P. 1


|Views: 99|Likes:
Published by Atheerah Aris

More info:

Published by: Atheerah Aris on Mar 16, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as DOC, PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less






  • Etymology
  • Definitions and distinctions
  • Rationale
  • History
  • Demographics
  • Atheism, religion, and morality
  • Notes
  • [edit]References
  • [edit]Further reading



About Atheism and Atheists: Description, religion & nationalism, number
Read a news feed of current topics, maintained by American Atheists

Description of Atheism: Atheism is not a religion in the sense that Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are. Conventional religions usually include a belief in the nature of deity, other religious beliefs, a moral code, religious rituals and sacraments, and a membership in a religious community. Rather, an Atheist's belief system is confined to one factor: the existence or non-existence of a deity. He or she will have a personal moral code. However, it would generally be derived from purely secular considerations, and will be unrelated to any religious texts. Most Atheists have analyzed the available material evidence for the existence of one or more deities (gods and/or goddesses) and have concluded that there is no real evidence of the existence of gods or goddesses. They generally believe that the universe, Earth and its life evolved by perfectly natural processes. They see no evidence of intervention or guidance by a supernatural entity. They generally feel that ethical and moral systems governing human behavior can be developed without reference to any code of behavior of allegedly divine origin. Other Atheists are people who have simply never been exposed to belief in a deity or deities and therefore have no belief in them. In ancient Greece, the term was used to refer to people who did not believe in the official pagan religion; i.e. unbelievers. "Atheism is derived from the Greek, atheos, and means simply 'away from the belief in a god or gods.' " 3 In ancient Rome, Christians and Jews were often called Atheists because they did not believe in the pantheon of Roman gods and goddesses. Until the word Agnosticism came into general usage during the 19th century, people we now call Agnostics were commonly lumped together with Atheists.

The Constitution of Texas, and those of a few other states allow Atheists to be discriminated against in employment, jury selection, and public office. Fortunately for religious minorities, these sections of individual state Constitutions have been nullified by subsequent provisions in the federal Constitution. In North America, Atheists are:
Not all Communists. However, many Communists are Atheists. Communism is primarily a political and economic belief system. Atheism is a religious belief. The two are not necessarily related. Not Satanists. Most Satanists view themselves as Agnostics or Atheists; they look upon Satan as a symbol, not as a living entity with a personality. Not all secular Humanists. However, many Humanists are Atheists. Not all homosexuals or bisexuals. However some people with minority sexual orientations are Atheists. Not all anarchists. However, some anarchists are Atheists. Again, anarchism is a political belief system whereas Atheism is a religious belief.

The antonym of Atheism is Theism - belief in the existence of a deity. There are thousands of different forms of Theism, just as there are thousands of gods and goddesses that Theists believe in. Atheists have always constituted a very small percentage of the population. The number of people who identify themselves as Atheists has grown rapidly, particularly over the last few decades. This increase may have been partly caused by the decline of attendance at Sunday schools, and churches. It probably also reflects the general increase in secularism within society. Many Atheists who feel a need for spiritual discussion, fellowship in a religious community, and ritual join a congregation of the UnitarianUniversalist Association. Madalyn Murray (later O'Hair), wrote a document used in the court case Murray v. Curlett, 1961-APR-27. It reads, in part: "An Atheist loves himself and his fellow man instead of a god. An Atheist knows that heaven is something for which we should work now here on earth - for all men together to enjoy. An Atheist thinks that he can get no help through prayer but that he must find in himself the inner conviction and strength to meet life, to grapple with it, to subdue, and enjoy it. An Atheist thinks that only in a knowledge of himself and a knowledge of his fellow man can he find the understanding that will help to a life of fulfillment. Therefore, he seeks to know himself and his fellow man rather than to know a god. An Atheist knows that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An Atheist knows that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An Atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He

wants disease conquered, poverty vanquished, war eliminated. He wants man to understand and love man. He wants an ethical way of life. He knows that we cannot rely on a god nor channel action into prayer nor hope for an end to troubles in the hereafter. He knows that we are our brother's keeper and keepers of our lives; that we are responsible persons, that the job is here and the time is now." 4

Religion and nationalism in America National feelings have become so integrated with religion in the United States that many people do not even consider an Atheist to be a true citizen. Some quotations: 5
Chief spokesman for National office of the Boy Scouts: "...once a person admits to not believing in God, this raises the question of whether or not that person believes in America..." "The Boy Scouts of America maintain that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing his obligation to God." Statement on the Boy Scouts of America membership form. "The recognition of God as the ruling and leading power in the universe and the grateful acknowledgment of His favors and blessings are necessary to the best type of citizenship..." Boy Scouts of America policy, 1970 "Who are beneficiaries of the Court's protection? Members of various minorities including criminals, Atheists, homosexuals, flag burners, illegal immigrants (including terrorists), convicts, and pornographers." US Presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, Address to theHeritage Foundation, 1996-FEB-29 "No, I don't know that Atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God." George H.W. Bush 6 "If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a failure as a human being." Jerry Falwell.

On the other hand, the U.S. Constitution guarantees religious freedom to all persons, including the right to be an Atheist:
"The 'establishment of religion' clause of the First Amendment means at least this: neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion." U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, majority opinion; Everson v. Board of Education 330 U.S. 1 (1947) 7 "No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or nonattendance." U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, majority opinion; Everson v. Board of Education 330 U.S. 1 (1947) 7

A new, tongue-in-cheek, name for Atheists: Paul Geisert and Mynga Futrell of California decided to create a new word for "Atheists," in order to encourage them to come out of the closet in spite of the heavy prejudice against them. Taking a cue from homosexuals and their embracing of the term "gay," Geisert and Futrell suggest that "bright" become a synonym for "Atheist." Richard Dawkins wrote in The Guardian: "People reluctant to use the word atheist might be happy to come out as bright." 9

Numbers of Atheists: Estimates of the numbers of Atheists are hopelessly inaccurate:
According to the 2001 World Almanac, Atheists number: 121 million in Asia 56 million in the former USSR 23 million (3.5%) in Europe 2.7 million in Latin America 1.6 million (0.5%) in North America 0.4 million in Oceania 0.4 million in Africa 8 American Atheists claim that almost 30 million Americans are Atheists. They define "Atheist" broadly to include those who firmly believe that no God exists, those that have no belief in God, and those for whom the term "God" has no meaning. This is a broad enough definition to include what others call Atheists and Agnostics. According to the 1991 Canadian Census, there are only 13,515 Atheists in Canada out of a population that was approaching 30 million. However, this number cannot be an accurate value. Many Atheists probably identified themselves to the census taker as Humanists, Free thinkers, Unitarian Universalists, Ethical Culturalists, persons of no religion, etc. In order to obtain an accurate number of Atheists, pollsters cannot simply ask what label a person uses to describe their religion. The pollsters have to ask them about their specific beliefs, if any, in God. A Canadian Angus-Reid poll taken in the mid-1990's studied people's religious beliefs. They found that about 14% of Canadians are Atheists. That would include about 4 million adults in the country. The pollsters found out, apparently to their embarrassment, that Atheists formed the largest single religious category of Canadians. So they split the group into two sub-classifications: real Atheists, and Atheists who attend religious services. This made certain that a Christian classification became the largest. The Graduate Center of the City University of New York conducted the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) in 2001. It was amassive study involving

"Social Studies: A daily miscellany of information.theglobeandmail. 2009-MAR.math.com/ 8. at: http://b27." at: http://www. at: http://www. they identified themselves. This totals about 27 million adults. "George Bush: Citizen's quote.cc. The ARIS study was repeated during 2008." at: http://www. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.com/ 5." at: http://bennyhills.com/ 10. they believe in a higher power but not a personal God. Judaism. The number of Atheists exceeds the number of followers of all of the organized religions in the U.. if any. and those who refused to answer the pollster. except for Christianity and perhaps Judaism.edu/ 1." American Atheists. They asked American adults with which religion.atheists.. 3.atheists. Unitarian Universalists. Board of Education.edu/ 6.. Only 1. "Supreme Court Cases: Emerson v. 4.geocities.S. Michael Kesterton.org/ Liz Burcin.trincoll. 1947.000 (0. 12% are either Atheists (do not believe in God's existence) or Agnostics (do not know whether a personal God exists).6% of American adults call themselves either Atheist or Agnostic." References used: The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. .org/ "Webster's New World Dictionary. Islam and Buddhism. 2003-JUL-2. "Atheist and Agnostic Quotes" at: http://www. "Introduction.com/ 7. They found: Only 70% of Americans believe in a personal God. The World Almanac and Book of Facts (2001). They estimate that 902." The Globe and Mail. If one were to count the number of Agnostics among the Humanists.4%) of Americans identify themselves as Atheists. The Gallup Organization regularly finds that about 93% of the 228. "American Atheists in Pennsylvania." This source is often quoted incorrectly by the media as stating that over 90% of Americans believe in a personal God. 2. if any." American Atheists. in God. "American Religious Identification Survey [ARIS 2008]. The pollsters then asked the respondents about their belief.phschool. at: http://www. 9.000 adults.the interview of over 50. except for Christianity. 12% are Deists. Page 692. It is worth noting that the vast majority of Deists have never heard of the terms "Deist" or "Deism.unl. Online at:http://www." Page 86 "Atheism. which is close to the American Atheists' inclusive estimate for Atheists." Trinity College. 3rd college edition.fortunecity. they would probably outnumber all of the organized religions in the country.2 million American adults (excluding those in Alaska and Hawaii) believe in either a personal God or some "higher power.

Wotan. (There is a difference) Read a news feed of current topics related to Atheism." Dan Barker. I am not afraid of dying and going to Hell or (what would be considerably worse) going to the popularized version of Heaven. It is only one part in thousands.you are inherently human. and thousands of other gods and goddesses.Site navigation: Home > Religions of the world > Atheism > here or Home > Christianity > Christian personalities > God > Atheism > here or Home > Religious information > God > Atheism > here or Home > Spirituality > God > Atheism > here Copyright © 1996 to 2009. Author of "Losing Faith in Faith:" "I have something to say to the religionist who feels atheists never say anything positive: You are an intelligent human being. Fergus. Robinson Non-theistic belief systems Atheism: Belief in no God. You are not inherently evil -. possessing the positive rational potential to help make this a world of morality." . Thor. Trust yourself. maintained by American Atheists Quotations about Atheism: Anon: "Almost every American denies the existence of Artemis. Zeus.A. peace and joy. Baal. Your life is valuable for its own sake. The difference between a Christian and an Atheist is that an Atheist either denies the existence of the Trinity or has no belief in the Trinity. I expect death to be nothingness and. I am thankful to atheism. deriving meaning and purpose from some other mind. The difference is truly insignificant. Cybele." Isaac Asimov. from the article "On Religiosity" in Free Inquiry magazine: "Although the time of death is approaching me. or no belief in God. by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance Latest update: 2009-MAR-11 Author: B. for removing me from all possible fears of death. You are not second-class in the universe.

.. Atheism is not generally perceived as offering a complete guideline for living as do most religions. a philosophy of life. I don't know that Atheists should be considered as citizens. "Atheist." ." 2 Overview: Atheism isn't necessarily a religious belief. often involving rituals.W. and the God of the Old and New Testaments." Others will say that they "have no religion. However. Harrison: ". they are an Atheist.. It is simply the final destination for those who think. Some Atheists. ranging from psychological comfort to entertainment. all of these are fictional constructs invented by clever humans for .atheism is not a conscious act of turning away from all gods.. has ever brought so glad a message to the world as this good news of Atheism. it is certainly a religious issue because it deals with concepts that are found throughout many religions.you will be pleased to discover that the sky does not fall down on your head. I deny the existence of all Gods: those of the Mayans. that Man creates God. you can (the success rate of your prayers is unlikely to change). and aworldview. However.. no religion." Doug Jesseph: "As an atheist.. Islam. any specific system of belief about deity. when asked what their religion is. and. and not from any "revealed" religious text.." George H. 1987-AUG-27: "No." Guy P. a code of ethics. simply.. the Hindu. On this site. the Ancient Egyptians. Atheists frequently derive their own ethics and philosophy of life and worldview using their Atheism as a starting point. Judaism are.Annie Wood Besant: "No philosophy. . will answer." 1 H. These factors are generally derived from secular considerations.. as presidential nominee for the Republican party. Bush. if you still want to pray. . Havelock Ellis: "And it is in his own image." Atheism is not a complete religion in the sense that Christianity. a variety of purposes. let us remember. This is one nation under God. If I am right. we define the term "religion" as: ". nor should they be considered as patriots..

