I have been an atheist for almost twenty years (although I would never have called myself that at the beginning). The reason I’ve started this blog is very much related to that–I want people to know what atheism really means, that it’s far more common than you might think, and that it’s okay to want to have reasons for what you believe.
Contrary to the opinions of many Christian apologists, atheism is not the claim that “there is no God.” Atheism is simply someone without theism. In other words, a theist is convinced that a god or gods exist and an atheist is someone who is not convinced that a god or gods exist.
While some would term these “hard atheism” (there is no god) and “soft atheism” (I am not convinced), the root word is often purposely misused as a pejorative and conflated with arrogance, ridicule, and stubborn foolishness.
Some would prefer the term “agnostic” but that is really a different thing. Agnostics don’t know whether a god exists and Atheists don’t believe that a god exists. You may have seen some version of this diagram before but in case you haven’t this is the key piece to understanding why many atheists are working hard to set the record straight on what that means for them.
So yes, one of the reasons for starting this blog is to help clarify an equivocation fallacy that many theists use when lumping all atheists into the gnostic atheist category. If you want to have a discussion about the burden of proof, the reasons for belief, and what should or should not be convincing, that’s great! But let’s start on the same page with our terminology.