Now most include two things (1) rejection (2) mere lack. Why? Because with the advent of the internet age atheism got a new lease on life and was givien this organizing tool, it began crowding out agnosticism. Agnosticism began to appear in the guise of "weak atheism." Then atheism became a mere lack of belief that sees itself as a natural default position. Atheists love to think that all people are born natural atheists, which is obviously disproved by the recent studies about brain structure and innate ideas of God.
Atheism has never been merely a lack of bleief. If you were honest about what you really think, your behavior and tendencies, it always accompanies certain assumptions about the nature of the world, about naturalism and about physical laws.Atheism is clearly more than just the lack of a belief, which really should be called "agnosticism."
I've always thought the atheist default position was pretentious and presumptive,and designed by someone who just lionized atheism. But there should be a religious default position to the extent that there's no particular reason to assume naturalism over any other position. The world doesn't come to us wrapped in philosophical labels. We have to go to school and learn them, and most of the time they play on our prejudices. There's no reason to validate one over another form the outset. There is no base line for comparison from which one can say unaccountably, "there is nothing beyond the material realm," and thus no basis for comparison such that we can say materialism is the natural state. But my religious a prori argument would argue that religion is not derivative from other disciplines but is a valid thing in itself own right. As such we can assume the properly basic nature of religious belief as a 'default" position
1) The notion of something from nothing violates basic assumptions of materialism
a. materialism is based upon cause and effect
Dictonary of Philosphy Anthony Flew, article on "Materialism"
"...the belief that everything that exists is either matter or entirely dependent upon matter for its existence." Center For Theology and the Natural Sciences Contributed by: Dr. Christopher Southgate: God, Humanity and the Cosmos (T&T Clark, 1999) http://www.ctns.org/Information/information.html Is the Big Bang a Moment of Creation?(this source is already linked above)
"...Beyond the Christian community there was even greater unease. One of the fundamental assumptions of modern science is that every physical event can be sufficiently explained solely in terms of preceding physical causes. Quite apart from its possible status as the moment of creation, the Big Bang singularity is an offense to this basic assumption. Thus some philosophers of science have opposed the very idea of the Big Bang as irrational and untestable."
b) Something from nothing contradicts materialism
Science and The Modern World, Alfred North Whitehead.
NY: free Press, 1925, (1953) p.76
"We are content with superficial orderings form diverse arbitrary starting points. ... science which is employed in their development [modern thought] is based upon a philosophy which asserts that physical causation is supreme, and which disjoints the physical cause from the final end. It is not popular to dwell upon the absolute contradiction here involved."[Whitehead was an atheist]
c) Causality was the basis upon which God was expelled from Modern Science
It was La Plase's famous line "I have no need of that Hypothesis" [meaning God] Which turned the scientific world form believing (along with Newton and assuming that order in nature proved design) to unbelief on the principle that we dont' need God to explain the universe because we have independent naturalistic cause and effet. [Numbers, God and Nature]
2) Materialism Undermines Itself
a) Big Bang contradicts causality (see quotation above)
b) QM theory seems to contradict cause/effect relationship.
c) Rejection of final cause
3) Probabilistic Justification for assumption of Cause
We still have a huge justification for assuming causes inductively, since nothing in our experience is ever uncased. The mere fact that we can't see or find a cause isn't a proof that there isn't one.
4) Therefore, we have probabilistic justification for assuming Final cause
Thus, the basis upon which God was dismissed from scientific thought has been abandoned;the door to consideration of God is open again. The reliance upon naturalistic cause and effect in consideration of ultimate origins is shattered, but this does not make it rational to just assume that the universe popped into existence with no cause. Since we have vast precedent for assuming cause and effect, we should continue to do so. But since naturalistic cause and effect seems unnecessary at the cosmic level, we should consider the probability of an ultimate necessary final cause.