Atheism is a system where a person does not believe a God or Gods exist. A person who practices this is called an Atheist. The word comes from the Greek word a which means no with the word theism which means god. Which pretty much defines as its following. A belief that there is no (Palmer 1). When someone identifies themselves as an atheist, it’s usually considered look upon because people might assume they are bad people because they think they lack morals, they hate God, are just angry people, worship the devil, ignorant about religion, they think that they find life meaningless and so on. Those are the few things that a person might see an atheist as. The topic of Atheism is often misunderstood because of the lack of knowledge that some people don’t know much about and just assume by what they have heard. Although not considered a religion, Atheism also has its history of how it started, often compared with agnosticism.
The form of Atheism was developed by Ancient India, China, and Greece. Ancient India atheism started back in 2600 years at the Cavanka School (Cooke 23). Siddartha Gautama known as the Buddha was known to be an atheist (23). But the first known atheist was Diagoras of Melos from Ancient Greece as well as the Pre-Socratic philosophers and the Epicureans who followed them (24). In the book “Reasonable Atheism: A Moral Case for Respectful Belief” by Scott F. Aikin and Robert B. Talisse, atheism is a specific philosophical claim saying that there is no god or that denying religious claims. Aikin and Talisse also say that some see atheism as some part of skepticism or they see them as they are apart of a humanist moral vision. There can be a bad atheist or a good atheist. There are two types of atheist which are the negative and positive atheism (1). A negative atheist just lacks religion altogether (1). They don’t provide any of the evidence why they think that God doesn’t exist and just would be clueless about the topic. Another way negative atheism is explained is that it’s the weak variant of the type of atheist, it said that the faith of God or Gods is not justified (Cooke 24). But it “stresses the impossibility rather than the possibility of God” (24). A positive atheist is the opposite, Someone who is a positive atheist know something about religion and have claims on why they think that God does not exist(1,2)They present arguments for the rejection of religious beliefs, they do so by showing theistic arguments that are invalid in themselves or incompatible with other arguments they have shown to be invalid (2) The positive atheist is known as the stronger variant of atheism (24). It justifies not to believe in Gods or gods, and also it argues the impossibility of God, not God’s improbability (24). The concept of atheism is that it’s a denial of theism (Corlett 30). A person is considered an atheist if he/she rejects the theistic positions which are the “metaphysical God, infinite anthropomorphic god and a finite anthropomorphic god (Corlett 30). There are many reasons why a person might be atheists. Probably one of the most common someone might be an atheist is because they are raised as one or they might have had an early traumatic experience with religion (Bainbridge). Another one can be is that they might have talked to someone in their adulthood to antireligious professional ideologies like sociology, anthropology, and psychology (Bainbridge 6). It’s also said that people who are atheist adopt to atheism during their youth which is said to be logical because they said that during that age, they don’t really sense about the realities of death as much as older people do (Bainbridge 6).
Atheism is known to be rare in the population (Bainsbridge 2). In George Smith’s book, He argued that children should be labeled as atheist because of their ignorance of religion. But the term atheist is more for adults who either never showed interest if whether god exist or not because of lack of education or just indifference (1). In the Survey2001, it showed that men are 1.3 times more likely to be atheist and admit identifying themselves as atheist, agnostics or non-religious than women with a percent of 5.0% of them with men being 6.4% (Bainsbridge 14). Other statistics showed that people who speak German are more likely to be atheist with that being 11.7% and the second one being Italian which is 8.8%, Spanish being 5.2% and English with being the lowest with 5.1% (Bainsbridge 13). Atheism is also common for someone who are single than someone who is married, single being 6.1%, people who are married being 5.0% , and those who are divorced about a 3.8% of them (Bainsbridge 13). People who have no children are more likely to be atheist than someone who has children. The table shows that all of the 6.2% of those who are atheist have no children, but those who has one child is about 5.8% while those who have two or more children are around 3.9% of them (Bainsbridge 16).
Agnosticism is often associated with atheism. Some may think they might have the same meaning. But those two are actually two different things. Thomas Huxley, a Victorian intellectual coined the word agnosticism, he combined the Greek word a meaning ‘not’ and gnosis meaning ‘knowledge’ (Palmer 2). In an article “Atheism” by J. Cooke, it stated that Huxley coined the word in 1869 because it was seen that it’s more redundant than atheism. It is more popular than Atheist because agnostic it said that it sounds less of a dogmatic attitude. Someone who is an agnostic is usually suspend the judgement whether god exist or not because they have some limit on what is possible, “claiming that all we can ever know is limited to the real world, the world of sense and experience (Palmer 2). They make it clear that they don’t know whether God exist or not. But it is not the same saying that God does not exist. It’s more saying that there isn’t much to say whether to say one way or another to tell whether if a God exist or not.
Although Atheism is looked frowned upon because of myths being heard such as they are Satanists, they don’t see a purpose in life and such. Atheism is just like religion, even though it is not considered a religion at all. But it’s also a choice about what people want to believe. Everyone has their own morals, but just because one doesn’t believe in God does not mean they are bad people. People have the right to choose to believe something or not. Atheism also has it origin like how it started, who are the followers and is often mistaken for Agnosticism.
Aikin, Scott F., and Robert B. Talisse. Reasonable Atheism: a Moral Case for Respectful
Disbelief. Prometheus Books, 2011 pp. 45-47.
This source explains some details about atheism. It talks about how atheists are different. I’ll be using this source to explain atheism and how some are different. This source is reliable because Aikin and Talisse are both philisophers who present facts and information.
Bainbridge, Williams Sims. “Atheism.” Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion ,
vol. 1, ser. 2005. 2005.
In this source, Bainsbridge explains atheism by showing the demographics. It also talks about how atheist are rare and how one becomes an atheist. I’ll be using this source to show the demographics of people who are atheists and how one becomes an atheist. I’ll also be using this source to show demographics of people who are agnositic to compare atheism and agnositicsm. This is a reliable source because Bainsbridge is an American sociologist presenting facts, statstics and is giving credit to the information he is getting from.
Cooke, W. “Atheism.” Value Inquiry Book Series, vol. 276, Aug. 2014, pp. 23-25. EBSCOhost, chaffey.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=97490170&site=ehost-live.
This source explains more about positive and negative atheism and gives a little brief history of atheism. This one explains what agnosticism is. I’ll be using this source to have a more detail explaination of negative and positive atheism. I’ll use this source to explain agnosticism. This source is a scholary.
Corlett, J. Angelo. The Errors of Atheism. Continuum, 2010. Pp.30-31 EBSCOhost, chaffey.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=344075&site=ehost-live.
This source talks about atheism and explains some things that will understand what atheism is. This explains what atheism really is. I’m using a little information so I can talk about what exactly atheism is. This is a scholary source because Corlett is a professor and a philosopher so therefore is not stating any facts or bias.
Palmer, Michael. Atheism for Beginners : A Coursebook for Schools and Colleges. The Lutterworth Press, 2013. pp.1-2 EBSCOhost,
This source explains about the definition of atheism and what it really is. This also explains the two types of atheists. I’m using this source to explain the definition of atheism and the two types of atheism. This source is a scholary resource.