Although the numerical difference is much less that 0. Sikh. most North Americas are Atheists or near Atheists.. About 3 in 4 adults believe in the existence of the Christian Trinity: God the Father. Hindu. Ancient Greek. most Christians believe that one God exists as a Trinity. There exists massive discrimination against Atheists in the U." and is probably the definition used by most theists. Conscientious objectors opposed to participating in warfare were thrown in jail if their . and fear the punishment of Hell. as well as angels. demons.1%. or They exist as demons. In the past.Note that: Atheism relates to a belief in the existence or non-existence of a deity. supernatural entities without most of the powers of the Trinity. this is sometimes referred to as "strong Atheism." Atheism can involve the positive assertion that there is no deity. and many hundreds of other Gods and Goddesses. But many people do not realize that most Atheists in North America are not Communists. ghosts. Ancient Roman. Jesus and Holy Spirit. they either: Regard them as something like the tooth fairy and Easter bunny: mythical entities that do not really exist but were artificially created by humans. the difference in beliefs about God between a typical Christian and a typical Atheist is numerically small: The strong Atheist believes that none of the many thousands of Gods and Goddesses exist." It is the most common dictionary definition for the term "Atheist. This is the belief promoted by the American Atheists and many individual Atheists.S. or whether the person associates any meaning to the terms "God" or "deity. In one way. the philosophical difference is immense. Ancient Egyptian. etc. Atheism can be the absence of a belief that there is a deity. Ancient Sumerian. Part of this may be based on the historical linkage between Communism and Atheism. However. they are not Gods. Thus. this belief had been codified into law. when it comes to the Mayan. Another reason for this discrimination is the common belief that a person cannot be motivated to lead a moral life unless they believe in the carrot and stick system: hope for the reward of heaven. Whatever the other thousands of deities are. Most Communists are Atheists. Atheists often promote the belief that all Gods and Goddesses. are nonexistent entities created by human minds.

skeptical inquiry. and Christianity. is the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. and up to 85% in Sweden. about 2. which was applied with a negative connotation to those thought to reject the gods worshipped by the larger society.[2] Most inclusively. meaning "without gods". Still another cause of discrimination is a widespread linkage between theism -.[3] Atheism is contrasted with theism.9% is described as nonreligious. in a broad sense. application of the term narrowed in scope. Cyprus and some other countries. atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.opposition to killing other humans was not based on belief in God. Robinson Atheism Atheism. Romania. The first individuals to identify themselves as "atheist" appeared in the 18th century. With the spread of freethought. Reference used: 1. or non-believers. agnostics. 45% of Germans believe in God. and 60% in Finland.[4] which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists.[5][6] The term atheism originated from the Greek ἄθεος (atheos)." at: http://bennyhills. 80% in Denmark.A.[10] . and a quarter in Jesus Christ.[11] The percentage of such persons in European Union member states ranges as low as single digits in Malta.American patriotism.[1] In a narrower sense. "George Bush: Citizen's quote. atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist.[7] Today.[8] Between 64% and 80%[9] of Japanese describe themselves as atheists.com/ Site navigation: Home > Ethical groups etc > here Home > Ethical groups etc > Non-theistic groups > here Home > Christianity > Christian personalities > God > here Home > Religious information > God > here Home > Spirituality > God > here Copyright © 1996 to 2010 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance Latest update: 2010-JAN-07 Author: B. Poland.the belief in the existence of God -.3% of the world's population describes itself as atheist.[10] According to a poll by Der Spiegel magazine.fortunecity. while a further 11. 72% in Norway. and subsequent increase in criticism of religion.

the term atheism was derived from the French athéisme in about 1587. Modern translations of classical texts sometimes render atheos as "atheistic". "atheism". Other arguments for atheism range from the philosophical to the social to the historical. but came to denote a separate philosophical doctrine. It was first used as a term of censure roughly meaning "ungodly" or "impious". from the privative ἀ. As an abstract noun.[16] and Hinduism that holds atheism to be valid but difficult to follow spiritually. and the argument from nonbelief. and naturalism. instead of the earlier meaning of "impious". atheism also figures in certain religious and spiritual belief systems. The term ἀσεβής (asebēs) then came to be applied against those who impiously denied or disrespected the local gods. there was also ἀθεότης (atheotēs).Atheists tend to lean towards skepticism regarding supernatural claims. with each side attributing it. due to the influence of atheism. atheists are frequently assumed to be exclusively irreligious or unspiritual.[21] predates atheism in English. deism was originally used as a synonym for today's theism. athée).[18] In early ancient Greek. the adjective atheos (ἄθεος. The term found frequent use in the debate between early Christians and Hellenists. active godlessness in the sense of "severing relations with the gods" or "denying the gods". in the sense of "one who denies or disbelieves the existence of God". [27] Deism and theism changed meanings slightly around 1700.[25] theism in 1678. in the pejorative sense. In the 5th century BCE. Although some atheists tend toward secular philosophies such as humanism.[19] In English.[24] theist in 1662.[12]rationalism. It is usually translated into English as "[those who are] without God".+ θεός "god") meant "godless". as it appears in the Epistle to the Ephesians(2:12) on the early 3rdcentury Papyrus 46. [13] there is no one ideology or set of behaviors to which all atheists adhere.[26] and deism in 1682.[14] In Western culture.[23] Related words emerged later: deist in 1621. Cicerotransliterated the Greek word into the Latin atheos. [15] However.[22] Atheist as a label of practical godlessness was used at least as early as 1577. being first attested in about 1571. such as Jainism. the argument from inconsistent revelations.[citation needed] Common rationales for not believing in any deity include the problem of evil. citing a lack of empirical evidence.[17] Etymology The Greek word αθεοι (atheoi). to the other.[20] The term atheist (from Fr. even if they believed in other gods. the word began to indicate more-intentional.[28] . some forms of Buddhism that do not advocate belief in gods.

or transcendental concepts. explicit rejection. In the 20th century. supernatural. Writers disagree how best to define and classify atheism. Sizes in the diagram are not meant to indicate relative sizes within a population.. The ancient Romans accused Christians of being atheists for not worshiping the pagan deities. specifically denoting disbelief in the monotheisticAbrahamic god. explicit . Implicit weak atheists (in blue on the left) would include people (such as young children and some agnostics) who do not believe in a deity.[31] contesting what supernatural entities it applies to. The plurality of wildly different conceptions of god and deities leads to differing ideas regarding atheism's applicability. whether it is an assertion in its own right or merely the absence of one.[30] With respect to the range of phenomena being rejected. globalization contributed to the expansion of the term to refer to disbelief in all deities. such as those of Hinduism and Buddhism.[30] Definitions and distinctions A chart showing the relationship between the definitions of weak/strong andimplicit/explicit atheism. Range Some of the ambiguity and controversy involved in defining atheism arises from difficulty in reaching a consensus for the definitions of words like deity and god. Nobody would have dreamed of calling himself an atheist. Explicit weak/negative/soft atheists (in blue on theright) reject or eschew belief that any deities exist without actually asserting that"at least one deity exists" is a false statement."[7] Atheism was first used to describe a selfavowed belief in late 18th-century Europe. A variety of categories have been proposed to try to distinguish the different forms of atheism.[29] In the 20th century. though it remains common in Western society to describe atheism as simply "disbelief in God". to the existence of anyspiritual.[32] Implicit vs. The term 'atheist' was an insult. the word 'atheist' was still reserved exclusively for polemic . but have not explicitly rejected such belief. and whether it requires a conscious. this view fell into disfavor astheism came to be understood as encompassing belief in any divinity.Karen Armstrong writes that "During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.. Explicit strong/positive/hard atheists (in purple on the right) assert that "at least one deity exists" is a false statement. atheism may counter anything from the existence of a deity.

. This broad definition would include newborns and other people who have not been exposed to theistic ideas. but who is still unaware of those issues. According to this categorization.[38] and Michael Martin. This category would also include the child with the conceptual capacity to grasp the issues involved. having been used (in slightly different ways) in the philosophical literature[38] and in Catholic apologetics[40] since at least 1813. among them examples of literal "atheists in foxholes.[30] most agnostics see their view as distinct from atheism.[35] There is a position claiming that atheists are quick to believe in God in times of crisis."[37] Positive vs. which they may consider no more justified than theism or requiring an equal conviction. Smith (1979) suggested that: "The man who is unacquainted with theism is an atheist because he does not believe in a god. George H. Some atheists emphasize the fact that there have been examples to the contrary. within this view was the connotation that atheists are simply in denial. While Martin. Positive atheism is the explicit affirmation that gods do not exist.[43] The supposed unattainability of knowledge for or against the existence of gods is sometimes seen as indication that atheism requires a leap of faith. or that "there are no atheists in foxholes. Negative atheism includes all other forms of non-theism."[36] Some proponents of this view claim that the anthropological benefit of religion is that religious faith enables humans to endure hardships better. The fact that this child does not believe in god qualifies him as an atheist.[44] Common atheist responses to this argument include that unproven religious propositions deserve as much disbelief as all other unproven propositions. Before the 18th century. This is called theistic innatism—the notion that all people believe in God from birth. negative Philosophers such as Antony Flew. they have no idea of God. the existence of God was so universally accepted in the western world that even the possibility of true atheism was questioned."[33] Similarly.[30] have contrasted positive (strong/hard) atheism with negative (weak/soft) atheism. while the terms negative and positive atheism are of older origin.Definitions of atheism also vary in the degree of consideration a person must put to the idea of gods to be considered an atheist. In Western civilization. anyone who is not a theist is either a negative or a positive atheist. for example. functioning as an "opium of the people"."[34] Smith coined the term implicit atheismto refer to "the absence of theistic belief without a conscious rejection of it" and explicit atheism to refer to the more common definition of conscious disbelief. As far back as 1772.[41] [42] Under this demarcation of atheism. that atheists make deathbed conversions. Baron d'Holbach said that "All children are born Atheists. Atheism has sometimes been defined to include the simple absence of belief that any deities exist. the view that children are born atheist is relatively recent. asserts that agnosticism entails negative atheism.[39]The terms weak and strong are relatively recent. most agnostics qualify as negative atheists.

