It's not science that says there's no creator, but logic, James.
Can science actually/positively say there is no creator who jump started everything we see in this universe?
"Create" is a word human beings invented to apply to certain kinds of activities such as molding clay, making up a song or dance, building or sculpting. It refers to human activities which produce a product. To take that word and apply it to the entire universe is to stretch it far beyond the context in which it makes sense. Metaphors have limits. This one is illogical because it doesn't just go outside of the set (human activities that produce a product), it jumps to an "outside" of the "universe" of that set, and of all the sets of the-universe-as-we-know-it. You can put together the words "and now divide by zero and multiply by infinity," but that doesn't mean they make sense. Religious memeplexes are inherently nonsense. As soon as you apply the word "believe" to this nonsense you enter into territory of "What does it mean to say "believe in" applied to something that's nonsense?"
AN has a group for making up your own religion. How about the Great God Round-Square? Do you believe in Round-Square? The thing is, that part of our brain that distinguishes what's true and real isn't capable of logic, or even of language. It's part of the primitive brain. Fortunately, we do have a cerebral cortex that can question such gut feelings. Horray!
I've just seen this on another forum (jref, someone has a friend who claims to be an atheist, but who believes in a LOT of conspiracy theories. It seems this person rejects ALL popular/common explanations for things, eliminating both religion and common sense). Being an atheist does not necessarily mean being more logical or reasonable than others.
It's hard to know how many do what, but my guess is MOST atheists come to this position (or remain in this position) through reason and the lack of evidence for any deity despite innumerable claims of such existence. Others might not have given it much thought, if any at all.
"...reason is the afterthought to justify the choice...."
Are you speaking for yourself, or for all humankind?
Trance, at one point you asked two questions but answered only one:
Thanks for pointing that out Tom. I thought I answered both but I guess I wasn't clear.
1. Yes one can be an atheist and still have superstitious beliefs (Buddhists who believe that Buddha was a man and not a god but also believe in reincarnation are one example).
2. No. Not all come to atheism through reason and sound logic. I didn't. I was not indoctrinated into theism and simply grew up without religion. My dad was a Mechanical Engineer and introduced Materialism, Humanism, and other such concepts to me as a child. When I asked him if there was such a thing as god (all my friends claimed there was) he simply responded No. And that was it.
3. Are all atheists rational? No. My friend, as much as I think she's a fantastic, kind, humane person, is not rational where her particular belief system is concerned. She has a preferred superstition. She is rational on many other things but not on this one. She isn't an atheist because she applied sound logic and reason. She's an atheist because she prefers a superstition which doesn't include gods or godesses.
Anti-Theism is a belief and Anti-Theists are activists who believe that religion poses a danger to our world, must be rationally argued against, exposed for it's true nature, and it's special privilege card removed.
I am an Anti-Theist, have been since 9/11 and will continue to be. ;-D
Most atheistic communities are actually based on this concept and get together on those grounds. It's just not expressed that way and should be.
There are atheists who aren't Anti-Theists.
I haven't read all the replies, but the question about having no belief in any gods versus believing there are no gods is analogous to watching the TV: you can watch a channel (ie, you believe there's a god - the channel you're watching), you can watch the snow of a channel that's tuned to nothing (ie, you believe there's no god), or you can turn off the TV (ie, you don't believe in any gods).
The first two options are based on belief. The last is based on no belief and is (in my opinion) the True Atheist (TM) position ;-)
I'm a-theist, a-fairies, a-leprechauns, a-sasquatches. I believe in none of them and I further don't believe in Russell's orbiting teapot.
Dan Barker of FFRF: It turns out that the word atheism means much less than I had thought. It is merely the lack of theism [...] Basic atheism is not a belief. It is the lack of belief. There is a difference between believing there is no god and not believing there is a god — both are atheistic, though popular usage has ignored the latter [...].
I moved from Methodism to atheism beginning in 1954. At the time and for a ten year old, I believe my moving was prompted by reason. "Under God" entered the pledge that year. I thought, "No god worth its salt needs a bunch of guys to put it in the pledge I might not want to say." I was precocious and snarky, but...