Atheism Paper

Atheism Paper - Introduction How many times have you sat...

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Introduction How many times have you sat down and truly questioned the existence of a higher power or God? In the world today, 2.5% of the population identifies themselves as atheist and a total 12.7% of people declare themselves as non-religious. Now it should come as no surprise that the quest for knowledge and certainty on the existence of God or Gods has been searched for since the beginning of time. Nearly every step of the way in human history there has been skepticism and disbelief about deities, from East Asian philosophy, to Colonial America, and even during the Cold War, atheism definitely is not a new concept. For me, this was a pretty daunting task to research not only a point of view that I myself don't follow, but a community that I don't see myself a part as. While doing fieldwork, I was questioned heavily with logical questions that made me have to think on my feet and interested me to pursue these questions even further. It was a continuous process that had me continuously asking myself "am I going to turn away from my religion?" The Definition and Classifications The dictionary definition of the word "atheism" is the rejection of belief in the existence of Supreme Being or beings. It is the exact opposite of the word "theism" which means that there is a belief in at least one deity. The word and title comes from the Greek word atheos, meaning "without god". The first individuals who called themselves Atheists appeared in the 18th century.
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The classification for atheism has been a challenge to distinguish how strong faith or non- faith is. For example, the issue of implicit and explicit atheism questions a person's overall view. Implicit is "the absence of theistic belief without a conscious rejection of it", such as a baby or a small child. Explicit atheism is defined as "the absence of theistic belief due to a conscious rejection of it," like the majority of people who are atheist today. They have knowledge that people believe in it, they just choose not to. There is also the assumption that if a person is atheist, they are also unspiritual or irreligious. This isn't always the case, as certain spiritual belief systems, such as Jainism and some forms of Buddhism do not advocate the belief in Gods. A Brief History of Atheism (include Epicurus picture; right justified) In Asia, life with no Gods has been contemplated since the 6th Century BCE with the Buddhism and Jainism. Each of these religions focuses more on the individual; such as ways to become a better person, karma, and how to become enlightened. Buddhism follows the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, who taught of the Eightfold Path and the Four Noble Truths, and Jainism is a non-violent lifestyle which each follower seeks to become "Jina", or gainer of perfect knowledge (enlightened). In Greek and Roman societies, the first philosophers of the 6th Century weren't atheist,
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This note was uploaded on 07/15/2011 for the course CIS 110 taught by Professor Reed during the Spring '11 term at Kentucky.

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Atheism Paper - Introduction How many times have you sat...

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