"most atheists simply reject these claims without making any positive assertion about gods being impossible or nonexistent"<quoted text>Dream on. This is exactly backwards.
Most theists are gnostic theists. They tell us that they know for an ironclad fact that their god exists.
They see him everywhere they look, and offer the world as evidence to the rest of us that they are correct. They say that their god has spoken to them.
And they say that we can see their god too, but that we hate him and are trying to avoid accountability with him.
Contrarily, most atheists simply reject these claims without making any positive assertion about gods being impossible or nonexistent. I posted exactly that yesterday with reference to intelligent design:
God Himself wrote: "Why couldn't natural intelligence cause the formation of the universe by intelligently designing; even by evolution in as much as it is a process that can be used to create intelligently?"
IANS replied: "I can't say that it couldn't have, and I don't."
Merriam - Webster.
: one who believes that there is no deity
One who believes is a positive assertion