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What is atheism?

Atheism comes from Greek and is composed of alpha that 'no' means and theism of the word "theos" which means "god" means. The word "atheist" literally means "without god". It is characterized by the absence of belief in the existence of God or gods. Some atheists believe that all gods (may) exist, others limit their atheism to one specific god, such as the Christian God. The number of atheists worldwide was estimated in 1994 at 240 million, about 4% of the world population. 

Atheism is primarily a response or a rejection of religious belief and therefore finds no other philosophical ideas. Atheism is often associated with philosophical ideas as materialism, communism and rationalism. However, there is no necessary connection between these ideas and atheism. Some atheists are opponents of communism and materialism others point out, though almost all modern atheists are materialists.


The French philosopher René Descartes believed in God even though he was a rationalist, but atheists as Jean-Paul Sartre are not counted among the rationalists. Atheism also says nothing about the political preferences. Atheism has nothing to do with Satanism, although it is claimed by some Christians. Atheism fact also points to the existence of or believe in, the devil. Atheists also harbor no hatred towards God (s), Jesus (or saints) or gelovigen

Sometimes there is a distinction between "strong" and "weak" atheism. It is strongly atheïsme characterized by the position that god gods or not (can not) exist. Weak atheism is characterized by the absence of belief in the existence of god (s). An atheist believes that the arguments against the existence of god (s) are much better than the evidence for the existence of god (s). Here are many philosophical, scientific and personal justifications for.


Believers often claim that atheism is also a belief. However, played a deceptive game with the word believe. The faith of believers is a religion and is characterized by a firm and unshakable faith god or gods exist. The Bible defines faith as " Faith is sure of the things you are convinced by hopes that you do not see, still exists. " (Hebrews 11: 1). When atheists lack this belief. Atheists believe only in the sense that they (strongly) suggest that something is true (as someone can say "I believe that the train leaves in ten minutes"). So there is a fundamental difference in the faith of believers and the "faith" of atheists! Atheism has no holy book (s), no rituals and no specific (but personal) morality. 

 "Calling Atheism a religion is like calling 'bald' a hair color." (Call Atheism a religion is like 'bald' as a hair) Don Hirschberg 

not believe in the Roman gods. Actually any consistent monotheistic believer an atheist for all religions except his. 

"Theists think all gods but theirs are false. Atheists simply do not make an exception for the last one." Unknown. 

Generally Greek and Roman philosophers like Epicurus, Democritus and Lucretius considered the first atheist writers. In Greece around 420 BC was also the ground for materialism, all the material and thus saw no room for supernatural deities

The Greek philosopher Epicurus (341-270 BC) was probably the first real atheist. He probably first developed the evil argument:


  • He is not omnipotent.then, but he can not, evil prevent"Does God
  • malevolent not? He is willhe He can, but
  • from?come evil does WhereHe can do it and he wants it?
  • He can not and he will not? Why do we call Him God? "

However, a skeptical attitude towards religion is much older. This attitude is found in the Rig Veda, which is thought to have been written in 1000 BC. 

Subsequent times are great philosophers such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Ludwig Feuerbach, Karl Marx, Arthur Schopenhauer, Friedrich Nietzsche, Bertrand Russell, Sigmund Freud known atheists.