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About Atheism

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Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists. The term atheism originated from the Greek ἄθεος (atheos), meaning "without god(s)", used as a pejorative term applied to those thought to reject the gods worshipped by the larger society. 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. Arguments for atheism range from the philosophical to the social to the historical. Atheists tend to be skeptical of supernatural claims, citing a lack of empirical evidence for deities. Other rationales for not believing in any deity include the problem of evil, the argument from inconsistent revelations, and the argument from nonbelief. Although some atheists have adopted secular philosophies, there is

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