and that your soul's. and not to think God is your maker!'[51] Emblem illustrating practical atheism and its historical association with immorality. even passionately. except perhaps the truths of mathematics and formal logic. and to an old man sitting. titled "Supreme Impiety: Atheist and Charlatan". introduced an alternative use for the phrase. agnostic and atheist positions by the probability that each assigns to the statement "God exists".[46] Scottish philosopher J. J. and defending oneself with truthfulness instead of aiming to 'win' any confrontations with outspoken critics. Rationale "A child of the mob once asked an astronomerwho the father was who brought him into this world. meaning one that promotes positive values.[50] Positive atheism entails such things as being morally upright. and said: 'That one there is your body's father.[49] Having grown up in a hierarchical system with a religious basis. The broadest demarcation of atheistic rationale is between practical and theoretical atheism. the terms negative and positive have been used in philosophical literature in a similar manner to the terms weak and strong. not to want to recognize your father.[48] Other usage of the term "Positive Atheism" As mentioned above. individuals live as if there are no gods and explain natural phenomena without resorting to the divine. gods neither provide purpose to life. The scholar pointed to the sky.[52] A form of practical atheism with implications for the scientific community is methodological naturalism—the "tacit adoption or . but may be designated unnecessary or useless. and I'm ashamed to be the child of such an aged man!' 'O what supreme impiety. first published in 1972. fromPicta poesis. some atheist authors such as Richard Dawkins prefer distinguishing theist.[45] and that the unprovability of a god's existence does not imply equal probability of either possibility. Practical atheism Main article: Apatheism In practical or pragmatic atheism. However."[47] Consequently. Gora called for a secular India and suggested guidelines for a positive atheist philosophy. also known as apatheism. nor influence everyday life. 1552. C. not proselytising or lecturing others about atheism. according to this view. the book Positive Atheism byGoparaju Ramachandra Rao.' To which the boy replied: 'What is above of us is of no concern to us. by Barthélemy Aneau. as an agnostic because of unreasonable generalised philosophical skepticism which would preclude us from saying that we know anything whatever. showing an understanding that religious people have reasons to believe. The existence of gods is not rejected. Smart even argues that "sometimes a person who is really an atheist may describe herself.

so one can never know the existence of God. The theoretical reasons for rejecting gods assume various forms. In the philosophy of immanence. and each person's consciousness is locked in the subject. including a person's mind. Epistemological and ontological arguments Epistemological atheism argues that people cannot know God or determine the existence of God. basic worldview. The foundation of epistemological atheism is agnosticism. or Unawareness of the concept of a deity.[54] Theoretical atheism Theoretical (or theoric) atheism explicitly posits arguments against the existence of gods. above all ontological. religious action."[53] Practical atheism can take various forms:  Absence of religious motivation—belief in gods does not motivate moral action.  Active exclusion of the problem of gods and religion from intellectual pursuit and practical action. based on the ideas of Hume. but also sometimes psychological and sociological forms. but is nonsensical or cognitively meaningless.[52] Other arguments for atheism that can be classified as epistemological or ontological. The rationalistic agnosticism of Kant and theEnlightenment only accepts knowledge deduced with human rationality.assumption of philosophical naturalism within scientific method with or without fully accepting or believing it. Philosophers A. and therefore cannot be known to exist. and epistemological. The allocation of agnosticism to atheism is disputed. including logical positivism and ignosticism. responding to common theistic argumentssuch as the argument from design or Pascal's Wager.   Indifference—the absence of any interest in the problems of gods and religion. J. Skepticism. gnoseological." Theological noncognitivism holds that the statement "God exists" does not express a proposition. asserts that certainty about anything is impossible. . assert the meaninglessness or unintelligibility of basic terms such as "God" and statements such as "God is all-powerful. which takes a variety of forms. this form of atheism holds that gods are not discernible as a matter of principle. According to this form of agnosticism. It has been argued both ways as to whether such individuals can be classified into some form of atheism or agnosticism. it can also be regarded as an independent. or any other form of action. this limitation in perspective prevents any objective inference from belief in a god to assertions of its existence. divinity is inseparable from the world itself.

personhood (a personal being).. omnibenevolence. such as the personal god of Christianity. b) relative — the implicit denial of God in all philosophies that. omniscience.[59] Theodicean atheists believe that the world as they experience it cannot be reconciled with the qualities commonly ascribed to God and gods by theologians. Relative atheism is associated with idealistic monism (pantheism. conceive of the absolute as not possessing any of the attributes proper to God: transcendence. which assert the incompatibility between certain traits. Is he both able and willing? whence then is evil?" Logical arguments Logical atheism holds that the various conceptions of gods. such as perfection. creatorstatus. but not able? then is he impotent. includes all doctrines that hold to metaphysical monism (the homogeneity of reality). omnipotence. a personal character or unity. justice and mercy.[55][56] Metaphysical arguments One author writes: "Metaphysical atheism. Metaphysical atheism may be either: a) absolute — an explicit denial of God's existence associated with materialistic monism (all materialistic trends. nonphysicality."[57] Epicurus is credited with first expounding the problem of evil. are ascribed logically inconsistent qualities. deism).Ayer andTheodore M. transcend ence. They argue that an omniscient. panentheism. omnipresence. both in ancient and modern times). while they accept the existence of an absolute. Drange reject both categories.. Such atheists present deductive arguments against the existence of God. Is he able. they instead place noncognitivism in its own category. and omnibenevolent God is not compatible with a world where . David Hume in hisDialogues concerning Natural Religion(1779) cited Epicurus in stating the argument as a series of questions:[58] "Is [God] willing to prevent evil. but not willing? then is he malevolent. stating that both camps accept "God exists" as a proposition. immutability. omnipotent.

[69] The early Mimamsa not only did not accept God but asserted that human action itself was enough to create the necessary circumstances for the enjoyment of its fruits. created to fulfill various psychological and emotional wants or needs." He reversed Voltaire's famous aphorism that if God did not exist. influenced by the work of Feuerbach. This is also a view of many Buddhists. [65] or renders life meaningless and miserable. Michel Onfray.[20] ideas that would be recognized today as atheistic are documented from the Vedic period and the classical antiquity. writing instead that "if God really existed. and where divine love is hidden from many people. Marx.[61] Reductionary accounts of religion Philosophers such as Ludwig Feuerbach[62] and Sigmund Freud argued that God and other religious beliefs are human inventions.[60] A similar argument is attributed to Siddhartha Gautama. According to Mikhail Bakunin.[citation needed] Alternatives Axiological. amidst modern schools of philosophy that he feels are cynical and epicurean. and Sartre all used this argument to convey messages of liberation. the founder ofBuddhism. leaving one with no moral or ethical foundation. in theory and practice. This form of atheism favors humanity as the absolute source of ethics and values. "the idea of God implies the abdication of human reason and justice. it would be necessary to invent him. it would be necessary to abolish him.[68] Among the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy. and necessarily ends in the enslavement of mankind. Freud.[70] The . atheism rejects the existence of gods in favor of a "higher absolute". Early Indic religion Atheistic schools are found in Hinduism and have existed from the times of the historical Vedic religion. the oldest philosophical system do not accept God and the early Mimamsa also rejected the notion of God. who regards himself as part of the tradition of individualist anarchism. Samkhya. used by those in power to oppress the working class.[67] History Although the term atheism originated in 16th-century France.[63] Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. fulldevelopment. such as humanity. it is the most decisive negation of human liberty. has sought to revive this tradition as an argument for atheism.[52] One of the most common criticisms of atheism has been to the contrary—that denying the existence of a god leads to moral relativism. or constructive. and unfettered happiness.there is evil andsuffering. argued that belief in God and religion are social functions."[64] Recently. and permits individuals to resolve moral problems without resorting to God.[66] Blaise Pascal argued this view in his Pensées.

based largely on criticism of the ideas by other schools.[71] Chatterjee and Datta explain that our understanding of Cārvāka philosophy is fragmentary. but did not emerge as a distinct world-view until the late Enlightenment. and that it is not a living tradition: "Though materialism in some form or other has always been present in India. Other pre-Socratic philosophers who probably had atheistic views included Prodicus and Protagoras. Our knowledge of Indian materialism is chiefly based on these. for refutation. as well as in the later philosophical works we do not find any systematic work on materialism. and occasional references are found in the Vedas. In the 3rd- . The rejection of a personal creator God is also seen in Jainism and Buddhismin India. But almost every work of the other schools states. the Epics. the materialistic views.[74]The 5th-century BCE Greek philosopher Diagoras is known as the "first atheist". Western atheism has its roots in pre-Socratic Greek philosophy. nor any organized school of followers as the other philosophical schools possess. This branch of Indian philosophy is classified as heterodox due to its rejection of the authority of Vedas and hence is not considered part of the six orthodox schools of Hinduism. Socrates (pictured) was accused by Meletus of not believing in the gods. the Buddhistic literature."[72] Other Indian philosophies generally regarded as atheistic include Classical Samkhya and Purva Mimamsa.thoroughly materialistic and anti-theistic philosophical Cārvāka School that originated inIndia around 6th century BCE is probably the most explicitly atheistic school of philosophy in India. but it is noteworthy as evidence of a materialistic movement within Hinduism.[73] Classical antiquity In Plato's Apology. without reference to the spiritual or mystical.[77] Atomists such as Democritusattempted to explain the world in a purely materialistic way.[75] and is cited as such by Cicero in his De Natura Deorum.[76] Critias viewed religion as a human invention used to frighten people into following moral order.

[82] he was ultimately sentenced to death. Christians were executed for their rejection of the Roman gods in general and Emperor-worship in particular.[88] which popularized Epicurus' philosophy in Rome. conquerors and founders of the past. David of . When Christianity became the state religion of Rome under Theodosius I in 381. including the existence of an afterlife or a personal deity. he believed humanity should have no fear of the supernatural.[80]Although he disputed the accusation that he was a "complete atheist".[81] saying that he could not be an atheist as he believed in spirits. atoms. heresy became a punishable offense. 330–260 BCE) published his view that the gods were only the deified rulers. movements within this period that forwarded heterodox conceptions of the Christian God. was accused of impiety (see Euthyphro dilemma) on the basis that he inspired questioning of the state gods. he believed that if they did exist. they were unconcerned with humanity. Individuals and groups such as Johannes Scotus Eriugena.[85] Although not strictly an atheist.[84] Euhemerus (c. mortality. For this reason. including differing views of the nature. His relatively large volume of surviving works had a lasting influence on later philosophers. the soul. if there were gods. he considered the soul purely material and mortal. 99–55 BCE) agreed that. and religion in De rerum natura ("On the nature of things").[93] There were. transcendence. 471–399 BCE). and that ataraxia ("peace of mind") is attainable by withholding one's judgment.[86] Atomic materialist Epicurus (c. they were unconcerned with humanity and unable to affect the natural world.century BCE the Greek philosophers Theodorus Cirenaicus[76][78]and Strato of Lampsacus[79] also did not believe gods exist. While Epicureanism did not rule out the existence of gods.[87] The Roman poet Lucretius (c. and knowability of God. The early Christians were labeled atheists by non-Christians because of their disbelief in pagan gods. He expounds his Epicurean views of the cosmos.[91] During the Roman Empire. 341–270 BCE) disputed many religious doctrines. however.[92] Early Middle Ages to the Renaissance The espousal of atheistic views was rare in Europe during the Early Middle Ages and Middle Ages (see Medieval Inquisition).[90] The meaning of "atheist" changed over the course of classical antiquity. Socrates (c. Socrates also prays to various gods in Plato's dialogue Phaedrus[83] and says "By Zeus" in the dialogueThe Republic. metaphysics. Euhemerus was later criticized for having "spread atheism over the whole inhabited earth by obliterating the gods". and that their cults and religions were in essence the continuation of vanished kingdoms and earlier political structures. religion and theology were the dominant interests.[89] The Roman philosopher Sextus Empiricus held that one should suspend judgment about virtually all beliefs—a form of skepticism known as Pyrrhonism—that nothing was inherently evil.

much of which would later be used to advance a religiously skeptical world-view. was Jean Meslier. asserting that God is beyond human categorization. undermining the metaphysical basis of natural theology. Individuals such as Leonardo da Vinci sought experimentation as a means of explanation. espoused a materialist philosophy and skepticism toward supernatural occurrences. and François Rabelais.[93] The Renaissance did much to expand the scope of freethought and skeptical inquiry. Amalric of Bena. This era of interconfessional rivalry permitted an even wider scope of theological and philosophical speculation. a French priest who lived in the early 18th century. By the late 17th century. as evidenced by the proliferation of new religious orders. while the Jewish-Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza rejected divine providence in favour of a pantheistic naturalism. Despite their ridicule of Christianity. Followers of Ockham. and Martin Luther. many deists held atheism in scorn. The resulting division between faith and reason influenced later theologians such as John Wycliffe. where there appears to have been a religious malaise. such as Baron d'Holbach and Jacques- André Naigeon. bluntly denying the existence of gods. Jan Hus. and popular devotions in the Catholic world. especially in France and England. Other critics of religion and the Church during this time included Niccolò Machiavelli. Criticism of Christianity became increasingly frequent in the 17th and 18th centuries. deism came to be openly espoused by intellectuals such asJohn Toland. such as Thomas Hobbes. and opposed arguments from religious authority.[95]The philosopher David Hume developed a skeptical epistemology grounded in empiricism.[90] Early modern period The Renaissance and Reformation eras witnessed a resurgence in religious fervor. and our knowledge of God is limited to conjecture. according to contemporary sources. [94] He was followed by other openly atheistic thinkers. William of Ockham inspired anti-metaphysical tendencies with his nominalistic limitation of human knowledge to singular objects. and the Brethren of the Free Spirit maintained Christian viewpoints withpantheistic tendencies. and the appearance of increasingly austere Protestant sects such as the Calvinists. and asserted that the divine essence could not be intuitively or rationally apprehended by human intellect. such as John of Mirecourt and Nicholas of Autrecourt furthered this view. Nicholas of Cusa held to a form of fideism he called docta ignorantia ("learned ignorance"). The first known atheist who threw off the mantle of deism. confraternities.Dinant. Some Protestant thinkers. Bonaventure des Périers. .

