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Atheism:

About Atheism and Atheists:


Description, religion & nationalism,
number

Read a news feed of current topics, maintained by American Atheists

Description of Atheism:

Atheism is not a religion in the sense that Christianity, Islam, and Judaism
are. Conventional religions usually include a belief in the nature of deity,
other religious beliefs, a moral code, religious rituals and sacraments, and a
membership in a religious community. Rather, an Atheist's belief system is
confined to one factor: the existence or non-existence of a deity. He or she
will have a personal moral code. However, it would generally be derived
from purely secular considerations, and will be unrelated to any religious
texts.

Most Atheists have analyzed the available material evidence for the
existence of one or more deities (gods and/or goddesses) and have
concluded that there is no real evidence of the existence of gods or
goddesses. They generally believe that the universe, Earth and its
life evolved by perfectly natural processes. They see no evidence of
intervention or guidance by a supernatural entity. They generally feel that
ethical and moral systems governing human behavior can be developed
without reference to any code of behavior of allegedly divine origin. Other
Atheists are people who have simply never been exposed to belief in a deity
or deities and therefore have no belief in them.

In ancient Greece, the term was used to refer to people who did not believe
in the official pagan religion; i.e. unbelievers. "Atheism is derived from the
Greek, atheos, and means simply 'away from the belief in a god or
gods.' " 3 In ancient Rome, Christians and Jews were often called Atheists
because they did not believe in the pantheon of Roman gods and goddesses.
Until the word Agnosticism came into general usage during the 19th
century, people we now call Agnostics were commonly lumped together
with Atheists.
The Constitution of Texas, and those of a few other states allow Atheists to
be discriminated against in employment, jury selection, and public office.
Fortunately for religious minorities, these sections of individual state
Constitutions have been nullified by subsequent provisions in the federal
Constitution.

In North America, Atheists are:

Not all Communists. However, many Communists are Atheists. Communism is


primarily a political and economic belief system. Atheism is a religious belief. The
two are not necessarily related.
Not Satanists. Most Satanists view themselves as Agnostics or Atheists; they look
upon Satan as a symbol, not as a living entity with a personality.
Not all secular Humanists. However, many Humanists are Atheists.
Not all homosexuals or bisexuals. However some people with minority sexual
orientations are Atheists.
Not all anarchists. However, some anarchists are Atheists. Again, anarchism is a
political belief system whereas Atheism is a religious belief.

The antonym of Atheism is Theism - belief in the existence of a deity.


There are thousands of different forms of Theism, just as there are thousands
of gods and goddesses that Theists believe in.

Atheists have always constituted a very small percentage of the population.


The number of people who identify themselves as Atheists has grown
rapidly, particularly over the last few decades. This increase may have been
partly caused by the decline of attendance at Sunday schools, and churches.
It probably also reflects the general increase in secularism within society.
Many Atheists who feel a need for spiritual discussion, fellowship in a
religious community, and ritual join a congregation of the Unitarian-
Universalist Association.

Madalyn Murray (later O'Hair), wrote a document used in the court case
Murray v. Curlett, 1961-APR-27. It reads, in part:

"An Atheist loves himself and his fellow man instead of a god. An
Atheist knows that heaven is something for which we should work now -
here on earth - for all men together to enjoy. An Atheist thinks that he can
get no help through prayer but that he must find in himself the inner
conviction and strength to meet life, to grapple with it, to subdue, and enjoy
it. An Atheist thinks that only in a knowledge of himself and a knowledge of
his fellow man can he find the understanding that will help to a life of
fulfillment. Therefore, he seeks to know himself and his fellow man rather
than to know a god. An Atheist knows that a hospital should be built instead
of a church. An Atheist knows that a deed must be done instead of a prayer
said. An Atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He
wants disease conquered, poverty vanquished, war eliminated. He wants
man to understand and love man. He wants an ethical way of life. He knows
that we cannot rely on a god nor channel action into prayer nor hope for an
end to troubles in the hereafter. He knows that we are our brother's keeper
and keepers of our lives; that we are responsible persons, that the job is here
and the time is now." 4

Religion and nationalism in America

National feelings have become so integrated with religion in the United


States that many people do not even consider an Atheist to be a true citizen.
Some quotations: 5

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

On the other hand, the U.S. Constitution guarantees religious freedom to all
persons, including the right to be an Atheist:

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

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

Numbers of Atheists:

Estimates of the numbers of Atheists are hopelessly inaccurate:

According to the 2001 World Almanac, Atheists number:


121 million in Asia
56 million in the former USSR
23 million (3.5%) in Europe
2.7 million in Latin America
1.6 million (0.5%) in North America
0.4 million in Oceania
0.4 million in Africa 8

American Atheists claim that almost 30 million Americans are Atheists. They
define "Atheist" broadly to include those who firmly believe that no God exists,
those that have no belief in God, and those for whom the term "God" has no
meaning. This is a broad enough definition to include what others call Atheists and
Agnostics.

According to the 1991 Canadian Census, there are only 13,515 Atheists in Canada
out of a population that was approaching 30 million. However, this number cannot
be an accurate value. Many Atheists probably identified themselves to the census
taker as Humanists, Free thinkers, Unitarian Universalists, Ethical Culturalists,
persons of no religion, etc. In order to obtain an accurate number of Atheists,
pollsters cannot simply ask what label a person uses to describe their religion. The
pollsters have to ask them about their specific beliefs, if any, in God.

A Canadian Angus-Reid poll taken in the mid-1990's studied people's religious


beliefs. They found that about 14% of Canadians are Atheists. That would include
about 4 million adults in the country. The pollsters found out, apparently to their
embarrassment, that Atheists formed the largest single religious category of
Canadians. So they split the group into two sub-classifications: real Atheists, and
Atheists who attend religious services. This made certain that a Christian
classification became the largest.

The Graduate Center of the City University of New York conducted the American
Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) in 2001. It was amassive study involving
the interview of over 50,000 adults. They estimate that 902,000 (0.4%) of
Americans identify themselves as Atheists. The number of Atheists exceeds the
number of followers of all of the organized religions in the U.S., except for
Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Buddhism. If one were to count the number of
Agnostics among the Humanists, Unitarian Universalists, and those who refused to
answer the pollster, they would probably outnumber all of the organized religions
in the country, except for Christianity and perhaps Judaism.

The Gallup Organization regularly finds that about 93% of the 228.2 million
American adults (excluding those in Alaska and Hawaii) believe in either a
personal God or some "higher power." This source is often quoted incorrectly by
the media as stating that over 90% of Americans believe in a personal God.

The ARIS study was repeated during 2008. They asked American adults with
which religion, if any, they identified themselves. Only 1.6% of American adults
call themselves either Atheist or Agnostic. The pollsters then asked the respondents
about their belief, if any, in God. They found:
Only 70% of Americans believe in a personal God.
12% are either Atheists (do not believe in God's existence) or Agnostics (do not
know whether a personal God exists). This totals about 27 million adults, which
is close to the American Atheists' inclusive estimate for Atheists.
12% are Deists; they believe in a higher power but not a personal God. It is worth
noting that the vast majority of Deists have never heard of the terms "Deist" or
"Deism."

