Second Round: Matt Slick's Response
Also, it may be a minor point, but I would remove the words "the position held by a person characterized by." This would leave us with, "Atheism is lack of belief in God or gods and/or denial of the existence of God or gods, due to lack of sufficient evidence supporting the existence of any God or gods (as well as possibly evidence indicating the non-existence of specific concepts of God or gods").
Matt2: Modification offered. "Atheism is lack of belief in God or gods and/or denial of the existence of God or gods, due to supposed lack of sufficient evidence supporting the existence of any God or gods."
Matt2: I don't understand this statement (as well as possibly evidence indicating the non-existence of specific concepts of God or gods).
Matt2: I added the word "supposed" in there.
Matt2: Of course, I agree with you that there is a lack of evidence for gods. I would join you in refuting the idea that there are gods. However, I acknowledge that there is only one God in all existence, in all places, and in all time.
First, I believe that the majority of atheists attempt to articulate their atheism in a strategic way as to make it unassailable. The term "I lack belief in God" is a good example. If someone lacks belief in something, then it is difficult for the counter position to refute a "lack of something." After all, how do you disprove/attack/deal with something that isn't there, i.e., a lack of belief? However, if an atheist states that he has looked at the evidence and has concluded that it is not strong enough to merit belief in God, then he actually has a position that the evidence doesn't support God's existence sufficiently for him to become a theist--not that there is no evidence presented--but that the evidence is not sufficient in his assessment. I think the latter "position" is more rational and straightforward.
Second, would you say that actions flow out of disbelief or belief? Is it more reasonable to state that actions are the result of beliefs, or that they are the result of lack of beliefs? I would say that actions follow beliefs rather than lack of beliefs, and that it is irrational to act based on a belief that a person claims he does not have. Therefore, I think it is logical to conclude that a lack of belief in something results in lack of action concerning it. For example. I don't believe there are Martians. Therefore, I don't defend my not believing in Martians, nor do I promote my non-believing in Martians. But, if I actively believed there were no Martians, I am more likely to present arguments supporting my belief that there are no Martians, and I would attempt to refute evidences for Martians. My actions would reveal my beliefs; namely, that there are no Martians.
Third: The actions of atheists reveal their position. Since basically every atheist I've ever encountered expends energy trying to refute theistic arguments and defending atheism, I would say they are behaving in a manner consistent with their position. The stronger the actions, the stronger the position. If you have no position concerning God (lack of belief), then it seems to me that refuting theistic evidences is inconsistent with that position. If, however, your position is more positive--that there is no God--then refuting theistic evidences is consistent with that position. To be fair, an atheist could have the position that he believes there may be a God, and he is refuting theistic evidences until that time he finds one sufficient to become a theist. But if this were the case, then he is really an agnostic.
Fourth: Ridicule, insults, and attacks should not be part of attempted theistic refutations by atheists who lack belief in God. The arguments themselves should be addressed, and attacks on the individual should be avoided--unlike many of the atheists on this board who attacked me and often misrepresented my position. Their actions reveal their position, a very antagonistic one, which is based on, it would seem, an active belief that their is no God. I say this because many of their actions were quite strong in their attempt to refute me.
Conclusion: These are some of the thoughts I've been having as I think about the atheism represented here on this discussion board. As we approach the issue of morality and atheism, I think understanding atheist actions will help us see atheist "beliefs"--if I might be so bold to say, and more accurately see the relationship between atheist behavior, atheist beliefs, and atheist morals.