The definition of atheism as being: “lack of belief” is flawed. If you subscribe to that definition then you believe that any belief in God, either belief in the existence of God or the belief in the non-existence of God, is absent within you.
First, this definition cannot be proven true in and of itself but when an “atheist” keeps acting upon a “lack of belief”, this means they don’t really believe that they lack a belief or truth claim. Therefore they seem to be committing a Confirmation Bias or an a-priori.
Interestingly, atheists will argue that a burden of proof does not rest with them because the “lack a belief” and they think that someone cannot prove the non-existence of something or citing a fictitious law of logic that supposedly states “you cannot prove a negative.” What? You can’t do that?
The idea that “you can’t prove a negative” is simply false. How many logicians do you think would agree with them on this? The answer is none, and here’s why:
There exists a law of logic (which you probably know), the law of non-contradiction. This is in fact a provable negative. A proposition cannot simultaneously be true and false. Courses on logic formally derived this law by using empty (null) sets and the rules of inference. Furthermore, upon doing this you will have demonstrated that it is indeed untrue that one of the laws of logic is that you can’t prove a negative, thereby proving a negative in the process of deriving the law itself.
Also, the phrase “you can’t prove a negative” is a negative statement, therefore contradicting yourself. If you could show it to be a true statement then it would, by definition, actually be false. The only alternative is that the law of non-contradiction is invalid, but if that’s the case then logic cannot exist.
To quote Dr. William Lane Craig: “For example, you could disprove the statement that “there are polka-dotted geese.” That would be a universal negative and you can disprove that. But more importantly, the claim that ‘God does not exist’ is not a universal negative. It’s a singular negative. And certainly you can prove negative singular statements, such as, ‘There is no planet between Venus and the Earth.’ You can provide arguments to show that a singular negative statement is true.” (William Lane Craig in William Lane Craig and Frank Zindler, Atheism vs. Christianity: Where Does the Evidence Point?, recording of a debate held on June 27, 1993 at Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, IL.)
Well, there are actually two ways to prove the nonexistence of something. One way is to prove that it cannot exist because it leads to contradictions (i.e. square circles, married bachelors, etc.). The other way to prove the nonexistence of something, is that their existence is directly observable or their existence is not directly observable but the object’s causality (causes and effects) are directly observable.
First, the “lack of belief” definition is self contradictory if a person acts on that. Action requires purpose, require meaning, requires value, to which a nothing cannot hold value.
Second, if you accept that definition of atheism, then you believe that a nothing can cause something. Isn’t that against the nature and characteristics of nothing (first law of logic)?
Third, a reaction is evidence of something and not nothing. So a reaction is a causal effect from a positive truth claim and not the lack of one. What people usually mean is that you can’t demonstrate the non-existence of an object, place or being.
That is the point! That definition of Atheism (the one I am arguing about) is supposed to be a non-existent belief, so you cannot demonstrate the non-existence of a belief! So you are contradicting yourself, because any demonstrable action (causality) by you in the context of the existence of God, proves that a belief of some kind exists.
And here is why:
Atheist who believe that definition are suffering from the “knowing/doing gap.” In this, their stated premise does not follow a logical conclusion (non sequitur fallacy). It does not follow that a person should act upon non-existence. Atheists state a non-existent object as their reason (“lack of belief”) for thinking and doing something. Similarly Christians that get tattoos, Muslims that kill Muslims, Jews that charge interest on other Jews are not affirming their belief system through their actions. So They clearly don’t believe in what they claim.
Now they may say something like “I don’t need a belief in either the existence or non-existence of God. I only believe you are wrong.” or “I don’t need a belief, I have motives.” Under this premise they cannot give an account of why I would be wrong or account for how they derive an absolute truth from an arbitrary emotional motive.
If you have read this carefully you see I have proven logically that atheism cannot be defined in this manner.