Of all the arguments for an against atheism, the most ill-informed is surely

It takes just as much faith to be an atheist as a theist.

This, of course, is patently ridiculous.  Being an atheist requires no faith, not even a little bit.  I have to respond to this argument point so regularly I thought I’d come up with a handy chart for future reference.

Faith Matrix

Click the image to enlarge.

It’s so easy when you put it out in Matrix Form.  But just to make it that little bit easier I thought I’d add some helpful labels, so let’s explore those briefly.

Christians – The majority of modern Christians are fairly easy to pigeon hole on this matrix.  They believe in their God, yet there is no evidence for it.  There is no evidence against it, but there is no evidence supporting their position.  It’s all faith.

Creationists – Creationists occupy a place in this matrix I’ve labelled “Extreme Faith Required”.  Unlike your run of the mill Christian, creationists choose not to believe in something despite the fact there is a mountain of evidence supporting it.  Evolutionary theory, the big bang, the origin of the species, all have supporting evidence, all of which is dismissed.  This isn’t choosing to believe in something which is questionable, this is wantonly ignoring evidence and embracing ignorance.

Atheists – Atheists, or at least true atheists, have no need for faith.  If there is evidence for something, we believe it.  If there is no evidence for something, then we treat it with a healthy degree of scepticism to the point of not believing until evidence presents itself.  To see how I fit in to this, you can read what would make me believe in a a God.

I hope this clears some things up.  The take away, quite simply, is that it requires no faith to not believe in something for which there is absolutely no evidence.