There is a popular view held by many atheists that in the absence of positive evidence for God’s existence, we ought to accept atheism as true by default. This view is called the presumption of atheism. I have written a full treatment against it on my website (“Not so Fast: There is no Presumption of Atheism“), but I thought it was fitting to share a great quote from philosopher William Lane Craig on the subject:
I hear all the time that atheism wins by default – in other words, if there aren’t any good arguments for God, then atheism automatically wins. So many of these fellows don’t offer any arguments for atheism; instead, they just try to shoot down the arguments for theism and say they win by default. In reality, however, the failure of arguments for God wouldn’t do anything to establish that God does not exist. The claim that there is no God is a positive claim to knowledge and therefore requires justification. The failure of arguments for God would leave us, at best, with agnosticism, not atheism.
Nobody can say it so succinctly, and so powerfully as Craig!
William Lane Craig, during an interview with Lee Strobel, “Bill Craig on the New Atheism,” available from http://leestrobel.com/newsletters/2009MARCH/thenewatheism.htm; Internet; accessed 18 March 2009.