References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the
above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

1. "Introduction," American Atheists, at: http://www.atheists.org/


2. "Webster's New World Dictionary; 3rd college edition," Page 86
3. "Atheism," American Atheists, at: http://www.atheists.org/
4. Liz Burcin, "American Atheists in Pennsylvania,"
at: http://www.geocities.com/
5. "Atheist and Agnostic Quotes" at: http://www.math.unl.edu/
6. "George Bush: Citizen's quote," at: http://bennyhills.fortunecity.com/
7. "Supreme Court Cases: Emerson v. Board of Education, 1947,"
at: http://www.phschool.com/
8. The World Almanac and Book of Facts (2001), Page 692.
9. Michael Kesterton, "Social Studies: A daily miscellany of
information..." The Globe and Mail, 2003-JUL-2. Online
at:http://www.theglobeandmail.com/
10. "American Religious Identification Survey [ARIS 2008]," Trinity
College, 2009-MAR, at: http://b27.cc.trincoll.edu/
Site navigation:

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or Home > Christianity > Christian personalities > God > Atheism > here
or Home > Religious information > God > Atheism > here
or Home > Spirituality > God > Atheism > here

Copyright © 1996 to 2009, by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance


Latest update: 2009-MAR-11
Author: B.A. Robinson

Non-theistic belief systems

Atheism: Belief in no God, or no


belief in God. (There is a difference)

Read a news feed of current topics related to Atheism,


maintained by American Atheists

Quotations about Atheism:

Anon: "Almost every American denies the existence of Artemis, Baal,


Cybele, Fergus, Thor, Wotan, Zeus, and thousands of other gods and
goddesses. The difference between a Christian and an Atheist is that an
Atheist either denies the existence of the Trinity or has no belief in the
Trinity. The difference is truly insignificant. It is only one part in thousands."

Isaac Asimov, from the article "On Religiosity" in Free Inquiry magazine:
"Although the time of death is approaching me, I am not afraid of dying and
going to Hell or (what would be considerably worse) going to the
popularized version of Heaven. I expect death to be nothingness and, for
removing me from all possible fears of death, I am thankful to atheism."

Dan Barker, Author of "Losing Faith in Faith:" "I have something to say to
the religionist who feels atheists never say anything positive: You are an
intelligent human being. Your life is valuable for its own sake. You are not
second-class in the universe, deriving meaning and purpose from some
other mind. You are not inherently evil -- you are inherently human,
possessing the positive rational potential to help make this a world of
morality, peace and joy. Trust yourself."
Annie Wood Besant: "No philosophy, no religion, has ever brought so glad
a message to the world as this good news of Atheism."

George H.W. Bush, as presidential nominee for the Republican party;


1987-AUG-27: "No, I don't know that Atheists should be considered as
citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under
God." 1

H. Havelock Ellis: "And it is in his own image, let us remember, that Man
creates God."

Guy P. Harrison: "...atheism is not a conscious act of turning away from all
gods. It is simply the final destination for those who think. ...you will be
pleased to discover that the sky does not fall down on your head. ... if you
still want to pray, you can (the success rate of your prayers is unlikely to
change)."

Doug Jesseph: "As an atheist, I deny the existence of all Gods: those of
the Mayans, the Hindu, the Ancient Egyptians, and the God of the Old and
New Testaments. If I am right, all of these are fictional constructs invented
by clever humans for ... a variety of purposes, ranging from psychological
comfort to entertainment." 2

Overview:

Atheism isn't necessarily a religious belief. However, it is certainly a


religious issue because it deals with concepts that are found
throughout many religions.

On this site, we define the term "religion" as:

"... any specific system of belief about deity, often involving rituals, a
code of ethics, a philosophy of life, and aworldview."

Atheism is not a complete religion in the sense that Christianity,


Islam, and, Judaism are. Atheism is not generally perceived as
offering a complete guideline for living as do most religions. However,
Atheists frequently derive their own ethics and philosophy of life and
worldview using their Atheism as a starting point. These factors are
generally derived from secular considerations, and not from any
"revealed" religious text.

Some Atheists, when asked what their religion is, will answer, simply,
"Atheist." Others will say that they "have no religion, they are an
Atheist."
Note that:

Atheism relates to a belief in the existence or non-existence of a deity, or


whether the person associates any meaning to the terms "God" or "deity."

Atheism can involve the positive assertion that there is no deity; this is
sometimes referred to as "strong Atheism." It is the most common dictionary
definition for the term "Atheist," and is probably the definition used by most
theists.

Atheism can be the absence of a belief that there is a deity. This is the belief
promoted by the American Atheists and many individual Atheists.

Atheists often promote the belief that all Gods and Goddesses, as well as
angels, demons, ghosts, etc., are nonexistent entities created by human
minds.

In one way, most North Americas are Atheists or near Atheists. About
3 in 4 adults believe in the existence of the Christian Trinity: God the
Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit. However, when it comes to the Mayan,
Hindu, Ancient Roman, Ancient Greek, Ancient Egyptian, Ancient
Sumerian, Sikh, and many hundreds of other Gods and Goddesses,
they either:

Regard them as something like the tooth fairy and Easter bunny: mythical
entities that do not really exist but were artificially created by humans, or
They exist as demons, supernatural entities without most of the powers of
the Trinity.

Thus, the difference in beliefs about God between a typical Christian


and a typical Atheist is numerically small: The strong Atheist believes
that none of the many thousands of Gods and Goddesses exist; most
Christians believe that one God exists as a Trinity. Whatever the
other thousands of deities are, they are not Gods. Although the
numerical difference is much less that 0.1%, the philosophical
difference is immense.

There exists massive discrimination against Atheists in the U.S.

Part of this may be based on the historical linkage between Communism


and Atheism. Most Communists are Atheists. But many people do not
realize that most Atheists in North America are not Communists.

Another reason for this discrimination is the common belief that a person
cannot be motivated to lead a moral life unless they believe in the carrot and
stick system: hope for the reward of heaven, and fear the punishment of
Hell. In the past, this belief had been codified into law. Conscientious
objectors opposed to participating in warfare were thrown in jail if their
opposition to killing other humans was not based on belief in God.

Still another cause of discrimination is a widespread linkage between theism


-- the belief in the existence of God -- American patriotism, and Christianity.

Reference used:

1. "George Bush: Citizen's quote,"


at: http://bennyhills.fortunecity.com/

Site navigation:
Home > Ethical groups etc > here
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Home > Religious information > God > here
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Copyright © 1996 to 2010 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance


Latest update: 2010-JAN-07
Author: B.A. Robinson

Atheism
Atheism, in a broad sense, is the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.[1] In a narrower
sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.[2] Most inclusively, atheism is
simply the absence of belief that any deities exist.[3] Atheism is contrasted with theism,[4] which in
its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists.[5][6]

The term atheism originated from the Greek ἄθεος (atheos), meaning "without gods", which was
applied with a negative connotation 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 as
"atheist" appeared in the 18th century.[7] Today, about 2.3% of the world's population describes
itself as atheist, while a further 11.9% is described as nonreligious.[8] Between 64% and 80%[9] of
Japanese describe themselves as atheists, agnostics, or non-believers.[10] According to a poll
by Der Spiegel magazine, 45% of Germans believe in God, and a quarter in Jesus Christ.[11] The
percentage of such persons in European Union member states ranges as low as single digits in
Malta, Poland, Romania, Cyprus and some other countries, and up to 85% in Sweden, 80% in
Denmark, 72% in Norway, and 60% in Finland.[10]
Atheists tend to lean towards skepticism regarding supernatural claims, citing a lack
of empirical evidence.[citation needed] Common rationales for not believing in any deity include
the problem of evil, the argument from inconsistent revelations, and the argument from nonbelief.
Other arguments for atheism range from the philosophical to the social to the historical. Although
some atheists tend toward secular philosophies such as humanism,[12]rationalism, and naturalism,
[13]
there is no one ideology or set of behaviors to which all atheists adhere.[14]

In Western culture, atheists are frequently assumed to be exclusively irreligious or unspiritual.


