Yeah...Truth is, both sides have to provide evidence for their argument. The whole burden of proof is just a cop-out by both sides. Both theists and atheists use it. Atheists usually try to argue that the burder of proof is on the rligious believer because atheism is just the lack of belief....which is wrong. The lack of belief is agnosticism. Atheists actually claim God does not exist. Theists claim God does exist. Both have to support their argument.
No. Atheism/theism is completely different from being agnostic/gnostic. Atheism and theism deals with what a person believes. Agnosticism deals with what a person knows (or at least what s/he think he knows). If you believe in God, then you are a theist. If you don't, then you are an atheist (which doesn't necessarily mean you believe God doesn't exist). If you believe you know whether God exist or doesn't exist, then you are gnostic. If you believe it's impossible to know, then you are agnostic.
Agnosticism isn't some middle ground be atheism and theism. Agnosticism is compatible with both atheism and theism. With that said, there are four categories that a person can fall into:
- Gnostic Theist - A person who thinks they know that at least one deity exists
- Agnostic Theist - A person who believes that at least one deity exists, but accepts that they cannot know for certain.
- Agnostic Atheist - A person who does not believe in the existance of a deity, OR --more specifically-- believes in the inexistance of a deity, but accepts that they cannot know for certain.
- Gnostic Atheist - A person who thinks they know that no deity exists.
Also, there's two types of atheists. One, those who explicitly assert that no deity exist. And then there's everyone else, those who simply do not believe in a God.
To describe all atheists, the only definition acceptable is "those who lack a belief in a deity". Once you start referring to people who explicitly believe in the lack of a deity, then you're talking about a specific group of atheists who DO NOT represent all atheists.