Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

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Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

Post #1

Post by Realworldjack »

From another thread,
An atheist, by definition is someone who lacks belief in a god or gods. Full stop.
So, I'm sort of confused, and was wondering if I may get some help here? Can anyone explain the above quote to me? From the same thread we read,
Lack of belief is quite clearly not a belief.
Is the above quote suggesting, Atheists simply lack belief in god, but do not insist there would be no god?

I am honestly asking these questions in order to get a better understanding, because I do not believe all Atheists would identify with the above. In other words, I believe there are folks who are firmly convinced there are no gods. If the folks who are firmly convinced there are no gods are not Atheists, then what would they be referred to as? If these folks who are firmly convinced there are no gods are to be considered Atheists, then we do not have a "full stop" as stated above.

For further consideration, and discussion, I would like to post a quote from the web, along with supplying the full article this quote derived from.
Atheists are not agnostic. The most important factor that differentiates an atheist from an agnostic is that atheists have firm disbelief in God, while agnostics are merely doubting.
https://www.cyberateos.org/are-atheists ... 20at%20all.

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Re: Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

Post #41

Post by benchwarmer »

Realworldjack wrote: Sat Jan 08, 2022 1:44 pm 1. Are there folks who believe there is no gods?
Yes.
Realworldjack wrote: Sat Jan 08, 2022 1:44 pm 2. If there are such folks would they be considered atheist?
Yes, because if they believe there are no gods they ALSO lack belief in any gods. The later bolded part making them an atheist. The first part is simply another belief beyond the atheist position.

I'm an atheist. I also believe chickens are not gods. If I simply tell you I don't believe chickens are gods, does that make me an atheist by itself? No. I have a position on god claims (I don't believe any I've heard so far, thus I lack belief in gods, thus I'm an atheist).
Realworldjack wrote: Sat Jan 08, 2022 1:44 pm 3. If there are such folks, and they are to be considered atheist then would this mean, there are atheist who go beyond simply a "lack of belief"?
Of course any given atheist may have other beliefs. However, the term atheist does not automatically bestow on them any of these other beliefs. That seems to be what you and others are attempting to make happen. It's not working.

Again, why is this so hard to comprehend? Why the need to pigeon hole atheists as having more than a lack of belief in gods? Some surely do have other beliefs but wouldn't it be best to ask each individual you are dealing with rather than straw manning them?

If you simply tell me you are a theist, should I then go ahead and assume your other beliefs in regards to gods beyond simply that you believe at least one god claim? Should I also assume you are a Christian without asking you? Should I start claiming that you believe in various attributes about the god you believe in based simply on your theism? Seems kinda silly to me, but that's what this whole discussion seems like only the other way around.

If you are confused by a given atheist's position, just ask them! Trying to redefine what atheist means or attempt to build some sort of "gotcha moment" by pretending that atheist really means more than it does is pointless.

It would be like atheists redefining what it means to be a Christian and then attacking your position because you identify as Christian. Is that what you want? It would make as much sense.

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Re: Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

Post #42

Post by Realworldjack »

[Replying to benchwarmer in post #41]

Why the need to pigeon hole atheists as having more than a lack of belief in gods?
This is hilarious! I am not in any way whatsoever attempting to "pigeon hole atheists"? I really do not care what one believes. I am simply attempting to understand the difference now, between what we refer to as an atheist, as opposed to an agnostic? That's it! Because you see, I have to admit I must have been mistaken because at one point I was under the impression that an atheist did not believe there was a god. If we go back to what I supplied in my last post, this is exactly what it has to say about the atheist position, and I attempted to look for a site which would be neutral. Again, from dictionary.com,
Atheist vs. agnostic
There is a key distinction. An atheist doesn’t believe in a god or divine being. The word originates with the Greek atheos, which is built from the roots a- (“without”) and theos (“a god”). Atheism is the doctrine or belief that there is no god.

