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Encyclopedia > Atheism
Part of a series on
Atheism

Concepts
Religion · Nontheism
Antireligion · Antitheism
Agnosticism · Humanism
Metaphysical naturalism
Weak and strong atheism
Implicit and explicit atheism
Atheist are a Technical death metal band from Florida, USA, founded in 1984, whose music combined brutal riffs with subtle latin music arrangements and elements of jazz. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Antireligion is opposition to some or all religions in some or all contexts. ... Antitheism (sometimes anti-theism) is active opposition to theism. ... Agnosticism (from the Greek a, meaning without, and gnosticism or gnosis, meaning knowledge) is the philosophical view that the truth value of certain claims—particularly metaphysical claims regarding theology, afterlife or the existence of God, gods, deities, or even ultimate reality—is unknown or, depending on the form of agnosticism... Secular humanism is a humanist philosophy that upholds reason, ethics, and justice, and specifically rejects the supernatural and the spiritual as warrants of moral reflection and decision-making. ... Metaphysical naturalism is any worldview in which nature is all there is and all things supernatural (which stipulatively includes as well as spirits and souls, non-natural values, and universals as they are commonly conceived) do not exist. ... Strong atheism is a term generally used to describe atheists who accept as true the proposition, gods do not exist. Weak atheism refers to any type of non-theism which falls short of this standard. ... Implicit atheism and explicit atheism are subcategories of atheism coined by George H. Smith (1979, p. ...


History
History of atheism
Enlightenment · Freethought
Although the term atheism originated in the 16th century, based on Ancient Greek ἄθεος godless, denying the gods, ungodly[1] and open admission to positive atheism in modern times was not made earlier than in the late 18th century, atheistic ideas and beliefs, as well as their political influence, have a... The Age of Enlightenment (French: ; Italian: ; German: ; Spanish: ; Swedish: ) was an eighteenth-century movement in Western philosophy. ... Freethought is a philosophical viewpoint that holds that beliefs should be formed on the basis of science and logical principles and not be compromised by authority, tradition, or any other dogma. ...


Arguments
Against religion · For nontheism
Against god · Criticism
The criticism of religion includes criticism of the concept of religion, the validity of religion, the practice of religion, and the consequences of religion for humanity. ... Religious belief refers to a faith or creed concerning the supernatural, sacred, or divine. ... Criticism of atheism is made chiefly by theistic sources, though some forms of atheism also receive criticism from nontheistic sources. ...


Demographics
Atheism · Irreligion
Famous atheists · State atheism
Discrimination · Persecution It is difficult to quantify the number of atheists in the world. ... This section does not cite its references or sources. ... An atheist is one who disbelieves[1] in the existence of a deity or deities. ... State atheism is the official rejection of religion in all forms by a government in favor of atheism. ... Manifestations Slavery Racial profiling Lynching Hate speech Hate crime Genocide (examples) Ethnocide Ethnic cleansing Pogrom Race war Religious persecution Blood libel Paternalism Police brutality Movements Policies Discriminatory Race / Religion / Sex segregation Apartheid Redlining Internment Ethnocracy Anti-discriminatory Emancipation Civil rights Desegregation Integration Equal opportunity Counter-discriminatory Affirmative action Racial quota... Many atheists have experienced persecution, mainly from Christians and Muslims. ...

Atheism Portal · v  d  e 

Atheism, as a philosophical view, is the position that either affirms the nonexistence of gods[1] or rejects theism.[2] When defined more broadly, atheism is the absence of belief in deities,[3] alternatively called nontheism.[4] Although atheism is often equated with irreligion, some religious philosophies, such as secular theology and some varieties of Buddhism such as Theravada, either do not include belief in a personal god as a tenet of the religion, or actively teach nontheism. Arguments for and against the existence of God have been proposed by philosophers, theologians, and others. ... This article is about the term Deity in the context of mysticism and theology. ... Theism is the belief in the existence of one or more divinities or deities. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... This section does not cite its references or sources. ... Various Religious symbols, including (first row) Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Bahai, (second row) Islamic, tribal, Taoist, Shinto (third row) Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu, Jain, (fourth row) Ayyavazhi, Triple Goddess, Maltese cross, pre-Christian Slavonic Religion is the adherence to codified beliefs and rituals that generally involve a faith in a spiritual... The field of secular theology, a subfield of liberal theology advocated by Anglican bishop John A. T. Robinson somewhat paradoxically combines secularism and theology. ... A statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha in Tawang Gompa, India. ... Theravada (Pāli: theravāda (cf Sanskrit: स्थविरवाद sthaviravāda); literally, the Teaching of the Elders, or the Ancient Teaching) is the oldest surviving Buddhist school, and for many centuries has been the predominant religion of Sri Lanka (about 70% of the population[1]) and most of continental Southeast Asia (Cambodia... The phrase personal God is religious term used far more often by laypeople than by theologians due to its numerous connotations. ...


Many self-described atheists are skeptical of all supernatural beings and cite a lack of empirical evidence for the existence of deities. Others argue for atheism on philosophical, social or historical grounds. Although many self-described atheists tend toward secular philosophies such as humanism[5] and naturalism,[6] there is no one ideology or set of behaviors to which all atheists adhere.[7] The self-concept or self-identity is the mental and conceptual awareness and persistent regard that sentient beings hold with regard their own being. ... An atheist is one who disbelieves[1] in the existence of a deity or deities. ... This article is about the psychological term. ... For other uses, see Supernatural (disambiguation). ... In philosophy generally, empiricism is a theory of knowledge emphasizing the role of experience, especially sensory perception, in the formation of ideas, while discounting the notion of innate ideas. ... This article is about secularism. ... Humanism is a broad category of ethical philosophies that affirm the dignity and worth of all people, based on the ability to determine right and wrong by appeal to universal human qualities — particularly rationality. ... This article is about methodological naturalism. ...


The term atheism originated as a pejorative epithet applied to any person or belief in conflict with established religion.[8] With the spread of freethought, scientific skepticism, and criticism of religion, the term began to gather a more specific meaning and has been increasingly used as a self-description by atheists. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with pejoration. ... Look up epithet in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Freethought is a philosophical viewpoint that holds that beliefs should be formed on the basis of science and logical principles and not be compromised by authority, tradition, or any other dogma. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The criticism of religion includes criticism of the concept of religion, the validity of religion, the practice of religion, and the consequences of religion for humanity. ...

Contents

Etymology

The Greek word αθεοι (atheoi), as it appears in the Epistle to the Ephesians (2:12) on the early 3rd-century Papyrus 46. It is usually translated into English as "[those who are] without God".
The Greek word αθεοι (atheoi), as it appears in the Epistle to the Ephesians (2:12) on the early 3rd-century Papyrus 46. It is usually translated into English as "[those who are] without God".[9]

In early Ancient Greek, the adjective atheos (ἄθεος, from the privative - + θεός "god") meant "godless". The word began to indicate more-intentional, active godlessness in the 5th century BCE, acquiring definitions of "severing relations with the gods" or "denying the gods, ungodly" instead of the earlier meaning of ἀσεβής (asebēs) or "impious". Modern translations of classical texts sometimes render atheos as "atheistic". As an abstract noun, there was also ἀθεότης (atheotēs), "atheism". Cicero transliterated the Greek word into the Latin atheos. The term found frequent use in the debate between early Christians and Hellenists, with each side attributing it, in the pejorative sense, to the other.[8] Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Described by William Barclay as the Queen of the Epistles, the Epistle to the Ephesians is one of the books of the Bible in the New Testament. ... Papyrus 46 is one of the oldest New Testament manuscripts known to exist to day, with its creation dated at the early 3rd century 1. ... Beginning of Homers Odyssey The Ancient Greek language is the historical stage of the Greek language[1] as it existed during the Archaic (9th–6th centuries BC) and Classical (5th–4th centuries BC) periods in Ancient Greece. ... The privative a (or a privativum) is the prefix a- expressing negation (e. ... BCE redirects here. ... For other uses, see Cicero (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ... // Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Relation to other religions Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Christianity Portal This box:      Early Christianity is the Christianity of the three centuries between the death of Jesus ( 30) and the First Council of Nicaea (325). ... Greek religion encompasses the collection of beliefs and rituals practiced in Ancient Greece in form of cult practices, thus the practical counterpart of Greek mythology. ...


In English, the term atheism was derived from the French athéisme in about 1587.[10] The term atheist (from Fr. athée), in the sense of "one who denies or disbelieves the existence of God",[11] predates atheism in English, being first attested in about 1571.[12] Atheist as a label of practical godlessness was used at least as early as 1577.[13] Related words emerged later: deist in 1621,[14] theist in 1662;[15] theism in 1678;[16] and deism in 1682.[17] Deism and theism changed meanings slightly around 1700, due to the influence of atheism; deism was originally used as a synonym for today's theism, but came to denote a separate philosophical doctrine.[18] The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Theism is the belief in the existence of one or more divinities or deities. ... For other uses, see Ceremonial Deism. ...


Karen Armstrong writes that "During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the word 'atheist' was still reserved exclusively for polemic ... The term 'atheist' was an insult. Nobody would have dreamed of calling himself an atheist."[19] Atheism was first used to describe a self-avowed belief in late 18th-century Europe, specifically denoting disbelief in the monotheistic Abrahamic god.[20] In the 20th century, globalization contributed to the expansion of the term to refer to disbelief in all deities, though it remains common in Western society to describe atheism as simply "disbelief in God"[21]. Most recently, there has been a push in certain philosophical circles to redefine atheism as the "absence of belief in deities", rather than as a belief in its own right; this definition has become popular in atheist communities, though its mainstream usage has been limited.[21][22][23] Karen Armstrong (b. ... Look up Polemic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For the Celtic Frost album, see Monotheist (album) In theology, monotheism (from Greek one and god) is the belief in the existence of one deity, or in the oneness of God. ... The three so-called Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have in common many beliefs about God. ... Puxi side of Shanghai, China. ...


Definitions and distinctions

A chart showing the relationship between the definitions of weak/strong and implicit/explicit atheism. An implicit atheist has not thought about belief in gods; such an individual would be described as implicitly without a belief in gods. An explicit atheist has made an assertion regarding belief in gods; such an individual may eschew belief in gods (weak atheism), or affirm that gods do not exist (strong atheism).
A chart showing the relationship between the definitions of weak/strong and implicit/explicit atheism. An implicit atheist has not thought about belief in gods; such an individual would be described as implicitly without a belief in gods. An explicit atheist has made an assertion regarding belief in gods; such an individual may eschew belief in gods (weak atheism), or affirm that gods do not exist (strong atheism).

Writers disagree how best to define and classify atheism,[24] contesting what supernatural entities it applies to, whether it is an assertion in its own right or merely the absence of one, and whether it requires a conscious, explicit rejection. A variety of categories have been proposed to try to distinguish the different forms of atheism, most of which treat atheism as "absence of belief in deities" in order to explore the varieties of this nontheism. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...


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. The plurality of wildly different conceptions of god and deities leads to differing ideas regarding atheism's applicability. In contexts where theism is defined as the belief in a singular personal god, for example, people who believe in a variety of other deities may be classified as atheists, including deists and even polytheists. In the 20th century, this view has fallen into disfavor as theism has come to be understood as encompassing belief in any divinity.[25] This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Theism is the belief in the existence of one or more divinities or deities. ... For the Celtic Frost album, see Monotheist (album) In theology, monotheism (from Greek one and god) is the belief in the existence of one deity, or in the oneness of God. ... The phrase personal God is religious term used far more often by laypeople than by theologians due to its numerous connotations. ... For other uses, see Ceremonial Deism. ... Polytheism is belief in or worship of multiple gods or deities. ...


With respect to the range of phenomena being rejected, atheism may counter anything from the existence of a god, to the existence of any spiritual, supernatural, or transcendental concepts, such as those of Hinduism and Buddhism.[26] For other uses, see Supernatural (disambiguation). ... In religion, transcendence is a condition or state of being that surpasses, and is independent of, physical existence. ...


Implicit vs. explicit

Definitions of atheism also vary in the degree of consideration a person must put to the idea of gods to be considered an atheist. Minimally, atheism may be seen as the absence of belief in one or more gods. It has been contended that this broad definition includes newborns and other people who have not been exposed to theistic ideas. As far back as 1772, d'Holbach said that "All children are born Atheists; they have no idea of God."[27] Similarly, George H. Smith (1979) suggested that: "The man who is unacquainted with theism is an atheist because he does not believe in a god. This category would also include the child with the conceptual capacity to grasp the issues involved, but who is still unaware of those issues. The fact that this child does not believe in god qualifies him as an atheist."[28] Smith coined the term implicit atheism to 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. Implicit atheism and explicit atheism are subcategories of atheism coined by George H. Smith (1979, p. ... Baron dHolbach Paul Henry Thiry, baron dHolbach (1723 - 1789 ) was an homme de lettres, philosopher and encyclopedist. ... George H. Smith is a libertarian author. ...


In Western civilization, the view that children are born atheist is relatively recent. Before the 18th century, the existence of God was so universally accepted in the western world that even the possibility of true atheism was questioned. This is called theistic innatism—the notion that all people believe in God from birth; within this view was the connotation that atheists are simply in denial.[29] There is a position claiming that atheists are quick to believe in God in times of crisis, that atheists make deathbed conversions, or that "there are no atheists in foxholes."[30] Some proponents of this view claim that the anthropological benefit of religion is that religious faith enables humans to endure hardships better (c.f. opium of the people).[citation needed] Some atheists emphasize the fact that there have been examples to the contrary, among them examples of literal "atheists in foxholes."[31] Innatism is a philosophical doctrine introduced by Plato in the socratic dialogue Meno which holds that the mind is born with ideas/knowledge, and that therefore the mind is not a tabula rasa at birth. ... A deathbed conversion is the adoption of a particular religious faith immediately before dying. ... The precise origin of the phrase There are no atheists in foxholes, coined some time during World War II, is uncertain. ... The anthropology of religion involves the study of religious institutions in relation to other social institutions, and the comparison of religious beliefs and practices across cultures. ... Religion is the opium of the people is one of the most frequently quoted statements of Karl Marx. ...


Strong vs. weak

Philosophers such as Antony Flew[32] and Michael Martin[21] have contrasted strong (positive) atheism with weak (negative) atheism. Strong atheism is the explicit affirmation that gods do not exist. Weak atheism includes all other forms of non-theism. According to this categorization, anyone who is not a theist is either a weak or a strong atheist.[33] The terms weak and strong are relatively recent; however, the equivalent terms negative and positive atheism have been used in the philosophical literature[32] and (in a slightly different sense) in Catholic apologetics.[34] Under this demarcation of atheism, most agnostics qualify as weak atheists. Strong atheism is a term generally used to describe atheists who accept as true the proposition, gods do not exist. Weak atheism refers to any type of non-theism which falls short of this standard. ... Professor Antony Garrard Newton Flew (born February 11, 1923) is a British philosopher. ... Michael L. Martin, Ph. ... Agnosticism (from the Greek a, meaning without, and gnosticism or gnosis, meaning knowledge) is the philosophical view that the truth value of certain claims—particularly metaphysical claims regarding theology, afterlife or the existence of God, gods, deities, or even ultimate reality—is unknown or, depending on the form of agnosticism...


