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Atheists
ATHEISM is, in the broadest sense, the absence of belief in the existence of deities . Less broadly, atheism is the rejection of belief that any deities exist. In an even narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Atheism
Atheism
is contrasted with theism , which, in its most general form, is the belief that at least one deity exists . The etymological root for the word atheism originated before the 5th century BCE from the ancient Greek ἄθεος (atheos), meaning "without god(s)". In antiquity it had multiple uses as a pejorative term applied to those thought to reject the gods worshiped by the larger society, those who were forsaken by the gods or those who had no commitment to belief in the gods. The term denoted a social category created by orthodox religionists into which those who did not share their religious beliefs were placed. The actual term atheism emerged first in the 16th century
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Hitchens's Razor
HITCHENS\'S RAZOR is an epistemological razor asserting that the burden of proof regarding the truthfulness of a claim lies with the one who makes the claim and if this burden is not met, the claim is unfounded and its opponents need not argue further in order to dismiss it. OVERVIEWThe concept is named, echoing Occam\'s razor , for the journalist and writer Christopher Hitchens
Christopher Hitchens
, who in a 2003 Slate article formulated it thus: "WHAT CAN BE ASSERTED WITHOUT EVIDENCE CAN BE DISMISSED WITHOUT EVIDENCE". The dictum also appears in God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything , a book by Hitchens published in 2007. Hitchens's razor is actually an English translation of the Latin proverb "Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur" ("What is freely asserted is freely dismissed"), which was commonly used in the 19th century
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Atheist (other)
An ATHEIST is a person who does not believe in deities . ATHEIST or THE ATHEIST may also refer to: * Atheist (band)
Atheist (band)
, a U.S
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Argument From Inconsistent Revelations
The ARGUMENT FROM INCONSISTENT REVELATIONS, also known as the AVOIDING THE WRONG HELL PROBLEM, is an argument against the existence of God
God
. It asserts that it is unlikely that God
God
exists because many theologians and faithful adherents have produced conflicting and mutually exclusive revelations . The argument states that since a person not privy to revelation must either accept it or reject it based solely upon the authority of its proponent, and there is no way for a mere mortal to resolve these conflicting claims by investigation, it is prudent to reserve one\'s judgment . It is also argued that it is difficult to accept the existence of any one God
God
without personal revelation. Most arguments for the existence of God
God
are not specific to any one religion and could be applied to many religions with near equal validity
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God Of The Gaps
"GOD OF THE GAPS" is a term used to describe observations of theological perspectives in which gaps in scientific knowledge are taken to be evidence or proof of God\'s existence . The term was invented by Christian
Christian
theologians not to discredit theism but rather to point out the fallacy of relying on teleological arguments for God's existence. Some use the phrase as a criticism of theological positions, to mean that God
God
is used as a spurious explanation for anything not currently explained by science. CONTENTS * 1 Origins of the term * 2 General usage * 3 Usage in referring to a type of argument * 4 Criticism * 5 See also * 6 References * 7 Bibliography * 8 External links ORIGINS OF THE TERMThe concept, although not the exact wording, goes back to Henry Drummond , a 19th-century evangelist lecturer, from his Lowell Lectures on The Ascent of Man
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Argument From Free Will
The ARGUMENT FROM FREE WILL, also called the PARADOX OF FREE WILL or THEOLOGICAL FATALISM, contends that omniscience and free will are incompatible and that any conception of God
God
that incorporates both properties is therefore inherently contradictory . These arguments are deeply concerned with the implications of predestination . CONTENTS * 1 Omniscience
Omniscience
and free will * 2 Freewill argument for the nonexistence of God
God
* 3 See also * 4 Notes * 5 References * 6 Further reading * 7 External links OMNISCIENCE AND FREE WILL If God
God
made the game, its rules, and the players, then how can any player be free? Some arguments against the existence of God
God
focus on the supposed incoherence of humankind possessing free will and God's omniscience . These arguments are deeply concerned with the implications of predestination
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Evil God Challenge
The EVIL GOD CHALLENGE is a thought experiment . The challenge is to explain why an all-good god should be more likely than an all-evil god. Those who advance this challenge assert that, unless there is a satisfactory answer to the challenge, there is no reason to accept God is good or can provide moral guidance. ORIGINPapers by Stephen Cahn, Peter Millican
Peter Millican
, Edward Stein Christopher New , and Charles B Daniels, explored the notion of an 'anti-God'—an omnipotent, omniscient God who is all evil. The Evil God challenge was developed at length and in several formats by the philosopher Stephen Law
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Fate Of The Unlearned
The FATE OF THE UNLEARNED, also known as the DESTINY OF THE UNEVANGELIZED, is an eschatological question about the ultimate destiny of people who have not been exposed to a particular theology or doctrine and thus have no opportunity to embrace it. The question is whether those who never hear of requirements issued through divine revelations will be punished for failure to abide by those requirements . It is sometimes addressed in combination with the similar question of the fate of the unbeliever. Differing faith traditions have different responses to the question; in Christianity
Christianity
the fate of the unlearned is related to the question of original sin
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Argument From Nonbelief
An ARGUMENT FROM NONBELIEF is a philosophical argument that asserts an inconsistency between the existence of God