However, an agnostic neither believes nor disbelieves in a god or religious doctrine. Agnostics assert that it’s impossible for human beings to know anything about how the universe was created and whether or not divine beings exist.
Here is the link so you can look for yourself, and you can tell me if it is a neutral site?
https://www.dictionary.com/e/atheism-agnosticism/

So then, if I am not mistaken, this article certainly seems to be saying, atheists hold certain beliefs concerning gods. If this is not correct, I have no problem with it.
That seems to be what you and others are attempting to make happen. It's not working.
Well, as far as I am concerned, "it's not working" because I am not attempting "to make it happen". If you claim to be atheist, and you want to be known as simply "lacking belief" I have no problem with that in the least.
If you simply tell me you are a theist, should I then go ahead and assume your other beliefs in regards to gods beyond simply that you believe at least one god claim? Should I also assume you are a Christian without asking you? Should I start claiming that you believe in various attributes about the god you believe in based simply on your theism? Seems kinda silly to me, but that's what this whole discussion seems like only the other way around.
How in the world am I assuming anything about the atheist position, by asking these questions? I am simply having trouble at this point determining the difference between the atheist, and the agnostic? If these questions make me stupid, I will certainly own it. So then, call me stupid, and explain to me the difference? Because you see, the article I supplied, claims the difference would be, "atheism is the doctrine or belief there is no god". Again, I do not care! Please explain what advantage I would gain by attempting to force the atheist to hold a certain belief?
Trying to redefine what atheist means
Again, please explain to me, how in the world would asking for clarification, be considered to be, attempting to "redefine what atheist means"?
or attempt to build some sort of "gotcha moment" by pretending that atheist really means more than it does is pointless.
If I ask you what it means to be atheist, and you explain to me, it is simply a "lack of belief in god" what sort of "gotcha moment" would there be? Allow me to attempt to explain something to you. If you were to tell me, you BELIEVE there to be no gods, I will assure you that I would not in any way attempt to cause this to be a "gotcha moment". In other words, I am not going to attempt to force the "burden of proof" upon you, because you are not in any way making a truth claim, by sharing with me, what you happen to believe. This would only occur, when, and if, one were to go on to insist, there would be no god. It would be at this point, one would own the "burden of proof". One does not own the "burden of proof" simply by sharing what it is they believe.
It would be like atheists redefining what it means to be a Christian and then attacking your position because you identify as Christian. Is that what you want? It would make as much sense.
Again, if one identifies as an atheist, and is simply sharing with others what they believe, and does not make any sort of truth claims which cannot be demonstrated to be true, then I fail to see where there could be any sort of "gotcha moment", because I cannot see where such a one would own any sort of, "burden of proof" simply sharing what they believe. In the same way, a Christian who is simply sharing what they believe to be true, who does not make any sort of truth claims which cannot be demonstrated to be true, would not own any sort of burden.

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Re: Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

Post #43

Post by alexxcJRO »

Realworldjack wrote: Sat Jan 08, 2022 1:44 pm
alexxcJRO wrote: Sat Jan 08, 2022 7:22 am
Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 9:32 am From another thread,
An atheist, by definition is someone who lacks belief in a god or gods. Full stop.
So, I'm sort of confused, and was wondering if I may get some help here? Can anyone explain the above quote to me? From the same thread we read,
Lack of belief is quite clearly not a belief.
Is the above quote suggesting, Atheists simply lack belief in god, but do not insist there would be no god?

I am honestly asking these questions in order to get a better understanding, because I do not believe all Atheists would identify with the above. In other words, I believe there are folks who are firmly convinced there are no gods. If the folks who are firmly convinced there are no gods are not Atheists, then what would they be referred to as? If these folks who are firmly convinced there are no gods are to be considered Atheists, then we do not have a "full stop" as stated above.

For further consideration, and discussion, I would like to post a quote from the web, along with supplying the full article this quote derived from.
Atheists are not agnostic. The most important factor that differentiates an atheist from an agnostic is that atheists have firm disbelief in God, while agnostics are merely doubting.
https://www.cyberateos.org/are-atheists ... 20at%20all.
Its pretty laughable how can someone with 2143 posts on this forum to ask "Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?".
Q: Were you really ignorant? :?

Q: Did you not received this past years you been a member on this forum ad nauseam responses that for the most part atheists simple lack a belief in god?

They may be few that are strong-gnostic atheists. Claim to know a certain God is non-existent or no gods exist(this is pretty rare).
For the most part most atheist are agnostic atheists. Claim they don't know that a God does not exist but they lack a belief that a God exists.

I know the passive agnostic atheist position bothers the religious who because of their active position are often back into a corner to prove their positive claim, but common! :shock:

Okay? The following is from the web, a site which is dictionary.com,
Atheist vs. agnostic
There is a key distinction. An atheist doesn’t believe in a god or divine being. The word originates with the Greek atheos, which is built from the roots a- (“without”) and theos (“a god”). Atheism is the doctrine or belief that there is no god.

