Is it true that atheists are simply people who are not convinced there is a God? For some who claim the title “atheist” this is the case even though Webster says the difference between an atheist and agnostic is that an atheist BELIEVES there is no God. But I question those who claim in online debates that they have no belief when some very strongly take the position that there is no God. I question their position even more firmly when they resort to calling God my “imaginary friend.” To say that God is imaginary goes beyond simply not believing that He exists. It is not honest for an individual to say God is imaginary while claiming they do not have a position.
There are anti-religious organizations for those who believe there is no God. Arguably one of the largest is the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Billboards such as the one recently put up in Cobb County Georgia that reads, “Supernatural belief – the enemy of Humanity” make it clear the organization is anti-religion. A press release from the organization claims that by giving up supernaturalism, we all can have a more fulfilling life, though it does not say how. Would it make sense to claim that belief in the supernatural is harmful if one had no opinion on the matter? To believe faith in God is harmful is to have a belief.
People are individuals. Each of us finds fulfillment in our own way. It is obvious that some atheists do not find fulfillment in a life devoid of spirituality. Gabriel Ross Parker, for example, fatally shot two classmates. He said he did it because he was an atheist and his life and the lives of others had no purpose, something that came out in testimony following the shooting. Here is the video. I make no claim that being an atheist leads everyone to become homicidal. To say this would be to make a hasty generalization similar to the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s billboard that says all belief in the supernatural is harmful.
So why would an atheist who believes there is no God claim he or she simply has no opinion? Well, one reason is that it is a good debate tactic. A person who makes a claim has the responsibility of providing evidence for their claim. To take the position that one is not making a claim shifts the burden to the other individual. But it strains credulity when a person who says they are not making a claim refers to God as imaginary and supports a billboard saying religion is the enemy of humanity. Is it not more likely that the god of this world has blinded them to the truth?