Ascribing a state of mind to a listing of facts?
Well, Thomas' last sentence was aggressive and uncalled for, and his whole argument contradictory. He starts with telling us that dictionaries get to define Atheism (and then that they don't...), and follows with a definition that actually vindicates me and proves you wrong: the denial of the existence of God or gods
refers to a belief that there is no god(s). That is often called 'hard Atheism', as opposed to 'soft Atheism' which is what you mean, the disbelief or absence of belief in gods. So when I wrote:
I could not disagree more with the idea than atheism is 'nothing' or only the absence of something.
... I was actually in the right. Atheism is not ONLY an absence of belief. It can ALSO mean a positive belief in the absence of gods.
I don't really see how all this casuistry matters anyway, since we were talking about the possible practical consequences or influences in real life of certain forms of atheism. Not of what IS Atheism in some sort of essentialist way.
Even if, for the sake of the argument, all forms of atheism were about the absence of belief (which there are not), there can be consequences to things like the prolonged absence
of food or water in your diet... Ever thought of that? It works for beliefs too: the absence of a belief in, say, ascribing a particularly high value to human life can lead one to dire consequences as compared to what tends to happen to people having a belief in the high importance of human lives.
Absence can have consequences... Duh.
Atheism can have consequences too. Everything does, and however you want to define it.
Atheism provides no privilege, no immunity, no hiding place from accountability. Nor should it. Religion does that, if you're interested.