However, an agnostic neither believes nor disbelieves in a god or religious doctrine. Agnostics assert that it’s impossible for human beings to know anything about how the universe was created and whether or not divine beings exist.
Now, the thing is, I don't care either way. Rather, I am simply attempting to understand when I am addressing one who refers to themself as an "atheist" exactly what I am dealing with? When one refers to themself as an agnostic, I am pretty sure I am dealing with one who claims not to know. However, there now seems to be those who refer to themselves as atheist, and they seem to have the very same stance, or at least very close. So please allow me to ask these questions again,

1. Are there folks who believe there is no gods?

2. If there are such folks would they be considered atheist?

3. If there are such folks, and they are to be considered atheist then would this mean, there are atheist who go beyond simply a "lack of belief"?
The definition is not congruent with reality.
There is a clear distinction between “lack of belief” and “disbelief”.
There are two concepts Agnosticism/Gnosticism which deals with knowledge and atheism/theism/deism which deals with belief.
An agnostic atheist aka weak atheist is passive and neutral in respect to both knowledge and belief. Claims not to know if there is a god or gods and lacks a belief in god or gods.(Most atheist people)
An gnostic atheist aka hard atheist is active in respect to both knowledge and belief. Does both claim to know and believe there is/are no god or gods.(Rare occurrence)
An agnostic theist is passive in respect to knowledge but active in term of belief. Claims not to know if there is a god or gods but believes there is/are a god or gods. (Rare occurrence)
An gnostic theist is active in respect to knowledge and belief. Does both claim to know and believe there is/are a god or gods.(Most religious people)


I am for example an agnostic atheist in respect to there being a god in general but gnostic atheist in respect to Yahweh-Jesus.

When in comes to god in general one can lack a belief(passive stance) because of lack of compelling evidence.
When in comes to Yahweh-Jesus I for example have a disbelief(active stance) and claim I know its non-existent because its existence its logically impossible, contradicts reality(physics, genetics, geology, cosmology, biology, psychology, psychiatry, history, archeology, paleontology).
Most humans are atheists in some manner.
You yourself are an atheist for you lack a belief or disbelieve in Allah, Brahma, Zeus, Ra, Thor and so one. We just lack one more belief then you(the one in Yahweh-Jesus). :)
There are billions of atheists world-wide. 8-)
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Re: Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

Post #44

Post by benchwarmer »

Realworldjack wrote: Sat Jan 08, 2022 11:01 pm [Replying to benchwarmer in post #41]

Why the need to pigeon hole atheists as having more than a lack of belief in gods?
This is hilarious! I am not in any way whatsoever attempting to "pigeon hole atheists"? I really do not care what one believes. I am simply attempting to understand the difference now, between what we refer to as an atheist, as opposed to an agnostic?
Ok, well this has been explained in my first response to this thread so I guess we can close this now?

This has also been discussed multiple times on this board in the recent past.
Realworldjack wrote: Sat Jan 08, 2022 11:01 pm That's it! Because you see, I have to admit I must have been mistaken because at one point I was under the impression that an atheist did not believe there was a god. If we go back to what I supplied in my last post, this is exactly what it has to say about the atheist position, and I attempted to look for a site which would be neutral. Again, from dictionary.com,
Atheist vs. agnostic
There is a key distinction. An atheist doesn’t believe in a god or divine being. The word originates with the Greek atheos, which is built from the roots a- (“without”) and theos (“a god”). Atheism is the doctrine or belief that there is no god.
You have to be careful here. There is a difference between "not believe" and "believe".

1) I do not believe any god claims I've heard so far.

2) I believe there are no gods.

These are 2 distinct statements. (1) is saying that I am not persuaded by any theistic claims to date. (2) is saying that I believe no gods exist - likely because of (1). In fact, I don't know if there are any gods or not (agnostic) AND I also do NOT believe any god claims I've heard so far (atheist).

So, to sum up I'm an agnostic atheist.
Realworldjack wrote: Sat Jan 08, 2022 11:01 pm So then, if I am not mistaken, this article certainly seems to be saying, atheists hold certain beliefs concerning gods. If this is not correct, I have no problem with it.
It's not universally correct. As I have also explained, EVERYONE holds beliefs. The basic definition of atheist is "lack of belief in gods". Lack of belief is not in itself a belief, but that does not preclude also holding some beliefs on the subject as well.
Realworldjack wrote: Sat Jan 08, 2022 11:01 pm
That seems to be what you and others are attempting to make happen. It's not working.
Well, as far as I am concerned, "it's not working" because I am not attempting "to make it happen". If you claim to be atheist, and you want to be known as simply "lacking belief" I have no problem with that in the least.
"Lacking belief in gods" - sure. That doesn't stop me from holding other beliefs. Atheist covers the first part, the rest will have to come from dialogue not simply assuming.

