Atheism:

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Atheism is defined as either:
a lack of belief in God, or an
active denial of the existence of
God. (Multiple Definitions Exist):

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Read news feeds of current topics related to Atheism.

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atheist symbol

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How many Atheists are out there?

Atheists were once regarded as a small minority among U.S. adults. Polling agencies have recently gave estimates of the percentage of atheist adults that ranged from 3% to 11%. However, these results only measure the percentage of Atheists who were willing to reveal their beliefs to a stranger over the telephone who claimed to be from an confidential polling agency. Because of the high level of prejudice against Atheists, only some -- perhaps a minority of -- Athests are willing to reveal this information to polling agencies.

One innovative survey was recently designed to allow those Atheists surveyed to reveal their religious beliefs safely and confidentially. The poll determined that 26% of U.S. adults are actually Atheists!

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Some quotations about Atheism and Atheists:

Unfortunately, there are different definitions in use for the word "Atheist." They are often viewed as people who actively deny the existence of God. Others define them as simply lacking a belief in God. Many people firmly assert that only their own definition is correct.

  • Anon: "Almost every American denies the existence of Artemis, Baal, Cybele, Fergus, Thor, Wotan, Zeus, and thousands of other [ancient] gods and goddesses. The main difference between a Christian and an Atheist is that an Atheist either actively denies the existence of the Trinity or has no belief in the Trinity whereas the Christian believes that the Trinity exists. The difference is truly insignificant. It is only one deity among many thousands."

  • Epicurus (341 to 270 BCE) An ancient Greek philosopher: "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God? "

  • Edward Gibbon (1737-1794 CE) An English historian, writer, Member of Parliament, and author of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,): "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful."

  • Richard Jeni: (The stage name of Richard John Colangelo), while talking to a group who believe in the existence of different Gods, said: "You're basically killing each other to see who's got the better imaginary friend."

  • Stephen Roberts: (talking to a person who believes in a God):"I contend that we are both Atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."

  • Pope Francis: The following is a false quote attributed incorrectly to Pope Francis on Facebook on 2014-DEC-06. It was debunked in "Mass Exodus" at Snopes.com on 2014-DEC-15:

    "It is not necessary to believe in God to be a good person. In a way, the traditional notion of God is outdated. One can be spiritual but not religious. It is not necessary to go to church and give money — for many, nature can be a church. Some of the best people in history do not believe in God, while some of the worst deeds were done in His name."

  • Anon: "If God exists, then she, he, it, or they are generally considered to be:
    • Omnipotent -- all powerful -- and thus can eliminate all evil;
    • Omniscient -- all knowing -- and thus knows how to eliminate all evil;
    • Morally perfect -- and thus desires to end all evil.

But evil continues exist. Therefore either God does not exist, or he is lacking at least one of the above attributes."

  • Isaac Asimov: (1920-1992); an American writer and professor of biochemistry at Boston University: "I prefer 'rationalism' to 'atheism.' The word 'atheist,' meaning 'no God,' is negative and defeatist. It says what you don't believe and puts you in an eternal position of defense. 'Rationalism,' on the other hand, states what you DO believe; that is, that which can be understood in the light of reason. The question of God and other mystical objects-of-faith are outside reason and therefore play no part in rationalism and you don't have to waste your time in either attacking or defending that which you rule out of your philosophy altogether. (From the book: "It's Been a Good Life:" (Kindle Locations 139 to 142).

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Topics covered in this section:

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Discussion of some topics that may put Atheism in perspective:

Part 1:

  • More quotations.
  • Atheism is an ambiguous term, and thus is difficult to write about and define.
  • Would the U.S. accept an Atheist president?

Part 2:

  • Are Atheists over or under represented among the prison population?
  • Why did God create Atheists? (A trick question!)
  • Five things for Christians and other theists to avoid saying to Atheists
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Estimates of the percentage of adults who are Atheists in the U.S. and the rest of the world:

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Definitions of Atheism (There is no general consensus)

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starBeliefs by some conservative Protestants: >>>>> atheist5.htm

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bullet Atheists really believe in God, but are lying
 
bullet Why Atheists reject God. What Atheists allegedly fear

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What proof would it take for an Atheist to believe in God?
 

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Stories about why people converted to Atheism (or remained Atheists)

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Monuments to Atheism on public land
 

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Atheist license plates, in Connecticut and Michigan:
 

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Numbers of Atheists. Differences between Atheists & non-Atheists. Discrimination against Atheists: Part 1  Part 2
 

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Pascal's Wager (Why it may be safer to be a Theist than an Atheist)


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Some Atheism symbols: (atomic symbol, invisible pink unicorn, empty set symbol, ...)
 

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Resources:

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Essays donated by visitors to this web site:

Two news feeds of interest to Atheists and others:

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Newsfeed from Atheist sources


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The other is supplied by About.com's Agnostic/Atheism site

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Copyright 1996 to 2019 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2019-JAN-15
Author: B.A. Robinson

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