[15]
However, atheism also figures in certain religious and spiritual belief systems, such as Jainism,
some forms of Buddhism that do not advocate belief in gods,[16] and Hinduism that holds atheism
to be valid but difficult to follow spiritually.[17]

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".[18]

In early ancient Greek, the adjective atheos (ἄθεος, from the privative ἀ- + θεός "god")
meant "godless". It was first used as a term of censure roughly meaning "ungodly" or
"impious". In the 5th century BCE, the word began to indicate more-intentional, active
godlessness in the sense of "severing relations with the gods" or "denying the gods", instead
of the earlier meaning of "impious". The term ἀσεβής (asebēs) then came to be applied
against those who impiously denied or disrespected the local gods, even if they believed in
other gods. Modern translations of classical texts sometimes render atheos as "atheistic". As
an abstract noun, there was also ἀθεότης (atheotēs), "atheism". Cicerotransliterated 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.[19]

In English, the term atheism was derived from the French athéisme in about 1587.[20] The
term atheist (from Fr. athée), in the sense of "one who denies or disbelieves the existence of
God",[21] predates atheism in English, being first attested in about 1571.[22] Atheist as a label of
practical godlessness was used at least as early as 1577.[23] Related words emerged
later: deist in 1621,[24] theist in 1662;[25] theism in 1678;[26] and deism in 1682.
[27]
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.[28]
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."[7] Atheism was first used to describe a self-
avowed belief in late 18th-century Europe, specifically denoting disbelief in
the monotheisticAbrahamic god.[29] 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".[30]

Definitions and distinctions

A chart showing the relationship between the definitions of weak/strong andimplicit/explicit atheism. Explicit
strong/positive/hard atheists (in purple on the right) assert that "at least one deity exists" is a false statement.
Explicit weak/negative/soft atheists (in blue on theright) reject or eschew belief that any deities exist without
actually asserting that"at least one deity exists" is a false statement. Implicit weak atheists (in blue on the left)
would include people (such as young children and some agnostics) who do not believe in a deity, but have not
explicitly rejected such belief.

Sizes in the diagram are not meant to indicate relative sizes within a population.

Writers disagree how best to define and classify atheism,[31] 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.

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. The ancient Romans accused Christians of being atheists for not worshiping
the pagan deities. In the 20th century, this view fell into disfavor astheism came to be
understood as encompassing belief in any divinity.[30]

With respect to the range of phenomena being rejected, atheism may counter anything from
the existence of a deity, to the existence of anyspiritual, supernatural,
or transcendental concepts, such as those of Hinduism and Buddhism.[32]

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. Atheism has sometimes been defined to include the
simple absence of belief that any deities exist. This broad definition would include newborns
and other people who have not been exposed to theistic ideas. As far back as 1772, Baron
d'Holbach said that "All children are born Atheists; they have no idea of
God."[33] 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."[34] Smith coined the term implicit atheismto refer to "the absence of theistic belief
without a conscious rejection of it" and explicit atheism to refer to the more common definition
of conscious disbelief.

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.[35] 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."[36] Some proponents of this view claim that the anthropological benefit of religion is
that religious faith enables humans to endure hardships better, functioning as an "opium of
the people". Some atheists emphasize the fact that there have been examples to the
contrary, among them examples of literal "atheists in foxholes."[37]

Positive vs. negative


Philosophers such as Antony Flew,[38] and Michael Martin,[30] have contrasted positive
(strong/hard) atheism with negative (weak/soft) atheism. Positive atheism is the explicit
affirmation that gods do not exist. Negative atheism includes all other forms of non-theism.
According to this categorization, anyone who is not a theist is either a negative or a positive
atheist.[39]The terms weak and strong are relatively recent, while the
terms negative and positive atheism are of older origin, having been used (in slightly different
ways) in the philosophical literature[38] and in Catholic apologetics[40] since at least 1813.[41]
[42]
Under this demarcation of atheism, most agnostics qualify as negative atheists.

While Martin, for example, asserts that agnosticism entails negative atheism,[30] most
agnostics see their view as distinct from atheism, which they may consider no more justified
than theism or requiring an equal conviction.[43] The supposed unattainability of knowledge for
or against the existence of gods is sometimes seen as indication that atheism requires a leap
of faith.[44] Common atheist responses to this argument include that
unproven religious propositions deserve as much disbelief as all other unproven propositions,
[45]
and that the unprovability of a god's existence does not imply equal probability of either
possibility.[46] 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 skepticism which would preclude us from saying that
we know anything whatever, except perhaps the truths of mathematics and formal
logic."[47] Consequently, some atheist authors such as Richard Dawkins prefer distinguishing
theist, agnostic and atheist positions by the probability that each assigns to the statement
"God exists".[48]

Other usage of the term "Positive Atheism"


As mentioned above, the terms negative and positive have been used in philosophical
literature in a similar manner to the terms weak and strong. However, the book Positive
Atheism byGoparaju Ramachandra Rao, first published in 1972, introduced an alternative use
for the phrase.[49] Having grown up in a hierarchical system with a religious basis, Gora called
for a secular India and suggested guidelines for a positive atheist philosophy, meaning one
that promotes positive values.[50] Positive atheism entails such things as being morally upright,
showing an understanding that religious people have reasons to believe, not proselytising or
lecturing others about atheism, and defending oneself with truthfulness instead of aiming to
'win' any confrontations with outspoken critics.

Rationale

"A child of the mob once asked an astronomerwho the father was who brought him into this world.
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 of 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!'[51] Emblem illustrating practical atheism and its historical association with immorality, titled "Supreme
Impiety: Atheist and Charlatan", fromPicta poesis, by Barthélemy Aneau, 1552.

The broadest demarcation of atheistic rationale is between practical and theoretical atheism.

Practical atheism
Main article: Apatheism

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 rejected, but may be designated unnecessary or useless; gods neither provide purpose to
life, nor influence everyday life, according to this view.[52] 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."[53]

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
 Unawareness of the concept of a deity.[54]

Theoretical atheism
Theoretical (or theoric) atheism explicitly posits arguments against the existence of gods,
responding to common theistic argumentssuch as the argument from design or Pascal's
Wager. The theoretical reasons for rejecting gods assume various forms, above all
ontological, gnoseological, and epistemological, but also sometimes psychological and
sociological forms.

Epistemological and ontological arguments

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
theEnlightenment 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 worldview.[52]

Other arguments for atheism that can be classified as epistemological or ontological,


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 can be classified into some form of atheism or agnosticism. Philosophers A. J.
Ayer andTheodore M. Drange reject both categories, stating that both camps accept "God
exists" as a proposition; they instead place noncognitivism in its own category.[55][56]

Metaphysical arguments
One author writes:

"Metaphysical atheism... includes all doctrines that hold to metaphysical monism (the
homogeneity of reality). Metaphysical atheism may be either: a) absolute — an explicit denial
of God's existence associated with materialistic monism (all materialistic trends, both in
ancient and modern times); b) relative — the implicit denial of God in all philosophies that,
while they accept the existence of an absolute, conceive of the absolute as not possessing
any of the attributes proper to God: transcendence, a personal character or unity. Relative
atheism is associated with idealistic monism (pantheism, panentheism, deism)."[57]

Epicurus is credited with first expounding the problem of evil. David Hume in hisDialogues concerning Natural
Religion(1779) cited Epicurus in stating the argument as a series of questions:[58] "Is [God] willing to prevent
evil, but not 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?"
Logical arguments
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, transcend
ence, personhood (a personal being), nonphysicality, justice and mercy.[59]

Theodicean atheists believe that the world as they experience it cannot be reconciled with the
qualities commonly ascribed to God and gods by theologians. They argue that
an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent God is not compatible with a world where
there is evil andsuffering, and where divine love is hidden from many people.[60] A similar
argument is attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, the founder ofBuddhism.[61]

Reductionary accounts of religion


Philosophers such as Ludwig Feuerbach[62] 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 a view of many Buddhists.[63] 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."[64]

Recently, Michel Onfray, who regards himself as part of the tradition of individualist
anarchism, has sought to revive this tradition as an argument for atheism, amidst modern
schools of philosophy that he feels are cynical and epicurean.[citation needed]

Alternatives
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, Freud, and Sartre all used this argument to convey messages of liberation, full-
development, and unfettered happiness.[52]

One of the most common criticisms of atheism has been to the contrary—that denying the
existence of a god leads to moral relativism, leaving one with no moral or ethical foundation,
[65]
or renders life meaningless and miserable.[66] Blaise Pascal argued this view in
his Pensées.[67]

History
Although the term atheism originated in 16th-century France,[20] ideas that would be
recognized today as atheistic are documented from the Vedic period and the classical
antiquity.

