I was raised in a Mormon family and I currently attend a Unitarian Universalist. I feel l can not definitively call myself an atheist because I still question the lack of evidence for or against the notion of the divines exist. I feel so continue but I am a scientific thinker at heart so I must question myself and test my ideas.
A skeptic (of which an atheist is a subset) don't form beliefs that can't be substantiated. I don't disbelieve in gods, I simply don't believe because there's no basis to do so. As such ... I think we're on the same page and can both be called atheists. If there were a preponderance of evidence for god appropriate to the extraordinary nature of god-claims, then we'd be able to form a reasonable, justifiable belief, and we'd no longer be atheists.
An atheist is simply saying they have no belief, not that they have unbelief ... although, obviously, both result in about the same thing.
An agnostic is saying they have no way to know, which is, really, the other side of the coin. You can't make knowledge claims about things concerning which no knowledge is available -- and gods being unfalsifiable inherently because they're supernatural, there is no basis to state who god his, what he's like, and/or what he wants.
If you can't have knowledge, it's awfully hard to form a belief. If you don't believe, then you're an atheist. Most often, an agnostic atheist.
There is no definitive evidence that Santa Claus does not exist. Should I be an agnostic about Santa Claus? There is no definitive evidence that the Tooth Fairy does not exist. Should I be an agnostic about the Tooth Fairy? No. I can say that I absolutely do NOT believe in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy, because they fit nicely into the category of fictitious characters that we know are just imaginary. For the same reason, I call myself an atheist. All other gods are known to be mythical. Why should Elohim, or Jehovah, or Jesus be different? There is no good evidence that they are any more real than Zeus or Thor.
You don't need to prove something DOES NOT exist if there is no evidence that it DOES. The burden of proof lays with the side making the claim of existence.
If my brother says there is a six foot talking plum hanging by a golden thread in the garden, but it cannot be heard, seen, smelled, felt or tasted but is definitely there.
Do I need to prove it is not there before I accuse him of delusion? And if so how?
There can't be any evidence that God does not exist. An atheist can't know with 100% certainty that God wasn't hiding behind the next cloud all along. In other words "You can't prove a negative". So being an atheist is just the position that you don't hold the belief that a God exists. If that is an accurate description of what your set of believes contain then you could call yourself an atheist (at least here, in case there are any negative consequences in your environment).
So do you think there is any evidence that a God exists?
I appreciate and second everybody's comments about the burden of proof here, but I'm wondering if maybe that's not really the point.
God isn't just a scientific claim, but also a cultural and moral one. Not just "there is a supernatural being" but "there is a holy supernatural being with moral authority."
I think if you reason your way through the moral and ethical implications of the God claim, you can reach confirmation that this claim is really, really not true.
Does SANTA exist? - No/maybe/yes ..... Are there any evidence for SANTA? - heaps ...... Now, replace SANTA with your deity, and look at the questions again. When is it time to start believing in the existence of something? ..... I think we should believe it when the evidence is credible and verifiable.
I know a lot of people feel this way about the word "atheist" but it's my pet peeve. If you are not an active believer in a god or gods, you are an atheist. If you think it's possible they exist, you're an agnostic atheist.
Don't let the word have power over you or anything, but by definition you're an atheist.
I'm exmo too and agnostic. I don't feel the need to prove whether God exists or not. If there is a kind, understanding God, he/she/them will understand where I'm at and accept me as is. If there's not a kind, understanding God, like if there's an asshole God, I feel no need to worship them. My change in perspective has been vital to helping me heal.
You can believe anything you want, and if it gives you comfort that is likely why you believe it. I have no comfort in the idea of gods being nonsense, it's just that I have no evidence of gods at all. I get along perfectly well without them and I refuse to bow my head, close my eyes, and start talking to myself.
You might recognize that even in Scripture God is acknowledged as Spirit, and only anthropomorphised for convenience, to make the necessary analogies. Iow there is no "He," iow no ego, no "persons" in God,hence if you have seen Me, you have seen the Father. And regardless of any Roman notions of "God in three persons" that will not withstand the Bible either, i can dig up the Quote if you like.
Another good thought experiment is to recognize that you or for that matter anyone else can manifest whatever "spirit" you might choose, or even not choose, every time you walk into a room, hence why "you are to become elohim," and prolly even Jesus calling Himself "Son of Man." Also I guess "Unknown God" is a tacit admission, as well as all of the rhetoric @ the omnies.
Now of course ppl who are determined to conflate Eternal with Immortal so that they can believe that they might become an immortal too (Mithraists, Cult of Sol Invictus, Christians, etc) are not really even prepared mentally for this discussion, they basically need God to be a person, need to imagine that they might be able to ask God some questions or etc someday, but as you seem to be free of that I can at least suggest that you consider "God" to be strictly a convenient appellation for the Creative Spirit, or the Good One, or whatever you're comfortable with there, and trust that there is no God such as most believers require, only the Bible authors knew better than to just say that right out I guess. Let the blind debate a Literal God imo
If you doubt the existence of God, you may ask "Can you prove to me that God created the earth,the sun,the stars, and all there is" ? My answer is," What in the nature of proof will you accept?". You may ask"Must I believe in God?". My answer is, " You ought to.God has given you good reason to believe!"
The proofs are not mine; they are His. He shows us His creation,speaks to our conscience ,and gives us His Word. Amen !
I joined the Mormon church in 1980, however, I never really felt a part of it. I questioned a lot of things and they didn't like that. Over the years, I went to church on and off but just never felt accepted. Since the 2016 election, I have felt even less accepted, the church is over 90 percent conservative and I'm a flaming Liberal. I'm not an atheist, I'm a Theist and a bit of an agnostic. I believe possibilities are infinite.