Since a very common tactic by a large number of religious apologists is to misrepresent the definition of atheism, in order to reverse the burden of proof. I thought we could pre-empt it here, with a thread dedicated to the topic.
As always when discussing word definitions, I will start with the commonly understood definition which of course is the primary dictionary definition. We are not limited to these of course, but unless someone clarifies they are using a secondary dictionary definition, then we can only infer the primary definition is the intended one. Subjective definitions outside of the dictionary make words lose all meaning, and though words can and do change over time, I am likely to consider this duplicitous in the context of a debate forum, especially where no or insufficient explanation is offered.
The lack or absence of belief in any deity or deities.
Thus it is most emphatically not a belief, or a contrary claim to theism. Nor is it a world view, a philosophy, or a religion.
It can form part of a world view, and a philosophy, and a religion but it is primarily defined as the lack or absence of belief in a deity, and nothing more.
Personally this is what I mean when I say I am an atheist. I attach no more significance to my lack of belief in any deity than I do to my lack of belief in unicorns or Santa Claus, and the only eason I spend time and energy debating with theists, is because theism has a real effect on the world, and I view much of its doctrine as pernicious and therefore immoral. If people believed in unicorns and the belief was pernicious and used to try and proselytise others with pernicious doctrine then I would invest time and energy refuting that belief’s doctrine as well.
I have no bias in favour of the lack of belief in deities, and treat theistic claims, including the core belief for an extant deity of some sort, as I do all other claims and beliefs. Disbelief is my default position until sufficient objective evidence is demonstrated to support the premise.
I treat all unfalsifiable claims as unsafe, and disbelieve them whilst remaining agnostic. Thus when any god claim is used in so broad a sense that it is unfalsifiable I remain an atheist and an agnostic.
Ok, off we go…