For this he is considered the founding father of modern anthropology of religion. The anti-clerical persecutions ended with the Thermidorian Reaction. The Jacobins were deists and introduced the Cult of the Supreme Being as a new French state religion. facilitating the upheavals of 1848. and Friedrich Nietzsche. In the 19th century. Nietzsche. Many prominent German philosophers of this era denied the existence of deities and were critical of religion. atheists contributed to political and social revolution. He considered God to be a human invention and religious activities to be wish-fulfillment.[96] Late modern period Atheism in the 20th century. a form of atheistic pseudo-religion with a goddess personifying reason. The chaotic political events in revolutionary Paris eventually enabled the more radicalJacobins to seize power in 1793. In the latter half of the 19th century. and Max Stirner. Atheistic thought found recognition in a wide variety of other. The Cult of Reason ended after three years when its leadership. Some atheists surrounding Jacques Hébert instead sought to establish a Cult of Reason.Marx. in the hopes of creating pliable republics. Both movements in part contributed to attempts to forcibly de-Christianize France.Ludwig Feuerbach's The Essence of Christianity (1841) would greatly influence philosophers such as Engels. . the Risorgimento in Italy. A major goal of the French revolution was a restructuring and subordination of the clergy with respect to the state through the Civil Constitution of the Clergy. Attempts to enforce it led to anti-clerical violence and the expulsion of many clergy from France. Arthur Schopenhauer. and the growth of an international socialist movement. advanced in many societies. particularly in the form of practical atheism. Karl Marx. The Napoleonic era institutionalized the secularization of French society. and exported the revolution to northern Italy. The French Revolution took atheism and anti-clerical deism outside the salons and into the public sphere. Max Stirner. including Jacques Hébert was guillotined by the Jacobins. broader philosophies. ushering in the Reign of Terror. including Ludwig Feuerbach. atheism rose to prominence under the influence of rationalistic and freethinking philosophers. David Strauss.

Timothy Shah of the Pew Forum noted "a worldwide trend across all major religious groups.[101] In 1966. Asia. J. Naturalists and materialistic monists such as John Dewey considered the natural world to be the basis of everything. citing his adherence to the empirical sciences. fought against Hinduism and Brahmins for discriminating and dividing people in the name ofcaste and religion.[99] Other leaders like E. in which God-based and faith-based movements in general are experiencing increasing confidence and influence vis-à-vis secular movements and ideologies. declaring Albania the world's first officially atheist state. and South America seemed to lack knowledge of the Christian God.[47][98] The 20th century also saw the political advancement of atheism. analytical philosophy. increased religious freedom for minority religions lasted for a few years. N. spurred on by interpretation of the works of Marx and Engels. denying the existence of God or immortality. After the Russian Revolution of 1917. before the policies of Stalinism turned towards repression of religion. Ramasami Naicker (Periyar). the Albanian government under Enver Hoxha announced the closure of all religious institutions in the country.[97] and the general scientific and rationalist movement. Neopositivism and analytical philosophy discarded classical rationalism and metaphysics in favor of strict empiricism and epistemological nominalism. J. J. a prominent atheist leader of India. logical positivism. the number of actively anti-religious regimes has reduced considerably.[107] . and naturalism.such as existentialism. The Soviet Union and other communist states promoted state atheism and opposed religion. Paul and Phil Zuckerman consider this a myth and suggest that the actual situation is much more complex and nuanced. Ayer asserted the unverifiability and meaninglessness of religious statements.feminism. Time magazine asked "Is God Dead?"[102] in response to the Death of God theological movement. Proponents such as Bertrand Russell emphatically rejected belief in God. In 2006. despite the fact that prominent atheists were anti-communist. secular humanism. and millions more in Africa.[103] The following year. especially where anti-communist sentiment was strong in the United States. V. anarchism. Ludwig Wittgenstein attempted to separate metaphysical and supernatural language from rational discourse. C. Relatedly the applied structuralism of Lévi-Strauss sourced religious language to the human subconscious in denying its transcendental meaning."[106]But Gregory S.[100] This was highlighted in 1956 when he made the Hindu god Rama wear a garland made of slippers and made antitheistic statements. In his early work. Marxism. Logical positivism and scientism paved the way for neopositivism. citing the estimation that nearly half of all people in the world lived under an anti-religious power. structuralism.[105] Since the fall of the Berlin Wall. A. Findlay and J. often by violent means. objectivism. nihilism.[104] These regimes enhanced the negative associations of atheism. Smart argued that the existence of God is not logically necessary.

and there was a correlation indicating that religious conviction diminished with education level.9% of the world's population. Frank Sulloway of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Michael Shermer of California State University conducted a study which found in their polling sample of "credentialed" U.S. It found that Americans are more likely than Europeans to report belief in any form of god or supreme being (73%).Ds and 62% were college graduates) 64% believed in God.[112] A letter published in Nature in 1998 reported a survey suggesting that belief in a personal god or afterlife was at an all-time low among the members of the U.S.[114] An . Of the European adults surveyed. Respondents to religious-belief polls may define "atheism" differently or draw different distinctions between atheism. This figure did not include those who follow atheistic religions.[8] A November–December 2006 poll published in the Financial Times gives rates for the United States and five European countries." (2005)[108] It is difficult to quantify the number of atheists in the world. Italians are the most likely to express this belief (62%) and the French the least likely (27%).3%. adults (12% had Ph. while 52% affirm belief in a specific god. although also being an atheist at the same time.[109] A Hindu atheist would declare oneself as a Hindu. 32% declared themselves atheists. 27% affirm the existence of some "spirit or life force". and non-theistic religious and spiritual beliefs.[113] In the same year.0% of whom believed in a personal god as compared with more than 85% of the general U. The proportion of believers rises to 65% among those who had left school by age 15. survey respondents who considered themselves to be from a strict family background were more likely to believe in god than those who felt their upbringing lacked firm rules. National Academy of Science. God or life force.S. and an additional 32% declared themselves agnostic.Demographics Percentage of people in various European countries who said: "I don't believe there is any sort of spirit. population. and atheists about 2.[110] A 2005 survey published in Encyclopædia Britannica found that the non-religious made up about 11.[111] An official European Union survey provides corresponding figures: 18% of the EU population do not believe in a god. In France. such as some Buddhists. nonreligious beliefs. only 7.

g. in the question which asked What is your religion? Of the total survey population.2% did not answer the question. religion. 34.7% ticked the box marked no religion or wrote in a response which was classified as non religious (e. This question was optional and 11.inverse correlation between religiosity and intelligence has been found by 39 studies carried out between 1927 and 2002.Buddhism is commonly described as nontheistic. Although a clear negative correlation was found. some sects within major religions reject the existence of a personal.[117] In 2006. Of those answering. humanism.S. however. People who self-identify as atheists are often assumed to be irreligious. according to an article in Mensa Magazine. 18. For the same reason.[115] These findings broadly agree with a 1958 statistical meta-analysis by Professor Michael Argyle of the University of Oxford.2% did not respond or objected to answering the question. creator deity. agnostic. What is your religion?. atheist). and morality Because of its absence of a creator god. He analyzed seven research studies that had investigated correlation between attitude to religion and measured intelligence among school and college students from the U. certain religious denominations have accumulated a number of openly atheistic followers.[119] In recent years.[118] Atheism.7% indicated no religion. the analysis did not identify causality but noted that factors such as authoritarian family background and social class may also have played a part. 12.[122][123][124] The strictest sense of positive atheism does not entail any specific beliefs outside of disbelief in any deity. atheists can hold any number of spiritual beliefs. as such.[116] In the Australian 2006 Census of Population and Housing. such asatheistic or humanistic Judaism[120][121] and Christian atheists. the New Zealand census asked. .

virtue ethics. which holds that a moral code should be applied consistently to all humans.[126][127][128] Moral precepts such as "murder is wrong" are seen as divine laws. encapsulated in Plato's Euthyphro dilemma that the role of the gods in determining right from wrong is either unnecessary or arbitrary. dogmatism. such as the Crusades. therefore.[134] Atheists such as Sam Harris have argued that Western religions' reliance on divine authority lends itself to authoritarianism and dogmatism. [137] This argument—combined with historical events that are argued to demonstrate the dangers of religion.atheists can hold a wide variety of ethical beliefs. or not dependent upon religions.[133] Cohen extends this argument in more detail in Political Philosophy from Plato to Mao in the case of the Koran which he sees as having had a generally unfortunate role in preserving social codes from the early 600s through changes in secular society. more ultimate interests[136]) have been correlated with authoritarianism. social contract. rather than vice versa. but also noted that the same tendency seems to be true of supposedly dispassionate and objective philosophers. human rights.[135] Indeed. many atheists argue that treating morality legalistically involves a false analogy. and prejudice.[132] The contemporary British political philosopher Martin Cohen has offered the more historically telling example of Biblical injunctions in favour of torture and slavery as evidence of how religious injunctions follow political and social customs.[125] Although it is a philosophical truism. which holds that morality is meaningless.[138] There are also ethical systems that are simply nonreligious. However. the argument that morality must be derived from God and cannot exist without a wise creator has been a persistent feature of political if not so much philosophical debate. and that morality does not depend on a lawmaker in the same way that laws do. for example. and Kantian ethics. that "thou shalt steal" is immoral even if one's religion instructs it — and that atheists. to moral nihilism.[129] Philosophers Susan Neiman[130] and Julian Baggini[131] (among others) assert that behaving ethically only because of divine mandate is not true ethical behavior but merely blind obedience. have the advantage of being more inclined to make such evaluations. requiring a divine lawmaker and judge. religious fundamentalism andextrinsic religion (when religion is held because it serves other. Notes 1. including utilitarianism. claiming that a moral basis external to religious imperatives is necessary to evaluate the morality of the imperatives themselves — to be able to discern. ranging from the moral universalism ofhumanism. Baggini argues that atheism is a superior basis for ethics. and witch trials—has been used in response to claims of the supposed beneficial effects of belief in religion. ^ . inquisitions.