God
and a world in which people fail to recognize him. It is similar to the classic argument from evil in affirming an inconsistency between the world that exists and the world that would exist if God
God
had certain desires combined with the power to see them through. There are two key varieties of the argument. The ARGUMENT FROM REASONABLE NONBELIEF (or the ARGUMENT FROM DIVINE HIDDENNESS) was first elaborated in J. L. Schellenberg 's 1993 book Divine Hiddenness and Human Reason. This argument says that if God
God
existed (and was perfectly good and loving) every reasonable person would have been brought to believe in God; however, there are reasonable nonbelievers; therefore, this God
God
does not exist
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Omnipotence Paradox
The OMNIPOTENCE PARADOX is a family of paradoxes that arise with some understandings of the term 'omnipotent'. The paradox arises, for example, If one assumes that an omnipotent being has no limits and is capable of realizing any outcome, even logically contradictory ideas such as creating square circles. A no-limits understanding of omnipotence such as this has been rejected by early theologians such as Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas
to contemporary scholars in the philosophers of religion, such as Alvin Plantinga
Alvin Plantinga
. Atheological arguments based on the omnipotence paradox are sometimes described as evidence for atheism, though Christian theologians and philosophers, such as Norman Geisler and William Lane Craig
William Lane Craig
point out that a no-limits understanding of 'omnipotence' is not relevant to orthodox Christian theology
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Freethought
FREETHOUGHT (or "free thought") is a philosophical viewpoint which holds that positions regarding truth should be formed on the basis of logic , reason , and empiricism , rather than authority , tradition , revelation , or other dogma . In particular, freethought is strongly tied with rejection of traditional religious belief. The cognitive application of freethought is known as "freethinking", and practitioners of freethought are known as "freethinkers". The term first came into use in the 17th century in order to indicate people who inquired into the basis of traditional religious beliefs
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Post-theism
POST-THEISM is a variant of nontheism that proposes that the division of theism vs. atheism is obsolete, that God
God
belongs to a stage of human development now past. Within nontheism, post-theism can be contrasted with antitheism . The term appears in Christian liberal theology and Postchristianity . Frank Hugh Foster in a 1918 lecture announced that modern culture had arrived at a "post-theistic stage" in which humanity has taken possession of the powers of agency and creativity that had formerly been projected upon God. Denys Turner argues that Karl Marx
Karl Marx
did not choose atheism over theism, but rejected the binary "Feuerbachian " choice altogether, a position which by being post-theistic is at the same time necessarily POST-ATHEISTIC
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Ultimate Boeing 747 Gambit
The ULTIMATE BOEING 747 GAMBIT is a counter-argument to modern versions of the argument from design for the existence of God . It was introduced by Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins
in chapter 4 of his 2006 book The God Delusion , "Why there almost certainly is no God". The argument is a play on the notion of a "tornado sweeping through a junkyard to assemble a Boeing 747
Boeing 747
" employed to decry abiogenesis and evolution as vastly unlikely and better explained by the existence of a creator god . According to Dawkins, this logic is self-defeating as the theist must now account for the god's existence and explain whether or how the god was created. In his view, if the existence of highly complex life on Earth is the equivalent of the implausible junkyard Boeing 747, the existence of a highly complex god is the "ultimate Boeing 747" that truly does require the seemingly impossible to explain its existence
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Problem Of Hell
The PROBLEM OF HELL is an ethical problem in religion in which the existence of Hell
Hell
for the punishment of souls is regarded as inconsistent with the notion of a just , moral , and omnibenevolent God
God
. It derives from four key propositions: that Hell
Hell
exists; that it is for the punishment of people whose lives on Earth are judged to have sinned against God; that some people go there; and there is no escape
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Argument From Poor Design
The ARGUMENT FROM POOR DESIGN, also known as the DYSTELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT, is an argument against the existence of a creator God
God
, based on the reasoning that an omnipotent and omnibenevolent God
God
would not create organisms with the perceived suboptimal designs that can be seen in nature. The argument is structured as a basic modus tollens : if "creation" contains many defects, then design is not a plausible theory for the origin of our existence. It is most commonly used in a weaker way, however: not with the aim of disproving the existence of God, but rather as a reductio ad absurdum of the well-known argument from design , which argues that living things are too well-designed to have originated by chance, so must have been deliberately created by an intelligent God
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Problem Of Evil
The PROBLEM OF EVIL refers to the question of how to reconcile the existence of evil with an omnibenevolent , omniscient , and omnipotent God
God
(see theism ). An ARGUMENT FROM EVIL attempts to show that the co-existence of evil and such a God
God
is unlikely or impossible. Attempts to show the contrary have traditionally been discussed under the heading of theodicy . Besides philosophy of religion, the problem of evil is also important to the field of theology and ethics . The problem of evil is often formulated in two forms: the logical problem of evil and the evidential problem of evil. The logical form of the argument tries to show a logical impossibility in the coexistence of God
God
and evil, while the evidential form tries to show that given the evil in the world, it is improbable that there is an omnipotent, omniscient, and wholly good God
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