What Would Make Me An Atheist?

It’s common for people to ask each other what would cause them to change their minds about something.  People ask Christians what would convince them to become atheists, and people ask atheists what would convince them to become Christians or theists.  During the debate between John Lennox and Michael Shermer, each debator was asked what could change their minds and they gave the pieces of evidence that they thought would convince them (though Shermer’s was a bit jocular).  It’s a fair question.  What would convince me to change my mind?

Honestly, I have no idea.  I can certainly think of some things that might change my mind, but they might not.  I can also think of things that I don’t think will change my mind, but perhaps they will.  For example, I might say that if someone showed that the universe did not have a beginning, I would change my mind since that goes against creation ex nihilo.  But if it actually happens, it might just cause me to reexamine some particular beliefs of mine without changing it as a whole.  Or perhaps I’ll claim that the death of a friend, or some other evil state of affairs, will not cause me to disbelieve, but I have no way of knowing that.

So, if someone were to ask me that question, my answer would be a rather unsatisfactory “I don’t know.”

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