Early Indic religion


Atheistic schools are found in Hinduism and have existed from the times of the historical
Vedic religion.[68] Among the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy; Samkhya, the oldest
philosophical system do not accept God and the early Mimamsa also rejected the notion of
God.[69] The early Mimamsa not only did not accept God but asserted that human action itself
was enough to create the necessary circumstances for the enjoyment of its fruits.[70] The
thoroughly materialistic and anti-theistic philosophical Cārvāka School that originated
inIndia around 6th century BCE is probably the most explicitly atheistic school of philosophy in
India. This branch of Indian philosophy is classified as heterodox due to its rejection of the
authority of Vedas and hence is not considered part of the six orthodox schools of Hinduism,
but it is noteworthy as evidence of a materialistic movement within Hinduism.[71] 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:

"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 refutation, the materialistic views. Our knowledge of Indian
materialism is chiefly based on these."[72]

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 Buddhismin India.[73]

Classical antiquity

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.[74]The 5th-century BCE Greek
philosopher Diagoras is known as the "first atheist",[75] and is cited as such by Cicero in his De
Natura Deorum.[76] Critias viewed religion as a human invention used to frighten people into
following moral order.[77] Atomists such as Democritusattempted 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 Cirenaicus[76][78]and Strato of
Lampsacus[79] also did not believe gods exist.

Socrates (c. 471–399 BCE), was accused of impiety (see Euthyphro dilemma) on the basis
that he inspired questioning of the state gods.[80]Although he disputed the accusation that he
was a "complete atheist",[81] saying that he could not be an atheist as he believed in spirits,
[82]
he was ultimately sentenced to death. Socrates also prays to various gods in Plato's
dialogue Phaedrus[83] and says "By Zeus" in the dialogueThe Republic.[84]

Euhemerus (c. 330–260 BCE) published his view that the gods were only the deified rulers,
conquerors and founders of the past, and that their cults and religions were in essence the
continuation of vanished kingdoms and earlier political structures.[85] Although not strictly an
atheist, Euhemerus was later criticized for having "spread atheism over the whole inhabited
earth by obliterating the gods".[86]

Atomic materialist Epicurus (c. 341–270 BCE) 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.[87]

The Roman poet Lucretius (c. 99–55 BCE) 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. He expounds his Epicurean views
of the cosmos, atoms, the soul, mortality, and religion in De rerum natura ("On the nature of
things"),[88] which popularized Epicurus' philosophy in Rome.[89]

The Roman philosopher Sextus Empiricus held that one should suspend judgment about
virtually all beliefs—a form of skepticism known as Pyrrhonism—that nothing was inherently
evil, 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.[90]

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.[91] 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.[92]

Early Middle Ages to the Renaissance


The espousal of atheistic views was rare in Europe during the Early Middle Ages and Middle
Ages (see Medieval Inquisition); metaphysics, religion and theology were the dominant
interests.[93] 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
withpantheistic 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.[93]

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.[90]

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.

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, while the
Jewish-Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza rejected divine providence in favour of a
pantheistic naturalism. By the late 17th century, deism came to be openly espoused by
intellectuals such asJohn Toland. 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.
[94]
He was followed by other openly atheistic thinkers, such as Baron d'Holbach and Jacques-
André Naigeon.[95]The philosopher David Hume developed a skeptical epistemology grounded
in empiricism, undermining the metaphysical basis of natural theology.
Ludwig Feuerbach's The Essence of Christianity (1841) would greatly influence philosophers such
as Engels,Marx, David Strauss, Nietzsche, and Max Stirner. He considered God to be a human invention and
religious activities to be wish-fulfillment. For this he is considered the founding father of modern anthropology
of religion.

The French Revolution took atheism and anti-clerical deism outside the salons and into the
public sphere. A major goal of the French revolution was a restructuring and subordination of
the clergy with respect to the state through the Civil Constitution of the Clergy. Attempts to
enforce it led to anti-clerical violence and the expulsion of many clergy from France. The
chaotic political events in revolutionary Paris eventually enabled the more radicalJacobins to
seize power in 1793, ushering in the Reign of Terror. The Jacobins were deists and
introduced the Cult of the Supreme Being as a new French state religion. Some atheists
surrounding Jacques Hébert instead sought to establish a Cult of Reason, a form of atheistic
pseudo-religion with a goddess personifying reason. Both movements in part contributed to
attempts to forcibly de-Christianize France. The Cult of Reason ended after three years when
its leadership, including Jacques Hébert was guillotined by the Jacobins. The anti-clerical
persecutions ended with the Thermidorian Reaction.

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 19th century,
atheists contributed to political and social revolution, facilitating the upheavals of 1848,
the Risorgimento in Italy, and the growth of an international socialist movement.

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, Max Stirner, Karl Marx, and Friedrich Nietzsche.[96]

Late modern period

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, anarchism, logical
positivism, Marxism,feminism,[97] and the general scientific and rationalist movement.

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.[47][98]

The 20th century also saw the political advancement of atheism, spurred on by interpretation
of the works of Marx and Engels. After the Russian Revolution of 1917, 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.[99]

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
ofcaste and religion.[100] This was highlighted in 1956 when he made the Hindu
god Rama wear a garland made of slippers and made antitheistic statements.[101]

In 1966, Time magazine asked "Is God Dead?"[102] in response to the Death of God
theological movement, citing the estimation that nearly half of all 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.[103] 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.[104] 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.[105]

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."[106]But Gregory S. Paul and Phil Zuckerman consider this a myth and suggest that
the actual situation is much more complex and nuanced.[107]
Demographics

Percentage of people in various European countries who said: "I don't believe there is any sort of spirit, God or
life force." (2005)[108]

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.[109] A Hindu atheist would
declare oneself as a Hindu, although also being an atheist at the same time.[110] A 2005
survey published in Encyclopædia Britannica found that the non-religious made up about
11.9% of the world's population, and atheists about 2.3%. This figure did not include those
who follow atheistic religions, such as some Buddhists.[8] 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.[111] An
official European Union survey provides corresponding figures: 18% of the EU population do
not believe in a god; 27% affirm the existence of some "spirit or life force", while 52% affirm
belief in a specific god. The proportion of believers rises to 65% among those who had left
school by age 15; survey respondents who considered themselves to be from a strict family
background were more likely to believe in god than those who felt their upbringing lacked firm
rules.[112]

A letter published in Nature in 1998 reported a survey suggesting that belief in a personal god
or afterlife was at an all-time low among the members of the U.S. 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.[113] In the same year, Frank Sulloway of the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology and Michael Shermer of California State University conducted a study
which found in their polling sample of "credentialed" U.S. 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.[114] 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.[115] These findings
broadly agree with a 1958 statistical meta-analysis by Professor Michael Argyle of
the University of Oxford. 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.[116]

In the Australian 2006 Census of Population and Housing, in the question which asked What
is your religion? Of the total survey population, 18.7% ticked the box marked no religion or
wrote in a response which was classified as non religious (e.g. humanism, agnostic, atheist).
This question was optional and 11.2% did not answer the question.[117] In 2006, the New
Zealand census asked, What is your religion?. Of those answering, 34.7% indicated no
religion. 12.2% did not respond or objected to answering the question.[118]

Atheism, religion, and morality

Because of its absence of a creator god,Buddhism is commonly described as nontheistic.

