Atheism is in its broadest sense the lack of belief in God. In a narrower sense, it is the belief that God does not exist. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists.[1]


The term atheism originated from the Greek (Ἄθεος atheos), meaning "without god", which was applied with a negative connotation to those thought to reject the gods worshiped by the larger society. Over time, the definition was narrowed. The first individuals to identify themselves as "atheist" appeared in the 18th century.


It is somewhat controversial to define the word Atheism. Some people define it as a lack of belief in God while others define it as the belief that God does not exist.

Beliefs and Philosophy of AtheistsEdit

There is no one ideology or set of behaviors to which all Atheists adhere. However, there are trends. In Western culture, Atheists are frequently assumed to be exclusively irreligious or unspiritual. 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, and Hinduism that holds atheism to be valid but difficult to follow spiritually. Atheists tend to lean toward skepticism regarding supernatural claims, citing a lack of empirical evidence. Atheists have offered several arguments for not believing in any deity. These 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 have adopted secular philosophies,[2][3]


  1. McCormick, Matt. "Atheism" Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Web. 29 May 2017.<>
  2. Honderich, Ted (Ed.) (1995). "Humanism". The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Oxford University Press. p 376. ISBN 0198661320.
  3. Fales, Evan. "Naturalism and Physicalism", in Martin 2007, pp. 122–131.