Atheists are just in denial

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It has been suggested that this article be merged with Atheists know there is a God

This accusation arises frequently as a strawman against atheists.

I see atheism as being internally inconsistent. I don't think it's rational to hold an atheistic viewpoints. I think that when you examine the evidence that you'll conclude that there must be a god ... [Atheism is] the act of denial of God. - Matt Slick - Atheist Experience #592 @ 1:06:00
The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." Psalm 53:1 Bible-icon.png

Understanding Denial[edit]

Similar to the phrase "believe in" that implies attributes that aren't necessarily true, 'denial' makes some serious accusations about the atheist.

Merriam-Webster definition of 'Denial'

  1. refusal to satisfy a request or desire
  2. refusal to admit the truth or reality (as of a statement or charge) (2) : assertion that an allegation is false
  3. refusal to acknowledge a person or a thing : disavowal
  4. the opposing by the defendant of an allegation of the opposite party in a lawsuit
  5. self-denial
  6. negation in logic
  7. a psychological defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality

The bold entries are the definitions that would seem to be relevant to the discussion. Overall, the accusation is this:

  1. God is proven
  2. The atheist, for whatever reason, doesn't want to admit to the obvious truth
  3. The atheist is in denial

Counter Apologetics[edit]

Besides the strawman definition of atheism, in order for the accusation to hold true, the assertion that sufficient evidence exists to support the God claim must be demonstrated. The #1 most consistently and demonstrably effective means at precisely and accurately learning about reality, and how it works, is the scientific method. Arguably, no other method even remotely comes close. Thus, by default, the scientific method is employed. Presumably, one would use the most effective tool for the job, not the least.

In order for the evidence to be sufficient, several (minimum) requirements must be met:

  1. The evidence meets the standards of evidence for science
  2. The evidence must avoid having any logical fallacies embedded into the argument
  3. Sufficient quantities of evidence must be gathered to meet the burden of proof, and the requirements with respect to the severity of extraordinary claims

Failure to meet these requirements means the evidence is invalidated, and can be rationally discarded, until the problems are addressed and resolved. The accusation that evidence exists that indicates a god is invalid, and thus, there's nothing to be "in denial' about. Another fallacy the theist's argument commits is special pleading, assuming that their own version of a deity is the only one people worship or that probably truly exists, and that all other deities must be fake, while many (mostly just as unfalsifiable) deities of other religions are just as possible to exist and valid as theirs.