People who self-identify as atheists are often assumed to be irreligious, however, some sects
within major religions reject the existence of a personal, creator deity.[119] In recent years,
certain religious denominations have accumulated a number of openly atheistic followers,
such asatheistic or humanistic Judaism[120][121] and Christian atheists.[122][123][124]

The strictest sense of positive atheism does not entail any specific beliefs outside of disbelief
in any deity; as such, 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 ofhumanism, which holds that a moral code should be applied consistently to all
humans, to moral nihilism, which holds that morality is meaningless.[125]

Although it is a philosophical truism, encapsulated in Plato's Euthyphro dilemma that the role
of the gods in determining right from wrong is either unnecessary or arbitrary, the argument
that morality must be derived from God and cannot exist without a wise creator has been a
persistent feature of political if not so much philosophical debate.[126][127][128] 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.[129]

Philosophers Susan Neiman[130] and Julian Baggini[131] (among others) assert that behaving
ethically only because of divine mandate is not true ethical behavior but merely blind
obedience. 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.[132] The contemporary British political philosopher Martin
Cohen has offered the more historically telling example of Biblical injunctions in favour of
torture and slavery as evidence of how religious injunctions follow political and social
customs, rather than vice versa, but also noted that the same tendency seems to be true of
supposedly dispassionate and objective philosophers.[133] Cohen extends this argument in
more detail in Political Philosophy from Plato to Mao in the case of the Koran which he sees
as having had a generally unfortunate role in preserving social codes from the early 600s
through changes in secular society.[134]

Atheists such as Sam Harris have argued that Western religions' reliance on divine authority
lends itself to authoritarianism and dogmatism.[135] Indeed, religious
fundamentalism andextrinsic religion (when religion is held because it serves other, more
ultimate interests[136]) have been correlated with authoritarianism, dogmatism, and prejudice.
[137]
This argument—combined with historical events that are argued to demonstrate the
dangers of religion, such as the Crusades, inquisitions, and witch trials—has been used in
response to claims of the supposed beneficial effects of belief in religion.[138] There are also
ethical systems that are simply nonreligious, or not dependent upon religions,
including utilitarianism, human rights,virtue ethics, social contract, and Kantian ethics.

Notes

1. ^
 Nielsen, Kai (2010). "Atheism". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2010-02-01.

"Atheism, in general, the critique and denial of metaphysical beliefs in God or spiritual

beings.... Instead of saying that an atheist is someone who believes that it is false or

probably false that there is a God, a more adequate characterization of atheism consists

in the more complex claim that to be an atheist is to be someone who rejects belief in God

for the following reasons (which reason is stressed depends on how God is being

conceived)...".

 Edwards, Paul (2005) [1967]. "Atheism". in Donald M. Borchert. The Encyclopedia of

Philosophy. Vol. 1 (2nd ed.). MacMillan Reference USA (Gale).

p. 359. ISBN 0028657802. "On our definition, an 'atheist' is a person who rejects belief in

God, regardless of whether or not his reason for the rejection is the claim that 'God exists'

expresses a false proposition. People frequently adopt an attitude of rejection toward a

position for reasons other than that it is a false proposition. It is common among

contemporary philosophers, and indeed it was not uncommon in earlier centuries, to reject

positions on the ground that they are meaningless. Sometimes, too, a theory is rejected

on such grounds as that it is sterile or redundant or capricious, and there are many other

considerations which in certain contexts are generally agreed to constitute good grounds

for rejecting an assertion.".(page 175 in 1967 edition)

2. ^ Rowe, William L. (1998). "Atheism". in Edward Craig. Routledge Encyclopedia of

Philosophy. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9780415073103. Retrieved 2010-02-01. "As commonly

understood, atheism is the position that affirms the nonexistence of God. So an atheist is

someone who disbelieves in God, whereas a theist is someone who believes in God. Another

meaning of "atheism" is simply nonbelief in the existence of God, rather than positive belief in

the nonexistence of God. …an atheist, in the broader sense of the term, is someone who

disbelieves in every form of deity, not just the God of traditional Western theology.".

3. ^ 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 inThe 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.

 Runes, Dagobert D.(editor) (1942 edition). Dictionary of Philosophy. New Jersey:

Littlefield, Adams & Co. Philosophical Library. ISBN 0064634612. Retrieved 2010-02-01.

"(a) the belief that there is no God; (b) Some philosophers have been called "atheistic"

because they have not held to a belief in a personal God. Atheism in this sense means

"not theistic". The former meaning of the term is a literal rendering. The latter meaning is a

less rigorous use of the term though widely current in the history of thought" - entry

by Vergilius Ferm
4. ^ "Definitions: Atheism". Department of Religious Studies, University of Alabama.

Retrieved 2010-04-23.

5. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition

6. ^ "Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary". Retrieved 2010-04-23.

7. ^ a b Armstrong, Karen (1999). A History of God. London: Vintage. ISBN 0-09-927367-

5.

8. ^ a b "Worldwide Adherents of All Religions by Six Continental Areas, Mid-2005".

Encyclopædia Britannica. 2005. Retrieved 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.

9. ^ http://www.thomsontimes.com/Facts_About_Japan.html

10. ^ a b Zuckerman, Phil (2007). Martin, Michael T. ed. The Cambridge companion to

atheism. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. p. 56. ISBN 0-521-84270-0.

11. ^ http://www.adherents.com/adhloc/Wh_114.html

12. ^ Honderich, Ted (Ed.) (1995). "Humanism". The Oxford Companion to Philosophy.

Oxford University Press. p 376. ISBN 0198661320.

13. ^ Fales, Evan. "Naturalism and Physicalism", in Martin 2007, pp. 122–131.

14. ^ Baggini 2003, pp. 3–4.

15. ^ Cline, Austin (2005). "Buddhism and Atheism". about.com. Retrieved 2006-10-21.

16. ^ Kedar, Nath Tiwari (1997). Comparative Religion. Motilal Banarsidass.

pp. 50. ISBN 8120802934.

17. ^ Chakravarti, Sitansu (1991). Hinduism, a way of life. Motilal Banarsidass Publ..

p. 71. ISBN 9788120808997.

18. ^ The word αθεοι—in any of its forms—appears nowhere else in the Septuagint or

the New Testament. Robertson, A.T. (1960) [1932]. "Ephesians: Chapter 2". Word Pictures in

the New Testament. Broadman Press. Retrieved 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."

19. ^ 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."

20. ^ a b 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. pp. xx. 310. "Athisme,

that is to say, vtter godlesnes." Translation of De la verite de la religion chrestienne (1581).

21. ^ "http://dictionary.oed.com/cgi/entry/50014052 atheist". Oxford English

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22. ^ Rendered as Atheistes: Golding, Arthur (1571). The Psalmes of David and others,

with J. Calvin's commentaries. pp. Ep. Ded. 3. "The Atheistes which say..there is no

God." Translated from French.

