As most philosophy dictionaries and encyclopedias, like those published by Routledge and Stanford, clearly state, TRUE atheism is the belief or view that affirms there is no God or Gods. Labeling yourself an atheist but failing to make this claim means you are not an atheist. The passage of time has proven such an affirmation logically untenable. Whatever integrity and legitimacy atheism may have historically had has been utterly and completely destroyed; its best supporting arguments demolished by a revolution in theist thought beginning in about the latter half of the 20th century, led by intellectuals like Michael Behe, Francis Collins, William Lane Craig, William Dembski, John Lennox, Alister McGrath, Alvin Plantinga, John Polkinghorne, Hugh Ross and Richard Swinburne, to name a few. Rather than admit their belief indefensible and defeated, most atheists today, especially the “New Atheists,” play a deceitful and dishonest game of semantics, championing a revisionist atheism defined simply as the lack belief in God. Atheism thus turns from an intellectual position whose primary contention is the positive claim of God’s nonexistence to a trivial, nonintellectual psychological state whose adherents make no such claim but rather simply do not believe, hold no belief or lack belief in God, and which can tell us nothing about whether or not God exists. In fact, atheism under this new definition becomes neutral on this issue. Those holding to this revisionist atheism do not, in reality, simply lack belief in God; rather, they adorn this revisionist meaning believing it allows them to advance the traditional claims made by true atheism but without the need to intellectually and epistemically support them.
Sometimes, despite holding to this new definition of atheism, some atheists will still directly claim God does not exist; as done by the American Atheists, for example. Most times, however, this assertion is made indirectly, primarily by proclaiming God affirming arguments and beliefs, often the weakest ones at that, whether religious or not, and those who hold them, illogical, irrational and wrong, and/or similar terminology. Even philosophically neutral positions, like agnosticism, is not spared such scorn. However, such declarations can hold any validity only if God’s existence is entirely implausible or if God does not exist but are invalid if God’s existence is plausible or if God exists. Something can only be irrational, illogical or wrong to affirm true or possibly true if it is shown to be implausible or untrue in some way. This can be achieved in numerous ways and does not have to be, as many atheists contend, solely through direct, mathematical and/or scientific evidence; for example, it can be done utilizing the same type of logical inference a detective may use to prove his case. Atheists who insist that only the former type of evidence is acceptable have lost the game for they, if they are to be logically consistent, must prove such evidence to be the only acceptable evidence, using the same criteria they demand from others. At this point, these atheists’ standard of evidence proves to be self refuting.
In short, atheists claim God affirming beliefs are irrational, illogical and wrong; this is, if not equal to the direct claim that God does not exist, at least a strong argument of the implausibility of His existence. Either way, such a contention requires a reasoned, valid, intellectual defense if it is to be considered or accepted as a legitimate philosophical, intellectual positions beyond the individual or group level, to whom it is an already obvious truth regardless of evidence. Such a defense is something most atheists are uninterested in developing, much less providing. Instead, these atheists will usually just make their statements then resort to angry, vitriolic, hyperbolic attacks against those who do not hold those same sentiments, including agnostics. Such attacks, however, do not validate these atheists’ claims or beliefs; they can, in fact, be said to prove the opposite. If these atheists had indisputable evidence that they are completely, unquestionably right they would present it rather than resorting to such tactics. Tactics that can rightly be called pseudo intellectual and juvenile.
In answering the question of God’s existence, the burden of proof falls, as it does in other areas of intellectual discourse and academic study, on whomever makes the claim, be it positive or negative, and thus it falls evenly between those who directly or indirectly affirm He does or does not exist. Thus it falls evenly upon the theist and atheist. Those who hold to revisionist atheism, however, say they make no claims that God does not exist and thus are absolved of any intellectual and epistemic responsibility for logical, reasoned, valid arguments defending their (non) positions. This is just atheists engaging in empty posturing and rhetoric, duplicitous word games and mendacious attempts to redefine terms and debate rules to shift the burden of proof solely onto those who hold God exists enabling these atheists to make any claims they want without intellectually and epistemically supporting them. This is a dishonest, invalid and fallacious strategy, and makes atheists look cowardly, weak and defeated and atheism an untenable, empty position and worldview. Whether directly or indirectly stated, the atheist IS responsible for providing some type of reasoned, valid, logical argument for his positions, claims, arguments which, despite their word play, they do make.
When you do not have evidence in your defense, sometimes you may resort to any measures at your disposal to not admit you are wrong, especially when the alternative is a reality you sorely detest and want not to exist. They may not admit it, but atheists probably know God is not only logically possible, but that He does indeed exist. Something they do not want. As I stated, advancements in modern theist thought, and in philosophy and science generally have made acceptance of and belief in God’s reality more rational and logical than ever before. Even Dawkins has had to admit a strong argument can be made for a deist God. This is quite the concession from an atheist of his stature. Atheists may proclaim their rational, scientific and intellectual superiority but in reality their approach proves them the opposite.