Atheism is not a negation; it neither denies nor refutes a religion, nor by extension the existence of a “God” or “gods”. It is, rather, the absence of a belief. An important distinction, I think.
I agree with Samuel. Too many people believe atheism is synonymous with the rejection of the possibility of a god. The real meaning is a negation of the idea that god, if he exists, has manifested himself within human thought. This is why I think atheist is a cousin, rather than in opposition to deism.
Atheism is the belief that no god exists. As such it is a belief very much comparable to any belief in any god – it is not provable.
Agnosticism is, however, the philosophical viewpoint that denies absolute knowledge about the existence of god. You just cannot know if there is a god or not.
Well, atheist means ‘without god’, and in the popular consciousness, it’s pretty much defined by it’s relationship with Christianity specifically.
Probably the most famous-for-being-an-atheist atheist right now is Richard Dawkins, and he’s trying to create atheist sects based on exactly *how* one doesn’t believe in the *specifically judeo-christian god*, and he’s encouraging people to get back to the fundamentals of old-time atheism which specifically negates God or something.
Because these al-hamdu-li-science Dawkinites are the most vocal of the bunch nowadays, you’re pretty much going to be lumped into the negation category. You might want to try agnostic as a lable if that bothers you, or just not bother with lables altogether.
Sure, one can’t be completely certain that god does not exist.
However, many would argue that it is a reasonably well supported belief. Given that almost everything can’t be completely proven, reasonably supported is pretty good.
Just because one isn’t completely certain that other people exist doesn’t make it hocus pocus to think they probably do.
All the above are definitions by theists. This atheist does not perceive any god and does not consider the existence (or not,) of one. Why would I? To entertain the superstitions of others?
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