what does “atheism” really mean?

Atheists_t-shirtMike Dobbins at Killing the Buddha:

But there is another definition of atheism available to us: “a: a disbelief in the existence of a deity. B: the doctrine that there is no deity.” (Merriam-Webster), or even Urban Dictionary’s second definition, “A person who believes no god or gods exist.” This is a meaningful definition of atheism one can sink their teeth into. This accurately informs me and the world what atheists actually do believe about God. Most important for the atheist, it is in line with reality. Atheists do have beliefs or disbeliefs regarding God, just as they have beliefs and disbeliefs regarding heaven, the soul, and the afterlife.

When approached with such celestial concepts, an atheist does not try to conceal their actual beliefs by saying they have a ‘lack of belief in’ a soul. They properly state either a positive belief that there is no soul, a negative belief that they don’t believe in a soul, or on rare occasion, a belief in a soul. The atheist is perfectly willing, and able, to state their beliefs regarding this and other supernatural propositions. Should God be an exception? Of course he shouldn’t be.

Whether it be heaven, a soul, God, or a favorite atheist God, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, one takes a belief or disbelief on the concept. The introduction of the idea forces the conscious and intelligent human brain to automatically deliberate the proposition, especially ones of such magnitude.

more here.