The best analogy I have found is a court of law. At least in modern western democracies, you have to prove (beyond a reasonable doubt) that someone is guilty. You don’t have to prove that you are innocent when there is no evidence demonstrating that you are guilty. It is up to the prosecution to present evidence, and lacking such evidence the defendant is found not guilty.
At the same time, if a jury finds the defendant not guilty they are not necessarily saying that they are innocent. They are simply saying that the prosecution has not met the burden of guilt. The same applies to atheism. It is up to those who claim that gods exist to demonstrate that this is true. In fact, it applies to all positive statements about what is true, that the person making the positive claim has the burden of proof to support the claim. At the same time, the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, just like someone found not guilty is not necessarily innocent.
To use another example, I don’t believe that there is currently a purple Dodge parked next to my car in the parking lot. I don’t necessarily disbelieve it either since there really could be a purple Dodge parked next to my car in the parking lot. Not believing and disbelieving are not necessarily the same thing.[quote=“Mark_Moore, post:33, topic:37604”]
And of course they admit that they are foisting a new definition for the word. Which is not wrong in itself- they have every right to define themselves and not submit to definitions of others- unless they are going to play these kind of word games with definitions. In that case, if they won’t define what they believe in a way that is logical and consistent then the rest of us are within our rights to point out what a logical consequence of their position is. If they don’t like it, they need to be more forthright when defining themselves.
"The only common thread that ties all atheists together is a lack of belief in gods. Some of the best debates we have ever had have been with fellow atheists. This is because atheists do not have a common belief system, sacred scripture or atheist Pope. This means atheists often disagree on many issues and ideas. Atheists come in a variety of shapes, colors, beliefs, convictions, and backgrounds. We are as unique as our fingerprints.
Atheists exist across the political spectrum. We are members of every race. We are members of the LGBTQ* community. There are atheists in urban, suburban, and rural communities and in every state of the nation."
The only thing that makes us atheists is that we lack a belief in. Atheism isn’t defined by what people do believe in.[quote=“Mark_Moore, post:33, topic:37604”]
Ironically, the site encouraged people to own the label, which is kind of what I am saying here with the implications of what is attached to the label. Let’s just be radically honest and own the obvious inferences of our label. They want to own the label, but then make the meaning attached to the label as squishy as jello. Weak.
They don’t want people to shy away from identifying as Atheist because of the false notions and false claims that people make about atheists, such as those you are pushing. They want atheists to engage with other people who have wrong ideas about atheists and atheism, which is what I am doing.