Epistemology vs. Atheism
Epistemology is the study of knowledge. Epistemology divides knowledge into three categories: 1) Rationalism, 2) Empiricism, 3) Intuitionism.
From the perspective of rationalism, empiricism and intuitionism are rejected because they are irrational. Empiricism rejects rationalism and intuitionism because they are unempirical. And thirdly, intuitionism rejects rationalism and empiricism because they are unintuitive e.g. intuitionist mathematics considers itself epistemologically superior to rationalist mathematics.
Atheists, for some strange reason, usually take the side of rationalism, and therefore reject empiricism and intuitionism without even thinking about them. For example, atheists say that they reject intuitionism (including mysticism), simply because it is irrational. See this list of irrational precepts rejected by atheists: http://www.rationalresponders.com/hamurookis_irrational_precepts
In that list, atheists reject mystical knowledge (intuitionism) simply because it is irrational. Atheists therefore reject a huge swath of mathematics, which is intuitionism. This article introduces intuitionism: http://www.philosophyprofessor.com/philosophies/intuitionism.php
Of course intuitionism is irrational. That’s why it’s called ‘intuitionism’ and not ‘rationalism’. And of course empiricism is irrational, simply because empiricism is the opposite of rationalism.
In summary, atheists usually say that they reject ideas simply on the basis of whether or not they are rational. But by doing that, atheists are rejecting empiricism and intuitionism without even thinking i.e. atheism actually discourages thinking in this respect. Atheists are therefore not the ‘deeper thinkers’ that they claim to be. Atheists therefore actually think less about the boundary between knowledge and belief than do epistemologists.
To help clarify my position, I am neither an atheist, nor a theist. I am an epistemologist. I am therefore open to all three categories of knowledge – rationalism, empiricism, and intuitionism.