While agnosticism can be seen as a form of weak atheism,[35] most agnostics see their view as distinct from atheism, which they may consider no more justified than theism, or requires an equal conviction.[36] The supposed unattainability of knowledge for or against the existence of gods is sometimes seen as indication that atheism requires a leap of faith.[37] Common atheist responses to this argument include that unproven religious propositions deserve as much disbelief as all other unproven propositions,[38] and that the unprovability of a god's existence does not imply equal probability of either possibility.[39] Scottish philosopher J. J. C. Smart even argues that "sometimes a person who is really an atheist may describe herself, even passionately, as an agnostic because of unreasonable generalised philosophical scepticism which would preclude us from saying that we know anything whatever, except perhaps the truths of mathematics and formal logic."[40] Consequently, some popular atheist authors such as Richard Dawkins prefer distinguishing theist, agnostic and atheist positions by the probability assigned to the statement "God exists".[41] This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... For other uses, see Faith (disambiguation). ... John Jameison Carswell Smart, or Jack Smart, (born 1920, M.A. (Glasgow, 1946), B.Phil (Oxford, 1948)) is a Scottish-Australian philosopher. ... This article is in need of attention. ... Clinton Richard Dawkins, FRS (born March 26, 1941) is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and popular science writer who holds the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. ... The spectrum of theistic probability is a way of categorizing ones belief about the existence of a deity. ...


Rationale

"A child of the mob once asked an astronomer who the father was who brought him into this world. The scholar pointed to the sky, and to an old man sitting, and said: 'That one there is your body's father, and that your soul's.' To which the boy replied: 'WHAT IS ABOVE US IS OF NO CONCERN TO US, and I'm ashamed to be the child of such an aged man!' O WHAT SUPREME impiety, not to want to recognize your father, and not to think God is your maker!"[42] Emblem illustrating practical atheism and its historical association with immorality, titled "Supreme Impiety: Atheist and Charlatan", from Picta poesis, by Barthélemy Aneau, 1552.

The broadest demarcation of atheistic rationale is between practical and theoretical atheism. The different forms of theoretical atheism each derive from a particular rationale or philosophical argument. In contrast, practical atheism requires no specific argument, and can include indifference to and ignorance of the idea of gods. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Emblem books are a particular style of illustrated book developed in Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries, normally containing about one hundred picture/text combinations. ... Barthélémy Aneau (c. ...


Practical atheism

In practical, or pragmatic, atheism, also known as apatheism, individuals live as if there are no gods and explain natural phenomena without resorting to the divine. The existence of gods is not denied, but may be designated unnecessary or useless; gods neither provide purpose to life, nor influence everyday life, according to this view.[43] A form of practical atheism with implications for the scientific community is methodological naturalism—the "tacit adoption or assumption of philosophical naturalism within scientific method with or without fully accepting or believing it."[44] Pragmatism is a philosophic school that originated in the late nineteenth century with Charles Sanders Peirce, who first stated the pragmatic maxim. ... Apatheism (a portmanteau of apathy and atheism), also known as pragmatic or practical atheism, is a subset of atheism (when atheism is defined as lack of belief in deities, rather than specific disbelief in deities). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Methodological naturalism (MN) refers to any method of inquiry or investigation or any procedure for gaining knowledge that limits itself to natural, physical, and material approaches and explanations. ... Scientific method is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. ...


Practical atheism can take various forms:

  • Absence of religious motivation—belief in gods does not motivate moral action, religious action, or any other form of action;
  • Active exclusion of the problem of gods and religion from intellectual pursuit and practical action;
  • Indifference—the absence of any interest in the problems of gods and religion; or
  • Ignorance—lacking any idea of gods.[45]

Historically, practical atheism was considered by some people to be associated with moral failure, willful ignorance and impiety. Those considered practical atheists were said to behave as though God, ethics and social responsibility did not exist; they abandoned duty and embraced hedonism. According to the French Catholic philosopher Étienne Borne, "Practical atheism is not the denial of the existence of God, but complete godlessness of action; it is a moral evil, implying not the denial of the absolute validity of the moral law but simply rebellion against that law."[46] This article does not cite any sources. ...


Theoretical atheism

Further information: Existence of God

Theoretical, or contemplative, atheism explicitly posits arguments against the existence of gods, responding to common theistic arguments such as the argument from design or Pascal's Wager. The theoretical reasons for rejecting gods assume various psychological, sociological, metaphysical, and epistemological forms. Arguments for and against the existence of God have been proposed by philosophers, theologians, and others. ... Arguments for and against the existence of God have been proposed by philosophers, theologians, and others. ... A teleological argument (or an argument from design) is an argument for the existence of God based on evidence of design in nature. ... Pascals Wager (or Pascals Gambit) is the application by the French philosopher Blaise Pascal of decision theory to the belief in God. ...


Epistemological arguments

Further information: Agnostic atheism, Theological noncognitivism

Epistemological atheism argues that people cannot know God or determine the existence of God. The foundation of epistemological atheism is agnosticism, which takes a variety of forms. In the philosophy of immanence, divinity is inseparable from the world itself, including a person's mind, and each person's consciousness is locked in the subject. According to this form of agnosticism, this limitation in perspective prevents any objective inference from belief in a god to assertions of its existence. The rationalistic agnosticism of Kant and the Enlightenment only accepts knowledge deduced with human rationality; this form of atheism holds that gods are not discernible as a matter of principle, and therefore cannot be known to exist. Skepticism, based on the ideas of Hume, asserts that certainty about anything is impossible, so one can never know the existence of God. The allocation of agnosticism to atheism is disputed; it can also be regarded as an independent, basic world-view.[43] Agnostic atheism is a philosophical doctrine that encompasses both atheism and agnosticism. ... Theological noncognitivism is the argument that religious language, and specifically words like God (capitalized), are not cognitively meaningful. ... Agnosticism (from the Greek a, meaning without, and gnosticism or gnosis, meaning knowledge) is the philosophical view that the truth value of certain claims—particularly metaphysical claims regarding theology, afterlife or the existence of God, gods, deities, or even ultimate reality—is unknown or, depending on the form of agnosticism... Immanence, derived from the Latin in manere to remain within, refers to philosophical and metaphysical theories of the divine as existing and acting within the mind or the world. ... Consciousness is a quality of the mind generally regarded to comprise qualities such as subjectivity, self-awareness, sentience, sapience, and the ability to perceive the relationship between oneself and ones environment. ... Subject (philosophy) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... In epistemology and in its broadest sense, rationalism is any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification (Lacey 286). ... Kant redirects here. ... The Age of Enlightenment (French: ; Italian: ; German: ; Spanish: ; Swedish: ) was an eighteenth-century movement in Western philosophy. ... Philosophical scepticism (UK spelling, scepticism) is both a philosophical school of thought and a method that crosses disciplines and cultures. ... This article is about the philosopher. ...


Other forms of atheistic argumentation that may qualify as epistemological, including logical positivism and ignosticism, assert the meaninglessness or unintelligibility of basic terms such as "God" and statements such as "God is all-powerful". Theological noncognitivism holds that the statement "God exists" does not express a proposition, but is nonsensical or cognitively meaningless. It has been argued both ways as to whether such individuals classify into some form of atheism or agnosticism. Philosophers A. J. Ayer and Theodore M. Drange reject both categories, stating that both camps accept "God exists" as a proposition; they instead place noncognitivism in its own category.[47][48] Logical positivism grew from the discussions of Moritz Schlicks Vienna Circle and Hans Reichenbachs Berlin Circle in the 1920s and 1930s. ... Ignosticism is a word coined by Rabbi Sherwin Wine to indicate one of two related views about the existence of God. ... Theological noncognitivism is the argument that religious language, and specifically words like God (capitalized), are not cognitively meaningful. ... Ayer redirects here. ... Theodore Ted Michael Drange (b. ...


Metaphysical arguments

Further information: Monism, Physicalism

Metaphysical atheism is based on metaphysical monism—the view that reality is homogeneous and indivisible. Absolute metaphysical atheists subscribe to some form of physicalism, hence they explicitly deny the existence of non-physical beings. Relative metaphysical atheists maintain an implicit denial of a particular concept of God based on the incongruity between their individual philosophies and attributes commonly applied to God, such as transcendence, a personal aspect, or unity. Examples of relative metaphysical atheism include pantheism, panentheism, and deism.[49] For other uses, see Monist (disambiguation). ... The term physicalism was coined by Otto Neurath, in a series of early 20th century essays on the subject, in which he wrote According to physicalism, the language of physics is the universal language of science and, consequently, any knowledge can be brought back to the statements on the physical... For other uses, see Monist (disambiguation). ... The term physicalism was coined by Otto Neurath, in a series of early 20th century essays on the subject, in which he wrote According to physicalism, the language of physics is the universal language of science and, consequently, any knowledge can be brought back to the statements on the physical... In philosophy, transcendental/transcendence, has three different but related primary meanings, all of them derived from the words literal meaning (from Latin), of climbing or going beyond: one that originated in Ancient philosophy, one in Medieval philosophy and one in modern philosophy. ... The phrase personal God is religious term used far more often by laypeople than by theologians due to its numerous connotations. ... Pantheism (Greek: πάν ( pan ) = all and θεός ( theos ) = God) literally means God is All and All is God. It is the view that everything is of an all-encompassing immanent abstract God; or that the universe, or nature, and God are equivalent. ... Panentheism (from Greek (pân) all; (en) in; and (Theós) god; all-in-God) is the theological position that God is immanent within the Universe, but also transcends it. ... For other uses, see Ceremonial Deism. ...

Epicurus is credited with first expounding the problem of evil. David Hume in his Dialogues concerning Natural Religion (1779) cited Epicurus in stating the argument as a series of questions: "Is [God] willing to prevent evil, but not able? then is he impotent. Is he able, but not willing? then is he malevolent. Is he both able and willing? whence then is evil?"
Epicurus is credited with first expounding the problem of evil. David Hume in his Dialogues concerning Natural Religion (1779) cited Epicurus in stating the argument as a series of questions:[50] "Is [God] willing to prevent evil, but not able? then is he impotent. Is he able, but not willing? then is he malevolent. Is he both able and willing? whence then is evil?"

Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 396 × 599 pixel Image in higher resolution (1850 × 2800 pixel, file size: 3. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 396 × 599 pixel Image in higher resolution (1850 × 2800 pixel, file size: 3. ... Epicure redirects here. ... In the philosophy of religion and theology, the problem of evil is the problem of reconciling the existence of evil or suffering in the world with the existence of a god. ... This article is about the philosopher. ... Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion was written by skeptical philosopher David Hume. ...

Psychological, sociological and economical arguments

Further information: Psychology of religion, Neurotheology

Philosophers such as Ludwig Feuerbach[51] and Sigmund Freud argued that God and other religious beliefs are human inventions, created to fulfill various psychological and emotional wants or needs. This is also view of many Buddhists.[52] Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, influenced by the work of Feuerbach, argued that belief in God and religion are social functions, used by those in power to oppress the working class. According to Mikhail Bakunin, "the idea of God implies the abdication of human reason and justice; it is the most decisive negation of human liberty, and necessarily ends in the enslavement of mankind, in theory and practice." He reversed Voltaire's famous aphorism that if God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him, writing instead that "if God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish him."[53] Psychology of religion is psychologys theory of religious experiences and beliefs. ... Not to be confused with neuroethology. ... This article refers to the philosopher. ... Sigmund Freud (IPA: ), born Sigismund Schlomo Freud (May 6, 1856 – September 23, 1939), was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist who founded the psychoanalytic school of psychology. ... Karl Heinrich Marx (May 5, 1818 – March 14, 1883) was a 19th century philosopher, political economist, and revolutionary. ... Engels redirects here. ... Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin (Russian: Михаил Александрович Бакунин, Michel Bakunin on the grave in Bern), (May 18 (30 N.S.), 1814 – June 19 (July 1 N.S.), 1876) was a well-known Russian revolutionary, and often considered one of the “fathers of modern anarchism. Born in the Russian Empire to a family of Russian... For the singer of the same name, see Voltaire (musician). ...


Logical and evidential arguments

Further information: Deductive arguments against the existence of God, Problem of evil, Divine hiddenness

Logical atheism holds that the various conceptions of gods, such as the personal god of Christianity, are ascribed logically inconsistent qualities. Such atheists present deductive arguments against the existence of God, which assert the incompatibility between certain traits, such as perfection, creator-status, immutability, omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence, omnibenevolence, transcendence, personhood (a personal being), nonphysicality, justice and mercy.[54] Arguments for and against the existence of God have been proposed by philosophers, theologians, and others. ... In the philosophy of religion and theology, the problem of evil is the problem of reconciling the existence of evil or suffering in the world with the existence of a god. ... The argument from nonbelief, also known as the argument from divine hiddenness, is a recently-developed argument against the existence of God. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The phrase personal God is religious term used far more often by laypeople than by theologians due to its numerous connotations. ... Arguments for and against the existence of God have been proposed by philosophers, theologians, and others. ... Immutability is the doctrine of classical Christian theism that God cannot change; this has been variously interpreted to mean either that Gods nature cannot change but that God can, or that God himself cannot change at all. ... Omniscience is the capacity to know everything infinitely, or at least everything that can be known about a character including thoughts, feelings, life and the universe, etc. ... Omnipresence is the ability to be present in every place at any, and/or every, time; unbounded or universal presence. ... Omnipotence (literally, all power) is power with no limits or inexhaustible, in other words, unlimited power. ... Omnibenevolence is sometimes used to describe the property of being perfectly or absolutely good. ... In philosophy, transcendental/transcendence, has three different but related primary meanings, all of them derived from the words literal meaning (from Latin), of climbing or going beyond: one that originated in Ancient philosophy, one in Medieval philosophy and one in modern philosophy. ... This article is about the concept of justice. ... For other uses, see Mercy (disambiguation). ...


