Portal:Atheism

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Ancient Greek word "atheoi"

The Ancient Greek word "atheoi", from Ephesians 2:12, translated as "[those who are] without God"


Atheism is, in the broadest sense, the absence of belief in the existence of deities. Less broadly, atheism is the rejection of belief that any deities exist. In an even narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which, in its most general form, is the belief that at least one deity exists.

The etymological root for the word atheism originated before the 5th century BCE from the ancient Greek ἄθεος (atheos), meaning "without god(s)". In antiquity. it had multiple uses as a pejorative term applied to those thought to reject the gods worshiped by the larger society, those who were forsaken by the gods, or those who had no commitment to belief in the gods. The term denoted a social category created by orthodox religionists into which those who did not share their religious beliefs were placed. The actual term atheism emerged first in the 16th century. 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 during the Age of Enlightenment. The French Revolution, noted for its "unprecedented atheism," witnessed the first major political movement in history to advocate for the supremacy of human reason.

Arguments for atheism range from philosophical to social and historical approaches. Rationales for not believing in deities include arguments that there is a lack of empirical evidence, the problem of evil, the argument from inconsistent revelations, the rejection of concepts that cannot be falsified, and the argument from nonbelief. Nonbelievers contend that atheism is a more parsimonious position than theism and that everyone is born without beliefs in deities; therefore, they argue that the burden of proof lies not on the atheist to disprove the existence of gods but on the theist to provide a rationale for theism. Although some atheists have adopted secular philosophies (e.g. secular humanism), there is no one ideology or code of conduct to which all atheists adhere.

Since conceptions of atheism vary, accurate estimations of current numbers of atheists are difficult. According to global Win-Gallup International studies, 13% of respondents were "convinced atheists" in 2012, 11% were "convinced atheists" in 2015, and in 2017, 9% were "convinced atheists". However, other researchers have advised caution with WIN/Gallup figures since other surveys which have used the same wording for decades and have a bigger sample size have consistently reached lower figures. An older survey by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in 2004 recorded atheists as comprising 8% of the world's population. Other older estimates have indicated that atheists comprise 2% of the world's population, while the irreligious add a further 12%. According to these polls, Europe and East Asia are the regions with the highest rates of atheism. In 2015, 61% of people in China reported that they were atheists. The figures for a 2010 Eurobarometer survey in the European Union (EU) reported that 20% of the EU population claimed not to believe in "any sort of spirit, God or life force".

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Fitna (film) is a 2008 short political film by Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders with his view on the religion of the Islam. Approximately 17 minutes in length, the movie shows selected excerpts from Suras of the Qur'an, interspersed with media clips and newspaper cuttings showing or describing acts of violence and/or hatred by Muslims. The film attempts to demonstrate that the Qur'an motivates its followers to hate all who violate Islamic teachings. Consequently, the film argues that Islam encourages—among other things—acts of terrorism, antisemitism, violence against women, violence and subjugation of "infidels" and against homosexuals and Islamic universalism. A large part of the film details the influence of Islam on the Netherlands. The film was published on the internet in 2008.[1][2] Shortly before its release, its announcement was suspended from its website by the American provider because of the perceived controversy.[3][4] It stirred a still continuing debate in The Netherlands as well as abroad,[5] and a criminal prosecution.

The Arabic title-word "fitna" means "disagreement and division among people" or a "test of faith in times of trial".[6] Wilders, a prominent critic of Islam, described the film as "a call to shake off the creeping tyranny of Islamization".[7]

On 27 March 2008, Fitna was released to the Internet on the video sharing website Liveleak in Dutch and English versions. The following day, Liveleak removed the film from their servers, citing serious threats to their staff. On 30 March, Fitna was restored on Liveleak following a security upgrade, only to be removed again shortly afterwards by Wilders himself because of copyright violations. A second edition was released later.

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"The Descent of the Modernists", by E. J. Pace
Credit: E. J. Pace

"The Descent of the Modernists", by E. J. Pace, first appearing in his book Christian Cartoons, published in 1922. The cartoon refers to a schism that originated in the 1920s and '30s within the Presbyterian Church but soon spread, affecting every denomination of Christianity in the United States. Two broad factions within Protestantism emerged; Fundamentalists who held to traditional Christian Orthodoxy, and Modernists who to varying degrees argued that "antiquated" beliefs should be modified for the times. This Fundamentalist cartoon portrays Modernism as a gradual descent from Christianity to atheism.

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Christopher Eric Hitchens (13 April 1949 – 15 December 2011), born in Portsmouth, England) was a British-born author, journalist and literary critic. He was a columnist at Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, The Nation, Slate and Free Inquiry; additionally, he was an occasional contributor to other publications and has appeared regularly in the Wall Street Journal. His brother is British journalist Peter Hitchens.


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Luis Buñuel
I'm an atheist, thank God.

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  1. ^ "Dutch Film Against Islam Is Released on Internet"
  2. ^ "Anti-Koran film post on Internet"
  3. ^ "Web site of Dutch anti-Islam film is suspended"
  4. ^ "The Netherlands: U.S. Company Shuts Anti-Koran Web Site "
  5. ^ "Defend the right to say it"
  6. ^ "Hold your breath: 'Fitna' spreading seeds of hatred". Today's Zaman. 2008-03-29. Retrieved 2008-04-01.
  7. ^ Park, Michael (2008-01-21). "Iran Warns Netherlands Not to Air Controversial 'Anti-Muslim' Film". Fox News. Retrieved 2008-03-08.