Absence/Evidence of Evidence/Absence

Question from Mark:
Hey guys.

I am an atheist, but I’m also getting a bit confused lately. People say that atheism does not need to be proved, because it does not make any claims, but disproving the claims of theism. Is this true? Does atheism need to provide evidence of absence? To me, neither side sound convincing enough to prove their own points…

Answer by SmartLX:
Atheism is a lack of belief in gods. Evidence of absence isn’t necessary to not believe in something, merely absence of evidence.

Do you believe in leprechauns or gremlins merely because there’s no hard evidence that they don’t exist? Of course not. You don’t believe in them because there’s no evidence that they do exist, and for creatures as exotic as these there would have to be some evidence before you did believe. Perhaps you allow for the possibility that they exist, which is fine because you could always be wrong, but that’s not belief.

That said, absence of evidence can be evidence of absence in the right circumstances, and in the case of an all-powerful and belief-hungry god I think it is. My full argument to this effect is here.

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