. Encyclopædia Britannica. p. "On our definition. Adams & Co.". regardless of whether or not his reason for the rejection is the claim that 'God exists' expresses a false proposition. Retrieved 2010-02-01.".entry by Vergilius Ferm . People frequently adopt an attitude of rejection toward a position for reasons other than that it is a false proposition. ^ Rowe.  Edwards. in Edward Craig. Borchert. Dictionary of Philosophy.. "Atheism". MacMillan Reference USA (Gale).(editor) (1942 edition). "Atheism". rather than positive belief in the nonexistence of God. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 1 (2nd ed. The latter meaning is a less rigorous use of the term though widely current in the history of thought" . is someone who disbelieves in every form of deity. and indeed it was not uncommon in earlier centuries. William L. Either the lack of belief in a god. "(a) the belief that there is no God. atheism is the position that affirms the nonexistence of God. whereas a theist is someone who believes in God. Kai (2010). and there are many other considerations which in certain contexts are generally agreed to constitute good grounds for rejecting an assertion. Paul (2005) [1967].. Retrieved 2010-02-01. It is common among contemporary philosophers. a theory is rejected on such grounds as that it is sterile or redundant or capricious. 3. Atheism in this sense means "not theistic". not just the God of traditional Western theology. Retrieved 2010-02-01. (1998).). Dagobert D.(page 175 in 1967 edition) 2. The former meaning of the term is a literal rendering. Instead of saying that an atheist is someone who believes that it is false or probably false that there is a God.". "Atheism. in the broader sense of the term. to reject positions on the ground that they are meaningless. ISBN 0028657802. Sometimes. in general. Another meaning of "atheism" is simply nonbelief in the existence of God. ISBN 9780415073103. ISBN 0064634612. a more adequate characterization of atheism consists in the more complex claim that to be an atheist is to be someone who rejects belief in God for the following reasons (which reason is stressed depends on how God is being conceived). Philosophical Library. 359. an 'atheist' is a person who rejects belief in God.. too. in Donald M.. the critique and denial of metaphysical beliefs in God or spiritual beings. Simon Blackburn summarizes the situation inThe Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy: "Atheism. ^ religioustolerance. The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. …an atheist. Most dictionaries (see the OneLook query for "atheism") first list one of the more narrow definitions. Nielsen. Vol.  Runes.org's short article on Definitions of the term "Atheism" suggests that there is no consensus on the definition of the term. So an atheist is someone who disbelieves in God. (b) Some philosophers have been called "atheistic" because they have not held to a belief in a personal God. "Atheism". "As commonly understood. New Jersey: Littlefield. or the belief that there is none". Taylor & Francis.

ISBN 0-89005-201-8. 18.T.3% Atheists: Persons professing atheism. 122–131. 14. The Cambridge companion to atheism. Comparative Religion. Cambridge.. freethinkers. A. Karen (1999). ^ Kedar. ^ http://www. to these the English words ungodly and ungodliness correspond rather closely. not in LXX. Michael T. skepticism. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. uninterested.com/adhloc/Wh_114. 17. ^ Baggini 2003. Evan. Nath Tiwari (1997). 6. including the militantly antireligious (opposed to all religion). Sitansu (1991). 5. or dereligionized secularists indifferent to all religion but not militantly so. 11. England: Cambridge University Press. "Ephesians: Chapter 2".html ^ Honderich. In exactly the same way as ungodly. "Atheism and atheist are words formed from Greek roots and with Greek derivative endings.  ^ a b "Worldwide Adherents of All Religions by Six Continental Areas. In Greek they said atheos and atheotēs. pp. London: Vintage. p. 7. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 71. University of Alabama. about. 2. Word Pictures in the New Testament. ^ "Definitions: Atheism". disbelief. Atheism in Pagan Antiquity. ^ http://www. The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. atheos was used as an expression of . "Naturalism and Physicalism". 56. Phil (2007). Second Edition ^ "Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary". or irreligion. Retrieved 2010-04-23. "Buddhism and Atheism". Encyclopædia Britannica.4." 19. Martin. (1977 ("an unchanged reprint of the 1922 edition")).adherents. 13.com. pp. Retrieved 2007-04-15.  11. Austin (2005). Oxford University Press. 10. 50. 5. Department of Religious Studies. (1960) [1932]. nonbelievers. ISBN 8120802934. Broadman Press. ed. ^ Fales. ISBN 0-521-84270-0. Hinduism. only here in N. 9. 16.com/Facts_About_Japan. p 376. their formation is not consonant with Greek usage. ^ Drachmann. Chicago: Ares Publishers. 12. Retrieved 2010-04-23. pp. A. ^ a b Armstrong. Motilal Banarsidass. in Martin 2007. ISBN 0-09-927367- 8.thomsontimes. A History of God. 3–4. Retrieved 2006-10-21. Nevertheless they are not Greek. a way of life. ISBN 9788120808997. Mid-2005". agnostics. ^ Oxford English Dictionary. B. 15.) (1995). 2005. Robertson. ^ The word αθεοι—in any of its forms—appears nowhere else in the Septuagint or the New Testament. "Humanism".html ^ a b Zuckerman. ^ Cline. Ted (Ed.9% Nonreligious: Persons professing no religion.T. p. Atheists in the original sense of being without God and also in the sense of hostility to God from failure to worship him. ^ Chakravarti. ISBN 0198661320. See Paul's words in Ro 1:18–32. "Old Greek word.

(1989).. A clear distinction is rarely drawn in modern writings between these two definitions. Against Atheists. "The Atheistes which say..). Epicures. Oxford English Dictionary. London. London. II. that nothing out of nothing. ^ a b Rendered as Athisme: Golding. iv. and other infidels. "Five Letters". The Oxford English Dictionary (Second ed. III. atheonism. Philip Sidney (1587). Paynims. Atheists. ^ Hanmer. pp. and Evagrius. Edward (1662). in the sense of the atheistic objectors. or A laymans faith. London. prep. Wits.. Arthur (1571). Chapter V Section II p. rather than more generally as "disbelief in deities". The true intellectual system of the universe. Calvin's commentaries. by J. Robert (1621). 3. it would make no more against theism than it does against atheism. "Athisme. USA. to be Atheists. OCLC 55193813. xx.namely." 24. pp.oed. that nothing. dated from about 1534.73 27. are only the faint remnants or dying flames of revealed religion in the posterity of Noah. viz. but some archaic uses of atheism encompassed only disbelief in the singular God. Theists. ^ The Oxford English Dictionary also records an earlier. The later and now obsolete words athean and atheal are dated to 1611 and 1612 respectively. Masters of Reason. The Psalmes of David and others. Puritanes [etc. pp. Philologers. ^ Dryden.]. Mornay's Woorke concerning the Trewnesse of the Christian Religion. "Cosen-germans to these men are many of our great Philosophers and Deists. ^ Rendered as Atheistes: Golding. Preface. Iewes. ^ "http://dictionary." ^ Martin. Simpson . with J. ISBN 019-861186-2. His opinion concerning the difference between the Church of England and Geneva [etc. written in French. pp. Oxford University Press. 23. a poem. or the principles of natural worship." 26. which once was not.there is no God. or godlesse men. A. London. and the oldest that can be traced. Oxford University Press.severe censure and moral condemnation. 1989. 63.twice a day. Mahumetists. It is . "To have said my office. 45. ".. 21. "The opinion which they conceaue of you.]. pp.among Rebels. that is to say. 310. pp. is absolutely false. 1678. Ep. Socrates. ^ Burton. Not till later do we find it employed to denote a certain philosophical creed. Ded. 2nd ed. vtter godlesnes. The Anatomy of Melancholy. i. Arthur. ^ In part because of its wide use in monotheistic Western society.." 28." Cudworth. could by any power whatsoever be brought into being. OCLC 11081103. not in polytheistic deities." Translation of De la verite de la religion chrestienne (1581).... written by Eusebius. The auncient ecclesiasticall histories of the first six hundred years after Christ. irregular formation. 29.. and that. Meredith (1577). if it were true. Ralph.. 25. 22.com/cgi/entry/50014052 atheist". Religio laici. John (1682). this use is an old one. ^ "Secondly." Translated from French. that Deism. atheism is usually described as "disbelief in God"." 20.

(1772)." 44. for instance. pp 14ff. H. about. Irish Times. Boston: Samuel T. pp. 43. "The true default position is neither theism nor atheism. "Atheism as rejection of religious beliefs". Encyclopædia Britannica. 34. 40. Retrieved 2007-01-10. "Why I Am Not an Atheist". ^ Maritain. 30. Retrieved 2007-06-07. ^ See. Freedom. "Discourse of the Pastoral Care". 31. "The Presumption of Atheism". 166. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 35. ^ d'Holbach. ^ Lowder. ^ Cline. ^ Cudworth. Michael. ^ Smith 1979. and Immortality. Encyclopedia Britannica. Good Sense.). ISBN 0521842700. 1911. 0852294735. and ourselves (4th ed. Jeffery Jay (1997). London: Self published. 1976. Weak Atheism: What's the Difference?".. ^ a b c d Martin. The True Intellectual System of the Universe: the first part. P. 45. Sermons on our duty towards God. Retrieved 2006-10-21. What I believe. The young minister's companion: or. "On the Meaning of Contemporary Atheism". Armstrong. Retrieved 2006-10-27. 2006. or 'As to whether or not eating this piece of chocolate will . ^ "Many atheists I know would be certain of a high place in heaven". The Review of Politics 11 (3): 267–280. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved September 1. p. Retrieved 2006-10-27. a claim to knowledge needs to be substantiated. 39. 10–11. 42. Ralph (1678). 32. Retrieved September 1.com. The Cambridge Companion to Atheism... 2009. pp. 33. "Atheism and Society". "Who seriously claims we should say 'I neither believe nor disbelieve that the Pope is a robot'. 37. 36. doi:10. New York: Barnes and Noble.on this basis that the obsolete term adevism was coined in the late 19th century to describe an absence of belief in plural deities. A collection of valuable and scarce treatises on the pastoral office. Austin (2006). ^ Bishop Burnet (1813).. ignorance need only be confessed. OCLC 7381237. "Strong Atheism vs. wherein all the reason and philosophy of atheism is confuted and its impossibility demonstrated. ^ ""Atheism"". Britannica (1911). OCLC 26059549.1017/S0034670500044168. Retrieved 2008-07-02. Encyclopædia Britannica 1: 666. The Presumption of Atheism and other Philosophical Essays on God. Jacques (July 1949). 30–34. ^ Stevens. our neighbour. Continuum. ^ Baggini 2003. 38. "Atheonism". Robert (1813). ^ a b Flew. ISBN 0-8264-8971-0. 2009. ^ Britannica (1992). 14. Anthony (2006). 1996-09-03. pp. T. ^ Kenny. but agnosticism . "Atheists call for church head to retract slur".. Antony. 41.