Look, perhaps my reply has seemed a bit harsh. It's hard not to assume motivation beyond simply understanding the labels when we just had a similar thread (in fact I think it's still active as well).

So apologies if I have incorrectly painted you with some motivation beyond simply understanding the labels being used. It's just hard to believe that when others are clearly battling over the labels in an attempt to burden atheists with beliefs they may not actually hold.

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Re: Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

Post #45

Post by TRANSPONDER »

Realworldjack wrote: Sat Jan 08, 2022 1:44 pm
alexxcJRO wrote: Sat Jan 08, 2022 7:22 am
Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 9:32 am From another thread,
An atheist, by definition is someone who lacks belief in a god or gods. Full stop.
So, I'm sort of confused, and was wondering if I may get some help here? Can anyone explain the above quote to me? From the same thread we read,
Lack of belief is quite clearly not a belief.
Is the above quote suggesting, Atheists simply lack belief in god, but do not insist there would be no god?

I am honestly asking these questions in order to get a better understanding, because I do not believe all Atheists would identify with the above. In other words, I believe there are folks who are firmly convinced there are no gods. If the folks who are firmly convinced there are no gods are not Atheists, then what would they be referred to as? If these folks who are firmly convinced there are no gods are to be considered Atheists, then we do not have a "full stop" as stated above.

For further consideration, and discussion, I would like to post a quote from the web, along with supplying the full article this quote derived from.
Atheists are not agnostic. The most important factor that differentiates an atheist from an agnostic is that atheists have firm disbelief in God, while agnostics are merely doubting.
https://www.cyberateos.org/are-atheists ... 20at%20all.
Its pretty laughable how can someone with 2143 posts on this forum to ask "Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?".
Q: Were you really ignorant? :?

Q: Did you not received this past years you been a member on this forum ad nauseam responses that for the most part atheists simple lack a belief in god?

They may be few that are strong-gnostic atheists. Claim to know a certain God is non-existent or no gods exist(this is pretty rare).
For the most part most atheist are agnostic atheists. Claim they don't know that a God does not exist but they lack a belief that a God exists.

I know the passive agnostic atheist position bothers the religious who because of their active position are often back into a corner to prove their positive claim, but common! :shock:

Okay? The following is from the web, a site which is dictionary.com,
Atheist vs. agnostic
There is a key distinction. An atheist doesn’t believe in a god or divine being. The word originates with the Greek atheos, which is built from the roots a- (“without”) and theos (“a god”). Atheism is the doctrine or belief that there is no god.

However, an agnostic neither believes nor disbelieves in a god or religious doctrine. Agnostics assert that it’s impossible for human beings to know anything about how the universe was created and whether or not divine beings exist.
Now, the thing is, I don't care either way. Rather, I am simply attempting to understand when I am addressing one who refers to themself as an "atheist" exactly what I am dealing with? When one refers to themself as an agnostic, I am pretty sure I am dealing with one who claims not to know. However, there now seems to be those who refer to themselves as atheist, and they seem to have the very same stance, or at least very close. So please allow me to ask these questions again,

1. Are there folks who believe there is no gods?

2. If there are such folks would they be considered atheist?

3. If there are such folks, and they are to be considered atheist then would this mean, there are atheist who go beyond simply a "lack of belief"?
1. I don't know. Very probably. After all, atheists often have a high degree of confidence that all the god -claims are false. Many may well believe that there are no gods.
2. Yes, they would be atheists by definition. Their belief that there are no gods would be logically untenable, but it would still be atheism. In fact there was one on a former forum who took the gnostic -atheist position but, (after it had been pointed out) accepted that technically he could not be certain. But he probably still had a high certainty that there are no gods. I think that is pretty likely myself.,

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Re: Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

Post #46

Post by TRANSPONDER »

Realworldjack wrote: Sat Jan 08, 2022 11:01 pm [Replying to benchwarmer in post #41]