Theodicean atheists believe that the world as they experience it cannot be reconciled with the qualities commonly ascribed to God and gods by theologians. They argue that an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent God is not compatible with a world where there is evil and suffering, and where divine love is hidden from many people.[55] A similar argument is attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism.[56] Theodicy (IPA: ) (adjectival form theodicean) is a specific branch of theology and philosophy that attempts to reconcile the existence of evil or suffering in the world with the belief in an omniscient, omnipotent, and benevolent God, i. ... Omniscience is the capacity to know everything infinitely, or at least everything that can be known about a character including thoughts, feelings, life and the universe, etc. ... Omnipotence (literally, all power) is power with no limits or inexhaustible, in other words, unlimited power. ... Omnibenevolence is sometimes used to describe the property of being perfectly or absolutely good. ... In the philosophy of religion and theology, the problem of evil is the problem of reconciling the existence of evil or suffering in the world with the existence of a god. ... Suffering, or pain in this sense,[1] is a basic affective experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with harm or threat of harm in an individual. ... The argument from nonbelief, also known as the argument from divine hiddenness, is a recently-developed argument against the existence of God. ... Standing Buddha, ancient region of Gandhara, northern Pakistan, 1st century CE. Gautama Buddha was a South Asian spiritual leader who lived between approximately 563 BCE and 483 BCE. Born Siddhartha Gautama in Sanskrit, a name meaning descendant of Gotama whose aims are achieved/who is efficacious in achieving aims, he... A statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha in Tawang Gompa, India. ...


Anthropocentric arguments

Further information: Philosophical anthropology, Humanism

Axiological, or constructive, atheism rejects the existence of gods in favor of a "higher absolute", such as humanity. This form of atheism favors humanity as the absolute source of ethics and values, and permits individuals to resolve moral problems without resorting to God. Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, and Sartre all used this argument to convey messages of liberation, full-development, and unfettered happiness.[43] Philosophical anthropology is the philosophical discipline that seeks to unify the several empirical investigations and phenomenological explorations of human nature in an effort to understand human beings as both creatures of their environment and creators of their own values. ... This article discusses Humanism as a non-theistic life stance. ... Axiology, from the Greek axia (αξια, value, worth), is the study of value or quality. ... For other uses, see Human nature (disambiguation). ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ...


One of the most common criticisms of atheism has been to the contrary—that denying the existence of a just God leads to moral relativism, leaving one with no moral or ethical foundation,[57] or renders life meaningless and miserable.[58] Blaise Pascal argued this view in 1669.[59] Criticism of atheism is made chiefly by theistic sources, though some forms of atheism also receive criticism from nontheistic sources. ... In philosophy, moral relativism is the position that moral or ethical propositions do not reflect objective and/or universal moral truths, but instead make claims relative to social, cultural, historical or personal circumstances. ... ... Blaise Pascal (pronounced ), (June 20 [[1624 // ]] – August 19, 1662) was a French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher. ...


History

Main article: History of atheism

Although the term atheism originated in 16th-century France, ideas that would be recognized today as atheistic are documented from classical antiquity and the Vedic period. Although the term atheism originated in the 16th century, based on Ancient Greek ἄθεος godless, denying the gods, ungodly[1] and open admission to positive atheism in modern times was not made earlier than in the late 18th century, atheistic ideas and beliefs, as well as their political influence, have a... Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, which begins roughly with the earliest-recorded Greek poetry of Homer (7th century BC), and continues through the rise of Christianity and the fall of the Western Roman Empire (5th century AD... Map of early Iron Age Vedic India after Witzel (1989). ...


Early Indic religion

Main article: Atheism in Hinduism

Atheistic schools are found in Hinduism, which is otherwise a very theistic religion. The thoroughly materialistic and anti-religious philosophical Cārvāka School that originated in India around 6th century BCE is probably the most explicitly atheistic school of philosophy in India. This branch of Indian philosophy is classified as a heterodox system and is not considered part of the six orthodox schools of Hinduism, but it is noteworthy as evidence of a materialistic movement within Hinduism.[60] Chatterjee and Datta explain that our understanding of Cārvāka philosophy is fragmentary, based largely on criticism of the ideas by other schools, and that it is not a living tradition: Atheism (Sanskrit: , lit. ... Atheism (Sanskrit: , lit. ... Hinduism is a religious tradition[1] that originated in the Indian subcontinent. ... (or Cārvāka Hindi चारवाक) is a system of Indian philosophy that assumed various forms of philosophical skepticism and religious indifference. ... Nastika is a Sanskrit term meaning: It is the antonym of astika, or one who asserts. ...

"Though materialism in some form or other has always been present in India, and occasional references are found in the Vedas, the Buddhistic literature, the Epics, as well as in the later philosophical works we do not find any systematic work on materialism, nor any organized school of followers as the other philosophical schools possess. But almost every work of the other schools states, for reputation, the materialistic views. Our knowledge of Indian materialism is chiefly based on these."[61]

Other Indian philosophies generally regarded as atheistic include Classical Samkhya and Purva Mimamsa. The rejection of a personal creator God is also seen in Jainism and Buddhism in India.[62] Samkhya, also Sankhya, (Sanskrit: सांख्य, IAST: Sāṃkhya - Enumeration) is one of the six schools of classical Indian philosophy. ... The main objective of the Purva (earlier) Mimamsa school was to establish the authority of the Vedas. ... Jain and Jaina redirect here. ... A statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha in Tawang Gompa, India. ...


Classical antiquity

In Plato's Apology, Socrates (pictured) was accused by Meletus of not believing in the gods.
In Plato's Apology, Socrates (pictured) was accused by Meletus of not believing in the gods.

Western atheism has its roots in pre-Socratic Greek philosophy, but did not emerge as a distinct world-view until the late Enlightenment.[63] The 5th-century BCE Greek philosopher Diagoras is known as the "first atheist",[64] and strongly criticized religion and mysticism. Critias viewed religion as a human invention used to frighten people into following moral order.[65] Atomists such as Democritus attempted to explain the world in a purely materialistic way, without reference to the spiritual or mystical. Other pre-Socratic philosophers who probably had atheistic views included Prodicus and Protagoras. In the 3rd-century BCE the Greek philosophers Theodorus[66] and Strato of Lampsacus[67] also did not believe gods exist. ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (600x800, 153 KB) Suject : Portrait of Socrates ; Origin : Roman (1st century), perhaps a copy of a lost bronze statue made by Lysippos ; Material : Marble ; Location : Louvre museum, Paris, France, MA 59 ; Author : Eric Gaba (User:Sting) ; Date : July 2005. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (600x800, 153 KB) Suject : Portrait of Socrates ; Origin : Roman (1st century), perhaps a copy of a lost bronze statue made by Lysippos ; Material : Marble ; Location : Louvre museum, Paris, France, MA 59 ; Author : Eric Gaba (User:Sting) ; Date : July 2005. ... For other uses, see Plato (disambiguation). ... (The) Apology (of Socrates) is Platos version of the speech given by Socrates as he defends himself against the charges of being a man who corrupted the young, did not believe in the gods, and created new deities. Apology here has its earlier meaning (now usually expressed by the... This page is about the Classical Greek philosopher. ... The Apology of Socrates by Plato names Meletus as the main perpetrator against Socrates. ... The Pre-Socratic philosophers were active before Socrates or contemporaneously, but expounding knowledge developed earlier. ... Greek philosophy focused on the role of reason and inquiry. ... The Age of Enlightenment (French: ; Italian: ; German: ; Spanish: ; Swedish: ) was an eighteenth-century movement in Western philosophy. ... Diagoras the Atheist of Melos was a Greek poet and sophist of the 5th century BC. He became an atheist after an incident that happened against him went unpunished by the gods. ... Critias (Greek , 460-403 BC), was born in Athens, son of Callaeschrus, was the uncle of Plato, leading member of the Thirty Tyrants, and one of the most violent. ... Concern has been expressed that this article or section is missing information about: discussions of existence of atoms among prominent physicists up to the end of 19th century. ... ‎ Democritus (Greek: ) was a pre-Socratic Greek materialist philosopher (born at Abdera in Thrace ca. ... In philosophy, materialism is that form of physicalism which holds that the only thing that can truly be said to exist is matter; that fundamentally, all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions; that matter is the only substance. ... Prodicus of Ceos (Πρόδικος Pródikos, born c. ... Protagoras (in Greek Πρωταγόρας) was born around 481 BC in Abdera, Thrace in Ancient Greece. ... This article is about Theodorus the Atheist from Cyrene. ... Strato of Lampsacus (c. ...


Socrates was accused of being an atheist for impiety (see Euthyphro dilemma) on the basis that he inspired questioning of the state gods.[68] Although he disputed the accusation that he was a "complete atheist",[69] he was ultimately sentenced to death. This page is about the Classical Greek philosopher. ... Impiety is a lack of proper concern for the obligations owed to cult in its proper sense. ... The Euthyphro dilemma is found in Platos dialogue Euthyphro, in which Socrates asks Euthyphro: Is the pious (τὸ ὅσιον) loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods? (10a) In monotheistic terms, this is usually transformed into: Is what is moral... South America Europe Middle East Africa Asia Oceania Demography of religions by country Full list of articles on religion by country Religion Portal         Nations with state religions:  Buddhism  Islam  Shia Islam  Sunni Islam  Orthodox Christianity  Protestantism  Roman Catholic Church A state religion (also called an official religion, established church... The Death of Socrates, by Jacques-Louis David (1787) The trial of Socrates refers to the trial and the subsequent execution of the Athenian philosopher Socrates in 399 BC. Socrates was tried and convicted by the courts of democratic Athens on a charge of corrupting the youth and disbelieving in...


Another atomic materialist, Epicurus, disputed many religious doctrines, including the existence of an afterlife or a personal deity; he considered the soul purely material and mortal. While Epicureanism did not rule out the existence of gods, he believed that if they did exist, they were unconcerned with humanity.[70] Epicure redirects here. ... For other uses, see Afterlife (disambiguation). ... The phrase personal God is religious term used far more often by laypeople than by theologians due to its numerous connotations. ... For other uses, see Soul (disambiguation). ... Epicureanism is a system of philosophy based upon the teachings of Epicurus (c. ...


The Roman poet Lucretius agreed that, if there were gods, they were unconcerned with humanity and unable to affect the natural world. For this reason, he believed humanity should have no fear of the supernatural. In De rerum natura ("On the nature of things"), he expounds his Epicurean views of the cosmos, atoms, the soul, mortality, and religion.[71] Lucretius Titus Lucretius Carus (c. ... Not to be confused with The Nature of Things, a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation television show about natural science. ...


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, and that ataraxia ("peace of mind") is attainable by withholding one's judgment. His relatively large volume of surviving works had a lasting influence on later philosophers.[72] Sextus Empiricus (fl. ... Pyrrhonism, or Pyrrhonian skepticism, was a school of skepticism founded by Aenesidemus in the first century BCE and recorded by Sextus Empiricus in the 3rd century. ... Ataraxia (Ἀταραξία) is a Greek term used by Pyrrho and Epicurus for freedom from worry or any other preoccupation, and for Epicurus to achieve Hêdonê, the great pleasure. ...


The meaning of "atheist" changed over the course of classical antiquity. The early Christians were labeled atheists by non-Christians because of their disbelief in pagan gods.[73] During the Roman Empire, Christians were executed for their rejection of the Roman gods in general and Emperor-worship in particular. When Christianity became the state religion of Rome under Theodosius I in 381, heresy became a punishable offense.[74] For other uses, see Roman Empire (disambiguation). ... This is a list of Roman deities with brief descriptions. ... An engraving depicting what Theodosius may have looked like, ca. ... Heresy, as a blanket term, describes a practice or belief that is labeled as unorthodox. ...


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); metaphysics, religion and theology were the dominant interests.[75] There were, however, movements within this period that forwarded heterodox conceptions of the Christian God, including differing views of the nature, transcendence, and knowability of God. Individuals and groups such as Johannes Scotus Eriugena, David of Dinant, Amalric of Bena, and the Brethren of the Free Spirit maintained Christian viewpoints with pantheistic tendencies. Nicholas of Cusa held to a form of fideism he called docta ignorantia ("learned ignorance"), asserting that God is beyond human categorization, and our knowledge of God is limited to conjecture. William of Ockham inspired anti-metaphysical tendencies with his nominalistic limitation of human knowledge to singular objects, and asserted that the divine essence could not be intuitively or rationally apprehended by human intellect. Followers of Ockham, such as John of Mirecourt and Nicholas of Autrecourt furthered this view. The resulting division between faith and reason influenced later theologians such as John Wycliffe, Jan Hus, and Martin Luther.[76] Justinians wife Theodora and her retinue, in a 6th century mosaic from the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna. ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... Pedro Berruguete. ... J. Scotus Eriugena commemorated on a Irish banknote, issued 1976-1993 Johannes Scotus Eriugena (ca. ... David of Dinant (ca. ... Amalric (French Amaury) of Bena (d. ... Free Sprit redirects here. ... Pantheism (Greek: πάν ( pan ) = all and θεός ( theos ) = God) literally means God is All and All is God. It is the view that everything is of an all-encompassing immanent abstract God; or that the universe, or nature, and God are equivalent. ... Nicholas of Cusa Nicholas of Cusa (1401– August 11, 1464) was a German cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, a philosopher, jurist, mathematician, and an astronomer. ... In Christian theology, fideism is any of several belief systems which hold, on various grounds, that reason is irrelevant to religious faith. ... De docta ignorantia (On learned ignorance) is a book on philosophy and theology by Nicholas of Cusa, who finished writing it on February 12, 1440 in his mother-town of Cusa. ... William of Ockham (also Occam or any of several other spellings, IPA: ) (c. ... In philosophy, nominalism is the theory that abstract terms, general terms, or universals do not represent objective real existents, but are merely names, words, or vocal utterances (flatus vocis). ... For other uses, see Essence (disambiguation). ... John of Mirecourt [1] was a Cistercian scholastic philosopher of the fourteenth century, from Lorraine. ... Nicholas or Nicolaus of Autrecourt, in French Nicholas dAutrécourt (1299 - 1369), was a French medieval philosopher and theologian known principally for developing skepticism to extreme logical conclusions and even being considered the sole genuinely skeptic philosopher of medieval times. ... Insert non-formatted text here Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity... Jan Hus ( ) (IPA: , alternative spellings John Hus, Jan Huss, John Huss) (c. ... Martin Luther (November 10, 1483 – February 18, 1546) was a German monk,[1] priest, professor, theologian, and church reformer. ...


The Renaissance did much to expand the scope of freethought and skeptical inquiry. Individuals such as Leonardo da Vinci sought experimentation as a means of explanation, and opposed arguments from religious authority. Other critics of religion and the Church during this time included Niccolò Machiavelli, Bonaventure des Périers, and François Rabelais.[72] This article is about the European Renaissance of the 14th-17th centuries. ... “Da Vinci” redirects here. ... An appeal to authority or argument by authority is a type of argument in logic, consisting on basing the truth value of an assertion on the authority, knowledge or position of the person asserting it. ... Machiavelli redirects here. ... Bonaventure des Périers (c. ... François Rabelais François Rabelais (c. ...


