atheism

atheism (āˈthē-ĭzˌəm) [key], denial of the existence of God or gods and of any supernatural existence, to be distinguished from agnosticism, which holds that the existence cannot be proved. The term atheism has been used as an accusation against all who attack established orthodoxy, as in the trial of Socrates. There were few avowed atheists from classical times until the 19th cent., when popular belief in a conflict between religion and science brought forth preachers of the gospel of atheism, such as Robert G. Ingersoll. There are today many individuals and groups professing atheism. The 20th cent. has seen many individuals and groups professing atheism, including Bertrand Russell and Madalyn Murry O'Hair.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on atheism from Fact Monster:

  • What does it mean? hebetude - hebetude -- Listen to the pronunciation: WAV format or AU format Mark went to the bookstore ...
  • Lucilio Vanini - Vanini, Lucilio Vanini, Lucilio , c.1585–1619, Italian philosopher, who gave himself the name ...
  • theism - theism theism , in theology and philosophy, the belief in a personal God. It is opposed to atheism ...
  • agnosticism - agnosticism agnosticism , form of skepticism that holds that the existence of God cannot be ...
  • satire: Classical Satirists - Classical Satirists Outstanding among the classical satirists was the Greek dramatist Aristophanes, ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Philosophy, Terms and Concepts