Why the need to pigeon hole atheists as having more than a lack of belief in gods?
This is hilarious! I am not in any way whatsoever attempting to "pigeon hole atheists"? I really do not care what one believes. I am simply attempting to understand the difference now, between what we refer to as an atheist, as opposed to an agnostic? That's it! Because you see, I have to admit I must have been mistaken because at one point I was under the impression that an atheist did not believe there was a god. If we go back to what I supplied in my last post, this is exactly what it has to say about the atheist position, and I attempted to look for a site which would be neutral. Again, from dictionary.com,
Atheist vs. agnostic
There is a key distinction. An atheist doesn’t believe in a god or divine being. The word originates with the Greek atheos, which is built from the roots a- (“without”) and theos (“a god”). Atheism is the doctrine or belief that there is no god.

However, an agnostic neither believes nor disbelieves in a god or religious doctrine. Agnostics assert that it’s impossible for human beings to know anything about how the universe was created and whether or not divine beings exist.
Here is the link so you can look for yourself, and you can tell me if it is a neutral site?
https://www.dictionary.com/e/atheism-agnosticism/

So then, if I am not mistaken, this article certainly seems to be saying, atheists hold certain beliefs concerning gods. If this is not correct, I have no problem with it.
That seems to be what you and others are attempting to make happen. It's not working.
Well, as far as I am concerned, "it's not working" because I am not attempting "to make it happen". If you claim to be atheist, and you want to be known as simply "lacking belief" I have no problem with that in the least.
If you simply tell me you are a theist, should I then go ahead and assume your other beliefs in regards to gods beyond simply that you believe at least one god claim? Should I also assume you are a Christian without asking you? Should I start claiming that you believe in various attributes about the god you believe in based simply on your theism? Seems kinda silly to me, but that's what this whole discussion seems like only the other way around.
How in the world am I assuming anything about the atheist position, by asking these questions? I am simply having trouble at this point determining the difference between the atheist, and the agnostic? If these questions make me stupid, I will certainly own it. So then, call me stupid, and explain to me the difference? Because you see, the article I supplied, claims the difference would be, "atheism is the doctrine or belief there is no god". Again, I do not care! Please explain what advantage I would gain by attempting to force the atheist to hold a certain belief?
Trying to redefine what atheist means
Again, please explain to me, how in the world would asking for clarification, be considered to be, attempting to "redefine what atheist means"?
or attempt to build some sort of "gotcha moment" by pretending that atheist really means more than it does is pointless.
If I ask you what it means to be atheist, and you explain to me, it is simply a "lack of belief in god" what sort of "gotcha moment" would there be? Allow me to attempt to explain something to you. If you were to tell me, you BELIEVE there to be no gods, I will assure you that I would not in any way attempt to cause this to be a "gotcha moment". In other words, I am not going to attempt to force the "burden of proof" upon you, because you are not in any way making a truth claim, by sharing with me, what you happen to believe. This would only occur, when, and if, one were to go on to insist, there would be no god. It would be at this point, one would own the "burden of proof". One does not own the "burden of proof" simply by sharing what it is they believe.
It would be like atheists redefining what it means to be a Christian and then attacking your position because you identify as Christian. Is that what you want? It would make as much sense.
Again, if one identifies as an atheist, and is simply sharing with others what they believe, and does not make any sort of truth claims which cannot be demonstrated to be true, then I fail to see where there could be any sort of "gotcha moment", because I cannot see where such a one would own any sort of, "burden of proof" simply sharing what they believe. In the same way, a Christian who is simply sharing what they believe to be true, who does not make any sort of truth claims which cannot be demonstrated to be true, would not own any sort of burden.
Ok. It ia accepted that you are not trying to wrongfoot or debunk atheism. Do cut is a little slack; atheism has consistently been on the end of these sorts of arguments specifically by theist apologists trying to prove that atheism is illogical or even does not exist, or (particularly) has the burden of proof (disproof of gods) rather than theism having the burden of proving the god -claim.

Redefining what atheism means is a favourite ploy. It is great that you are not trying to do that but understand us. So by now, what has not been adequately explained that you need to understand?

