A person cannot be both together – a rationalist and an atheist. It is impossible. Either you can be a rationalist or you can be an atheist. A rationalist cannot believe in anything. A rationalist cannot have any belief – in God or in no God. A rationalist suspends all belief. A rationalist can only be an agnostic; he can only say, ”I do not know.”
The moment you say ”I know,” you are no longer a rationalist. The moment you say ”I know that God does not exist,” you are as irrational as the person who says God exists. You have lost track.
How can you say God is not?
The whole existence has not yet been measured. There are depths upon depths, there is much still unknown. A little is known. Far more remains unknown and unknowable. How can you say dogmatically that God is not?
A rationalist will avoid all temptation of dogmatism. He will say, ”I do not know.” Socrates was a rationalist, but he was not an atheist.
Atheism means you are against theism; you have chosen a belief. To believe in God is a belief; to believe in no God is a belief again. You remain a believer.
To be a rationalist is very difficult, arduous, because man wants to cling to some belief.