Often we hear statements from atheists that sound something like this: ‘Atheism is not stating any belief. On the contrary, atheism is a-theism, or a lack of belief. So atheism makes no claim to belief, just a lack of belief.’ It would appear that the atheist is not taking a position, but merely expressing a lack of belief.
In response, I ask “Does atheism make a truth claim?” To this, the there is only two alternatives: yes, or no. Either the atheist is making a truth claim or they are not. There is no middle ground, and ‘yes or no’ exhausts the possibilities.
If the answer is no, they are not making a truth claim, then they have made no statement that can be proven, defended, or refuted. If they make no truth claim, then there is nothing about which we can talk, for they have said nothing. Two people cannot agree or disagree when nothing is said.
If the answer is yes, then they have indeed made a truth claim. In this case, the Christian can respond, and there is ground for conversation.
So is the atheist making a truth claim, or not making a truth claim? They cannot be logical and say ‘we are not making any statement about belief ‘ then proceed to make statements about how belief in God is unwarranted. In reality, the familiar claim by many atheists that ‘we are only expressing non-belief, nothing more’ is bogus and untrue. This appears to be an attempt to shift the burden of proof (or disproof) away from themselves and onto the theist. In reality, atheists make truth claims all the time, telling us what they think about the viability of God.
So if the statement ‘atheism is merely non-belief, nothing more’ were true, the atheist would then stop talking and say nothing about theism. But they always seem to go on and make claims to what they believe is true. This is not logically consistent.
Fortunately for theism, there is good reason to believe in the God of the Bible. Start here.