Oh, how I wish my mod points hadn't just expired. Mod^^^^^. Listen up slashdot nerds, we're doing symbolic logic. Let's call "god does not exist" proposition P.
* Atheism: the value of P is "true"
* Agnosticism: the value of P is "unknown"
Thus "atheism" is by definition a metaphysical belief system (or at least a component of one), because it affirms at least one particular propositional statement about metaphysics. Defining atheism as a lack of a belief system is merely a convenient way of using weasel-words to avoid having to defend the propositional statements contained in one's position.
"The misuse of language induces evil in the soul" -Socrates
vanilla doesn't suit everyone. I've used Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu and Arch (and several of their derivatives) full-time. From that experience I've learned two things:
* Arch is my favourite distro.
* My life is better when I use Ubuntu full time.
Arch has a simpler init, a better config structure, a better filesystem layout, a simpler packaging format that's easy to create build scripts for and amazingly good documentation. Also, all the points people make about AUR are valid, its marvellous. Much to love there. And that would be enough to outweigh the initial time investment of a day or two to get the system up and running how I want. But the vanilla packages are what kills the experience for me.
That's sort-of a sad realisation to come to, but it is a practical reality for many. It's not that I don't have the skills to maintain an Arch system well (I used to do sysadmin for Debian and CentOS systems), it's just that I don't have the time. Nowadays, I genuinely appreciate the Debian packaging philosophy where the package maintainers go out of their way to make sure the package is compatible and well-integrated with the rest of the distribution. With Arch, installing a new package also often requires me to spend half an hour or so configuring it or figuring out some little compatibility issue with another application. The pain is ongoing.
Rolling release doesn't help me either. I used to think it was a great idea. "Never need to reinstall again!", not like Ubuntu where I tend to reinstall every 6 months when there's a new release. However, in practice the releases give packagers some idea of the environment they are creating packages for and actually result in less time spent tinkering with the system.
Arch is a magnificent vision for what a distro could be, but it is geared a little too strongly to hobby purposes for my needs. I have work to do. Maybe Slackware would fill in the niche I've been describing, but it seems to be even less up-to-date than Debian stable.
In the realm of scientific observation, luck is granted only to those who are prepared. - Louis Pasteur