23. ^ Hanmer, Meredith (1577). The auncient ecclesiasticall histories of the first six

hundred years after Christ, written by Eusebius, Socrates, and Evagrius. London.

pp. 63. OCLC 55193813. "The opinion which they conceaue of you, to be Atheists, or

godlesse men."

24. ^ Burton, Robert (1621). The Anatomy of Melancholy. pp. III. iv. II. i. "Cosen-germans

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office..twice a day..among Rebels, Theists, Atheists, Philologers, Wits, Masters of Reason,

Puritanes [etc.]."

26. ^ "Secondly, that nothing out of nothing, in the sense of the atheistic objectors, viz.

that nothing, which once was not, could by any power whatsoever be brought into being, is

absolutely false; and that, if it were true, it would make no more against theism than it does

against atheism.." Cudworth, Ralph. The true intellectual system of the universe. 1678.

Chapter V Section II p.73

27. ^ Dryden, John (1682). Religio laici, or A laymans faith, a poem. London.

pp. 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..."

28. ^ 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. prep. by J. A. Simpson ...

(1989). The Oxford English Dictionary (Second ed.). Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 0-

19-861186-2.

29. ^ In part because of its wide use in monotheistic Western society, atheism is usually

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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
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82. ^ Apology

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85. ^ Fragments of Euhemerus' work in Ennius' Latin translation have been preserved

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it?" Mensa Magazine, UK Edition, Feb. 2002, pp. 12–13. Analyzing 43 studies carried out

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higher one's intelligence or education level, the less one is likely to be religious or hold 'beliefs'

of any kind."

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pp. 93–96. ISBN 0-415-17589-5.

117. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2006, Census

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126. ^ Smith 1979, p. 275. "Among the many myths associated with religion, none is more

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divorced from the belief in a god."

127. ^ In Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov (Book Eleven: Brother Ivan Fyodorovich,

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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?'"

128. ^ 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

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129. ^ Baggini 2003, p. 38

130. ^ Susan Neiman. (November 6, 2006). Beyond Belief Session 6. [Conference]. Salk

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131. ^ Baggini 2003, p. 40

132. ^ Baggini 2003, p. 43

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137. ^ 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.

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Fundamentalism, Quest, and Prejudice". International Journal for the Psychology of

Religion. 2(2). pp. 113-133.

138. ^ Harris, Sam (2005). "An Atheist Manifesto". Truthdig. Retrieved 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."

[edit]References

 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. 1. Polish Thomas Aquinas Association. Retrieved 2010-05-
04

[edit]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.
 Tom Flynn, ed (2007). The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus
Books. ISBN 1-59102-391-2.
 Gaskin, J.C.A., ed (1989). Varieties of Unbelief: From Epicurus to Sartre. New York:
Macmillan. ISBN 0-02-340681-X.
 Germani, Alan (2008-09-15). "The Mystical Ethics of the New Atheists". The
Objective Standard (Glen Allen Press) 3 (3). Retrieved 2008-09-15.
 Harbour, Daniel (2003). 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.
 Harris, Sam (Oct 2, 2007). "The Problem with Atheism". The Washington Post.
Retrieved 2010-06-18.
 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 University Press. ISBN 019824682X.
 Maritain, Jacques (1953). The Range of Reason. London: Geoffrey Bles. ISBN
B0007DKP00. Retrieved 2006-10-27.
 Martin, Michael (1990). Atheism: A Philosophical Justification. Philadelphia, PA:
Temple University Press. ISBN 0-87722-943-0.
 Michael Martin & Ricki Monnier, ed (2003). The Impossibility of God. Buffalo, NY:
Prometheus Books. ISBN 1-59102-120-0.
 Michael Martin & Ricki Monnier, ed (2006). The Improbability of God. Buffalo, NY:
Prometheus Books. ISBN 1-59102-381-5.
 McTaggart, John; McTaggart, Ellis (1930) [1906]. Some Dogmas of Religion (New
ed.). London: Edward Arnold & Co.. ISBN 0-548-14955-0.
 Nielsen, Kai (1985). Philosophy and Atheism. New York: Prometheus. 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 (Oct 4, 2005). "Hume on Religion". in Edward N. Zalta. Stanford
Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2008 ed.). Metaphysics Research Lab. Retrieved
2010-06-18.
 Sharpe, R.A. (1997). The Moral Case Against Religious Belief. London: SCM
Press. ISBN 0-334-02680-6.
 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.

Atheism

Atheism, a term that began to appear with frequency only in modern times,
literally means the denial of theism, that is, belief in the existence of a personal
God who creates the world and exists independently of it. This denial may be
formal and explicit, as in the writings of Karl Marx (1818–1883), Friedrich
Nietzsche (1844–1900), Sigmund Freud (1856–1939), and Jean-Paul Sartre
(1905–1980); or it may be an implicit "practical" atheism in which a person or
community tacitly assumes that nothing transcends, or exists beyond, the
physical universe. In both cases the justification for atheism is usually rooted in
the alleged absence of positive evidence for God's existence. Often vaguely
referred to as "unbelief," atheism comes in many varieties, but it is those forms
that emphasize the lack of "evidence" for God that are of special interest in
discussions of science and religion.

Atheism also arises, of course, among those who consider it impossible logically
to reconcile the idea of an all-powerful and omnibenevolent God with the fact of
evil and suffering in the world. The physicist and Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg
(1933–), for example, has stated that it is not only the absence of evidence but,
even more, the fact of evil and suffering that grounds his own atheism. Along
with many others today, he finds in the suffering of living beings, especially as
this has been exposed by evolutionary biology, a stronger reason for rejecting
theism than the mere absence of physical evidence warrants. Since the days of
Charles Darwin (1809–1882) the indifference of natural selection to the pain and
the extinction of sentient organisms has often been cited as a clinching scientific
reason for atheism. Darwin himself was unable to reconcile the idea of an
intelligent divine designer with the disturbing life-struggle that his own
evolutionary science uncovered. And among scientists today it is more often
biologists than physical scientists who reject the notion of a personal God.

It should be noted, however, that the renunciation of theism because of innocent


suffering has been a strong temptation quite apart from any specifically scientific
information given by evolutionary biology. Darwinian depictions of life may add
support to an atheism already based on a compassionate protest against
suffering, but the question of how to hold together the idea of God and the fact of
suffering is as old as theism itself. Indeed, belief in God arose in the first place, in
part at least, as a response to the fact of suffering; and biblical as well as other
religious portraits of ultimate reality find in God a compassionate will to conquer
suffering and death.

Consequently, as far as the question of science and religion is concerned, atheism


is of interest primarily when its proponents accuse theism of failing to provide
adequate evidence for its claims. Here evidence means empirically available and
publicly accessible data that might reasonably confirm theistic claims. To many
scientific thinkers such evidence is ambiguous at best and completely lacking at
worst. Although the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century founders of modern
science (Nicolaus Copernicus, Francis Bacon, René Descartes, Galileo Galilei,
Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle, and others) were convinced theists, there is little
question that they ironically bequeathed to Western intellectual culture, and
especially to modern philosophy, an understanding of truth-seeking (or an
epistemic method) that has led many educated people to be skeptical of all
propositions unsupported by experimental evidence. And since it is the very
nature of theism to refer to a deity that is sensually unavailable, or to propose
that believers wait patiently in unconditional trust for a future revelation of
indisputable evidence of the divine, the idea of God seems especially uncongenial
to confirmation by scientific method.

