I have to admit, I have a lot of respect for atheists. I don’t agree with them; but I do respect them. I am not talking about agnostics either, but true atheists. Where agnostics basically choose to sit on the fence and not put their faith in any camp, atheists put their faith into the no belief camp; believing what can’t be proven. You can’t prove something doesn’t exist; so, it takes extreme faith to believe that there is no God.
Christians, too, have to have faith to believe what they do. Though God works through our lives on a daily basis, it is possible to explain it away (though you cannot prove it is not God’s work) as coincidence or luck – even karma. What Christians do have is a mountain for proof that there is a creator, an abundance of evidence that a being greater than us is looking over us, loving us and ultimately working for our benefit.
Atheists, however, have to have faith in a lot of things, even if it can be played off as no faith at all. Take creation/evolution for starters. An atheist must have faith that the answer is not God but some other non-intelligent design based theory. For simplicity sake, let’s assume that the answer is based in the secular worldview “Big Bang” theory (I say secular because I, as a Creationist, believe there probably was something like an explosion at the centre of the universe to get us going, I just believe that God caused it!).
To believe that the “Big Bang” happened and that this is no superior being takes a lot of faith. Where did the stuff come from that was mixing before the Bang happened? What sparked it? What stabilized it? Even if you accept that you can never know the specific answers, you have to believe there is an answer. Whereas the Christian faith simply believes God did it, the answer for an atheist has to be more complex than that.
Boiled down to the simplest statements, there are three options we have when it comes to faith. We can decide not to believe (agnostic), we can believe in a superior being (religion), or we can believe not to believe (atheists).