Early Modern Period

The Renaissance and Reformation eras witnessed a resurgence in religious fervor, as evidenced by the proliferation of new religious orders, confraternities, and popular devotions in the Catholic world, and the appearance of increasingly austere Protestant sects such as the Calvinists. This era of interconfessional rivalry permitted an even wider scope of theological and philosophical speculation, much of which would later be used to advance a religiously skeptical world-view. This article is about the European Renaissance of the 14th-17th centuries. ... The Protestant Reformation was a movement which began in the 16th century as a series of attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church, but ended in division and the establishment of new institutions, most importantly Lutheranism, Reformed churches, and Anabaptists. ... In an unadorned church, the 17th century congregation stands to hear the sermon. ...


Criticism of Christianity became increasingly frequent in the 17th and 18th centuries, especially in France and England, where there appears to have been a religious malaise, according to contemporary sources. Some Protestant thinkers, such as Thomas Hobbes, espoused a materialist philosophy and skepticism toward supernatural occurrences. In the late 17th century, Deism came to be openly espoused by intellectuals such as John Toland, and practically all the philosophes of 18th-century France and England held to some form of Deism. Despite their ridicule of Christianity, many Deists held atheism in scorn. The first known atheist who threw off the mantle of deism, bluntly denying the existence of gods, was Jean Meslier, a French priest who lived in the early 18th century.[77] He was followed by other openly atheistic thinkers, such as Baron d'Holbach, who appeared in the late 18th century, when expressing disbelief in God became a less dangerous position.[78] David Hume was the most systematic exponent of Enlightenment thought, developing a skeptical epistemology grounded in empiricism, undermining the metaphysical basis of natural theology. Throughout the history of Christianity, a wide range of Christians and non-Christians alike have offered criticisms of Christianity, the Church, and Christians themselves. ... Malaise is a feeling of general discomfort or uneasiness, an out of sorts feeling, often the first indication of an infection or other disease. ... Hobbes redirects here. ... For other uses, see Ceremonial Deism. ... John Toland (November 30, 1670 - March 11, 1722) Very little is known about his true origins other than the fact that he was born in Ardagh on the Inishowen Peninsula, a predominantly Catholic and Irish speaking region, in north west Ulster. ... The philosophes (French for philosophers) were a group of intellectuals of the 18th century Enlightenment. ... Church of Étrépigny. ... Baron dHolbach Paul-Henri Thiry, baron dHolbach (1723 – 1789) was a German-French author, philosopher and encyclopedist. ... This article is about the philosopher. ...

Ludwig Feuerbach's The Essence of Christianity (1841) would greatly influence philosophers such as Engels, Marx, David Strauss, and Nietzsche. He considered God to be a human invention and religious activities to be wish-fulfillment.
Ludwig Feuerbach's The Essence of Christianity (1841) would greatly influence philosophers such as Engels, Marx, David Strauss, and Nietzsche. He considered God to be a human invention and religious activities to be wish-fulfillment.

The French Revolution took atheism outside the salons and into the public sphere. Attempts to enforce the Civil Constitution of the Clergy led to anti-clerical violence and the expulsion of many clergy from France. The chaotic political events in revolutionary Paris eventually enabled the more radical Jacobins to seize power in 1793, ushering in the Reign of Terror. At its climax, the more militant atheists attempted to forcibly de-Christianize France, replacing religion with a Cult of Reason. These persecutions ended with the Thermidorian Reaction, but some of the secularizing measures of this period remained a permanent legacy of French politics. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (504x656, 106 KB) Ludwig Feuerbach is a german philosopher. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (504x656, 106 KB) Ludwig Feuerbach is a german philosopher. ... This article refers to the philosopher. ... This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ... Engels redirects here. ... Karl Heinrich Marx (May 5, 1818 – March 14, 1883) was a 19th century philosopher, political economist, and revolutionary. ... Portrait of David Strauss. ... Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900) (IPA: ) was a nineteenth-century German philologist and philosopher. ... The French Revolution (1789–1815) was a period of political and social upheaval in the political history of France and Europe as a whole, during which the French governmental structure, previously an absolute monarchy with feudal privileges for the aristocracy and Catholic clergy, underwent radical change to forms based on... The law of the Civil Constitution of the Clergy (Fr. ... It has been suggested that Jacobin/Sandbox be merged into this article or section. ... For other uses of terror, see Terror. ... This article was a word for word copy of an entry in the Rotten Library here ... The Thermidorian Reaction was a revolt in the French Revolution against the excesses of the Reign of Terror (which ended with the execution of Robespierre), and triggered by the execution of Robespierre and several other leading members of the Committee of Public Safety on a vote of the Comittee. ...


The Napoleonic era institutionalized the secularization of French society, and exported the revolution to northern Italy, in the hopes of creating pliable republics. In the nineteenth century, many atheists and other anti-religious thinkers devoted their efforts to political and social revolution, facilitating the upheavals of 1848, the Risorgimento in Italy, and the growth of an international socialist movement. The Napoleonic Era is a period in the History of France and Europe. ... The European Revolutions of 1848, known in some countries as the Spring of Nations or the Year of Revolution, were a revolutionary wave which erupted in Sicily and then, further triggered by the revolutions of 1848 in France, soon spread to the rest of Europe and as far afield as... Italian Unification (Italian: il Risorgimento, or The Resurgence) was the political and social movement that unified different states of the Italian peninsula into the single nation of Italy. ... Religious socialism Key Issues People and organizations Related subjects Socialism refers to a broad array of ideologies and political movements with the goal of a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to control by the community. ...


In the latter half of the 19th century, atheism rose to prominence under the influence of rationalistic and freethinking philosophers. Many prominent German philosophers of this era denied the existence of deities and were critical of religion, including Ludwig Feuerbach, Arthur Schopenhauer, Karl Marx, and Friedrich Nietzsche.[79]
In epistemology and in its broadest sense, rationalism is any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification (Lacey 286). ... Freethought is a philosophical viewpoint that holds that beliefs should be formed on the basis of science and logical principles and not be compromised by authority, tradition, or any other dogma. ... This article refers to the philosopher. ... Arthur Schopenhauer (February 22, 1788 – September 21, 1860) was a German philosopher best known for his work The World as Will and Representation. ... Karl Heinrich Marx (May 5, 1818 – March 14, 1883) was a 19th century philosopher, political economist, and revolutionary. ... Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900) (IPA: ) was a nineteenth-century German philologist and philosopher. ...


The 20th century

Atheism in the 20th century, particularly in the form of practical atheism, advanced in many societies. Atheistic thought found recognition in a wide variety of other, broader philosophies, such as existentialism, Objectivism, secular humanism, nihilism, logical positivism, Marxism, feminism,[80] and the general scientific and rationalist movement. Existentialism is a philosophical movement that posits that individuals create the meaning and essence of their lives, as opposed to deities or authorities creating it for them. ... This article is about the philosophy of Ayn Rand. ... Secular humanism is a humanist philosophy that upholds reason, ethics, and justice, and specifically rejects the supernatural and the spiritual as warrants of moral reflection and decision-making. ... This article is about the philosophical position. ... Logical positivism grew from the discussions of Moritz Schlicks Vienna Circle and Hans Reichenbachs Berlin Circle in the 1920s and 1930s. ... Marxism is both the theory and the political practice (that is, the praxis) derived from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. ... Feminists redirects here. ... For other uses, see Rationalism (disambiguation). ...


Logical positivism and scientism paved the way for neopositivism, analytical philosophy, structuralism, and naturalism. Neopositivism and analytical philosophy discarded classical rationalism and metaphysics in favor of strict empiricism and epistemological nominalism. Proponents such as Bertrand Russell emphatically rejected belief in God. In his early work, Ludwig Wittgenstein attempted to separate metaphysical and supernatural language from rational discourse. A. J. Ayer asserted the unverifiability and meaninglessness of religious statements, citing his adherence to the empirical sciences. Relatedly the applied structuralism of Lévi-Strauss sourced religious language to the human subconscious in denying its transcendental meaning. J. N. Findlay and J. J. C. Smart argued that the existence of God is not logically necessary. Naturalists and materialistic monists such as John Dewey considered the natural world to be the basis of everything, denying the existence of God or immortality.[81][40] Scientism is a term mainly used as a pejorative[1][2][3] to accuse someone of holding that science has primacy over all other interpretations of life such as religious, mythical, spiritual, or humanistic explanations. ... Logical positivism (later referred to as logical empiricism, rational empiricism, or neo-positivism) is a philosophy that combines positivism—which states that the only authentic knowledge is scientific knowledge—with a version of apriorism—the notion that some propositional knowledge can be had without, or prior to, experience. ... Analytic philosophy is the dominant philosophical movement of English-speaking countries. ... Structuralism as a term refers to various theories across the humanities, social sciences and economics many of which share the assumption that structural relationships between concepts vary between different cultures/languages and that these relationships can be usefully exposed and explored. ... This article is about methodological naturalism. ... In philosophy, nominalism is the theory that abstract terms, general terms, or universals do not represent objective real existents, but are merely names, words, or vocal utterances (flatus vocis). ... Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS, (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970), was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, advocate for social reform, and pacifist. ... Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein (IPA: ) (April 26, 1889 in Vienna, Austria – April 29, 1951 in Cambridge, England) was an Austrian philosopher who contributed several ground-breaking ideas to philosophy, primarily in the foundations of logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of language, and the philosophy of mind. ... Alfred Jules Ayer (October 29, 1910 - June 27, 1989), better known as simply A. J. Ayer (and called Freddie by friends), was a British philosopher. ... Structuralism as a term refers to various theories across the humanities, social sciences and economics many of which share the assumption that structural relationships between concepts vary between different cultures/languages and that these relationships can be usefully exposed and explored. ... This article is about the anthropologist. ... John Niemeyer Findlay (1903-1987) was a professor of philosophy at Kings College in London, Yale, the University of Texas at Austin, and Boston University. ... John Jameison Carswell Smart, or Jack Smart, (born 1920, M.A. (Glasgow, 1946), B.Phil (Oxford, 1948)) is a Scottish-Australian philosopher. ... John Dewey (October 20, 1859 – June 1, 1952) was an American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer, whose thoughts and ideas have been greatly influential in the United States and around the world. ...


The 20th century also saw the political advancement of atheism, spurred on by interpretation of the works of Marx and Engels. After the 1917 revolution in Russia, increased religious freedom for minority religions lasted for a few years, before the policies of Stalinism turned towards repression of religion. The Soviet Union and other communist states promoted state atheism and opposed religion, often by violent means.[82] Other leaders like E. V. Ramasami Naicker (Periyar), a prominent atheist leader of India, fought against Hinduism and Brahmins for discriminating and dividing people in the name of caste and religion.[83] This was highlighted in 1956 when he made the Hindu god Rama wear a garland made of slippers and made antitheistic statements.[84] Karl Heinrich Marx (May 5, 1818 – March 14, 1883) was a 19th century philosopher, political economist, and revolutionary. ... Engels redirects here. ... This article is about a form of government in which the state operates under the control of a Communist Party. ... State atheism is the official rejection of religion in all forms by a government in favor of atheism. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Hinduism is a religious tradition[1] that originated in the Indian subcontinent. ... Young Indian brahmachari Brahmin A Brahmin (less often Brahman) is a member of the Hindu priestly caste. ... Caste systems are traditional, hereditary systems of social classification, that evolved due to the enormous diversity in India (where all three primary races met, not by forced slavery but by immigration). ... Rama ( in IAST, in Devanāgarī) or Ramachandra is a legendary or historical king of ancient India. ... Antitheism (sometimes anti-theism) is active opposition to theism. ...


In 1966, TIME magazine asked "Is God Dead?"[85] in response to the Death of God theological movement, citing the estimation that nearly one in two people in the world lived under an anti-religious power and millions more in Africa, Asia, and South America seemed to lack knowledge of the Christian God.[86] The following year, the Albanian government under Enver Hoxha announced the closure of all religious institutions in the country, declaring Albania the world's first officially atheist state.[87] These regimes enhanced the negative associations of atheism, especially where anti-communist sentiment was strong in the United States, despite the fact that prominent atheists were anti-communist.[88] Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the number of actively anti-religious regimes has reduced considerably. In 2006, Timothy Shah of the Pew Forum noted "a worldwide trend across all major religious groups, in which God-based and faith-based movements in general are experiencing increasing confidence and influence vis-à-vis secular movements and ideologies."[89] Gregory S. Paul and Phil Zuckerman, however, consider this a myth and suggest that the actual situation is much more complex and nuanced.[90] “TIME” redirects here. ... For the novel, see God is Dead (novel). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... View in 1986 from the west side of graffiti art on the walls infamous death strip Walls poster in memory of the fall. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Gregory S. Paul (born 1954) is a freelance paleontologist, author and illustrator. ...


Demographics

It is difficult to quantify the number of atheists in the world. Respondents to religious-belief polls may define "atheism" differently or draw different distinctions between atheism, non-religious beliefs, and non-theistic religious and spiritual beliefs. In addition, people in some regions of the world refrain from reporting themselves as atheists to avoid social stigma, discrimination, and persecution. A 2005 survey published in Encyclopædia Britannica finds that the non-religious make up about 11.9% of the world's population, and atheists about 2.3%. This figure does not include those who follow atheistic religions, such as some Buddhists.[91] A November–December 2006 poll published in the Financial Times gives rates for the United States and five European countries. It found that Americans are more likely than Europeans to report belief in any form of god or supreme being (73%). Of the European adults surveyed, Italians are the most likely to express this belief (62%) and the French the least likely (27%). In France, 32% declared themselves atheists, and an additional 32% declared themselves agnostic.[92] An official European Union survey provides corresponding figures: 18% of the EU population do not believe in a god; 27% accept the existence of some supernatural "spiritual life force", while 52% affirm belief in a specific god. The proportion of believers rises to 65% among those who had left school by the age of fifteen; 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.[93] It is difficult to quantify the number of atheists in the world. ... Many atheists have experienced discrimination, mainly from religious entities. ... Many atheists have experienced persecution, mainly from Christians and Muslims. ... The Encyclopædia Britannica is a general English-language encyclopaedia published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. ... The Financial Times (FT) is a British international business newspaper. ... The term agnosticism and the related agnostic were coined by Thomas Henry Huxley in 1869. ...


