I don't know why it is so difficult for religious believers to understand that atheism isn't a belief. But during the 14 years I've been blogging here on the Church of the Churchless, I keep hearing, "Atheism is just another belief system."
Below is a recent comment on this subject by Osho Robbins. I liked the way he described the atheist position, and how he related this to a not guilty verdict by a court.
If I say I have a disbelief you are a king, it generally means that I believe you are not a king. If I have no belief one way or another whether you are a king, I would not say I have a disbelief you are a king.
Example: when a person is accused of a crime and is before the court, the verdicts are either GUILTY or NOT GUILTY. There is no verdict called INNOCENT.
Here's why: GUILTY verdict means: There is enough evidence to determine the accused is guilty. NOT GUILTY means: There is NOT enough evidence to determine the accused is guilty.
He may still have committed the crime. But there is not enough evidence to determine this. It does not mean he is INNOCENT, he may or may not be.
The atheist position is this: I don't think there is enough evidence to warrant a belief in god. Hence he says, I have a disbelief in a god. Lack of belief.
He does not say, "Therefore there is no god." Rather he says "there might be" but there is no reason or evidence to support the belief that there is a god.
Hence the atheist has no burden of proof. A negative cannot be proven anyway.
The burden of proof falls on the person who makes a claim. The atheist makes no claim. The atheist simply states he does not believe in a god. He is not saying there is no god. That would be making a claim. This is the 'soft' atheist position.