Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
It's splitting frog hairs, but I see your viewpoint.
As Achilles says, that's simply incorrect.
But more than that, belitting such an important distinction by calling it "splitting hairs" is rather theistically self-serving.
Perhaps I can put it a little more starkly for you:
Point #1: Christians have an irrational belief that the judeo-christian god exists.
Point #2: Atheists totally lack belief in gods.
This is a rational default position. It is the only rational position.
Point #3: A lack of belief in a thing does not equal "a belief in the lack" of a thing. I don't "believe there are no gods", the question "is there a god?" does not arise in my mind, because no evidence has ever been presented to me that suggests there even MIGHT be a god.
Since there is no evidence to suggest the existence of gods, it is fair to say that we are as close to knowing
that there are no gods as humans can be
. We are as close to knowing that there are no gods as humans ever will be
. It would be IMPOSSIBLE to be any more certain that gods don't exist than we are now. Why? Because there is zero evidence for the existence of gods. We simply couldn't have LESS evidence than we do now. This is as close to an absolute as we will ever get.
So I for one would be perfectly comfortable saying "I know God doesn't exist", because in colloquial terms it's correct. We're as close to knowing as humans can ever be. Just as I know
there isn't a giant purple cucumber hovering above my house, I know there are no gods. Just as I know
that the Sentient Slices of Cheddar Cheese from the island of Mandango don't exist, I know there are no gods. I lack belief in these things totally, therefore I act in the world as if they do not exist.
Let me put it yet another way: Perhaps you'll be able to see the faintly ludicrous quality of someone coming up to you and asking "Do you believe that flying purple polka-dotted elephants DON'T exist?"
Well to suggest that atheism is a "belief that god doesn't exist" is similarly ludicrous. Both technically incorrect and incorrect in all the rest of its substance as well.
So frankly, any attempt to equate atheism to religious belief systems by stating "atheism is just a belief" is... absolutely laughable.