February 1997. Positive Atheism. Noncognitivism". "Naturalism is an Essential Part of Science and Critical Inquiry". Price". Goparaju (1972). "The Buddha argues that the three most commonly given attributes of God. Internet Infidels.A. ^ Schafersman. ^ Walker. Steven D. p=19}}. "Logical Arguments for Atheism".C. Retrieved 2008-11-19. [1].turn me into an elephant I am completely agnostic'. Dover. 50. Retrieved 2007-04-12. "A lack of proof is no grounds for the suspension of belief. (1946). "Atheism. ^ Baggini 2003. 63. J. Secular Web Library. Theodore M. 61. Conference on Naturalism. 22. we rightly disbelieve them. ^ Feuerbach. .C. 48. Theism and the Scientific Enterprise. ^ Zdybicka 2005. Internet Infidels. ^ Translation of Latin text from "Summa impietas" (1552).". ^ Drange. 20. Ayer attributes this view to "Professor H. 1974. Project Gutenberg (e-text). Retrieved on 2007APR-09. p. Vijayawada. Truth and Logic. 55." 47. The God Delusion. omnipotence. Cliff. The Secular Web Library. Department of Philosophy. Picta poesis. This is because when we have a lack of absolute proof we can still have overwhelming evidence or one explanation which is far superior to the alternatives. Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. 50. 1678. ^ V. Pages 51–52. In a footnote. we don't just suspend judgement. p. Retrieved on 2007-APR-09. Agnosticism. Grove Press. Revised May 2007. Ralph. "Atheism and Agnosticism". The University of Texas. In the absence of any good reasons to believe these outlandish claims. ^ a b Smart. ^ Drange. p. In the Bhuridatta Jataka. ^ Cudworth. India: Atheist Centre. 53. 2005. Bantam Books: 2006. Internet Infidels. India. 54. omniscience and benevolence towards humanity cannot all be mutually compatible with the existential fact of dukkha. J. Retrieved on 2007-03-26. (1996). ^ {{Zdybicka." 62. 51. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Dawkins. 60. "The Arguments From Evil and Nonbelief". p. Archived from the original on 2008-01-02. Patamata. ^ a b c Zdybicka 2005. 49. 52. viz. What the Buddha Taught. The true intellectual system of the universe. H. Gunasekara." 46. "The Philosophy of Positive Atheism". Theodore M. 115–116. ^ David Hume. ^ Ayer. Secular Web Library. Language. ^ Various authors. 56. Retrieved on 2007-APR-07. 58. Retrieved 2007-04-18. 57. A. 59. pp. Richard. Ludwig (1841) The Essence of Christianity ^ Walpola Rahula. (2004-03-09). by Barthélemy Aneau. Glasgow University Emblem Website. (ISBN 0-618-68000-4) ^ Rao. (1998). Vijayawada. "The Buddhist Attitude to God. 21.

76. Psycho-Religious Studies of Man.nullos esse omnino Diagoras et Theodorus Cirenaicus. Twelfth Princeton Paperback printing 1989) pp. David (2006). 79. A History of Ancient Philosophy. that he introduced "new divinities". Surendranath (1992). Retrieved 2006-10-21. ISBN 9788187746041. (1985). Allied Publishers. p.. The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers. ^ Baggini 2003.R. ISBN 9788170235613. New York: Mother Earth Publishing Association.. 2007. India. ^ Pandian (1996).. (University of Calcutta: 1984). ^ Gleeson. Marcus Tullius: De natura deorum. 275. 112. 69. Lucullus. study of". "God and the State". In particular. Blaise (1669). in Reale. doi:10. Comments and English text by Richard D. Routledge. sidd. 82. Michael (1916). 227–249. p. "Perhaps the most common criticism of atheism is the claim that it leads inevitably to moral bankruptcy. 78. 81. (1966). Plato's Theology. that is. Cornell University Press." ^ Solmsen. ^ Satischandra Chatterjee and Dhirendramohan Datta. ^ "Atheism". 68.. ^ Diogenes Laërtius. pp. 73–74.64. he argues that the claim he is a complete atheist contradicts the other part of the indictment. A Sourcebook in Indian Philosophy. Friedrich (1942). ^ Brickhouse. 70. An Introduction to Indian Philosophy.2307/1397540. p. 258. 80. A history of Indian philosophy. ^ Tripathi (2001).. Philosophy East and West 16 (3/4): 189–206. ISBN 9788120804128. "Atheism had its origins in Ancient Greece but did not emerge as an overt and avowed belief system until late in the Enlightenment. 81. 72. Smith (2004). 75. Retrieved on April 2. ^ Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Charles A. Moore. SUNY Press. p 25. "Common Misconceptions About Atheists and Atheism". Cicero. II: "The Misery of Man Without God". Sixth Edition. ii ^ Cicero. Global Vision Publishing House. ^ Smith 1979. Retrieved 2007-04-12. p. Eighth Reprint Edition. Retrieved 2007-04-12. Columbia University Press. G. McKirahan. ISBN 0-691-01958-4. p. The Columbia Encyclopedia. Pensées. ^ Apology ^ The Dialogues of Plato. 1997. 2005. ISBN 0415156815." ^ Pascal. Thomas C. 73. Thomas Library. ^ Bakunin. page 3. Nicholas D. Bryn Mawr College. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. 64. (Princeton University Press: 1957. American Chronicle. Mind and Nature. ^ Dasgupta. 55. 121. ^ Joshi. 66. pp. 74. Archived from the original on 2006-11-04.. vol. (2007). In Encyclopædia Britannica. L.. ISBN 0929524896 77. 1 . 71. ^ "religion. "A New Interpretation of Indian Atheism". Volume 1. ^ a b . 65. 83. 67. Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Plato and the Trial of Socrates.

Christine (2007).g. ^ a b Zdybicka 2005.uk. Inquisition from Its Establishment to the Great Schism: An Introductory Study. which all rely on earlier fragments inDiodorus 5. An Anthology of Atheism and Rationalism. p. T. "Ethics and Religion—Atheism". Retrieved 2007-10-31. 85. Harper Perennial Modern Classics. M. 4 ^ Michel Onfray on Jean Meslier on William Paterson University accessed at January 19. The War With Catiline. Finngeir (1996).13).g. in Martin 2007. 91. in S. 233–246 ^ Zdybicka 2005.1.g. Matthew Alun (2003). also rejected the idea of an afterlife. 86. Retrieved 2007-04-12. ^ The Republic ^ Fragments of Euhemerus' work in Ennius' Latin translation have been preserved in Patristic writings (e.co. ^ Ray. ^ "He who created god was a fool. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 97. where he spoke out against the Stoicist Cato (cf. Gordon (Ed. (1770). ^ Michael. ISBN 9780521842709. "Atheism in South India". 98. 88. "The History of Freethought and Atheism". pp.29 & Cato's reply: 52. who leaned considerably toward Epicureanism. 31– 33. he who spreads his name is a scoundrel. 16 ^ Solzhenitsyn.. ^ Julius Caesar (100–44 BCE). Leonard. Translated by W. 94. The system of nature. 99. P. 92. ^ "Atheism" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia. 90." Hiorth. Feminism and Atheism. Aleksandr I. 87. Caesar's speech: 51. 1997. 93. Michael (ed. and Ronald Knox (2003). are found e. ^ On the Nature of Things by Lucretius at Project Gutenberg Book I. ^ a b Stein. Untouchable: Dalits in Modern India. "Dalit Visions of a Just Society". ISBN 9780754634560. H. (1999). 101. Retrieved on 2007-APR-03. especially in the context of polemical criticism. (2002). Sallust. by Lactantius and Eusebius of Caesarea). ^ Maycock. International Humanist News. M. 100. International Humanist and Ethical Union.E. Moralia—Isis and Osiris 23 ^ BBC. and he who worships him is a barbarian. Retrieved on 2007-05-30 . ^ Plutarch. New York: Prometheus. Subjectivity and Irreligion: Atheism and Agnosticism in Kant. 96. and Nietzsche.). which e. in Callimachus. "Substance is Eternal". Retrieved on 2007-APR-12.41–46 & 6. Ashgate Publishing. S. 2008 ^ d'Holbach.) (1980).84. Ltd. Hymn to Zeus 8. The Gulag Archipelago. ISBN 0-06-000776-1. ISBN 1555876978. Testimonies. ISBN 0766172902. bbc. pp. Schopenhauer. L. Lynne Rienner Publishers. lead to his plea against the death sentence during the trial against Catiline. 95. 89. ^ Overall. A. p.

Retrieved 2007-04-17. "Would you believe it?" Mensa Magazine. UK Edition. (1976). Financial Times/Harris Interactive. Retrieved 2007- 112. According to the Latest Financial Times/Harris Poll". 109. How We Believe: Science. Dawkins cites Bell. Retrieved 2007-04-17. 103. ^ Rafford. ^ Shermer. pp. PMID 9690462. 110. 113. pp. Paul. Nature 394 (6691): 313. 01-17. Religious affiliation . Religious Humanism 21 (1): 106.S. Religious Behaviour. and Eastern Europe. "Atheophobia—an introduction". Michael (1999).org.L. pp. ^ TIME Magazine cover online. 20(2). 7–11." 2006-07-18. 8 Apr 1966. (1987). Michael (1958). ^ "Timothy Samuel Shah Explains 'Why God is Winning'. 117. pp76–79. ^ Huxley. George P. 103. Edge 209. Larry Witham (1998). 105. Census Table 20680-Religious Affiliation (broad groups) by Sex ." 116. ^ Paul. Edward J. QuickStats About Culture and Identity. Routledge. 115. ^ "Religious Views and Beliefs Vary Greatly by Country. Available atStephenJayGould. and he concluded that "the higher one's intelligence or education level. pp. the less one is likely to be religious or hold 'beliefs' of any kind. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics. Time Magazine online. and the Search for God. doi:10. p. Science and Technology. 120. 8 Apr 1966. 2006-12-20. Bell found that all but four reported such a connection. ISBN 071673561X. 93–96.Australia ^ Statistics New Zealand. Gregory. Retrieved 2007-04-18.102. pp. 204–206. "Why the Gods Are Not Winning". R. Skepticism. New York: William H Freeman. ^ (PDF) Social values. ^ Larson. Directorate General Research. ^ Argyle. Phil Zuckerman (2007). 107. ^ According to Dawkins (2006). Retrieved 2008-03-28. Review.1038/28478. "Religion and Atheism in the U. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. ISBN 0-415-17589-5. ^ Eurobarometer (2005) ^ "Major Religions of the World Ranked by Number of Adherents. Section on accuracy of non-Religious Demographic Data". "Correspondence: Leading scientists still reject God". ^ Majeska. 2006. p.. 111.S. European Union. 2002. ISBN 9780700716890. Feb. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. 108. Stephen Jay Gould archive. Religion. ^ "Toward a Hidden God". Retrieved 2007-05-16. Census of Population and Housing." The Slavic and East European Journal. 118.R. Analyzing 43 studies carried out since 1927. 104. Retrieved on 2006-12-17 114. law and tradition: comparative studies in religious law. 32–37. Andrew (2002). 12–13. 2005.

unless it is distributed in exact proportion to morality. CA: The Science Network. they can do what they like?'" 128. 2006-07-20. 132. "On the Coherence of Christian Atheism". F. soul. 2006). 124. Free Inquiry. 2nd edition. Retrieved 2006-10-29. J. 136. together with life in such a world. ^ Winston. 135. ^ Altizer. ISBN 0-7566-1901-7.. London: Collins. or else all moral laws are to be considered as idle dreams. which we must consider as future life. 126. for "Morality. 123. Retrieved 2006-10-25. Buddhism and Jainism have been called atheistic religions because they do not advocate belief in gods.. ^ For Kant.) (2004). p. ^ "Humanistic Judaism". This. Routledge 2007.: "'But what will become of men then?' I asked him. "Religiousness and mental health: a review". ^ Baggini 2003. none is more widespread -or more disastrous in its effects -than the myth that moral values cannot be divorced from the belief in a god. Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria 28 (3): 242–250. 130. "Jewish Atheism". 121. the presupposition of God. (May 1995). 129. M. 134. 102–103. is possible in an intelligible world only under a wise author and ruler. A811). Salk Institute. Robert (Ed. Thomas J." 120. "The Myth of Secular Moral Chaos". BBC. New York: DK Publishing. ^ Smith 1979. New Humanist 110 (2): 13–15.) ^ Political Philosophy from Plato to Mao. Retrieved 2006-10-25. La Jolla.. 275. 'without God and immortal life? All things are lawful then. (November 6. "Among the many myths associated with religion. Koenig. p. Lotufo Neto. Retrieved 2006-10-27. ^ Lyas. p. 43 ^ 101 Ethical Dilemmas. 38 ^ Susan Neiman. . H. but happiness does not. "Nonbelief has existed for centuries." 127. 299. 133.119. Chapter 4) there is the famous argument that If there is no God. p. [Conference].. Sam (2006a). For example. 122. 40 ^ Baggini 2003. Beyond Belief Session 6. ^ "Christian Atheism". pp184-5. S. pp. Inc. Retrieved 2007-07-12. 131.G. (2006). constitutes a system. M. Philosophy: the Journal of the Royal Institute of Philosophy 45 (171): 1–19. Reason compels us to admit such a ruler. PMID 16924349.. The Gospel of Christian Atheism. ^ Moreira-almeida. pp. and freedom was a practical concern. Human. (1967). all things are permitted. however. (Cohen notes particularly that Plato and Aristotle produced arguments in favour of slavery. Colin (January 1970). by Cohen. 125. ^ In Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov (Book Eleven: Brother Ivan Fyodorovich. Second edition 2008 ^ Harris. 21–22 ^ Smith 1979. ^ Levin. pp. ^ Baggini 2003. by Cohen. BBC." (Critique of Pure Reason. A. 2006-05-17. by itself.

