This is a question all of us get asked: If you don’t believe in God, what do you believe in?
There are also a lot of similar answer most of us tend to give: I believe in the goodness of people, I believe in nature, I believe we all find different ways to answer that question, I believe in the Golden Rule, etc.
It’s really just a bad question. Just because we don’t believe in a God doesn’t mean we don’t believe in anything. And just because someone says they do believe in God doesn’t mean we know anything else about them.
… I do believe in plenty of things (love, the beauty of the universe, the joy of inquiry and discovery) but when confronted by a religious person with that question I always get the feeling that they want me to give one clear and simple “God substitute” that gives final and total meaning to my life.
I have no pseudo-God so I end up hesitating or appearing to be much less clear on what I do believe in than what I don’t.
I think it’s important to be able to answer a question like this because failure to do so only reinforces one of the more insidious stereotypes: that atheists “don’t believe in anything.”
How do you respond to the question?
Do you know of any response that just leaves the questioner breathless?