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. National Academy of Science, only 7.0% of whom believed in a personal god as compared with more than 85% of the general U.S. population.[94] In the same year Frank Sulloway of MIT and Michael Shermer of California State University conducted a study which found in their polling sample of "credentialed" U.S. adults (12% had Ph.Ds and 62% were college graduates) 64% believed in God, and there was a correlation indicating that religious conviction diminished with education level.[95] Such an inverse correlation between religiosity and intelligence has been found by 39 studies carried out between 1927 and 2002, according to an article in Mensa Magazine.[96] These findings broadly concur with a 1958 statistical meta-analysis from Professor Michael Argyle of Oxford University. He analyzed seven research studies that had investigated correlation between attitude to religion and measured intelligence among school and college students from the U.S. Although a clear negative correlation was found, the analysis did not identify causality but noted that factors such as authoritarian family background and social class may also have played a part.[97] Nature is a prominent scientific journal, first published on 4 November 1869. ... For other uses, see Afterlife (disambiguation). ... President Harding and the National Academy of Sciences at the White House, Washington, DC, April 1921 The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a corporation in the United States whose members serve pro bono as advisers to the nation on science, engineering, and medicine. ... Fank Sulloway is a Historian of Science and Behavioral Scientist in California. ... Mapúa Institute of Technology (MIT, MapúaTech or simply Mapúa) is a private, non-sectarian, Filipino tertiary institute located in Intramuros, Manila. ... Michael Shermer Michael Shermer (born September 8, 1954 in Glendale, California) is a science writer, historian of science, founder of The Skeptics Society, and editor of its magazine Skeptic, which is largely devoted to investigating and debunking pseudoscientific and supernatural claims. ... The California State University (CSU) is one of three public higher education systems in the state of California, the other two being the University of California system and the California Community College System. ... Positive linear correlations between 1000 pairs of numbers. ... Positive linear correlations between 1000 pairs of numbers. ... The topic of religiosity and intelligence pertains to possible relationships between intelligence (SAT Scores, IQ, Education, etc. ... A meta-analysis is a statistical practice of combining the results of a number of studies. ... Professor Michael Argyle (August 11, 1925, Nottingham – September 6, 2002) was one of the best known English social psychologists of the twentieth century. ... The University of Oxford, located in the city of Oxford in England, is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. ... IQ redirects here. ...


Atheism, religion and morality

See also: Atheism and religion, Criticism of atheism, and Secular ethics
Because of its absence of a personal god, Buddhism is commonly described as nontheistic.
Because of its absence of a personal god, Buddhism is commonly described as nontheistic.

Although people who self-identify as atheists are usually assumed to be irreligious, some sects within major religions reject the existence of a personal, creator deity.[98] In recent years, certain religious denominations have accumulated a number of openly atheistic followers, such as atheistic or humanistic Judaism[99][100] and Christian atheists.[101][102][103] Atheism is the lack of belief in a god or gods. ... Criticism of atheism is made chiefly by theistic sources, though some forms of atheism also receive criticism from nontheistic sources. ... Though some think morality impossible (or at least unmotivated) in a Godless universe, most atheists and agnostics adhere to some form of ethical code. ... Image File history File links Lightmatter_buddha3. ... Image File history File links Lightmatter_buddha3. ... Buddhism is usually regarded as a religion without an absolute God who created the universe ex nihilo (from nothing) and to whom devotion and worship are due (although veneration and worship of the Buddhas do play a major role in both Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism). ... The phrase personal God is religious term used far more often by laypeople than by theologians due to its numerous connotations. ... A statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha in Tawang Gompa, India. ... This section does not cite its references or sources. ... An Atheist Jew is a member of the Jewish community who does not believe in God but still considers himself or herself a Jew. ... Humanistic Judaism is a movement within Judaism that emphasizes Jewish culture and history - rather than belief in God - as the sources of Jewish identity. ... Agnostic Theism is the philosophical view that encompasses both theism and agnosticism. ...


As the strictest sense of positive atheism does not entail any specific beliefs outside of disbelief in God, atheists can hold any number of spiritual beliefs. For the same reason, atheists can hold a wide variety of ethical beliefs, ranging from the moral universalism of humanism, which holds that a moral code should be applied consistently to all humans, to moral nihilism, which holds that morality is meaningless.[104] Moral universalism is a moral view, often related to humanist philosophy, which claims that the fundamental basis for a universalist ethic—universally applicable to all humanity—can be derived or inferred from what is common among existing moral codes. ... Humanism is a broad category of ethical philosophies that affirm the dignity and worth of all people, based on the ability to determine right and wrong by appeal to universal human qualities — particularly rationality. ... Moral nihilism is the meta-ethical view that normative, moral statements are false. ...


Some philosophers, however, have equated atheism with immorality, arguing that morality must be derived from God and cannot exist without a wise creator.[105][106][107] Moral precepts such as "murder is wrong" are seen as divine laws, requiring a divine lawmaker and judge. However, many atheists argue that treating morality legalistically involves a false analogy, and that morality does not depend on a lawmaker in the same way that laws do,[108] based on the Euthyphro dilemma, which either renders God unnecessary or morality arbitrary.[109] Divine law is any law (or rule) that comes directly from the will of God (or a god), such as from the Bible in Christianity or in Islam the Quran from Allah himself, etcetera. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Euthyphro dilemma is found in Platos dialogue Euthyphro, in which Socrates asks Euthyphro: Is the pious (τὸ ὅσιον) loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods? (10a) In monotheistic terms, this is usually transformed into: Is what is moral...


Philosophers Susan Neiman[110] and Julian Baggini[111] (among others) assert that behaving ethically only because of divine mandate is not true ethical behavior but merely blind obedience. Baggini argues that atheism is a superior basis for ethics, claiming that a moral basis external to religious imperatives is necessary to evaluate the morality of the imperatives themselves—to be able to discern, for example, that "thou shalt steal" is immoral even if one's religion instructs it—and that atheists, therefore, have the advantage of being more inclined to make such evaluations.[112] Dr. Susan Neiman is a moral philosopher and author of Evil in Modern Thought: An alternative history of philosophy. ... Julian Baggini Julian Baggini is a British philosopher and writer. ...


Atheists such as Sam Harris have argued that Western religions' reliance on divine authority lends itself to authoritarianism and dogmatism.[113] Indeed, religious fundamentalism and extrinsic religion (when religion is held because it serves other, more ultimate interests[114]) have been correlated with authoritarianism, dogmatism, and prejudice.[115] This argument, combined with historical events that are argued to demonstrate the dangers of religion, such as the Crusades, inquisitions, and witch trials, are often used by antireligious atheists to justify their views.[116] For other persons named Sam Harris, see Sam Harris (disambiguation). ... Forms of government Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      This article applies to political and organizational ideologies. ... For other senses of this word, see dogma (disambiguation). ... Fundamentalism is a movement to maintain strict adherence to founding principles. ... Psychology of religion is psychologys theory of religious experiences and beliefs. ... This article is about the medieval crusades. ... This article is about the Inquisition by the Roman Catholic Church. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Antireligion is opposition to some or all religions in some or all contexts. ...


See also

Adevism, a term introduced by Friedrich Max Müller to imply the denial of gods (Sans. ... An atheist is one who disbelieves[1] in the existence of a deity or deities. ... Listed here are notable organizations that have among their primary purposes the promotion of atheism, or serving the interests of atheists, as confirmed by reliable sources. ... Manifestations Slavery Racial profiling Lynching Hate speech Hate crime Genocide (examples) Ethnocide Ethnic cleansing Pogrom Race war Religious persecution Blood libel Paternalism Police brutality Movements Policies Discriminatory Race / Religion / Sex segregation Apartheid Redlining Internment Ethnocracy Anti-discriminatory Emancipation Civil rights Desegregation Integration Equal opportunity Counter-discriminatory Affirmative action Racial quota...

Further reading

  • Berman, David (1990). A History of Atheism in Britain: From Hobbes to Russell. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-04727-7. 
  • Buckley, M. J. (1990). At the Origins of Modern Atheism. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. ISBN 0300048971. 
  • Dawkins, Richard (2006). The God Delusion. Bantam Press. ISBN 0593055489. 
  • Flew, Antony (2005). God and Philosophy. Prometheus Books. ISBN 1591023300. 
  • Flynn, Tom, ed. (2007). The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief. Prometheus Books. ISBN 1591023912.
  • Gaskin, J.C.A., ed. (1989), Varieties of Unbelief: From Epicurus to Sartre, New York: Macmillan, ISBN 0-02-340681-X
  • Harbour, Daniel. An Intelligent Person's Guide to Atheism. London: Duckworth. ISBN 0-7156-3229-9. 
  • Harris, Sam (2006). Letter to a Christian Nation. Knopf. ISBN 978-0307265777. }}
  • Hitchens, Christopher (2007). God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. Twelve. ISBN 978-0446579803. 
  • Jacoby, Susan (2004). Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism. Metropolitan Books. ISBN 978-0805074420. 
  • Krueger, D. E. (1998). What is Atheism?: A Short Introduction. New York: Prometheus. ISBN 1-57392-214-5. 
  • Le Poidevin, R. (1996). Arguing for Atheism: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-09338-4. 
  • Mackie, J. L. (1982). The Miracle of Theism: Arguments For and Against the Existence of God. Oxford: Oxford UP. ISBN 019824682X
  • Maritain, Jacques (1953). The Range of Reason. London: Geoffrey Bles. ISBN B0007DKP00. Retrieved on 2006-10-27. 
  • Martin, Michael (1990). Atheism: A Philosophical Justification. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press. ISBN 0-87722-943-0. 
  • Martin, Michael, ed. (2007). The Cambridge Companion to Atheism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521603676
  • Martin, Michael & Monnier, R., eds. (2003). The Impossibility of God. Amherst, NY: Prometheus. ISBN 1591021200
  • Martin, Michael & Monnier, R., eds. (2006). The Improbability of God. Amherst, NY: Prometheus. ISBN 1591023815
  • McTaggart, John & McTaggart, Ellis (1930). Some Dogmas of Religion. London: Edward Arnold & Co., new edition. [First published 1906] ISBN 0548149550
  • Nielsen, Kai (1985). Philosophy and Atheism. New York: Prometheus. ISBN ISBN 0-87975-289-0. 
  • Nielsen, Kai (2001). Naturalism and Religion. New York: Prometheus. ISBN 1573928534. 
  • Oppy, Graham (2006). Arguing about Gods. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521863864. 
  • Robinson, Richard (1964). An Atheist's Values. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0198241917. 
  • Russell, Paul, (2005). Hume on Religion (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).
  • Sharpe, R.A. (1997). The Moral Case Against Religious Belief. London: SCM Press. ISBN 0-334-02680-6. 
  • Smith, George Atheism: The Case Against God, (1974). ISBN 087975124X
  • Stenger, Victor J. (2007). God: The Failed Hypothesis. How Science Shows that God Does Not Exist. Amherst, NY: Prometheus. ISBN 1591024811
  • Thrower, James (1971). A Short History of Western Atheism. London: Pemberton. ISBN 0-301-71101-1. 

Clinton Richard Dawkins, FRS (born March 26, 1941) is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and popular science writer who holds the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. ... The God Delusion is a book by British biologist Richard Dawkins, Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. ... Professor Antony Garrard Newton Flew (born February 11, 1923) is a British philosopher. ... An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Atheism is the first book by Daniel Harbour, an Oxford maths and philosophy graduate, who at the time of writing was working for a PhD in linguistics at MIT. Rather than a history of atheism, as the title may suggest, the book is a... For other persons named Sam Harris, see Sam Harris (disambiguation). ... Letter to a Christian Nation is a non-fiction book by Sam Harris, written in response to feedback he received following the publication of his first book The End of Faith. ... Christopher Eric Hitchens (born April 13, 1949) is a British-American author, journalist and literary critic. ... God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (published in the United Kingdom as God is Not Great: The Case Against Religion) is a non-fiction book by author and journalist Christopher Hitchens. ... For other people named John Mackie, see John Mackie. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 300th day of the year (301st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Michael L. Martin, Ph. ... Kai Nielsen is adjunct professor of philosophy at Concordia University in Montreal and professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Calgary. ... Kai Nielsen is adjunct professor of philosophy at Concordia University in Montreal and professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Calgary. ... Professor Graham Oppy (born October 6, 1960 ) is an Australian philosopher and Associate Dean of Research at Monash University. ... George H. Smith is a libertarian author. ...

