How do you define a “positive claim?” A positive claim possesses the burden of proof. Is atheism not a positive claim (i.e. there is no god)?
This, perhaps, is thought to be the strongest argument against atheism. However, on the surface it makes a few assumptions that are incongruous with the position that most atheists take. That is, (1) it postulates that atheists are certain, and (2) it confuses two modes of critique – argumentum ad ignorantium vs. evidence of absence. First, it is important to concede that there is a semantic issue between the label – atheism – and the common position of atheists. Linguistic philosophers such as Ayer would be quick to point this out.[i] Atheism is the non-belief in a personal deity. Thus, it is perfectly acceptable, albeit extraordinary, to meet an atheist that does not believe in a personal deity, but believes in pantheism…
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