Definitions of Atheism
Atheism. The term atheism is employed in a variety of ways. For the
purpose of the present survey atheism is the doctrine that God does not exist, that belief
in the existence of God is a false belief. The word God here refers to
a divine being regarded as the independent creator of the world, a being
superlatively powerful, wise, and good. The focus of the present study is on
atheism occurring within a context of thought normally called "religious."
Contemporary ethnographic research supports the view that a belief in a
supreme creator is, at least, a pervasive feature of the religion of many primitive
peoples, although new attention to the question of a "godless people" has been
evoked by the recent discovery of a "stone age" people known as the Tasaday in
the highlands of the Philippines. The complete absence of the idea of God would
not qualify as atheism as I have defined it, but the role of the supreme being
among primitive peoples is instructive for an understanding of religious forms of
atheism as they occur under other cultural conditions. ...
The first step toward religious atheism occurs in the context of religious thought in which a variety
of beings, each believed to be supreme, or in which a variety of conceptions of
the supreme being, appear concurrently and compete. 479-480
George Alfred James, North Texas
State University, "Atheism," in the
Encyclopedia of religion Mircea
Eliade, editor (MacMillan: New York 1987)
from the greek a-: not, and theos: god ... not-god.|
Belief which is not theism.
Existence/life without god.
A monism asserting that the universe is undifferentiated
into spiritual and physical beings, and does not postulate god/s.