Atheism is the philosophical position that either affirms no deities exist or rejects belief in the existence of a deity. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists. Atheism is also generally contrasted with agnosticism, which claims that it is impossible to be certain that deities either do or do not exist (regardless of belief). In its broadest definition, atheism is the absence of belief that any deities exist. Although atheists are commonly assumed to be irreligious, some religions, such as Buddhism, have been characterized as atheistic. Many self-described atheists share common skeptical concerns regarding supernatural claims, citing a lack of empirical evidence for the existence of deities. Arguments for atheism can be philosophical, social, empirical and historical. Although many self-described atheists tend toward secular philosophies such as Humanism, rationalism, and naturalism, there is no one ideology or set of behaviors to which all atheists adhere. The term atheism originated as a pejorativeepithet applied to any person or belief in conflict with established religion. With the spread of freethought, scientific skepticism, and criticism of religion, the term began to gather a more specific meaning and was sometimes used as a self-description by atheists.
Joel had Top 10 hits in the '70s, '80s, and '90s, is a six-time Grammy Award winner and has sold in excess of 150 million albums worldwide. He was inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame (Class of 1992), the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Class of 1999), and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (Class of 2006). Joel retired from recording pop music in 1993 but continued to tour (sometimes with Elton John). In 2001 he subsequently released Fantasies & Delusions, a CD of classical compositions for piano. In 2007 he returned to recording with a single entitled "All My Life", followed by a rather large "World Tour" from 2006-2007, covering many of the major world cities.