This dictionary says this Atheist" redirects here. For other uses, see Atheist (disambiguation).
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.[1][2] In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.[3][4][5] Most inclusively, atheism is the absence of belief that any deities exist.[4][5][6][7] Atheism is contrasted with theism,[8][9] which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists.[9][10]

The term atheism originated from the Greek ἄθεος (atheos), meaning "without god(s)", used as a pejorative term applied to those thought to reject the gods worshiped by the larger society. With the spread of freethought, skeptical inquiry, and subsequent increase in criticism of religion, application of the term narrowed in scope. The first individuals to identify themselves using the word "atheist" lived in the 18th century.[11] Some ancient and modern religions are referred to as atheistic, as they either have no concepts of deities or deny a creator deity, yet still revere other god-like entities.

Arguments for atheism range from the philosophical to social and historical approaches. Rationales for not believing in any supernatural deity include the lack of empirical evidence,[12][13] the problem of evil, the argument from inconsistent revelations, rejection of concepts which cannot be falsified, and the argument from nonbelief.[12][14] Although some atheists have adopted secular philosophies,[15][16] there is no one ideology or set of behaviors to which all atheists adhere.[17] Many atheists hold that atheism is a more parsimonious worldview than theism, and therefore the burden of proof lies not on the atheist to disprove the existence of God, but on the theist to provide a rationale for theism.[18]

Since conceptions of atheism vary, determining how many atheists exist in the world today is difficult.[19] According to one 2007 estimate, atheists make up about 2.3% of the world's population, while a further 11.9% are nonreligious.[20] According to a 2012 global poll conducted by WIN/GIA, 13% of the participants say they are atheists.[21] According to other studies, rates of atheism are among the highest in Western nations, again to varying degrees: United States (4%)[22] and Canada (28%).[23] The figures for a 2010 Eurobarometer survey in the European Union (EU), reported that 20% of the EU population do not believe in "any sort of spirit, God or life force".[24]
amazingandbeautifulgodseyes amazingandbeautifulgodseyes
31-35, F
1 Response Aug 18, 2014

The amazing thing is that at 13% of the population that makes atheists the 3rd largest denomination of people in the world behind Muslims and Catholics. That is a huge thing. You will never hear someone say there are nearly a billion atheists we should be sensitive to their non belief. But they say it about Muslims all the time.