Folks in the Amazon jungle obviously do not believe that
the Christian God exists, but neither can they be said to believe that such a
God does not exist, since they lack
the concept of such a God to begin with.
Because of this, it is certainly legitimate for atheism to be
characterized as a mere lack of belief, rather than a positive assertion…isn’t
The case of someone in the Amazon is not relevant to an
atheist writing in to a website, however.
Obviously, the atheist in question has knowledge of the concept of the
Christian God, and therefore even the mere lack of belief is open to scrutiny.
More to the point, I am happy to let the atheists define themselves as they
wish. But if they are going to say there
is no evidence for the existence of God or that lack of belief would be
justified in the absence of evidence, these are themselves assertions that
require argument if the atheist wishes to be taken seriously.