Notes and references

  1. ^ Rowe, William L. (1998). "Atheism". Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Ed. Edward Craig. “Atheism is the position that affirms the nonexistence of God. It proposes positive disbelief rather than mere suspension of belief.” 
  2. ^ Nielsen, Kai "Atheism". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved on 2007-04-28.  "...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 [reasons that depend] on how God is being conceived."
  3. ^ Eller, David (2004). Natural Atheism, p. 12. 
  4. ^ religioustolerance.org's short article on Definitions of the term "Atheism" suggests that there is no consensus on the definition of the term. Simon Blackburn summarizes the situation in The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy: "Atheism. Either the lack of belief in a god, or the belief that there is none." Most dictionaries (see the OneLook query for "atheism") first list one of the more narrow definitions.
  5. ^ Honderich, Ted (Ed.) (1995). "Humanism". The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Oxford University Press. p 376. ISBN 0198661320.
  6. ^ Fales, Evan. "Naturalism and Physicalism", in Martin 2007, pp. 122–131.
  7. ^ Baggini 2003, pp. 3–4.
  8. ^ a b Drachmann, A. B. (1977 ("an unchanged reprint of the 1922 edition")). Atheism in Pagan Antiquity. Chicago: Ares Publishers. ISBN 0-89005-201-8. “Atheism and atheist are words formed from Greek roots and with Greek derivative endings. Nevertheless they are not Greek; their formation is not consonant with Greek usage. In Greek they said atheos and atheotēs; to these the English words ungodly and ungodliness correspond rather closely. In exactly the same way as ungodly, atheos was used as an expression of severe censure and moral condemnation; this use is an old one, and the oldest that can be traced. Not till later do we find it employed to denote a certain philosophical creed.” 
  9. ^ The word αθεοι—in any of its forms—appears nowhere else in the Septuagint or the New Testament. Robertson, A.T. [1932] (1960). "Ephesians: Chapter 2", Word Pictures in the New Testament. Broadman Press. Retrieved on 2007-04-12. “Old Greek word, not in LXX, only here in N.T. Atheists in the original sense of being without God and also in the sense of hostility to God from failure to worship him. See Paul's words in Ro 1:18–32.” 
  10. ^ Rendered as Athisme: Golding, Arthur; Philip Sidney (1587). Mornay's Woorke concerning the Trewnesse of the Christian Religion, written in French; Against Atheists, Epicures, Paynims, Iewes, Mahumetists, and other infidels. London, xx. 310. “Athisme, that is to say, vtter godlesnes.”  Translation of De la verite de la religion chrestienne (1581).
  11. ^ "atheist". Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. 2nd ed. 1989.
  12. ^ Rendered as Atheistes: Golding, Arthur (1571). The Psalmes of David and others, with J. Calvin's commentaries, Ep. Ded. 3. “The Atheistes which say..there is no God.”  Translated from French.
  13. ^ Hanmer, Meredith (1577). The auncient ecclesiasticall histories of the first six hundred years after Christ, written by Eusebius, Socrates, and Evagrius. London, 63. OCLC 55193813. “The opinion which they conceaue of you, to be Atheists, or godlesse men.” 
  14. ^ Burton, Robert (1621). The Anatomy of Melancholy, III. iv. II. i. “Cosen-germans to these men are many of our great Philosophers and Deists.” 
  15. ^ Martin, Edward (1662). "Five Letters", His opinion concerning the difference between the Church of England and Geneva [etc.]. London, 45. “To have said my office..twice a day..among Rebels, Theists, Atheists, Philologers, Wits, Masters of Reason, Puritanes [etc.].” 
  16. ^ Cudworth, Ralph (1678). The true intellectual system of the universe. London, Preface. “Nor indeed out of a meer Partiall Regard to that Cause of Theism neither, which we were engaged in.” 
  17. ^ Dryden, John (1682). Religio laici, or A laymans faith, a poem. London, Preface. OCLC 11081103. “…namely, that Deism, or the principles of natural worship, are only the faint remnants or dying flames of revealed religion in the posterity of Noah…” 
  18. ^ The Oxford English Dictionary also records an earlier, irregular formation, atheonism, dated from about 1534. The later and now obsolete words athean and atheal are dated to 1611 and 1612 respectively. (1989) The Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 0-19-861186-2. 
  19. ^ Armstrong, Karen (1999). A History of God. London: Vintage. ISBN 0-09-927367-5. 
  20. ^ In part because of its wide use in monotheistic Western society, atheism is usually described as "disbelief in God", rather than more generally as "disbelief in deities". A clear distinction is rarely drawn in modern writings between these two definitions, but some archaic uses of atheism encompassed only disbelief in the singular God, not in polytheistic deities. It is on this basis that the obsolete term adevism was coined in the late 19th century to describe an absence of belief in plural deities. Britannica (1911). "Atheonism". Encyclopædia Britannica. 
  21. ^ a b c Martin, Michael. The Cambridge Companion to Atheism. Cambridge University Press. 2006. ISBN 0521842700.
  22. ^ Cline, Austin (2006). What Is the Definition of Atheism?. about.com. Retrieved on 2006-10-21.
  23. ^ Flew, Antony (1984). God, Freedom, and Immortality: A Critical Analysis. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus. ISBN 0-87975-127-4. 
  24. ^ "Atheism". Encyclopedia Britannica (1911). Retrieved on 2007-06-07.
  25. ^ Martin, Michael. The Cambridge Companion to Atheism. Cambridge University Press. 2006. ISBN 0521842700.
  26. ^ Britannica (1992). "Atheism as rejection of religious beliefs". Encyclopædia Britannica 1: 666. 0852294735. Retrieved on 2006-10-27. 
  27. ^ d'Holbach, P. H. T. (1772). Good Sense. Retrieved on 2006-10-27. 
  28. ^ Smith 1979, p. 14.
  29. ^ Cudworth, Ralph (1678). The True Intellectual System of the Universe: the first part, wherein all the reason and philosophy of atheism is confuted and its impossibility demonstrated. 
  30. ^ See, for instance, Atheists call for church head to retract slur (September 3, 1996).
  31. ^ Lowder, Jeffery Jay (1997). Atheism and Society. Retrieved on 2007-01-10.
  32. ^ a b Flew, Antony. "The Presumption of Atheism". The Presumption of Atheism and other Philosophical Essays on God, Freedom, and Immortality. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1976. pp 14ff.
  33. ^ Cline, Austin (2006). Strong Atheism vs. Weak Atheism: What's the Difference?. about.com. Retrieved on 2006-10-21.
  34. ^ Maritain, Jacques (July 1949). "On the Meaning of Contemporary Atheism". The Review of Politics 11 (3): 267–280. 
  35. ^ Kenny, Anthony (2006). "Worshipping an Unknown God". Ratio 19 (4): 442. “Those who fail to believe in God because they think that the truth-value of ‘God exists’ is uncertain may be called agnostic negative atheists, or agnostics for short.” 
  36. ^ Kenny, Anthony. "Why I Am Not an Atheist", What I believe. Continuum. ISBN 0-8264-8971-0. “The true default position is neither theism nor atheism, but agnosticism … a claim to knowledge needs to be substantiated; ignorance need only be confessed.” 
  37. ^ Freking, Ken. "Atheists take bigger leap of faith than ‘believers’", Columbia Daily Tribune, 2005-01-23. Retrieved on 2007-05-30. 
  38. ^ Baggini 2003, pp. 30–34. "Who seriously claims we should say 'I neither believe nor disbelieve that the Pope is a robot', or 'As to whether or not eating this piece of chocolate will turn me into an elephant I am completely agnostic'. In the absence of any good reasons to believe these outlandish claims, we rightly disbelieve them, we don't just suspend judgement."
  39. ^ Baggini 2003, p. 22. "A lack of proof is no grounds for the suspension of belief. 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."
  40. ^ a b Smart, J.C.C. (2004-03-09). Atheism and Agnosticism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved on 2007-04-12.
  41. ^ Dawkins, Richard (2006). The God Delusion. Bantam Books, p. 50. ISBN 0-618-68000-4. 
  42. ^ Translation of Latin text from "Summa impietas" (1552), Picta poesis, by Barthélemy Aneau. Glasgow University Emblem Website. Retrieved on 2007-03-26.
  43. ^ a b c Zdybicka 2005, p. 20.
  44. ^ Schafersman, Steven D. "Naturalism is an Essential Part of Science and Critical Inquiry". Conference on Naturalism, Theism and the Scientific Enterprise. Department of Philosophy, The University of Texas. February 1997. Revised May 2007. Retrieved on 2007-04-09.
  45. ^ Zdybicka 2005, p. 21.
  46. ^ Borne, Étienne (1961). Atheism. New York: Hawthorn Books. ISBN 0-415-04727-7. 
  47. ^ Drange, Theodore M. (1998). "Atheism, Agnosticism, Noncognitivism". Internet Infidels, Secular Web Library. Retrieved on 2007-04-07.
  48. ^ Ayer, A. J. (1946). Language, Truth and Logic. Dover. pp. 115–116. In a footnote, Ayer attributes this view to "Professor H. H. Price".
  49. ^ Zdybicka 2005, p. 19.
  50. ^ David Hume. Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. Project Gutenberg (e-text). 
  51. ^ Feuerbach, Ludwig (1841) The Essence of Christianity
  52. ^ Walpola Rahula, What the Buddha Taught. Grove Press, 1974. Pages 51–52.
  53. ^ Bakunin, Michael (1916). God and the State. New York: Mother Earth Publishing Association. Retrieved on 2007-04-12.
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  55. ^ Drange, Theodore M. (1996). "The Arguments From Evil and Nonbelief". Internet Infidels, Secular Web Library. Retrieved 2007-04-18.
  56. ^ V.A. Gunasekara, The Buddhist Attitude to God. In the Bhuridatta Jataka, "The Buddha argues that the three most commonly given attributes of God, viz. omnipotence, omniscience and benevolence towards humanity cannot all be mutually compatible with the existential fact of dukkha."
  57. ^ Gleeson, David (2006). Common Misconceptions About Atheists and Atheism. American Chronicle. Retrieved on 2006-10-21.
  58. ^ Smith 1979, p. 275. "Perhaps the most common criticism of atheism is the claim that it leads inevitably to moral bankruptcy."
  59. ^ Pascal, Blaise (1669). Pensées, II: "The Misery of Man Without God".
  60. ^ Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Charles A. Moore. A Sourcebook in Indian Philosophy. (Princeton University Press: 1957, Twelfth Princeton Paperback printing 1989) pp. 227–249. ISBN 0-691-01958-4.
  61. ^ Satischandra Chatterjee and Dhirendramohan Datta. An Introduction to Indian Philosophy. Eighth Reprint Edition. (University of Calcutta: 1984). p. 55.
  62. ^ Joshi, L.R. (1966). "A New Interpretation of Indian Atheism". Philosophy East and West 16 (3/4): 189–206. 
  63. ^ Baggini 2003, pp. 73–74. "Atheism had its origins in Ancient Greece but did not emerge as an overt and avowed belief system until late in the Enlightenment."
  64. ^ Solmsen, Friedrich (1942). Plato's Theology. Cornell University Press. p 25.
  65. ^ "religion, study of". (2007). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved on April 2, 2007.
  66. ^ Diogenes Laërtius, The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, ii
  67. ^ Cicero, Lucullus, 121. in Reale, G., A History of Ancient Philosophy. SUNY Press. (1985).
  68. ^ Atheism. The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. Columbia University Press (2005). Retrieved on 2007-04-12.
  69. ^ Brickhouse, Thomas C.; Nicholas D. Smith (2004). Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Plato and the Trial of Socrates. Routledge, p. 112. ISBN 0415156815.  In particular, he argues that the claim he is a complete atheist contradicts the other part of the indictment, that he introduced "new divinities".
  70. ^ BBC. Ethics and Religion—Atheism. bbc.co.uk. Retrieved on 2007-04-12.
  71. ^ On the Nature of Things by Lucretius, available at Project Gutenberg. Book I, "Substance is Eternal". Translated by W.E. Leonard. 1997. Retrieved on 2007-04-12.
  72. ^ a b Stein, Gordon (Ed.) (1980). "The History of Freethought and Atheism". An Anthology of Atheism and Rationalism. New York: Prometheus. Retrieved on 2007-04-03.
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  74. ^ Maycock, A. L. and Ronald Knox (2003). Inquisition from Its Establishment to the Great Schism: An Introductory Study. ISBN 0766172902.
  75. ^ Zdybicka 2005, p. 4
  76. ^ Zdybicka 2005, p. 4.
  77. ^ Michel Onfray on Jean Meslier on William Paterson University accessed at January 19, 2008
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  80. ^ Overall, Christine. "Feminism and Atheism", in Martin 2007, pp. 233–246.
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  91. ^ Worldwide Adherents of All Religions by Six Continental Areas, Mid-2005. Encyclopædia Britannica (2005). Retrieved on 2007-04-15.
    • 2.3% Atheists: Persons professing atheism, skepticism, disbelief, or irreligion, including the militantly antireligious (opposed to all religion).
    • 11.9% Nonreligious: Persons professing no religion, nonbelievers, agnostics, freethinkers, uninterested, or dereligionized secularists indifferent to all religion but not militantly so.
  92. ^ Religious Views and Beliefs Vary Greatly by Country, According to the Latest Financial Times/Harris Poll. Financial Times/Harris Interactive (2006-12-20). Retrieved on 2007-01-17.
  93. ^ (2005) Social values, Science and Technology. Directorate General Research, European Union, pp 7–11. 
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  95. ^ Shermer, Michael (1999). How We Believe: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God. New York: William H Freeman, pp76–79. ISBN 071673561X. 
  96. ^ According to Dawkins (2006), p. 103. Dawkins cites Bell, Paul. "Would you believe it?" Mensa Magazine, UK Edition, Feb. 2002, pp. 12–13. Analyzing 43 studies carried out since 1927, Bell found that all but four reported such a connection, and he concluded that "the higher one's intelligence or education level, the less one is likely to be religious or hold 'beliefs' of any kind."
  97. ^ Argyle, Michael (1958). Religious Behaviour. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, pp 93–96. ISBN 0-415-17589-5. 
  98. ^ Winston, Robert (Ed.) (2004). Human. New York: DK Publishing, Inc, p. 299. ISBN 0-7566-1901-7. “Nonbelief has existed for centuries. For example, Buddhism and Jainism have been called atheistic religions because they do not advocate belief in gods.” 
  99. ^ Humanistic Judaism. BBC (2006-07-20). Retrieved on 2006-10-25.
  100. ^ Levin, S. (May 1995). "Jewish Atheism". New Humanist 110 (2): 13–15. 
  101. ^ Christian Atheism. BBC (2006-05-17). Retrieved on 2006-10-25.
  102. ^ Altizer, Thomas J. J. (1967). The Gospel of Christian Atheism. London: Collins, 102–103. Retrieved on 2006-10-27. 
  103. ^ Lyas, Colin (January 1970). "On the Coherence of Christian Atheism". Philosophy: The Journal of the Royal Institute of Philosophy 45 (171): 1–19. 
  104. ^ Smith 1979, pp. 21–22.
  105. ^ Smith 1979, p. 275. "Among the many myths associated with religion, 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."
  106. ^ In Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov (Book Eleven: Brother Ivan Fyodorovich, Chapter 4) there is the famous argument that If there is no God, all things are permitted.: "'But what will become of men then?' I asked him, 'without God and immortal life? All things are lawful then, they can do what they like?'"
  107. ^ For Kant, the presupposition of God, soul, and freedom was a practical concern, for "Morality, by itself, constitutes a system, but happiness does not, unless it is distributed in exact proportion to morality. This, however, is possible in an intelligible world only under a wise author and ruler. Reason compels us to admit such a ruler, together with life in such a world, which we must consider as future life, or else all moral laws are to be considered as idle dreams..." (Critique of Pure Reason, A811).
  108. ^ Baggini 2003, p. 38.
  109. ^ Baggini 2003, p. 39.
  110. ^ Susan Neiman. Beyond Belief Session 6 [Conference]. Salk Institute, La Jolla, CA: The Science Network.
  111. ^ Baggini 2003, p. 40
  112. ^ Baggini 2003, p. 43.
  113. ^ Harris, Sam (2006a). The Myth of Secular Moral Chaos. Free Inquiry. Retrieved on 2006-10-29.
  114. ^ Moreira-almeida, A.; Lotufo Neto, F.; Koenig, H.G. (2006). "Religiousness and mental health: a review". Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria 28: 242–250. Retrieved on 2007-07-12. 
  115. ^ See for example: Kahoe, R.D. (June 1977). "Intrinsic Religion and Authoritarianism: A Differentiated Relationship". Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. 16(2). pp. 179–182. Also see: Altemeyer, Bob and Bruce Hunsberger (1992). "Authoritarianism, Religious Fundamentalism, Quest, and Prejudice". International Journal for the Psychology of Religion. 2(2). pp. 113–133.
  116. ^ Harris, Sam (2005). An Atheist Manifesto. Truthdig. Retrieved on 2006-10-29. “In a world riven by ignorance, only the atheist refuses to deny the obvious: Religious faith promotes human violence to an astonishing degree.”
  • Baggini, Julian (2003), Atheism: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-280424-3
  • Martin, Michael, ed. (2007), The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-60367-6
  • Smith, George H. (1979), Atheism: The Case Against God, Buffalo, New York: Prometheus, ISBN 0-87975-124-X
  • Zdybicka, Zofia J. (2005), "Atheism", in Maryniarczyk, Andrzej, Universal Encyclopedia of Philosophy, vol. 1, Polish Thomas Aquinas Association

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External links

Find more about Atheism on Wikipedia's sister projects:
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  • Atheism at the Open Directory Project – Includes links to organizations and websites.
  • Freedom From Religion Foundation – Foundation dedicated to protecting the separation of church and state.
  • Positive atheism: Great Historical Writings – Historical writing sorted by authors, contains a few items not in the Secular web library.
  • Religion & Ethics—Atheism at bbc.co.uk.
  • Secular Web library – Library of both historical and modern writings, a comprehensive online resource for freely available material on atheism.
  • The Demand for Religion – A study on the demographics of Atheism by Wolfgang Jagodzinski (University of Cologne) and Andrew Greeley (University of Chicago and University of Arizona).
  • The Necessity of Atheism – Complete work by Dr. D.M. Brooks.
  • Why atheists are good for American Freedom – From the libertarian think-tank, the Prometheus Institute.

