I don’t think the AE crew means that they promote “hard” or “strong” atheism. That is the belief that god is imaginary. This is slightly different than the “soft” or “weak” atheist, who simply lacks a belief in gods. I’ve said before that I am a strong atheist, but since I don’t think that is what AE means by positive atheism, I’ll save all that for later.
I think the AE crew means that there are positive things about atheism that are often overlooked. Perhaps there are also things about atheists that are misunderstood, misconstrued, or misinterpreted. I think the idea is that there are positive things that come from the absence of god belief, and they want to try to emphasize them.
I heard on another podcast the term, “goblin atheist”. This was used to describe the stereotype of atheists. I think the pod cast was Ask an Atheist. Anyway, the person using the term defined it as the atheist most religious people think is the norm, yet I’ve met none. This atheist is angry ay god, having suffered some horrible twist of fate that the atheist blames god for inflicting upon him. The “goblin atheist’ is angry, callous, mean, and hurtful. He sees god as most religious people see the devil, as evil, diabolical and vicious. The point was that this person, while there may be a few who fit the stereotype, is not the most common sample of atheist. This is the outlier, the anomaly, the abnormality. I have to say, I’ve met many atheists; I’ve not encountered a goblin.
Instead, I find atheists who are filled with joy, harmony, peace, and skepticism. I find people who seek knowledge, truth and wisdom. I find atheists who look for community and friendship. If they are bitter about anything, it is the ever-encroaching, ever-intruding, ever-perverting force of religion. If they are angry about anything, it is how victories in freedom of speech allow nutbags like the Westboro Baptists to protest funerals. And yet, they remain focused on helping those who have come to reason to find each other, to network together, and support one another.
I think atheism is a positive thing. It holds no supernatural savior will help us; we must help ourselves. We must help each other. God isn’t here; we are.