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Atheism is the philosophical position that either affirms no deities exist or rejects belief in the existence of a deity. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists. Atheism is also generally contrasted with agnosticism, which claims that it is impossible to be certain that deities either do or do not exist (regardless of belief). In its broadest definition, atheism is the absence of belief that any deities exist. Although atheists are commonly assumed to be irreligious, some religions, such as Buddhism, have been characterized as atheistic. Many atheists share common skeptical concerns regarding supernatural claims, citing a lack of empirical evidence for the existence of deities. Arguments for atheism can be philosophical, social, empirical and historical. Although many self-described atheists tend toward secular philosophies such as Humanism, rationalism, and naturalism, there is no one ideology or set of behaviors to which all atheists adhere. The term atheism originated as a pejorative epithet applied to any person or belief in conflict with established religion. With the spread of freethought, scientific skepticism, and criticism of religion, the term began to gather a more specific meaning and was sometimes used as a self-description by atheists.

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Apostasy in Islam
Apostasy in Islam is commonly defined as the rejection of Islam in word or deed by a person who has been a Muslim. All five major schools of Islamic jurisprudence agree that a sane male apostate must be executed.This is despite the fact that the Holy Qu-ran states, Allah's literal words, that "there is no compulsion in religion." A female apostate may be put to death, according to some schools, or imprisoned, according to others. The Islamic laws governing apostasy are derived from the traditions (ahadith)and are interpreted by various Imams, none of whom are as trustworthy to follow as Muhammad himself. In Muhammad's deliverance of the Holy Qu'ran, he guaranteed that Allah's word that men and women are equal was recorded, for all men to read, and never to change or "reinterpret." However, Imams feel free to ignore Allah's words, and cite their own interpretations, though the Holy Qu'ran can never be superseded by a man's interpretation, or by any other Islamic scholar's writings. Al-Shafi'i interpreted the verse as adducing the main evidence for the death penalty in Qur'an.

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Touched by His Noodly Appendage by Lawrencekhoo, a parody of Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam
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The Flying Spaghetti Monster "fish" emblem, a parody of the ichthys symbol, utilizing the Flying Spaghetti Monster

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Isaac Asimov in 1956
Isaac Asimov (January 2, 1920 – April 6, 1992), originally Исаак Озимов but now transcribed into Russian as Айзек Азимов) was a Russian-born American Jewish author and professor of biochemistry, a highly successful and exceptionally prolific writer best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. Asimov wrote or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards, and has works in nine of the ten major categories of the Dewey Decimal System (lacking only an entry in the 100s category of Philosophy). Asimov is widely considered a master of the science-fiction genre and, along with Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, was considered one of the "Big Three" science-fiction writers during his lifetime. Asimov was a long-time member and Vice President of Mensa International, albeit reluctantly; he described the members of that organization as "intellectually combative". He took more joy in being president of the American Humanist Association.

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Emma Goldman
The triumph of the philosophy of Atheism is to free man from the nightmare of gods; it means the dissolution of the phantoms of the beyond.


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