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Atheism, defined most narrowly, is the position that there are no deities. More broadly defined, it is the rejection of belief in the existence of any deities, with or without an assertion that no deities exist. The broadest definition classifies atheism as the absence of belief that any deities exist.
Deism is a religious and philosophical belief that a supreme being created the universe, and that this (and religious truth in general) can be determined using reason and observation of the natural world alone, without the need for either faith or organized religion. Deists tend to, but do not necessarily, reject the notion that God intervenes in human affairs, for example through miracles and revelations. These views contrast with the dependence on revelations, miracles, and faith found in many Jewish, Christian, Islamic and other theistic teachings.
Nontheism is a term that covers a range of both religious and nonreligious attitudes characterized by the absence of — or the rejection of — theism or any belief in a personal god or gods. It is in use in the fields of Christian apologetics and general liberal theology. "Nontheism" should not be confused with "irreligion".
Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—is unknown or unknowable. Agnosticism can be defined in various ways, and is sometimes used to indicate doubt or a skeptical approach to questions. In some senses, agnosticism is a stance about the differences between belief and knowledge, rather than about any specific claim or belief.
It can be defined as encompassing two related views about the existence of God:
1. The view that a coherent definition of God must be presented before the question of the existence of God can be meaningfully discussed. Furthermore, if that definition is unfalsifiable, the ignostic takes the theological noncognitivist position that the question of the existence of God (per that definition) is meaningless. In this case, the concept of God is not considered meaningless; the term "God" is considered meaningless.
2. The second view is synonymous with theological noncognitivism, and skips the step of first asking "What is meant by God?" before proclaiming the original question "Does God exist?" as meaningless.
Antireligion is distinct from atheism and antitheism (opposition to belief in deities), although antireligionists may be atheists or antitheists. The term may be used to describe opposition to organized religion, or to describe a broader opposition to any form of belief in the supernatural or the divine.
Religious skepticism is a type of skepticism relating to religion, but should not be confused with atheism. Religious skeptics question religious authority and are not necessarily anti-religious but are those skeptical of a specific or all religious beliefs or practices. Some are even deists, such as believing in a God, but yet reject organized religion. Socrates was one of the first religious skeptics of whom we have records; he questioned the legitimacy of the beliefs of his time in the existence of the various gods.
Freethought holds that individuals should neither accept nor reject ideas proposed as truth without recourse to knowledge and reason. Thus, freethinkers strive to build their opinions on the basis of facts.
Applied to religion, freethinkers have generally held that, given presently-known facts, established scientific theories, and logical principles, there is insufficient evidence to support the existence of supernatural phenomena. While many, perhaps most, freethinkers would consider themselves atheists or agnostics, one position consistent with both freethinking and belief in God is philosophical theism.
Secular humanism is a humanist philosophy that espouses reason, ethics, and justice, and specifically rejects supernatural and religious dogma as the basis of morality and decision-making. Like other types of humanism, secular humanism is a life stance that focuses on the way human beings can lead good, happy and functional lives.
Originally posted by Misoir
reply to post by InertiaZero
I agree with you. What really ticks me off is the line, "I'll pray for you". Those stupid religious freaks use that line for everything from a terminal illness to talking crap about people who don't submit to their religion. Instead of saying "I'll pray for you" to a dying person why don't you try and make their lives better before they go, or stop attacking scientists who are trying to find cures for illnesses? Instead of saying "I'll pray for you" to someone who disagrees with your religious point of view why don't you try and learn about their views and tell them abut yours, who knows you might actually learn something for once!
Originally posted by Equinox99
Originally posted by Misoir
reply to post by InertiaZero
Your reason to believe religion is holding us back is but an illusion. Do you seriously think us being 200 years advanced would solve our differences? Maybe religion was put into place to do just that! If our brains can't develop as quick as our weapons, surely we would have been doomed long ago.
In my country were many religious wars. Reformation started more then 100 years before Luther here. There were even crusades against Czech kingdom at this time - all failed. After we ended between Catholics and protestants. During 16. century there were more then 5 denominations and perpetual breach between various fractions and foreign power centers. Then came full scale and devastating religious 30 years war in first half of 17. century followed by forceful recatholisation. Catholicism was also used as state ideology of Hapsburg monarchy.
Based on our history I can say that institutionalized and hierarchically managed religion produce wars - not stop them. Probably you think that religion is base of morality. It is not. I'm agnostic and I consider myself moral man. It is simple: do not harm and help where you can. All other is BS. Did this notion came to me through religion? No. All my family is agnostic and my grand parents were even atheists. I was raised in "communist" strictly atheist school.
Back to USA where many people are (at least proclaimed) theists. G.W. Bush is from my point of view religious fanatic and I'm afraid that his wars are partly religious wars.
Just to be clear - I do not judge any believe unless it causes harm to me or World where I'm living. Also there are many theists which I deeply appreciate.