To those who elevate scientific method to the status of sole or primary arbiter of
truth, therefore, all references to a hidden personal deity will be suspect. In the
absence of empirical evidence, they ask, how can scientifically educated people
be expected to take seriously theistic beliefs about the creation of the world, the
eternal love of God, or the ultimate purpose of the universe? The renowned
British philosopher Antony Flew (1923–), applying Karl Popper's (1902–1994)
criterion of falsifiability to the question of God's existence, has argued that since
no counter-evidence would ever be enough to uproot the beliefs of a confirmed
theist, theism violates the (scientifically shaped) rules of rational inquiry. If God
lies beyond the domain of possible empirical verification or falsification, the claim
goes, then theism cannot pass the most elementary test for truth.

At times the demand for theists to provide empirical evidence of God's existence
is framed as a moral requirement, any violation of which is held to be indicative
not only of cowardice but also of unethical insensitivity to the value of truth. The
famous French biochemist and professed atheist Jacques Monod (1910–1976), for
example, sought to base all of culture on what he called the postulate of
(scientific) objectivity, which for him constituted the core of a new ethic of
knowledge being ushered in by the modern age of science. Accordingly he
dismissed theistic affirmations and all religious hope for final redemption as
instances not only of cognitive but also moral delinquency. An earlier example of
such passionate commitment to an "ethic of knowledge" is that of the American
philosopher W. K. Clifford (1845–1879), whose essay "The Ethics of Belief"
(1879) became famous in William James's (1842–1910) criticism of it in the "The
Will to Believe." Clifford had stated that "it is wrong always, everywhere, and for
anyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence" (p. 183), an assertion that
James along with others chastised for its puritanical extremism. In any case,
among the beliefs for which sufficient evidence is especially lacking, at least
according to Clifford's standards, are those of theists.

Does science support atheism?

The important question, then, is whether science, or the "scientific spirit,"


provides an incontestable basis for atheism. Although many atheists claim that it
does, strictly speaking science as such can in principle justify neither atheism nor
theism. By definition scientific method places theological interests beyond the
compass of its concerns. Science does not as such ask about values, meaning, or
God. Consequently the assertion that science sanctions atheism is logically
spurious. Such a claim emanates not from science but from scientism, the belief
that science is the only road to reliable knowledge. But one may legitimately ask
whether this particular belief (scientism) orients the human mind reliably to the
fullness of being or truth. Since it is impossible to conceive of an experimental
situation that could in principle confirm or falsify the belief that science is the sole
avenue to truth, it may be argued that scientism is a self-refuting proposition.

Nevertheless, it is undeniable that the progress of modern science has been


accompanied historically by a rising skepticism, especially in the intellectual
world, about the existence of a personal God. To many scientific thinkers the
decline of theistic religion in modern times, especially among educated people, is
a logical and not simply historical correlate of the advance of science. Albert
Einstein (1879–1955), for example, famously asserted that the existence of a
personal God, one capable of miraculously intervening in nature or history, would
be incompatible with a basic assumption of all modern science, namely, that the
laws of nature are utterly inviolable and invariant. For a scientist to believe in a
responsive, personal God, a God who answers prayers, would be inconsistent with
the very essence of scientific inquiry, which can tolerate no exceptions to natural
laws.

Einstein, however, did not accept the label of "atheist" since it seemed a term of
opprobrium and one that during his lifetime often implied moral relativism, which
he vehemently opposed. Moreover, as a disciple of the famous Dutch pantheist
Baruch Spinoza (1632–1677), he was not opposed to using the term God to refer
to the mystery of "intelligence" that pervades the universe and makes possible
the whole enterprise of scientific exploration. Einstein considered himself a deeply
religious man, provided that "religion" is taken to mean a firm commitment to
universal values (goodness, beauty, truth) and a cultivation of the
insurmountable "mystery" encompassing the universe. But he considered the idea
of a personal God dispensable to living religion.

Responding to Einstein, theologian Paul Tillich (1886–1965) insisted that living


religion cannot dispense with the idea of a personal God since an impersonal deity
would be lower in being than persons are. God must be "at least personal" in
order to evoke the attitude of religious worship. God is much more than personal,
of course, and so theology must acknowledge that personality is one among
many symbols that religion employs in its attempts to understand ultimate
reality; but it is not optional to theism. Addressing the objection by scientific
atheists that God does not fall among the objects of empirical investigation, Tillich
replied that God by definition cannot be one "object" among others—even if the
most exalted of these—without ceasing thereby to be God. If God is to be taken
as the deepest reality it would be as the "ground of being" rather than as one
being among others. Religious awareness of such a reality, however, comes not
by grasping it empirically or scientifically, but only by allowing oneself to be
grasped by it.

Bibliography

Buckley, Michael. At the Origins of Modern Atheism. New Haven, Conn.: Yale
University Press, 1987.

Clifford, W. K. "The Ethics of Belief." In Lectures and Essays. London: Macmillan,


1879.

Dawkins, Richard. The Blind Watchmaker. New York: Norton, 1986.

Einstein, Albert. Ideas and Opinions. New York: Crown, 1954.


Flew, Antony. God: A Critical Enquiry. LaSalle, Il.: Open Court, 1984.

Freud, Sigmund. The Future of an Illusion (1927). New York: Norton, 1961.

Larson, Edward J., and Witham, Larry. "Scientists and Religion in


America." Scientific American281, no. 88 (1999).

Marty, Martin. Varieties of Unbelief. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1964.

Monod, Jacques. Chance and Necessity: An Essay on the Natural Philosophy of


Modern Biology,trans. Austryn Wainhouse. New York: Knopf, 1971.

Stenmark, Mikael. Scientism: Science, Ethics and Religion. Aldershot, UK:


Ashgate, 2001.

Tillich, Paul. Theology of Culture, ed. Robert C. Kimball. New York: Oxford
University Press, 1959.

Weinberg, Steven. Dreams of a Final Theory. New York: Pantheon, 1992.

JOHN HAUGHT

POSTERS RECOGNIZED THE TRUTH BIS Darwinist: Darwinism =


atheism

The posters are just now tacked on about 800 buses in the UK openly stating
the fact that by the Darwinist lobby and its supporters attempted to cover-up over the
years: DARWINISM BROUGHT IN atheism. Bus posters, backed by Richard
Dawkins, an atheist and Darwinist, was one of the most important evidence of the
truth.

This view is unscientific and illogical Darwin that all living things on Earth in
the overall diversity was remarkable not manifest itself into existence through the
creation of Allah (God), but through a process of random and haphazard. According
to that view, Meaning NO, THE PURPOSE OR OBJECTIVES IN DARWINISM. IN
DARWINISM, THE "COINCIDENCE" THAT IN SOME WAY LED TO ALL
BEINGS INTO EXISTENCE, MAKING A WIDE RANGE, AND MAKE THEM
PERFECT AND FLAWLESS. The purpose of Darwinism is to abolish the mindset of
Creation by making a god who come from coincidence. Darwinism is based on the
belief that the materialist claim that matter is everything that has an absolute
existence. This is a distorted belief that diada invent in order to resist the idea that
living creatures are created from nothing, that the existence of the metaphysical spirit
is what makes human beings human beings, and that their existence depends on the
will of Almighty God and Control.

Some evolutionists try to cover up the truth. Their goal is this: they realized
that Darwinism was destined collapsed completely in this century. For that reason
they're trying to show the aberrations of Darwinism as an ideological moderate, with
the goal to reestablish its influence in the world and attract various circles into their
circle. So that they even managed to show that "religion and evolution is not
contradictory" and give the impression to people that belief in the theory of evolution
does not necessarily mean the denial of God.

But the fact is that THIS IS THE LIE huge.