God and Philosophy. The Cambridge Companion to Atheism. Bob and Bruce Hunsberger (1992). London: Routledge. Retrieved 2006-10-29.  Germani. ISBN 0-02-340681-X. Truthdig. and Prejudice". Letter to a Christian Nation. Varieties of Unbelief: From Epicurus to Sartre. The God Delusion. M. George H. Michael. "In a world riven by ignorance. ISBN 0-521-60367-6. An Intelligent Person's Guide to Atheism. Daniel (2003). NY: Prometheus Books. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  Harris.  Smith.    Dawkins.D. pp. Andrzej.137. Atheism: The Case Against God.  04 [edit]Further  Zdybicka. "An Atheist Manifesto". Zofia J. Quest. Sam (2005). R. (1990). ISBN 0593055489. . Religious Fundamentalism. At the Origins of Modern Atheism. Flew. ^ See for example: Kahoe. Antony (2005). "Intrinsic Religion and Authoritarianism: A Differentiated Relationship". Retrieved 2010-05- reading Berman. ISBN 0-415-04727-7. 113-133. 2(2). Polish Thomas Aquinas Association. London: Duckworth.  Harbour. Prometheus Books.C. Atheism: A Very Short Introduction. ed (2007).A. Sam (2006). Universal Encyclopedia of Philosophy. J. Alan (2008-09-15). International Journal for the Psychology of Religion. Also see: Altemeyer. (2005). Tom Flynn. Bantam Press. 16(2). ed (2007). A History of Atheism in Britain: From Hobbes to Russell. ISBN 978-0307265777.  Buckley. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (June 1977). The Objective Standard (Glen Allen Press) 3 (3). Buffalo. New Haven. David (1990). Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. CT: Yale University Press. 179-182." [edit]References  Baggini. New York: Macmillan. 138. ISBN 0-87975-124-X. Knopf. ISBN 0-7156-3229-9. pp. ISBN 0300048971. ISBN 1-59102-391-2.. ISBN 1591023300. ^ Harris. "The Mystical Ethics of the New Atheists". ISBN 0-19-280424-3. The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief. in Maryniarczyk. 1. Julian (2003). (1979).  Gaskin.  Martin. "Authoritarianism. only the atheist refuses to deny the obvious: Religious faith promotes human violence to an astonishing degree. ed (1989). J. Richard (2006). Retrieved 2008-09-15. Buffalo. New York: Prometheus. "Atheism".

An Atheist's Values. Buffalo.  Nielsen. Jacques (1953). The Moral Case Against Religious Belief. ISBN 0-87975- 289-0. R. ISBN 0521863864. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2008 ed. L. NY: Prometheus. ISBN 1-59102-120-0. New York: Prometheus. Arguing for Atheism: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion. ISBN 0198241917. Kai (2001). ISBN 1-59102-381-5. Metropolitan Books. Oxford: Oxford University Press. New York: Prometheus.  Sharpe.  Jacoby. Atheism: A Philosophical Justification. NY: Prometheus Books. J. The Improbability of God. Retrieved 2006-10-27. in Edward N. New York: Prometheus. John. "The Problem with Atheism".). London: Edward Arnold & Co. Sam (Oct 2. ISBN 0-334-02680-6. (2007). (1997). (1996).). The Range of Reason.  Krueger. ISBN 1591024811 . What is Atheism?: A Short Introduction.  Le Poidevin. Retrieved 2010-06-18. (1982). Paul (Oct 4. Ellis (1930) [1906]. London: Geoffrey Bles. Oxford: Clarendon Press. R. McTaggart. D. Retrieved 2010-06-18.  Oppy. NY: Prometheus Books. Buffalo. Richard (1964).  Maritain. 2005). (1998). Twelve. ed (2003). ISBN B0007DKP00. ISBN 0-548-14955-0. "Hume on Religion". PA: Temple University Press. ISBN 019824682X. 2007). Harris.  Robinson. Amherst.  Mackie. Cambridge University Press. Zalta.A.  Michael Martin & Ricki Monnier. Michael (1990). The Impossibility of God. Philosophy and Atheism.  Stenger. ISBN 1-57392-214-5. God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.. Graham (2006). How Science Shows that God Does Not Exist.  Martin. E.  Hitchens. ISBN 0-415-09338-4.  Nielsen. Susan (2004). The Washington Post. London: Routledge. ISBN 1573928534. London: SCM Press.  Russell. God: The Failed Hypothesis. Naturalism and Religion. Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism. ISBN 978-0446579803. Philadelphia. Arguing about Gods. Kai (1985). The Miracle of Theism: Arguments For and Against the Existence of God.  Michael Martin & Ricki Monnier. ISBN 978-0805074420. Victor J. Some Dogmas of Religion (New ed. Christopher (2007). ISBN 0-87722-943-0. ed (2006).  McTaggart. Metaphysics Research Lab.

as in the writings of Karl Marx (1818–1883). a term that began to appear with frequency only in modern times. ISBN 0-301-71101-1. James (1971). of course. Along with many others today. A Short History of Western Atheism. has stated that it is not only the absence of evidence but. he finds in the suffering of living beings. Atheism Atheism. the physical universe. among those who consider it impossible logically to reconcile the idea of an all-powerful and omnibenevolent God with the fact of evil and suffering in the world." atheism comes in many varieties. Darwin himself was unable to reconcile the idea of an intelligent divine designer with the disturbing life-struggle that his own evolutionary science uncovered. especially as this has been exposed by evolutionary biology. for example. The physicist and Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg (1933–). Sigmund Freud (1856–1939). a stronger reason for rejecting theism than the mere absence of physical evidence warrants. but it is those forms that emphasize the lack of "evidence" for God that are of special interest in discussions of science and religion. literally means the denial of theism. or exists beyond. London: Pemberton. Thrower. that is. Often vaguely referred to as "unbelief. Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900). Atheism also arises. and Jean-Paul Sartre (1905–1980). In both cases the justification for atheism is usually rooted in the alleged absence of positive evidence for God's existence. however. belief in the existence of a personal God who creates the world and exists independently of it. And among scientists today it is more often biologists than physical scientists who reject the notion of a personal God. Since the days of Charles Darwin (1809–1882) the indifference of natural selection to the pain and the extinction of sentient organisms has often been cited as a clinching scientific reason for atheism. even more. the fact of evil and suffering that grounds his own atheism. Darwinian depictions of life may add support to an atheism already based on a compassionate protest against . This denial may be formal and explicit. or it may be an implicit "practical" atheism in which a person or community tacitly assumes that nothing transcends. that the renunciation of theism because of innocent suffering has been a strong temptation quite apart from any specifically scientific information given by evolutionary biology. It should be noted.

suffering. but the question of how to hold together the idea of God and the fact of suffering is as old as theism itself. how can scientifically educated people be expected to take seriously theistic beliefs about the creation of the world. for . therefore. or the ultimate purpose of the universe? The renowned British philosopher Antony Flew (1923–). in part at least. applying Karl Popper's (1902–1994) criterion of falsifiability to the question of God's existence. belief in God arose in the first place. At times the demand for theists to provide empirical evidence of God's existence is framed as a moral requirement. has argued that since no counter-evidence would ever be enough to uproot the beliefs of a confirmed theist. In the absence of empirical evidence. Although the sixteenth. and others) were convinced theists. the eternal love of God. and especially to modern philosophy. To those who elevate scientific method to the status of sole or primary arbiter of truth. they ask. as a response to the fact of suffering. To many scientific thinkers such evidence is ambiguous at best and completely lacking at worst. and biblical as well as other religious portraits of ultimate reality find in God a compassionate will to conquer suffering and death. as far as the question of science and religion is concerned. Robert Boyle. any violation of which is held to be indicative not only of cowardice but also of unethical insensitivity to the value of truth. Here evidence means empirically available and publicly accessible data that might reasonably confirm theistic claims. René Descartes. theism violates the (scientifically shaped) rules of rational inquiry. atheism is of interest primarily when its proponents accuse theism of failing to provide adequate evidence for its claims. Indeed. or to propose that believers wait patiently in unconditional trust for a future revelation of indisputable evidence of the divine. Isaac Newton. Francis Bacon. And since it is the very nature of theism to refer to a deity that is sensually unavailable. Consequently. the claim goes. an understanding of truth-seeking (or an epistemic method) that has led many educated people to be skeptical of all propositions unsupported by experimental evidence. The famous French biochemist and professed atheist Jacques Monod (1910–1976). there is little question that they ironically bequeathed to Western intellectual culture. the idea of God seems especially uncongenial to confirmation by scientific method.and seventeenth-century founders of modern science (Nicolaus Copernicus. Galileo Galilei. all references to a hidden personal deity will be suspect. If God lies beyond the domain of possible empirical verification or falsification. then theism cannot pass the most elementary test for truth.

sought to base all of culture on what he called the postulate of (scientific) objectivity. everywhere. Science does not as such ask about values. Accordingly he dismissed theistic affirmations and all religious hope for final redemption as instances not only of cognitive but also moral delinquency. or God. an assertion that James along with others chastised for its puritanical extremism. or the "scientific spirit. To many scientific thinkers the decline of theistic religion in modern times. Although many atheists claim that it does. then. especially in the intellectual world. the belief that science is the only road to reliable knowledge. namely. would be inconsistent with . it is undeniable that the progress of modern science has been accompanied historically by a rising skepticism. a God who answers prayers. especially among educated people. that the laws of nature are utterly inviolable and invariant. and for anyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence" (p. Such a claim emanates not from science but from scientism." provides an incontestable basis for atheism.example. But one may legitimately ask whether this particular belief (scientism) orients the human mind reliably to the fullness of being or truth. among the beliefs for which sufficient evidence is especially lacking. By definition scientific method places theological interests beyond the compass of its concerns. meaning. Since it is impossible to conceive of an experimental situation that could in principle confirm or falsify the belief that science is the sole avenue to truth. For a scientist to believe in a responsive. In any case. are those of theists. personal God. Does science support atheism? The important question. Consequently the assertion that science sanctions atheism is logically spurious. strictly speaking science as such can in principle justify neither atheism nor theism. which for him constituted the core of a new ethic of knowledge being ushered in by the modern age of science. Clifford (1845–1879). is a logical and not simply historical correlate of the advance of science. it may be argued that scientism is a self-refuting proposition. about the existence of a personal God. is whether science. for example. Albert Einstein (1879–1955). whose essay "The Ethics of Belief" (1879) became famous in William James's (1842–1910) criticism of it in the "The Will to Believe. Nevertheless. would be incompatible with a basic assumption of all modern science. one capable of miraculously intervening in nature or history. famously asserted that the existence of a personal God. at least according to Clifford's standards." Clifford had stated that "it is wrong always. An earlier example of such passionate commitment to an "ethic of knowledge" is that of the American philosopher W. 183). K.