"However, an agnostic neither believes nor disbelieves in a god or religious doctrine. Agnostics assert that it’s impossible for human beings to know anything about how the universe was created and whether or not divine beings exist" Almost right, but confusing the knowledge position with the belief position. "Agnostics assert that it’s impossible for human beings to know anything about how the universe was created and whether or not divine beings exist" Cosmic origins is actually a scientific or physics question. But one can be 'agnostic' about anything. It is actually logically untenable (and there I suspect a philosophical definition) that one cannot know because we have to be agnostic about what we will or may eventually know or not. It is the same with divine beings. All we can logically say is that nobody knows for certain, because technically nobody knows even if they think they do or are very sure and certain, hopefully on valid evidential and logical grounds. Therefor practical agnosticism (as distinct from what appears to be metaphysical agnosticism) is a 'not knowing' position.

It is not a belief - position. Given that we are all (technically) agnostics ,this logically follows: "However, an agnostic neither believes nor disbelieves in a god." That is the logical belief position that follows and is atheism, based on agnosticism and is not agnosticism itself. It is a very common misunderstanding of the definitions and the logical position. It is a view I had myself once - that agnosticism was a rational and reasonable belief -position but atheism was an extreme denial -position.

I don't know who put this misrepresentation of atheism about but it is still very common and was even in Websters (showing it was a religious view of atheism [denial of God]) as a common usage before they did a revision with a more inclusive definition. You will readily see how it can be used to engineer a 'gocha' moment by showing (by a wrong definition) that the atheist bears the burden of proof. It is so very very common that we may be forgiven for thinking that's what's going on. Let me have a look at that link.

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Re: Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

Post #47

Post by TRANSPONDER »

Well, Dictionary com is handy but maybe (Like Wiki) can have some debatable information. I thinks that Websters may have a better handle on the definitions. I can't go in too deep because I have a dislike of 'We value your privacy - that's why we want your permission to invade it with cookies'. So that's cutting me off from a few sites.

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Re: Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

Post #48

Post by Realworldjack »

[Replying to benchwarmer in post #44]
Look, perhaps my reply has seemed a bit harsh.
Hey look! No worries! I never take anything at all personal here. I also understand I come across as "harsh" as well, but it is not my intent. I like to express myself in the way that I wish, and allow others to do the same, because it is my hope that we are all more concerned about the truth, than we are about our feelings.

Thanks so much for the reply!

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Re: Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

Post #49

Post by Realworldjack »

[Replying to TRANSPONDER in post #46]
or (particularly) has the burden of proof (disproof of gods) rather than theism having the burden of proving the god -claim.
Okay? This is another thing I am attempting to understand? How does the atheist have the advantage, over the theist as far as the "burden of proof is concerned"? If the atheist is not making any sort of truth claims which they cannot demonstrate would be fact, they would not own the burden. However, if a Christian is simply sharing what they believe to be true, not making any sort of truth claims which cannot be demonstrated to be fact, how does such a Christian own the burden?

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Re: Is Atheism Simply a Lack of Belief?

Post #50

Post by TRANSPONDER »

Realworldjack wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 11:36 am [Replying to TRANSPONDER in post #46]
or (particularly) has the burden of proof (disproof of gods) rather than theism having the burden of proving the god -claim.
Okay? This is another thing I am attempting to understand? How does the atheist have the advantage, over the theist as far as the "burden of proof is concerned"? If the atheist is not making any sort of truth claims which they cannot demonstrate would be fact, they would not own the burden. However, if a Christian is simply sharing what they believe to be true, not making any sort of truth claims which cannot be demonstrated to be fact, how does such a Christian own the burden?
Yes. The one making (or maintaining) a claim (what's in the Bible is reliable) has the burden of proof.

However, I argue a rather individual logical position on the Bible. It exists. It is not a claim by evidence. Christian apologetics argues, with reason, that if we don't trust the Bible, how can we trust any other book? Thus I do see the burden of proof being on the Bible -critic (atheist usually) to show that it is not credible. Many atheists think it is for the Bible - believer to prove that it is true, but I think that first the atheist has to make a good case that it isn't. That I think is what these debates are all about.

Now the Christian can believe whatever they like. They can even say they believe whatever they like. But if they are going to have any persuasive credibility with anyone else, they have to make a case, just as atheists do. :D because even without the burden of proof, we can't just say 'I don't care what you say..I still don't believe'. The Christian presents their case and atheists have to be able to refute or rebut it. We cannot just stick our fingers in our ears and say 'Still don't believe you' and expect to have any credibility. We need good reasons why we are not persuaded by the Christian apologetics case. Of course once the rebuttal is made it is ball back in the Christian court and they cannot credibly say 'Well I don't care what you say; I still believe...' but they often do. It is called Faith -based denial and atheist apologetics cannot do it.

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