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Although the term atheism originated in the 16th century, based on Ancient Greek ἄθεος godless, denying the gods, ungodly[1] and open admission to positive atheism in modern times was not made earlier than in the late 18th century, atheistic ideas and beliefs, as well as their political influence, have a... State atheism is the official rejection of religion in all forms by a government in favor of atheism. ... Criticism of atheism is made chiefly by theistic sources, though some forms of atheism also receive criticism from nontheistic sources. ... Manifestations Slavery Racial profiling Lynching Hate speech Hate crime Genocide (examples) Ethnocide Ethnic cleansing Pogrom Race war Religious persecution Blood libel Paternalism Police brutality Movements Policies Discriminatory Race / Religion / Sex segregation Apartheid Redlining Internment Ethnocracy Anti-discriminatory Emancipation Civil rights Desegregation Integration Equal opportunity Counter-discriminatory Affirmative action Racial quota... Many atheists have experienced persecution, mainly from Christians and Muslims. ... Strong atheism is a term generally used to describe atheists who accept as true the proposition, gods do not exist. Weak atheism refers to any type of non-theism which falls short of this standard. ... Agnostic atheism is a philosophical doctrine that encompasses both atheism and agnosticism. ... Implicit atheism and explicit atheism are subcategories of atheism coined by George H. Smith (1979, p. ... Antitheism (sometimes anti-theism) is active opposition to theism. ... Antireligion is opposition to some or all religions in some or all contexts. ... Atheist Alliance International (AAI) is an alliance of atheist organisations around the world. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (504x656, 106 KB) Ludwig Feuerbach is a german philosopher. ... This article refers to the philosopher. ... Agnosticism (from the Greek a, meaning without, and gnosticism or gnosis, meaning knowledge) is the philosophical view that the truth value of certain claims—particularly metaphysical claims regarding theology, afterlife or the existence of God, gods, deities, or even ultimate reality—is unknown or, depending on the form of agnosticism... Thomas Huxley, coiner of the term agnostic. ... Agnostic Theism is the philosophical view that encompasses both theism and agnosticism. ... Agnostic atheism is a philosophical doctrine that encompasses both atheism and agnosticism. ... Weak agnosticism, or empirical agnosticism (also negative agnosticism), is the belief that the existence or nonexistence of deities is currently unknown, but is not necessarily unknowable, therefore one will withhold judgment until more evidence is available. ... Strong agnosticism or positive agnosticism is the belief that it is impossible for humans to know whether or not any God or gods exist. ... Ignosticism is a word coined by Rabbi Sherwin Wine to indicate one of two related views about the existence of God. ... Apatheism (a portmanteau of apathy and atheism), also known as pragmatic or practical atheism, is a subset of atheism (when atheism is defined as lack of belief in deities, rather than specific disbelief in deities). ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Secular humanism is a humanist philosophy that upholds reason, ethics, and justice, and specifically rejects the supernatural and the spiritual as warrants of moral reflection and decision-making. ... Freethought is a philosophical viewpoint that holds that beliefs should be formed on the basis of science and logical principles and not be compromised by authority, tradition, or any other dogma. ... This article is about secularism. ... The criticism of religion includes criticism of the concept of religion, the validity of religion, the practice of religion, and the consequences of religion for humanity. ... The Freedom From Religion Foundation is an American Freethought organization based in Madison, Wisconsin. ... Bobby Henderson redirects here. ... A depiction of the Invisible Pink Unicorn, in the style of a heraldic animal rampant, though the nearest heraldic color to pink is purpure (purple). ... Russells teapot, sometimes called the Celestial Teapot, was an analogy first coined by the philosopher Bertrand Russell, intended to refute the idea that the burden of proof lies upon the sceptic to disprove unfalsifiable claims of religions. ... Below are words that designate a set or subset of beliefs. ... Acosmism, in contrast to pantheism, denies the reality of the universe, seeing it as ultimately illusory, (the prefix a- in Greek meaning negation; like un- in English), and only the infinite unmanifest Absolute as real. ... Agnosticism (from the Greek a, meaning without, and gnosticism or gnosis, meaning knowledge) is the philosophical view that the truth value of certain claims—particularly metaphysical claims regarding theology, afterlife or the existence of God, gods, deities, or even ultimate reality—is unknown or, depending on the form of agnosticism... The term Animism is derived from the Latin anima, meaning soul.[1][2] In its most general sense, animism is simply the belief in souls. ... Antireligion is opposition to some or all religions in some or all contexts. ... For other uses, see Ceremonial Deism. ... This article is about the general notion of determinism in philosophy. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Look up Esotericism in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... This article discusses Humanism as a non-theistic life stance. ... In philosophical debates about free will and determinism, libertarianism is generally held to be the combination of the following beliefs: that free will is incompatible with determinism that human beings do possess free will, and that determinism is false All libertarians subscribe to the philosophy of incompatibilism which states that... For other uses, see Monist (disambiguation). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... New Age describes a broad movement characterized by alternative approaches to traditional Western culture. ... The New Thought Movement or New Thought is comprised of a loosely allied group of denominations, organizations, authors, philosophers, and individuals who share a set of metaphysical beliefs concerning healing, life force, visualization, and personal power. ... The term nondual is a literal translation of the Sanskrit term advaita, (meaning not two). ... Theism is the belief in the existence of one or more divinities or deities. ... Thelema is the English transliteration of the Ancient Greek noun : will, from the verb θέλω: to will, wish, purpose. ... Theosophy is a word and a concept known anciently, commonly understood in the modern era to describe the studies of religious philosophy and metaphysics originating with Helena Petrovna Blavatsky from the 1870s. ... In religion, transcendence is a condition or state of being that surpasses, and is independent of, physical existence. ... Below are words that designate a set or subset of beliefs. ... Image File history File links Portal. ... For other uses, see Philosophy (disambiguation). ... Eastern philosophy refers very broadly to the various philosophies of Asia, including Indian philosophy, Chinese philosophy, Persian philosophy, Japanese philosophy, and Korean philosophy. ... Western philosophy is a modern claim that there is a line of related philosophical thinking, beginning in ancient Greece (Greek philosophy) and the ancient Near East (the Abrahamic religions), that continues to this day. ... The history of philosophy is the study of philosophical ideas and concepts through time. ... This page lists some links to ancient philosophy, although for Western thinkers prior to Socrates, see Pre-Socratic philosophy. ... Buddhist Teachings deals extensively with problems in metaphysics, phenomenology, ethics, and epistemology. ... Hellenistic philosophy is the period of Western philosophy that was developed in the Hellenistic civilization following Aristotle and ending with Neo-Platonism. ... The holiest Jain symbol is the right facing swastika, or svastika, shown above. ... Hindu philosophy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Philosophy seated between the seven liberal arts – Picture from the Hortus deliciarum of Herrad von Landsberg (12th century) Medieval philosophy is the philosophy of Europe and the Middle East in the era now known as medieval or the Middle Ages, the period roughly extending from the fall of the Roman... It is proposed that this article be deleted, because of the following concern: Filled with OR and completely unsourced. ... Early Muslim philosophy is considered influential in the rise of modern philosophy. ... Jewish philosophy refers to the conjunction between serious study of philosophy and Jewish theology. ... 17th-century philosophy in the West is generally regarded as seeing the start of modern philosophy, and the shaking off of the mediæval approach, especially scholasticism. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Philosophy is a broad field of knowledge in which the definition of knowledge itself is one of the subjects investigated. ... This page aims to list articles on Wikipedia that are related to philosophy, beginning with the letters A through C. This is so that those interested in the subject can monitor changes to the pages by clicking on Related changes in the sidebar. ... The alphabetical list of p is so large it had to be broken up into several pages. ... Philosophies: particular schools of thought, styles of philosophy, or descriptions of philosophical ideas attributed to a particular group or culture - listed in alphabetical order. ... This is a list of topics relating to philosophy that end in -ism. ... A philosophical movement is either the appearance or increased popularity of a specific school of philosophy, or a fairly broad but identifiable sea-change in philosophical thought on a particular subject. ... This is a list of philosophical lists. ... Aesthetics is commonly perceived as the study of sensory or sensori-emotional values, sometimes called judgments of sentiment and taste. ... Ethics is the branch of axiology – one of the four major branches of philosophy, alongside metaphysics, epistemology, and logic – which attempts to understand the nature of morality; to define that which is right from that which is wrong. ... Theory of knowledge redirects here: for other uses, see theory of knowledge (disambiguation) According to Plato, knowledge is a subset of that which is both true and believed Epistemology or theory of knowledge is the branch of philosophy that studies the nature, methods, limitations, and validity of knowledge and belief. ... Logic (from Classical Greek λόγος logos; meaning word, thought, idea, argument, account, reason, or principle) is the study of the principles and criteria of valid inference and demonstration. ... Plato (Left) and Aristotle (right), by Raphael (Stanza della Segnatura, Rome) Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the ultimate nature of reality, being, and the world. ... Philosophy of action is chiefly concerned with human action, intending to distinguish between activity and passivity, voluntary, intentional, culpable and involuntary actions, and related question. ... The neutrality and factual accuracy of this article are disputed. ... The philosophy of information (PI) is a new area of research, which studies conceptual issues arising at the intersection of computer science, information technology, and philosophy. ... Philosophy of history or historiosophy is an area of philosophy concerning the eventual significance, if any, of human history. ... Philosophical anthropology is the philosophical discipline that seeks to unify the several empirical investigations and phenomenological explorations of human nature in an effort to understand human beings as both creatures of their environment and creators of their own values. ... Philosophy of Humor is a branch of philosophy that is concerned with the philosophical study of humor. ... Philosophy of law is a branch of philosophy and jurisprudence which studies basic questions about law and legal systems, such as what is the law?, what are the criteria for legal validity?, what is the relationship between law and morality?, and many other similar questions. ... Philosophy and literature is the literary treatment of philosophers and philosophical themes. ... // Philosophy of mathematics is the branch of philosophy that studies the philosophical assumptions, foundations, and implications of mathematics. ... A phrenological mapping of the brain. ... Some of the questions relating to the philosophy of music are: What, exactly is music (what are the necessary and sufficient conditions for it)? What is the relationship between music and emotion? Peter Kivy, Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University, in particular, sets out to argue how music, which is... Metaphilosophy (from Greek meta + philosophy) is the study of the subject and matter, methods and aims of philosophy. ... Philosophy of physics is the study of the fundamental, philosophical questions underlying modern physics, the study of matter and energy and how they interact. ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Political philosophy is the study of fundamental questions about the state, government, politics, liberty, justice, property, rights, law and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why (or even if) they are needed, what makes a government legitimate, what... Philosophy of psychology typically refers to a set of issues at the theoretical foundations of modern psychology. ... Philosophy of science is the study of assumptions, foundations, and implications of science, especially in the natural sciences and social sciences. ... Philosophy of social science is the scholarly elucidation and debate of accounts of the nature of the social sciences, their relations to each other, and their relations to the natural sciences (see natural science). ... The Philosophy of technology is a philosophical field dedicated to studying the nature of technology and its social effects. ... The Philosophy of war examines war beyond the typical questions of weaponry and strategy, inquiring into the meaning and etiology of war, what war means for humanity and human nature as well as the ethics of war. ... Analytic philosophy (sometimes, analytical philosophy) is a generic term for a style of philosophy that came to dominate English-speaking countries in the 20th century. ... Aristotelianism is a tradition of philosophy that takes its defining inspiration from the work of Aristotle. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Averroism is the term applied to either of two philosophical trends among scholastics in the late 13th century, the first of which was based on the Arab philosopher Averroës or Ibn Rushd interpretations of Aristotle and the resolution of various conflicts between the writings of Aristotle and the Muslim... Continental philosophy is a term used in philosophy to designate one of two major traditions of modern Western philosophy. ... Critical theory, in sociology and philosophy, is shorthand for critical theory of society or critical social theory, a label used by the Frankfurt School, i. ... This article is about the current understanding of the word cynicism. ... Deconstruction is a term in contemporary philosophy, literary criticism, and the social sciences, denoting a process by which the texts and languages of Western philosophy (in particular) appear to shift and complicate in meaning when read in light of the assumptions and absences they reveal within themselves. ... Deontological ethics or deontology (Greek: δέον (deon) meaning obligation or duty) is an approach to ethics that focuses on the rightness or wrongness of actions themselves, as opposed to the rightness or wrongness of the consequences of those actions. ... According to many followers of the theories of Karl Marx (or Marxists), dialectical materialism is the philosophical basis of Marxism. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... In philosophy generally, empiricism is a theory of knowledge emphasizing the role of experience, especially sensory perception, in the formation of ideas, while discounting the notion of innate ideas. ... Epicureanism is a system of philosophy based upon the teachings of Epicurus (c. ... Existentialism is a philosophical movement that posits that individuals create the meaning and essence of their lives, as opposed to deities or authorities creating it for them. ... Hegelianism is a philosophy developed by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel which can be summed up by a favorite motto by Hegel, the rational alone is real, which means that all reality is capable of being expressed in rational categories. ... Hermeneutics may be described as the development and study of theories of the interpretation and understanding of texts. ... Humanism is a broad category of ethical philosophies that affirm the dignity and worth of all people, based on the ability to determine right and wrong by appeal to universal human qualities — particularly rationality. ... This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedias quality standards. ... One of major longstanding schools of Islamic philosophy, حكمت اشراق or kihmat-al-Ishraq or Illuminationist Philosophy has been created and developed by Suhrawardi, famous Persian Philosopher. ... Kant redirects here. ... Liberalism is an ideology, philosophical view, and political tradition which holds that liberty is the primary political value. ... Logical positivism grew from the discussions of Moritz Schlicks Vienna Circle and Hans Reichenbachs Berlin Circle in the 1920s and 1930s. ... Marxism is both the theory and the political practice (that is, the praxis) derived from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. ... In philosophy, materialism is that form of physicalism which holds that the only thing that can truly be said to exist is matter; that fundamentally, all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions; that matter is the only substance. ... For other uses, see Monist (disambiguation). ... Mutazilah (Arabic المعتزلة al-mu`tazilah) is a theological school of thought within Islam. ... Neoplatonism (also Neo-Platonism) is the modern term for a school of religious and mystical philosophy that took shape in the 3rd century AD, founded by Plotinus and based on the teachings of Plato and earlier Platonists. ... The New Philosophers (French nouveaux philosophes) were a group of French philosophers (for example, André Glucksmann and Bernard Henri-Lévy) who appeared in the early 1970s, as critics of the previously-fashionable philosophers (roughly speaking, the post-structuralists). ... This article is about the philosophical position. ... This article is about the philosophy of Ayn Rand. ... This article is about ontology in philosophy. