, 2010 at 4:00 am
(9) Wurdulac says:

“You have just never tried to find God”.

What? Is your god hiding? Do I have to wiggle my fingers, click my heels together thrice while chanting “There’s no god but you” before I can see it?

Look, I’ve been an atheist my whole life (there was a brief period where I wasn’t sure whether or not I believed in some vague sort of god, but I don’t count that). I did go to church on Wednesday nights for like a month or two, though, but that was for my grandparents’ sake. Never really cared about any gods, never really thought about it.

If any god worthy of the name wants me to acknowledge its existence, it knows where to find me.

January 17, 2010 at 8:46 am
(10) sornord says:

Never tried to track down the friggin’ Tooth Fairy either because I outgrew that bit of childish nonsense too!

January 20, 2010 at 11:52 am
(11) Allena says:

So funny, because I am also MUCH more versed on religion and the darned Bible then most of the people who are TELLING me I didn’t try hard enough.

I grew up Catholic & went to Catholic school.

I was “saved” in a Baptist church and spent three years in Baptist youth activities, all over the state, listening to sermons, attending conferences, showing up to Baptist church 3 times a week.

I then moved on to AoG and spent three years in the same environment: traveling the nation to conferences, revivals, etc etc etc.

TRUST ME I looked danged hard! The upshot of what I got was an incredible depth of knowledge about Christianity that I can now quite easily and adeptly use against the converters.

January 20, 2010 at 4:33 pm
(12) Chris says:

I think that this argument (in general, not just his article) will go on forever. Theists and Atheists are two very different types of people. Atheists are looking for logic in their answers. Theists, whether they want to admit it or not, believe in something that is not logical. This is what faith is. In order to be truly religious you have to have faith in things that can’t be seen but which are true. Therefore, someone who is looking for facts (atheist) will never follow religion which believes in illogical things. I myself am a religious person and recognize that what I believe in is not logical but that is exactly what belief is. I believe that is what God requires . . . that we believe in Him without proof that He exists.

January 21, 2010 at 9:37 am
(13) Liz says:

It is wonderful and refreshing to see a post like this. It seems like you have a grasp of the basics that underlie belief.

The problem is simply that there are a lot of religious theists who say there *is* proof. Someone commented on a different blog of Austin’s saying: “Open your heart and chant Jesus is the light and he will come in to your heart” or something of this nature. These are the theists that the blog is describing. They claim that there is some way (opening heart, magic chant to Jesus/god/yahweh/whoever, certain prayer, getting baptized…) that they “feel god” (or Jesus or whoever) and they have their “personal relationship” with their deity. It’s really obvious to them and they think it should be really obvious to an atheist. If an atheist doesn’t see it this way, it’s because an atheist hasn’t searched for god…

when I read descriptions by theists of what they feel when they claim to feel god, sometimes I perceive that actually they are feeling fellowship, a sense of belonging to a community of like-minded people. Sometimes, I see people who had been raised in a religion, something happened where they were disappointed, so they went away for a while. then they find a different religion and they seem to feel relief to have rejoined a belief.

Sometimes, I see people take the coincidences and strange turns of life and claim that it is god telling them the direction they should be going.

February 6, 2010 at 11:05 am
(14) jennifer bell says:

I have rarely in all my 55 years come across a Theist who was consistantly or unreservedly helpful. Atheists and Agnostics on the other hand have been the most “christian” in their attitude to helping their fellow human. I know I can count on most people who don’t hold strong religious views whereas during my active church going years (45 years), I met few “Christians”willing to give of themselves unless something was in it for them or the church. Sad but true.

April 26, 2010 at 11:32 am
(15) Kelvin says:

No atheist or religious person actually looks for God. They may look for their idea of God, but they never actually look for God. All gods in this place are idols – visible and invisible (they just sit there and do nothing. Religion promises nothing in life (it can’t promise anything in life because religion is Godless), but only in some spiritual afterlife where Jesus and Allah are finally acting like they love people). You don’t know if there is 1 God or many Gods, or if God is physical or spirit – but you insist on looking for 1 God or you insist on looking for Jesus – that isn’t looking for God, that’s looking for your idea of God.

“Who are you?” is a good question that no one asks God. “What can you do?” is another. “Are you one or many?” is another. These are questions of true curiousity.

November 25, 2012 at 8:09 pm
(16) Michael Rudas says:

The ultimate question along these lines is WHICH god? The God of the Jews? The big-tent triune God of the Catholics? The God of the Unitarians? Allah? Each has a god-concept that contradicts each of the others. Statements like “We all worship the same God” or “We’re all Children of the Book” are patently false. Since none have proof, there is nothing that makes one version of God more likely than any other; Occam’s Razor trumps Pascal’s Wager to make it EXTREMELY unlikely that ANY gods exist.

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