Atheist: I have faith, but I don’t believe in religion.
Believer: You mean like you’re spiritual instead of religious? Yeah, me too. It’s all about a personal relationship with God.
Atheist: No, I mean, I don’t believe in anything spiritual. Physical stuff is all there is, that’s my belief.
Believer: What? But how could everything have got here without a God? There must have been a Creator.
Atheist: Yeah, I’ve heard about that, I just don’t really believe in it, y’know? It’s just my belief that we came from nothing.
Believer: How could something come from nothing? I don’t understand how you could even think that.
Atheist: No, I mean, I know, I get it. It’s not about proof or logic or anything, it’s about faith. You could even say that it’s not rational, I don’t deny that. It’s just what I believe.
But – That’s…umm. I don’t think that makes sense. I guess?
Atheist: Hey, everyone has what makes sense to them. People have a right to believe whatever is true for them. I can’t prove atheism to you, but that’s okay; it’s just my personal belief.
Believer: What about miracles, though? God has saved me so many times. I wouldn’t be here without Him.
Atheist: I think you were probably either hallucinating, or fooling yourself, or maybe just getting lucky about things.
Believer: What?! No way! I was in a car crash and came out without a scratch, not a single scratch. How could that happen without God?
Atheist: Yeah, I see what you mean. I see how that seems to point to God. It’s just my personal faith that things like that are just coincidences.
Believer: Well, what about evolution? You don’t really believe we all came from a bacteria, do you? Is that really logical?
Atheist: My friend, I think maybe the difference between us is I am willing to believe things on faith. I know these aren’t logical beliefs, but faith isn’t about that. Evolution just makes sense to me, personally. I don’t have to prove it to anyone else.
Believer: But you can’t just answer everything with “faith.” You’re really not even going to defend these ideas? I’ve asked about how something could come from nothing, how miracles could happen all around us, every day, how evolution could really be true, and you admit that none of it makes sense. Isn’t it time to recognize the true God?
Atheist: What’s wrong with faith? My faith is everything to me! I’m not trying to push what I believe on you, why are you trying to push your beliefs on me?
Believer: It’s for your own benefit! You need to know the true God so that He can save you and bless you in your life.
Atheist: Maybe this God is true for you, but atheism is true for me.
Believer: What does that even mean? God is out there. He exists! It doesn’t matter whether you believe in Him or not, He’s not going to stop existing. He’s there for everyone to see; you can see how nothing makes sense without God as an explanation, so why don’t you believe in Him?
Atheist: Is all that really why you believe in God? Because it makes sense? Don’t you believe in anything just because of faith, even if it doesn’t make sense?
Believer: Well…no, not really. God makes sense. I just use the reason he has given me to acknowledge that He is there. Faith is about trusting in God, you can’t just use it to deny common sense.
Atheist: So, if these things could be explained without God, you would stop believing in God?
Believer: What? No, I – I know God is there.
Believer: Like, I said, all of this, the beauty of the world, and the majesty of God’s creation had to come from somewhere.
Atheist: I don’t know how to disprove that; I see why it might compel some people who don’t have as much faith as I do to abandon atheism. But if that could be disproven somehow, in a way you could understand, would you then accept atheism?
Believer: Well, no. Even if that were disproven (not that it could be), I still know that God has saved me in my own life, both spiritually and physically.
Atheist: And if those things were also explained somehow, to your satisfaction, would you then have no reason to believe in God and accept atheism?
Believer: No, I would still believe. My faith is…umm…strong.
Atheist: I think my faith is stronger, though. It takes more faith to believe in all of these things that don’t make sense than to believe in something that seems to have evidence for it.
Believer: Wait, doesn’t that mean I’m right? Are you sure you didn’t just admit that we should believe in God and not atheism?
Atheist: You think the belief that takes less faith is the true one?
Atheist: You seem to have a low opinion of faith, my friend. Why should it be a bad thing that a belief takes more faith? Faith is a virtue, and my belief in atheism can only help me develop more faith.
Believer: But…my belief takes less faith because it has reasons! You can’t say that reasons are a bad thing.
Atheist: Well, it takes more faith to believe in atheism than in God, because it makes less sense, right? So more reasons equals less faith. QED
Believer: Look…I guess…we both have our beliefs, and…I don’t know…Praise Allah.
Atheist: Well, just to be clear, are you saying that we can’t just use “faith” to answer everything, that we can’t believe in things that don’t make sense, that something can’t be true for someone and false for somebody else, and that a belief should have reasons for it?
Believer: Yes! That’s all common sense!
Richard Dawkins: Hmm…this shouldn’t take long. Excuse me, sir…