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... This article is about the philosophical movement. ... Platonic idealism is the theory that the substantive reality around us is only a reflection of a higher truth. ... Positivism is a philosophy that states that the only authentic knowledge is scientific knowledge, and that such knowledge can only come from positive affirmation of theories through strict scientific method. ... Postmodern philosophy is an eclectic and elusive movement characterized by its criticism of Western philosophy. ... Post-structuralism is a body of work that followed in the wake of structuralism, and sought to understand the Western world as a network of structures, as in structuralism, but in which such structures are ordered primarily by local, shifting differences (as in deconstruction) rather than grand binary oppositions and... Pragmatism is a philosophic school that originated in the late nineteenth century with Charles Sanders Peirce, who first stated the pragmatic maxim. ... The Pre-Socratic philosophers were active before Socrates or contemporaneously, but expounding knowledge developed earlier. ... Philosophical quietists want to release us from the deep perplexity that philosophical contemplation often causes. ... In epistemology and in its broadest sense, rationalism is any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification (Lacey 286). ... Contemporary philosophical realism, also referred to as metaphysical realism, is the belief in a reality that is completely ontologically independent of our conceptual schemes, linguistic practices, beliefs, etc. ... For the physics theory with a similar name, see Theory of Relativity. ... Scholasticism comes from the Latin word scholasticus, which means that [which] belongs to the school, and is the school of philosophy taught by the academics (or schoolmen) of medieval universities circa 1100–1500. ... Philosophical scepticism (UK spelling, scepticism) is both a philosophical school of thought and a method that crosses disciplines and cultures. ... Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy, founded by Zeno of Citium in Athens in the early third century BC. It proved to be a popular and durable philosophy, with a following throughout Greece and the Roman Empire from its founding until all the schools of philosophy were ordered closed... Structuralism as a term refers to various theories across the humanities, social sciences and economics many of which share the assumption that structural relationships between concepts vary between different cultures/languages and that these relationships can be usefully exposed and explored. ... حكمت متعاليه Transcendent theosophy or al-hikmat al-muta’liyah, the doctrine and philosophy that has been developed and perfected by Persian Philosopher Mulla Sadra, is one of tow main disciplines of Islamic Philosophy which is very live & active even today. ... This article discusses utilitarian ethical theory. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Major religious groups as a percentage of the world population in 2005 (Encyclopaedia Britannica). ... Abrahamic religions symbols designating the three prevalent monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam Abrahamic religion is a term commonly used to designate the three prevalent monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam[1][2] – which claim Abraham (Hebrew: Avraham אַבְרָהָם ; Arabic: Ibrahim ابراهيم ) as a part of their sacred history. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... This article is about the generally recognized global religious community. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is... For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Haile Selassie I The Rastafari movement, or Rasta, is a new religious movement[1] that accepts Haile Selassie I, the former Emperor of Ethiopia, as God incarnate, called Jah[2] or Jah Rastafari. ... Ayyavazhi (IPA: )(Tamil:அய்யாவழி [1] -Path of the father) is a dharmic belief system[2] which originated in South India in the 19th century. ... A statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha in Tawang Gompa, India. ... Hinduism is a religious tradition[1] that originated in the Indian subcontinent. ... Jain and Jaina redirect here. ... Sikhism (IPA: or ; Punjabi: , , IPA: ), founded on the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev and nine successive gurus in fifteenth century Northern India, is the fifth-largest religion in the world. ... Zoroastrianism is the religion and philosophy based on the teachings ascribed to the prophet Zoroaster (Zarathustra, Zartosht). ... Manichaeism was one of the major ancient religions. ... Yarsan or Ahl-i Haqq (Kurdish:Yarsan/Yaresan or Kakeyi, Arabic,Persian:اهل حق, Ahl-e Haqq, derived from an Arabic phrase translatable as People of the Truth and as Men of God[1]) is a religious sect, and its followers are primarily found in western Iran. ... Mazdak was a proto-socialist Persian philosopher who gained influence under the reign of the Sassanian king Kavadh I. He was hanged and his followers were massacred by Khosrau I, Kavadhs son. ... Religions Yazdânism (Yazidism) Scriptures Kitêba Cilwe (Book of Illumination) Languages Kurmanji, Arabic The Yazidi (also Yezidi, Kurdish: Êzidîtî or Êzidî, Arabic: يزيدي or ايزيدي) are adherents of the smallest of the three branches of Yazdânism, a Middle Eastern religion with ancient Indo-European roots. ... A traditional representation of The Vinegar Tasters, an allegorical image representing Buddhists, Confucianists and Taoists. ... A Confucian temple in Wuwei, Peoples Republic of China. ... The Juche Idea (also Juche Sasang or Chuche; pronounced // in Korean, approximately joo-cheh) is the official state ideology of North Korea and the political system based on it. ... Taoism (or Daoism) is the English name referring to a variety of related Chinese philosophical traditions and concepts. ... Shinto ) is the native religion of Japan and was once its state religion. ... A new religious movement or NRM is a term used to refer to a religious faith, or an ethical, spiritual or philosophical movement of recent origin that isnt part of an established denomination, church, or religious body. ... Cao Dais Holy See, called the Tay Ninh Holy See, is located in Tay Ninh, Viet Nam Caodaism (Vietnamese:  ) is a relatively new, syncretist, monotheistic religion, officially established in Tây Ninh, southern Vietnam, in 1926. ... Neopaganism or Neo-Paganism is any of a heterogeneous group of new religious movements, particularly those influenced by ancient, primarily pre-Christian and sometimes pre-Judaic religions. ... Doctrine Practices Concepts People Public outreach Organization Controversy Scientology is a body of beliefs and related practices created by American pulp fiction author L. Ron Hubbard in 1952 as an outgrowth of his earlier self-help system, Dianetics. ... This article is about Kardecist spiritism. ... Tenrikyo Headquarters, Tenri Tenrikyo (天理教; Tenrikyō, lit. ... The flaming chalice is the universally recognized symbol for Unitarian Universalism. ... African traditional women and male priests, Togo, West Africa, 2006. ... Afro-American religions are a number of related religions that developed in the Americas among African slaves and their descendants in various countries of the Caribbean Islands and Latin America, as well as parts of the southern United States. ... The term Animism is derived from the Latin anima, meaning soul.[1][2] In its most general sense, animism is simply the belief in souls. ... Folk religion consists of beliefs, superstitions and rituals transmitted from generation to generation of a specific culture. ... This article is about the practice of shamanism; for other uses, see Shaman (disambiguation). ... For the academic study of religion in general, see Religious studies. ... Prehistoric religion is a general term for the hypothetical religious belief system of prehistoric peoples. ... The Religions of the Ancient Near East were mostly polytheistic, with some early examples of emerging Henotheism (Akhenaton, early Judaism). ... Ancient Semitic religion spans the polytheistic religions of the Semitic speaking peoples of the Ancient Near East. ... Mesopotamian mythology is the collective name given to Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian, and Babylonian mythologies from the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Iraq. ... Ancient anthropomorphic Ukrainian stone stela (Kernosovka stela), possibly depicting a late Proto-Indo-European god, most likely Dyeus The existence of similarities among the deities and religious practices of the Indo-European peoples allows glimpses of a common Proto-Indo-European religion and mythology. ... Celtic polytheism refers to the religious beliefs and practices of ancient Celts until the Christianization of Celtic-speaking lands. ... Hellenistic religion refers to any of the various systems of beliefs and practices of the Eurasian peoples who lived under the influence of ancient Greek culture during the Hellenistic period and the Roman Empire (ca. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Neoplatonism (also Neo-Platonism) is the modern term for a school of religious and mystical philosophy that took shape in the 3rd century AD, founded by Plotinus and based on the teachings of Plato and earlier Platonists. ... Religion in ancient Rome combined several different cult practices and embraced more than a single set of beliefs. ... Slavic mythology and Slavic religion evolved over more than 3,000 years. ... This article discusses the historical religious practices in the Vedic time period; see Dharmic religions for details of contemporary religious practices. ... Religious belief refers to a faith or creed concerning the supernatural, sacred, or divine. ... For other senses of this word, see ritual (disambiguation). ... A liturgy is the customary public worship of a religious group, according to their particular traditions. ... Marcus Aurelius and members of the Imperial family offer sacrifice in gratitude for success against Germanic tribes: contemporary bas-relief, Capitoline Museum, Rome For other uses, see Sacrifice (disambiguation). ... Religion and mythology differ, but have overlapping aspects. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Spirituality, in a narrow sense, concerns itself with matters of the spirit. ... For other uses, see Supernatural (disambiguation). ... This article is about the term Deity in the context of mysticism and theology. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... A priesthood is a body of priests, shamans, or oracles who are thought to have special religious authority or function. ... For other senses of this word, see denomination. ... Religious conversion is the adoption of a new religious identity, or a change from one religious identity to another. ... Apostasy (from Greek αποστασία, meaning a defection or revolt, from απο, apo, away, apart, στασις, stasis, standing) is a term generally employed to describe the formal renunciation of ones religion, especially if the motive is deemed unworthy. ... Religious disaffiliation means leaving a faith, or a religious group or community. ... The following text needs to be harmonized with text in the article Truth. ... Religious studies is the designation commonly used in the English-speaking world for a multi-disciplinary, secular study of religion that dates to the late 19th century in Europe (and the influential early work of such scholars as Friedrich Max Müller, in England, and Cornelius P. Tiele, in the... The anthropology of religion involves the study of religious institutions in relation to other social institutions, and the comparison of religious beliefs and practices across cultures. ... There are a number of models regarding the ways in which religions come into being and develop. ... For the academic study of religion in general, see Religious studies. ... The Major religious groups of the world. ... Psychology of religion is psychologys theory of religious experiences and beliefs. ... // The sociology of religion is primarily the study of the practices, social structures, historical backgrounds, development, universal themes, and roles of religion in society. ... Philosophy of religion is the rational study of the meaning and justification ( or rebuttal) of fundamental religious claims, particularly about the nature and existence of God (or gods, or the divine). ... Theology finds its scholars pursuing the understanding of and providing reasoned discourse of religion, spirituality and God or the gods. ... This article covers various areas of the interaction between religion and politics. ... Christianity - Percentage by country Islam - Percentage by country Buddhism - Percentage by country Hinduism - Percentage by country The table above is compiled from the relevant Wikipedia pages listing Religions by Country. ... Proselytism is the practice of attempting to convert people to another opinion, usually another religion. ... There are several different religions claimed to be the “fastest growing religion”. Such claims vary due to different definitions of “fastest growing”, and whether the claim is worldwide or regional. ... South America Europe Middle East Africa Asia Oceania Demography of religions by country Full list of articles on religion by country Religion Portal         Nations with state religions:  Buddhism  Islam  Shia Islam  Sunni Islam  Orthodox Christianity  Protestantism  Roman Catholic Church A state religion (also called an official religion, established church... The term national church is usually a reference to a church organization in Christianity that claims pastoral jurisdiction over a nation. ... Forms of government Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      For the metal band, refer to Theocracy (band). ... The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen guarantees freedom of religion, as long as religious activities do not infringe on public order in ways detrimental to society. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Christian Left or Religious Left are terms used to describe those who hold a strong Christian belief and share left-wing, liberal, or socialist ideals. ... Minority religion is the religion held by a minority of the population of a country, state, or region. ... The word schism (IPA: or ), from the Greek σχίσμα, skhísma (from σχίζω, skhízō, to tear, to split), means a division or a split, usually in an organization or a movement. ... Religious violence Throughout history, religious beliefs have provoked some believers into violence. ... For other uses of the term, see Holy War. ... Religious persecution is systematic mistreatment of an individual or group due to their religious affiliation. ... Religious terrorism refers to terrorism justified or motivated by religion and is a form of religious violence. ... Look up fundamentalism in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Fascist (epithet). ... This article is about secularism. ... The criticism of religion includes criticism of the concept of religion, the validity of religion, the practice of religion, and the consequences of religion for humanity. ... Science and Religion are portrayed to be in harmony in the Tiffany window Education (1890). ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... This section does not cite its references or sources. ... This article is about secularization. ... Constantines Conversion, depicting the conversion of Emperor Constantine the Great to Christianity, by Peter Paul Rubens. ... Jacques Derrida Deconstruction-and-religion -- also known as weak theology and religion without religion -- is a nontheistic mode of thought that proceeds from a theological and deconstructive framework. ... The field of secular theology, a subfield of liberal theology advocated by Anglican bishop John A. T. Robinson somewhat paradoxically combines secularism and theology. ... Many Wikipedia articles on religious topics are not yet listed on this page. ... For a more comprehensive list, see List of religious topics Religion is the adherence to codified beliefs and rituals that (generally) involve a faith in a spiritual nature and a study of inherited ancestral traditions, knowledge and wisdom related to understanding human life. ... This list of deities aims to give information about deities in the different religions, cultures and mythologies of the world. ... The list of people considered to be deities consists of those notable human beings who were considered deities by themselves or others. ... The following is a list of religions and spiritual traditions. ... This List of new religious movements (NRMs), lists groups founded after 1800 that either identify themselves as religious, ethical or spiritual organizations or are generally seen as such by religious scholars, which are independent of older denominations, churches, or religious bodies. ... This list indexes a diverse set of groups and organizations indicated in the popular press and elsewhere as a cult or a sect. Inclusion is based on a single reference: as a cult directly in North American English, a sect in British English or any equivalent foreign-language word; as... The following figures are believed to have founded or inspired religions or religious philosophies, or to have been the founders of specific churches or denominations or first codifiers or best-known proponents of older known religious tradition. ... The following is a list of religion scholars. ... This is a list of the largest historic gatherings of people for a single event. ... The following is a list of religions and spiritual traditions. ...


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Atheism (1627 words)
The term atheism (French athéisme, from athée, meaning atheist, from Greek 'Αθεος, atheos, meaning godless : a-, without; + Θεός, theos, meaning god; it has Indo-European Roots) is formed of the Greek prefix α- (a-), meaning "without" or "not," and the Greek-derived theism (from Θεϊσμός;, theismos), meaning a belief in a god.
The strongest form of positive atheism, which holds that it is impossible that God exists/there are any gods, is based on logical a priori arguments that indicate the monotheistic conception of God is self-contradictory or internally inconsistent, and, hence, cannot describe anything real.
Atheism is more common in the secular countries of Western Europe and in former or present communist nations than in the United States, and more common among scientists, particularly natural scientists, than among the general population (see the relationship between religion and science).
Atheism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (4077 words)
Atheism, in its broadest sense, is a dis-belief in a deity or deities.
Weak atheism, or negative atheism, is the lack of belief in the existence of deities.
Although atheism is often accompanied by a total lack of spiritual beliefs, this is not an aspect, or even a necessary consequence, of atheism.
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