to me it is simple. if you can believe that events can occur with NO cause, atheism can be entertained, but not proved. if you believe that events have a cause (not necessarily a reason), then atheism makes zero sense. would you describe to me some events that have no cause? you have a common problem, you cannot believe in God as he is depicted by religious human beings. you cannot mentally seperate this concept from the concept of a creator of the universe. if the earth blew up and destroyed all mankind, the Bible, the Koran, all holy men, all churches and idols, do you think the universe would continue on? if so, what would be the Cause?
I agree that atheism cannot be proven in the sense that it cannot be proven that there are no deities. However, keep in mind that I do not make such a statement. My atheism is based on the fact that I am not convinced that deities exist, and I can prove that easily (in fact, I don’t have to since it’s just a statement of opinion).
Semantic issues aside, let’s look at cause and effect.
You insist that all effects have a cause. From this, can I infer that you are a determinist? Personally, I assume that all effects have a cause, but I can’t prove it. Some effects in quantum physics (such as pair production and radioactive decay) certainly appear to be random and causeless. We assume that there is some underlying cause (such as a superstring theory) but to my knowledge we can’t prove it. I’m hoping another reader of my blog will chime in if this is not the case.
But even if effects do require a cause, why would that imply that atheism doesn’t make sense? There are a number of consistent, reasonable theories for how our universe could have been caused without invoking any kind of deity. So far as I can see, it’s theism that proposes that something extra exists uncaused — a deity.
When you describe my “common problem” you are completely incorrect (and I think we have covered this ground before). I very frequently include the possibility of deities other than those conceived by humanity in my discussion of religion. In fact, it appears to me that if there are any sort of deities out there, they are most likely nothing like what people currently worship.