and so theology must acknowledge that personality is one among many symbols that religion employs in its attempts to understand ultimate reality. comes not by grasping it empirically or scientifically. however. Dawkins. 1987. theologian Paul Tillich (1886–1965) insisted that living religion cannot dispense with the idea of a personal God since an impersonal deity would be lower in being than persons are. Responding to Einstein.the very essence of scientific inquiry. Conn. but it is not optional to theism. Ideas and Opinions. New York: Norton. The Blind Watchmaker. At the Origins of Modern Atheism. Moreover. New York: Crown. New Haven. which can tolerate no exceptions to natural laws. Religious awareness of such a reality. Michael. which he vehemently opposed. Addressing the objection by scientific atheists that God does not fall among the objects of empirical investigation. Einstein. W. but only by allowing oneself to be grasped by it. provided that "religion" is taken to mean a firm commitment to universal values (goodness. . London: Macmillan. God is much more than personal. Einstein considered himself a deeply religious man. beauty. K. Bibliography Buckley. Richard. of course. 1986. did not accept the label of "atheist" since it seemed a term of opprobrium and one that during his lifetime often implied moral relativism. 1879. But he considered the idea of a personal God dispensable to living religion. "The Ethics of Belief. If God is to be taken as the deepest reality it would be as the "ground of being" rather than as one being among others. truth) and a cultivation of the insurmountable "mystery" encompassing the universe. as a disciple of the famous Dutch pantheist Baruch Spinoza (1632–1677). however. he was not opposed to using the term God to refer to the mystery of "intelligence" that pervades the universe and makes possible the whole enterprise of scientific exploration. Tillich replied that God by definition cannot be one "object" among others—even if the most exalted of these—without ceasing thereby to be God.: Yale University Press." In Lectures and Essays. God must be "at least personal" in order to evoke the attitude of religious worship. 1954. Einstein. Clifford. Albert.

AND MAKE THEM PERFECT AND FLAWLESS. Mikael. IN DARWINISM.Flew. Martin. Rinehart. 1959. Il. 1971. Bus posters. The purpose of Darwinism is to abolish the mindset of Creation by making a god who come from coincidence. THE PURPOSE OR OBJECTIVES IN DARWINISM. Stenmark. Edward J. New York: Holt. 1992. Antony.trans. backed by Richard Dawkins. ed. and Winston. Tillich. Dreams of a Final Theory. 1964. Robert C. New York: Knopf. Meaning NO. Weinberg. Steven. Paul. Theology of Culture. God: A Critical Enquiry. an atheist and Darwinist. and Witham. Monod. According to that view. 1961. New York: Pantheon. 1984." Scientific American281. Larry. Ethics and Religion. Freud. New York: Norton. 2001. Larson. New York: Oxford University Press. Aldershot.: Open Court. Marty. MAKING A WIDE RANGE. Varieties of Unbelief. Scientism: Science. no. THE "COINCIDENCE" THAT IN SOME WAY LED TO ALL BEINGS INTO EXISTENCE. LaSalle. Sigmund. Kimball. This view is unscientific and illogical Darwin that all living things on Earth in the overall diversity was remarkable not manifest itself into existence through the creation of Allah (God). was one of the most important evidence of the truth. Chance and Necessity: An Essay on the Natural Philosophy of Modern Biology. JOHN HAUGHT POSTERS RECOGNIZED THE TRUTH BIS Darwinist: Darwinism = atheism The posters are just now tacked on about 800 buses in the UK openly stating the fact that by the Darwinist lobby and its supporters attempted to cover-up over the years: DARWINISM BROUGHT IN atheism. but through a process of random and haphazard. "Scientists and Religion in America. UK: Ashgate.. Austryn Wainhouse. The Future of an Illusion (1927). Darwinism is based on the belief that the materialist claim that matter is everything that has an absolute . Jacques. 88 (1999).

you study about the evolution has turned you to atheism?" I said 'YES' . For that reason they're trying to show the aberrations of Darwinism as an ideological moderate. the lobby of evolution. 2)) 2) There is no life after death. with the goal to reestablish its influence in the world and attract various circles into their circle. and that their existence depends on the will of Almighty God and Control. DARWINISM SAME FAITH ONCE REFUSED TO GOD.existence. But some Darwinists are not reluctant at all to come out and stated that the Darwinist ideology ultimately deny God and the cause of atheism.. This is a distorted belief that diada invent in order to resist the idea that living creatures are created from nothing. Their goal is this: they realized that Darwinism was destined collapsed completely in this century." And according to Provine consequences of this are: 1) 1) No gods need to exist. Dawkins whether you believe in evolution. Some evolutionists try to cover up the truth. The well-known from these people is Richard Dawkins. Seeks to align this deviant ideology with belief in Allah means fell into the trap decay Darwinist. But the fact is that THIS IS THE LIE huge. 3) 3) There is no basis deontology. Darwinism is false and extremely dangerous ideology that aimed to deny belief in Allah and launched a propaganda for that purpose. 4) 4) There is no fundamental meaning in life. and . in connection with bus posters today. that the existence of the metaphysical spirit is what makes human beings human beings." [2] Evolutionists origin of Cornell University William Provine declared that "natural evolution has caused clear that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. People like me is bad news for science lobby. So that they even managed to show that "religion and evolution is not contradictory" and give the impression to people that belief in the theory of evolution does not necessarily mean the denial of God. " [1] "Darwin made it possible to be a perfect atheist intellectual.. Dawkins recognition that led to his conviction Darwinist atheism reads as follows: "They called me as a witness and a lawyer and said: 'Dr. On the other hand I am more honest and open in this interview than he would say many people from this area. and ultimately that means supporting Darwinism against belief in Allah.

132/search?q=cache:0iSLyX2znO4J:members. " (Surat an Nisa '. which carry atheist propaganda posters. As our Lord said in a another paragraph: "Thou shalt not follow the unbelievers.85. Because. " [3] Charles Smith. They unwittingly support those who fight against the religion of Allah. 25:52) 1-1 . Ben Stein. But now." (Surat Al Furqaan. Allah loves not those who always betrays again wallowing in sin. People who support the idea that HAS TO FALL INTO THE TRAP Darwinist. attempts to show the Darwinist ideology as something that is not dangerous in front of all the evidence is clear and the recognition of this firm or to question "what is the need to struggle against Darwinism?" Or the mistaken view that religion and evolution are not contradictory and thus engage in propaganda support it. but strive against them with the Quran with great jihad.5) 5) Freedom of choice in humans is not there.http://209. These buses.net.129."[4] But this time. It was unconscious. pp.Richard Dawkins. they support Darwinism and. 1986. above all.Expelled "No Intelligence Allowed" Movie. Allah Almighty warned the Muslims of the dangers of it: "And do not argue (to defend) those who betrayed him. people who are afraid of good conscience to God have an obligation to live in awareness of this terrible scourge.au/ ~ sejones/religi05. and fought in the name of God to order this deviant ideological eventually destroyed. Premise Media Corporation 2-2 . 4:107) Therefore. merangkup discussion by saying: "Evolution is atheism. THIS IS THE SECOND MUTUAL SUPPORT BELIEFS.iinet. atheism. Richard Dawkins prominent Darwinist propaganda has transformed into propaganda openly atheist. making it absolutely clear what Darwinism brought to humanity. is a very big mistake. As a major supporter of this campaign. The Blind Watchmaker. president of the American Association for the Advancement of Atheism(American Association for the Promotion of Atheism). 800 buses are moving around British roads had recorded the fact that Darwinism with atheism.html + William + . 6 3-3 .

A reality far greater in knowledge.”[1] Undeniably there are times -. as exemplified by the World War II quote “There are no Atheists in a fox-hole. In such moments of distress. The English poet. (1988). Epoch. majesty and glory. spoke of the irony of the distressed human appeal in The Cry of the Human: “And lips say “God be pitiful. the day of greatest affliction will be the Day of Judgement.whether during the agonizing days of a lingering illness. of the dependence of mankind upon a reality far greater than our own meager human selves. The innate but neglected awareness of God typically surfaces in Atheist consciousness only in times of severe stress.W. when all human efforts have failed and no element of material existence can be foreseen to provide comfort or rescue.H. will. Whom else will a person instinctively call upon? In such moments of trial. 148-149 January 27. from the religious scholar to the professed Atheist. Evolution or Creation. how many stress-induced appeals are made to God. how few are kept? No doubt. or the split second of anticipating the impact of an imminent car crash -. Elizabeth Barrett Browning.when all mankind recognize the reality of human fragility and the lack of human control over destiny.” --F. pp. complete with promises of lifelong fidelity? Yet. power. Who does a person beseech for help in such circumstances other than The Creator? Such moments of desperation should remind every person. the seemingly eternal moments of a violent and humiliating mugging.Provine + Five + disposal + death & hl = en & ct clnk & cd = = 6 & gl = tr & client = firefox-a 4-4 . Norwood Atheists might assert that they don’t acknowledge the existence of God. and a person would be unfortunate to be in the position of acknowledging the existence of God for the first time on that day. but the view of some Christians and all Muslims is that at some level even the confirmed Atheist affirms God’s presence.” . 2009 “Life’s greatest tragedy is to lose God and not to miss him.

and a person conceives of…nothing? Surrounded by a world of synchronous complexities. the hope of a happy existence in that increases the appetite to deserve it…”[3] The suggestion can be made that if an individual doesn’t see the evidence of God in the magnificence of His creation. from the complexity and balance of nuclear particle physics to the uncharted vastness of space. “God never wrought miracle to convince atheism. . may wish to consider the ‘prayer of the skeptic. they will be no worse off than before.”[4] He went on to comment. because his ordinary works convince it. etc. “I had rather believe all the fables in the legend. not only manufacture its personal choice of the seven silks. Look at a building and a person thinks of the architect. will be a vast additional incitement. some as thin as the wavelength of visible light.”[5] Worthy of contemplation is the fact that even the lowest elements of God’s creation. Save my soul--if I have a soul. sticky strands for entrapment to the non-adhesive drag-lines and frame threads.Who ne’er said. Take the example of as tiny an animal as a spider. how can a person go wrong with the above prayer? Should Atheists remain upon disbelief. breakdown and remanufacture--self-recycling from the component elements. A moment’s reflection should incline human hearts to humility.e. the Quran). As Francis Bacon is noted to have commented. if that there be a future state. they would be well advised to take another look.” The thoughtful Atheist. The spider can. Thomas Jefferson had the following to say: “If you find reason to believe there is a God.’ as follows: “O Lord--if there is a Lord. but stronger than steel. we as mankind cannot even assemble the wing of a gnat. and the alcoran (i. But examine the elegant intricacies of creation.”[2] In the face of skepticism blocking belief. and that He approves you. mankind elevates itself to the heights of arrogance. but reabsorb. at a sculpture and a person instantly comprehends an artist. “God be praised. creation. Silks range from the elastic. Does anybody really believe that such an extraordinarily intricate creature evolved from primordial soup? Just one of these little miracles can produce up to seven different kinds of silk. should belief follow a sincere appeal. And this is only one small facet of the miracle of the spider. a consciousness that you are acting under His eye. And yet. and the Talmud. full of skepticism but fearful of the possibility of the existence of God and a Day of Judgement. than that this universal frame is without a mind. are miracles in ours. to the silk for wrapping prey. making the egg sac. on demand. others. though perhaps ordinary works in His terms. And yet the entire World and all the Universe exists in a state of perfect orchestration as a product of random accidents which molded cosmic chaos into balanced perfection? Some vote chance.

16. Cummings: Sermon on Bataan. Times.Footnotes: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] N. Renan. Joseph E.Y. Francis. Parke. Atheism. The Philippines. p. p. p. Prayer of a Skeptic. 67. Atheism. Bacon. David B. . 13 Apr 1944. 16. Francis. Bacon.

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->