Atheists have long claimed to be the beacons of reason and sense in a world filled with blind, unreasoned faith and superstitious belief. They clothe themselves in titles like “skeptic” and “materialist.” Despite the fact that Theism and Atheism are very much oppositional beliefs, there are a surprising number of shared ideas and assumptions between the two. Here are five primary ones.
5.) Both Atheism and Christianity are exclusive.
One of the common criticisms of classical Christianity is that by its very nature, it excludes certain people. “If God is loving,” the critic will say, “Why do only some people get into Heaven?” These same people will criticize Christians for taking absolutist stances on right and wrong. Indeed, the Christian stance is that, whether you believe or disbelieve; whether you agree or disagree, these things remain true.
In this sense, the Atheist stance is identical to the Theist stance. By its very nature, Atheism excludes any possibility of the supernatural or non-materialistic. The moment you entertain the idea that there may be more to reality than what the five senses are able to discern, you’ve lost your Atheistic membership.
4.) Both Atheism and Christianity argue for morality.
This point has not always been true. Classic Atheism, like the writings of Nietzsche, made the claim that without a higher being, there is no objective standard of morality. The New Atheists, however, claim that objectivity can be achieved if you simply consider the common goal of peace and the advancement of human society.
In fact, it is on the basis of this morality that the New Atheists are so aggressively against religion, claiming that blind faith in the superstitious can cause people to pursue actions against reason such as suicide bombings.
It need not be defended that Christianity believes in a moral standard. In fact, western society and law is founded in Classic Judeo-Christian morality.
3.) Atheists and Christians both deny Postmodernism.
The primary claim of Postmodernism is that belief determines reality. For the Postmodernist, if a person believes in Christianity, it becomes true for them, while the next person over may believe in Buddhism, and it is true for them.
As mentioned in point number 5, both Atheists and Theists believe that truth is truth regardless of your personal beliefs. This means, essentially, that two opposing viewpoints cannot both be true in the same way at the same time. This is the basis of the essential conflict between Christianity and Atheism. They both assert opposite truths. One or both must therefore be wrong.
2.) Both Atheists and Christians believe in the principles of rational reasoning and logic.
To make an argument that something is true, that argument requires evidence that leads to your conclusion. To deny the process of objective reasoning is to deny the possibility of actually knowing anything.
Much as Atheists may be loath to admit this, the basis of rational thought in Western culture is the church. Modern science and philosophy all stemmed from what is commonly called the Age of Enlightenment, and this in turn was brought about by the standard of reasoning exercised by centuries of Christian Influence. What the Age of Enlightenment did was simply take the same process of rational argumentation that the Church had been using for centuries to reason out their doctrines and theology, and apply it to the natural world.
1.) Both Atheists and Christians believe in Absolute Truth.
All of the points of agreement above tie into this final point. Both sides can agree that the universe is essentially a structured and ordered place that can be studied and understood through the process of reason and logic. This is only true because truth, that which adheres to reality, is reasonable and coherent, and so reasonable and coherent minds can comprehend it.