Portal:Nontheism

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Introduction

Nontheism or non-theism is a range of both religious and nonreligious attitudes characterized by the absence of espoused belief in a God or gods. Nontheism has generally been used to describe apathy or silence towards the subject of God and differs from an antithetical, explicit atheism. Nontheism does not necessarily describe atheism or disbelief in God; it has been used as an umbrella term for summarizing various distinct and even mutually exclusive positions, such as agnosticism, ignosticism, ietsism, skepticism, pantheism, atheism, strong or positive atheism, implicit atheism, and apatheism. It is in use in the fields of Christian apologetics and general liberal theology.

Within the scope of nontheistic agnosticism, philosopher Anthony Kenny distinguishes between agnostics who find the claim "God exists" uncertain and theological noncognitivists who consider all discussion of God to be meaningless. Some agnostics, however, are not nontheists but rather agnostic theists.

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Friedrich Nietzsche

The History of atheism spans several millennia, although the term atheism originated in the 16th century, based on Ancient Greek αθεος "godless, denying the gods, ungodly" and open admission to positive atheism in modern times was not made earlier than in the late 18th century.

The spontaneous proposition that there may be no gods after all is likely as old as theism itself (and the proposition that there may be no God as old as the beginnings of monotheism or henotheism). Psalm 14:1, "The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God" is one reference to the sentiment, expressed in the mid 1st millennium BC. Philosophical atheist thought appears from the 6th or 5th century BC, both in Europe and in Asia. (Read more...)

Selected biography

Douglas Noël Adams (March 11, 1952 – May 11, 2001) was a British author, comic radio dramatist, and amateur musician. He is known most notably as author of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. Hitchhiker's began on radio, and developed into a "trilogy" of five books (which sold more than fifteen million copies during his lifetime) as well as a television series, a towel, a comic book series, a computer game and a feature film that was completed after Adams's death. He was known to some fans as Bop Ad (after his illegible signature), or by his initials "DNA".

In addition to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams wrote or co-wrote three stories of the science fiction television series Doctor Who, and served the series as Script Editor during the seventeenth season. His other written works include the Dirk Gently novels, and co-author credits on two Liff books and Last Chance to See, itself based on a radio series. Adams also originated the idea for the computer game Starship Titanic, which was realized by a company that Adams co-founded, and adapted into a novel by Terry Jones. A posthumous collection of essays and other material, including an incomplete novel, was published as The Salmon of Doubt in 2002.

His fans and friends also knew Adams as an environmental activist, a self-described "radical atheist" and a lover of fast cars, cameras, the Macintosh computer, and other "techno gizmos." He was a keen technologist, using such inventions as e-mail and Usenet before they became widely popular, or even widely known.

Toward the end of his life, he was a sought-after lecturer on topics including technology and the environment. Since his death at the age of 49, he is still widely revered in science fiction and fantasy fandom circles.

Did you know

  • ... that 21 Nobel laureates have signed Humanism and Its Aspirations, a.k.a. Humanist Manifesto III?
  • ... that the 5th-century BCE Greek philosopher Diagoras is known as the "first atheist"?
  • ... that Andrew Carnegie held an atheistic and humanistic view on life?

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Europe belief in god.png

Shown here is the percentage in each country which responded that "they believe there is a god".

While it is difficult to quantify the prevalence of nontheism in the world, it is clear that the percentage of people in Europe who believe in god is significantly lower than most of the rest of the world. Australia, New Zealand, Canada, former and present Communist states, and to a lesser extent, the United States also show higher levels of atheism and nontheism. A 1995 survey attributed to the Encyclopædia Britannica indicates that the non-religious make up about 14.7% of the world's population, and atheists around 3.8%. (Read more...)

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"I'm an atheist and I thank God for it." — George Bernard Shaw

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