By definition, not practice.- if we are playing with definitions;
Let's say I'm the aspontaneist, you're the spontaneist- now by definition you are adding the belief and all the burden of proof is on you.... So we just reversed the burden of proof without changing either of our beliefs!
Is playing word games like this the best you can do? I'm disappointed. I know all about nitpicking and playing with definitions in order to jerk other people around, attacking their arguments without proving any of my own. I gave it up as a bad deal a long time ago, because I figured out that I wasn't really accomplishing anything.
By practice, atheists don't believe in gods, whereas theists do. That is the inescapable fact of the matter. Therefore, it is contingent upon theists to fulfill the burden of proof for their gods, not upon atheists to prove that said gods don't exist.
As I posted above, if we can both just acknowledge that we both have unprovable theories to compare, wouldn't that be the basis for a far more interesting discussion?
No, because it's also an incorrect statement. Atheism isn't a theory. It's simply a statement that no god has ever been observed, and no evidence for gods has ever held up, therefore until someone provides such, there's no point in believing in deities. For that matter, theism isn't a theory either, because it's not really based on reason and logic in the first place. How many theists undertook a rational, logical path which led them to their belief? My guess is that none did. Instead, they either had them inculcated at an early age (before they learned to question or think for themselves), or else had a strong emotional experience which led to their belief.
theists acknowledge the element of faith, that their belief can't be proven, do atheists?
I think atheists already know that they can't absolutely prove that deities don't exist. It's theists who insist that deities exist without providing any real evidence to prove it. Even you, to be perfectly honest. For example, your "spontaneous automated universe creating mechanism" argument didn't provide actual evidence for any deity. Instead, you're basically saying that you don't believe in a SAUCM, therefore a god must have done it. That's not evidence.
Let's take your claim that theism and atheism made contrasting predictions regarding the origin of the universe. The actual fact of the matter is that every variety of theism made a 'prediction' about how the universe was created - and every single one of them got it wrong. Not a single branch of any theism that predated the Big Bang Theory ever posited a universe that expanded from an infinitely small, infinitely dense point. Yeah, sure, scientists predicted a steady state universe, and were wrong. They also admitted it when the evidence showed that they were, and developed a new theory to account for that. By comparison, there are theists who flat-out say that the evidence is wrong and that their particular creation myth is right; there are theists who attempt to incorporate elements of the existing evidence into their creation myth so they can continue to claim that it was divinely inspired (even though it never actually mentions this evidence, which a divinely-inspired story would); and there are some theists who are willing to admit that their religion must reflect reality, as you seem to.
I'll grant that the latter is the sanest of the three, and all things being equal, if theists primarily consisted of the latter there wouldn't be nearly as much of a problem with the whole idea. However, the vast majority of theists are not like you. They firmly believe that their beliefs trump reality, to the point where their particular holy book is vastly more important than any scientific discovery ever, and if everyone only believed exactly the same as they did, everything would be perfect and God would fix all the problems of the universe.
Do you see why atheists are so concerned about theism?