No matter what you’ve heard, atheism is a belief; a belief that God does not exist.
Atheist – Etymology: 1570s, from French athéiste (16c.), from Greek atheos “without god, denying the gods; abandoned of the gods; godless, ungodly,” from a- “without” + theos “a god”
Of course the problem with beliefs is that they make assertions and assertions can be questioned. Then you have to explain, and provide evidence, and logic… What a hassle, right? Agnosticism, on the other hand is the lack of belief so it’s nearly impossible to debate against because the other side has nothing to defend, nothing to say, and nothing to prove.
Note: this is not to say that Agnosticism is a superior logical position. It is not. It is untenable and utterly useless as a world view. That’s another topic all-together.
At some point atheists started using the agnostic position of doubting the existence of God to further their own agenda – to get more people self identifying with Atheism. People know that Atheism is a disbelief in God. If the atheists can project the impression of winning the argument, people will call themselves atheists and deny God’s existence in droves.
Under the cover of agnosticism they can say that they don’t believe in God without actually saying it. They say they lack belief that God exists but they don’t deny God exists. Clever, Huh? It sounds like they don’t believe that God exists. Maybe they do believe that, That’s not the point. The point is they’re not backing it up. They’ve weaseled their way out of the need to provide support for the belief by denying they have a belief at all. It’s intellectually dishonest and lots of people just are not aware.
All people see and hear is how deist fail time and time again to prove that God does exist. The deist is on the offensive and the atheist position looks bullet proof. It looks convincing. It seems like doubting God is the wise choice.
This no doubt has contributed to what I perceive to be an increase in the number of individuals who self identify as atheists – stating openly that they don’t believe in God – thinking the battle has been won; believing the atheists to be more logical, more scientific and superior debaters.
I want to be one of the “wise” people. I want to feel superior and intellectual. I’m going to be and atheist. That small doubt in God’s existence becomes bold statement of supposed sophisticated philosophical evidence that that God is a myth.
Of course they’d be surprised to find out that the champions of atheism define atheism explicitly as “not having a disbelief in gods or denial of gods”. That’s right. You heard me. According to their own definition if an atheist states affirmatively that they don’t believe God exists, they fail to meet the criteria for atheism. But they are expressing atheism’s beliefs. They are denying God because they don’t know the game and they aren’t paying attention.
Let’s examine the claim that atheism is a lack of both belief and disbelief in God and see where it leads.
Consider any proposition; any statement that can be made. Pumpkin Pie is delicious. You can 1. Believe it to be true. (Lack disbelief) 2. Believe it to be false. (Lack belief) 3. Claim ignorance. (Lack belief and disbelief)
Hmm? Claiming to lack both belief and disbelief in an assertion is nothing more than claiming ignorance. And you denied God because you thought someone was winning an argument about God’s existence when all they were doing was claiming to know nothing.