I am sorry Var, (I was rather tired at the time, blame my weird sleep schedule) I messed up. What I meant to say was if we cannot disprove or prove something (and there is no way of accumulating any evidence for either side, much like this), we should not make a judgment on it. We should not disbelieve or believe it either way. I think this should clear up my stance on this issue.
I don't disagree with your stance. In fact, I completely agree, which is why I have repeatedly said "The default position is to reject the claim until there is sufficient evidence." This also applies to the counter claim. For example, I'll flip a coin.... ok. I have not looked at it and don't know if it was heads or tails, but I will make the claim that it was tails. Do you believe this claim? You shouldn't because you have no evidence, and I just told you I didn't even look at it so you don't even have my word to go on*. So to proper thing to do is reject the claim.
But if you reject that it was tails, it must have been heads, right? No, that would also be a claim that should be rejected until there is sufficient evidence. One or the other must be true (I can tell you it didn't land on it's egde). But you can still reject BOTH claims until you get sufficient evidence. As you said, withholding judgment.
So, I have no disagreement with your stance. Even though as I said, I do believe there is no god as opposed to just not believing there is a god. But that's because I believe I have sufficient evidence to accept that claim. Where I disagree with you, is on definition of terms. And whether you were tired or not you DID use the word "disbelieve" do mean "not believe" rather than "believe as untrue". And that's a perfectly legitimate use of the word. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disbelieve
I think one reason people often take "disbelieve" to mean "believe as untrue" rather than simply "not believe" is that they often arrive at this lack of belief due to counter evidence. That plus people have a tendency to use two-state thinking: its either this way or that way. People also often use the phrase "I don't believe it" to mean "I believe that is not true" despite the subtle distinction. Don't you love the flexibility of words?
*A note about sufficient evidence: the amount and quality of the evidence required is dependent upon the nature of the claim. So if I flip a coin, look at it, and tell you that I got heads, as long as you have no stake in the outcome, this is an exceedingly minor claim thus only requires a small amount of evidence. In this case my word alone should suffice. After all, if it were really tails, it wouldn't hurt you in any way. Whereas if someone claims that there is an invisible transcendent being that created the universe and wants us to live a certain way, that would have a HUGE impact on how we view reality. Thus it would require a great amount of evidence.
I think Var will crucify me for doing this but...
Sorry Corbenik, you are not an atheist, you are an Agnostic.
I'd say Corbenik is an agnostic atheist. As I said, they are not mutually exclusive.
Stuff that Vararam said
I love people who use logic.