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Reporter: Rechel Ann S.

TOPIC: Atheism and Theism

Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists. The term atheism originated from the Greek (atheos), meaning "without god(s)", used as a pejorative term applied to those thought to reject the gods worshipped by the larger society. With the spread of freethought, skeptical inquiry, and subsequent increase in criticism of religion, application of the term narrowed in scope. The first individuals to identify themselves using the word "atheist" lived in the 18th century. Atheists don't use God to explain the existence of the universe. Atheists say that human beings can devise suitable moral codes to live by without the aid of Gods or scriptures. Reasons for non-belief People are atheist for many reasons, among them: They find insufficient evidence to support any religion. They think that religion is nonsensical. They once had a religion and have lost faith in it. They live in a non-religious culture. Religion doesn't interest them. Religion doesn't seem relevant to their lives. Religions seem to have done a lot of harm in the world. The world is such a bad place that there can't be a God. Many atheists are also secularist, and are hostile to any special treatment given to organised religion. Atheists and morality Atheists are as moral (or immoral) as religious people. In practical terms atheists often follow the same moral code as religious people, but they arrive at the decision of what is good or bad without any help from the idea of God.

Reporter: Rechel Ann S. Calaycay

Atheist criticisms of religion The bad Not all atheists are hostile to religion, but many do think that religion is bad. Here are some of their reasons: Religion gets people to believe something untrue. Religion makes people base the way they run their lives on a falsehood. Religion stops people thinking in a rational and objective way. Religion forces people to rely on outside authority, rather than becoming self-reliant. Religion imposes irrational rules of good and bad behaviour. Religion divides people, and is a cause of conflict and war. The hierarchical structure of most religions is anti-democratic, and thus offends basic human rights. Religion doesn't give equal treatment to women and gay people, and thus offends basic human rights. Religion obstructs scientific research. Religion wastes time and money.

The good Most atheists willingly concede there are some good things about religion, such as: Religious art and music Religious charities and good works Much religious wisdom and scripture Human fellowship and togetherness BELIEFS *Deities and semi-deities are created by humans *They believe in evolutionism *God do not exist *Life has no purpose on meaning *No evil, no supernatural realm *No miracles, no sin *The universe in materialistic and measurable * Man is material *Ethics and morals are relative

Reporter: Rechel Ann S. Calaycay

First atheist writers Most histories of atheism choose the Greek and Roman philosophers Epicurus, Democritus, and Lucretius as the first atheist writers. While these writers certainly changed the idea of God, they didn't entirely deny that gods could exist.

Epicurus Epicurus put forward the theory of "materialism": The only things that exist are bodies and the space between them. Epicurus taught that the soul is also made of material objects, and so when the body dies the soul dies with it. There is no afterlife. Epicurus thought that gods might exist, but if they did, they did not have anything to do with human beings. Religion was the human activity of trying to live in the way such noble (but unknowable) gods might live. . Lucretius Lucretius did not deny the existence of gods either, but he felt that human ideas about gods combined with the fear of death to make human beings unhappy. He followed the same materialist lines as Epicurus, and by denying that the gods had any way of influencing our world he said that humankind had no need to fear the supernatural. Theism, in the broadest sense, is the belief that at least one deity exists.In a more specific sense, theism is a doctrine concerning the nature of a monotheistic God and God's relationship to the universe. Theism, in this specific sense, conceives of God as personal, present and active in the governance and organization of the world and the universe. As such theism describes the classical conception of God that is found in Christianity, Judaism, Islam and some forms of Hinduism. The use of the word theism to indicate this classical form of monotheism began during the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century in order to distinguish it from the thenemerging deism which contended that God, though transcendent and supreme, did not intervene in the natural world and could be known rationally but not via revelation. The term theism derives from the Greek theos meaning "god". The term theism was first used by Ralph Cudworth (161788). In Cudworth's definition, they are "strictly and properly called Theists, who affirm, that a perfectly conscious understanding being, or mind, existing of itself from eternity, was the cause of all other things".Atheism is rejection of theism in the broadest sense of theism; i.e. the rejection of belief that there is even one deity.Rejection of the narrower sense of theism can take forms such asdeism, pantheism, and polytheism. The claim that the existence of any deity is unknown or unknowable is agnosticism.The positive assertion of

Reporter: Rechel Ann S. Calaycay

knowledge, either of the existence of gods or the absence of gods, can also be attributed to some theists and some atheists. Put simply theism and atheism deal with belief, and agnosticism deals with (absence of) rational claims to asserting knowledge. What is a Theist? If theism is the belief in the existence of at least one god, then a theist is anyone who believes in the existence of at least one god. They may believe in a single god or in multiple gods. They may believe in a god which is transcendent to our universe or in gods which dwell all around us. They may believe in gods which aid us actively or in a god which is disinterested in humanity. If you know that a person is a theist, you cant make any automatic assumptions about what their god is like. Varieties of Theism: Theism doesnt come in just one flavor - there are monotheists, polytheists, pantheists, and several others you may not have even heard of. Understanding the differences between these types of theism is necessary not only for understanding the religious systems in which they appear, but also for understanding the variety and diversity which exists for theism itself. Theism vs. Religion: Are religion and theism effectively the same thing, such that every religion is theistic and every theist is also religious? Because of some common misconceptions, many people are inclined answer that question positively. It isnt uncommon even among atheists to simply assume that religion and theism are equivalent but they arent. Theism can exist independently of religion and religion can exist without theism.