DARWINISM SAME FAITH ONCE REFUSED TO GOD. Darwinism is


false and extremely dangerous ideology that aimed to deny belief in Allah and
launched a propaganda for that purpose. Seeks to align this deviant ideology with
belief in Allah means fell into the trap decay Darwinist, and ultimately that means
supporting Darwinism against belief in Allah.

But some Darwinists are not reluctant at all to come out and stated that the
Darwinist ideology ultimately deny God and the cause of atheism. The well-known
from these people is Richard Dawkins, in connection with bus posters today. Dawkins
recognition that led to his conviction Darwinist atheism reads as follows:

"They called me as a witness and a lawyer and said: 'Dr. Dawkins whether you
believe in evolution, you study about the evolution has turned you to atheism?" I said
'YES' ... People like me is bad news for science lobby, the lobby of evolution. On the
other hand I am more honest and open in this interview than he would say many
people from this area. " [1]

"Darwin made it possible to be a perfect atheist intellectual." [2]

Evolutionists origin of Cornell University William Provine declared that


"natural evolution has caused clear that Charles Darwin understood perfectly." And
according to Provine consequences of this are:

1) 1) No gods need to exist;


2)) 2) There is no life after death;
3) 3) There is no basis deontology;
4) 4) There is no fundamental meaning in life; and
5) 5) Freedom of choice in humans is not there. " [3]

Charles Smith, president of the American Association for the Advancement of


Atheism(American Association for the Promotion of Atheism), merangkup discussion
by saying:

"Evolution is atheism."[4]

But this time, 800 buses are moving around British roads had recorded the
fact that Darwinism with atheism. These buses, which carry atheist propaganda
posters, making it absolutely clear what Darwinism brought to humanity. As a major
supporter of this campaign, Richard Dawkins prominent Darwinist propaganda has
transformed into propaganda openly atheist. Because, THIS IS THE SECOND
MUTUAL SUPPORT BELIEFS.

But now, attempts to show the Darwinist ideology as something that is not
dangerous in front of all the evidence is clear and the recognition of this firm or to
question "what is the need to struggle against Darwinism?" Or the mistaken view that
religion and evolution are not contradictory and thus engage in propaganda support it,
is a very big mistake. People who support the idea that HAS TO FALL INTO THE
TRAP Darwinist. It was unconscious, they support Darwinism and, above all,
atheism. They unwittingly support those who fight against the religion of Allah. Allah
Almighty warned the Muslims of the dangers of it:

"And do not argue (to defend) those who betrayed him. Allah loves not
those who always betrays again wallowing in sin. " (Surat an Nisa ', 4:107)

Therefore, people who are afraid of good conscience to God have an


obligation to live in awareness of this terrible scourge, and fought in the name of God
to order this deviant ideological eventually destroyed. As our Lord said in a another
paragraph:

"Thou shalt not follow the unbelievers, but strive against them with the
Quran with great jihad." (Surat Al Furqaan, 25:52)

1-1 - Expelled "No Intelligence Allowed" Movie, Ben Stein, Premise Media Corporation
2-2 - Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, 1986, pp. 6
3-3 - http://209.85.129.132/search?q=cache:0iSLyX2znO4J:members.iinet.net.au/ ~
sejones/religi05.html + William +
Provine + Five + disposal + death & hl = en & ct clnk & cd = = 6 & gl = tr & client =
firefox-a
4-4 - H. Epoch, Evolution or Creation, (1988), pp. 148-149

January 27, 2009

“Life’s greatest tragedy is to lose God and not


to miss him.”
--F.W. Norwood
Atheists might assert that they don’t acknowledge
the existence of God, but the view of some Christians
and all Muslims is that at some level even the
confirmed Atheist affirms God’s presence. The innate but neglected awareness
of God typically surfaces in Atheist consciousness only in times of severe
stress, as exemplified by the World War II quote “There are no Atheists in a
fox-hole.”[1]
Undeniably there are times -- whether during the agonizing days of a
lingering illness, the seemingly eternal moments of a violent and humiliating
mugging, or the split second of anticipating the impact of an imminent car
crash -- when all mankind recognize the reality of human fragility and the lack
of human control over destiny. Who does a person beseech for help in such
circumstances other than The Creator? Such moments of desperation should
remind every person, from the religious scholar to the professed Atheist, of the
dependence of mankind upon a reality far greater than our own meager human
selves. A reality far greater in knowledge, power, will, majesty and glory.
In such moments of distress, when all human efforts have failed and no
element of material existence can be foreseen to provide comfort or rescue,
Whom else will a person instinctively call upon? In such moments of trial,
how many stress-induced appeals are made to God, complete with promises of
lifelong fidelity? Yet, how few are kept?
No doubt, the day of greatest affliction will be the Day of Judgement, and a
person would be unfortunate to be in the position of acknowledging the
existence of God for the first time on that day. The English poet, Elizabeth
Barrett Browning, spoke of the irony of the distressed human appeal in The
Cry of the Human:
“And lips say “God be pitiful,”
Who ne’er said, “God be praised.”
The thoughtful Atheist, full of skepticism but fearful of the possibility of
the existence of God and a Day of Judgement, may wish to consider the ‘prayer
of the skeptic,’ as follows:
“O Lord--if there is a Lord,
Save my soul--if I have a soul.”[2]
In the face of skepticism blocking belief, how can a person go wrong with
the above prayer? Should Atheists remain upon disbelief, they will be no
worse off than before; should belief follow a sincere appeal, Thomas Jefferson
had the following to say:
“If you find reason to believe there is a God, a consciousness that you
are acting under His eye, and that He approves you, will be a vast
additional incitement; if that there be a future state, the hope of a happy
existence in that increases the appetite to deserve it…”[3]
The suggestion can be made that if an individual doesn’t see the evidence
of God in the magnificence of His creation, they would be well advised to take
another look. As Francis Bacon is noted to have commented, “I had rather
believe all the fables in the legend, and the Talmud, and the alcoran (i.e. the
Quran), than that this universal frame is without a mind.”[4] He went on to
comment, “God never wrought miracle to convince atheism, because his
ordinary works convince it.”[5] Worthy of contemplation is the fact that even
the lowest elements of God’s creation, though perhaps ordinary works in His
terms, are miracles in ours. Take the example of as tiny an animal as a spider.
Does anybody really believe that such an extraordinarily intricate creature
evolved from primordial soup? Just one of these little miracles can produce up
to seven different kinds of silk, some as thin as the wavelength of visible light,
but stronger than steel. Silks range from the elastic, sticky strands for
entrapment to the non-adhesive drag-lines and frame threads, to the silk for
wrapping prey, making the egg sac, etc. The spider can, on demand, not only
manufacture its personal choice of the seven silks, but reabsorb, breakdown
and remanufacture--self-recycling from the component elements. And this is
only one small facet of the miracle of the spider.
And yet, mankind elevates itself to the heights of arrogance. A moment’s
reflection should incline human hearts to humility. Look at a building and a
person thinks of the architect, at a sculpture and a person instantly
comprehends an artist. But examine the elegant intricacies of creation, from
the complexity and balance of nuclear particle physics to the uncharted
vastness of space, and a person conceives of…nothing? Surrounded by a world
of synchronous complexities, we as mankind cannot even assemble the wing of
a gnat. And yet the entire World and all the Universe exists in a state of perfect
orchestration as a product of random accidents which molded cosmic chaos
into balanced perfection? Some vote chance, others, creation.
Footnotes:
[1] N.Y. Times. 13 Apr 1944. Cummings: Sermon on Bataan, The Philippines.
[2] Renan, Joseph E. Prayer of a Skeptic.
[3] Parke, David B. p. 67.
[4] Bacon, Francis. Atheism. p. 16.
[5] Bacon, Francis. Atheism. p. 16.