I realize this horridly over used cliché is like something from a "How to Debate an Atheist Handbook" and it reveals the tragic ignorance of the person saying it. However, I still encounter it regularly and it never fails to shock me when a seemingly intelligent person stoops to this type of response to my atheism.
Of course, those who use this statement desperately need to educate themselves about what the term atheist actually means, and I am happy to enlighten them. But I'm curious about how other non-theists respond to this argument. So tell me, how do you respond when someone makes the assumption that it takes more faith in order for someone to be without faith?

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Well it is just patently ridiculous, it takes no "faith" to not believe in anything for which there is no evidence.
It makes me want to crack open their head to check if they've got a brain in there. lol
It varies. Sometimes I ask them how much faith it takes not to believe in leprechauns or unicorns. Or teapots drifting in Earth's orbit.

Usually my first question is why they think that, however, and that usually exposes some fundamental misunderstanding of what being an atheist actually is. Usually it's along the lines of 'Oh, atheists insist that there can't be any god' or 'Atheists believe that everything is due to nothing but random chance', which allows me to start by correcting that misconception.
I like how you turned it back on them by asking why they think that! A very good way to raise their consciousness. :)
And it doesn't raise their defenses as quickly when you ask them to give more details rather than just telling them that they're wrong.
I've never met anyone that stupid, I guess. Or if I have, they have disguised their stupidity well.
Ha ha!! Apparently you've never visited Northern California...we're overrun with them around here! ;)
Or maybe no one discusses atheism in public in St. Louis. I'm in God's country, here.
haha Ironically enough I have had the great fortune of never having met anyone with sharp enough wit to respond with this reply. I live in the Southern United States (the bible belt) and usually the responses I get are "Well Atheism is a Religion too" and "You're just biased". OF COURSE IM BIASED. but, at least, we Atheists, ARE OPEN MINDED. lol
Oh Matthew, I have had those same responses! They are everywhere, even in supposedly liberal Cali! lol
I first ask the question "Specifically what does an Atheist take on faith?" Invariably, they say "that there is no god", at which point I can point out that they don't take it on faith, they simply haven't been convinced of the omnipotent being that nobody sees that works in mysterious ways. This usually devolves into a question of who or what created the universe. My response is that if the universe must have been created because it is too complex, then the creator, being also complex, must have been created. Recursive creation invalidates Christian beliefs and usually throws the theist off their 'game'.
Sometimes the theist asks for proof that a god doesn't exist instead. This is deflectable by asking for proof that there is no Shiva or no reincarnation. (Really pick any conflicting religion from the one represented by your 'accusor') Many will go the route of mythical creatures, but I think many theists would take that example as an insult and shut down, so i try to stick to other widely accepted religions.
Awesome response! I have used the mythical creatures as examples before, such as unicorns and fairies as well as other gods. This is where it can get tricky, because the very devout believer will answer with, "Well they are wrong! There is only one true god!" These are the ones who have pretty much permanently turned their brain off, so you really cannot go much further with them. Because once you try to point out that they really can't know FORE SURE which god is the "true" god, they won't listen anymore.

I have also had the issue with someone insisting that "belief" in science is the same as belief in a deity. That is a whole new ballgame when they start to go there. LOL

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