Portal:Atheism

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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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The term nihilism was first popularized by the novelist Ivan Turgenev
Nihilism (from the Latin nihil, nothing) is a philosophical position which argues that the world, especially past and current human existence, is without objective meaning, purpose, comprehensible truth, or essential value. Nihilists generally assert some or all of the following: there is no reasonable proof of the existence of a higher ruler or creator, a "true morality" does not exist, and secular ethics are impossible; therefore, life has no truth, and no action can be preferable to any other. Nihilism is often more of a charge leveled against a particular idea, movement, or group, than it is an actual philosophical position to which someone overtly subscribes. Movements such as Dadaism as well as Futurism and deconstructionism, among others, have been described by commentators as "nihilist" at various times in various contexts. Often this means or is meant to imply that the beliefs of the accuser are more substantial or truthful, whereas the beliefs of the accused are nihilistic, and thereby comparatively amount to nothing (or are simply claimed to be destructively amoralistic).

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"The Descent of the Modernists", by E. J. Pace
Credit: E. J. Pace

"The Descent of the Modernists", by E. J. Pace, first appearing in his book Christian Cartoons, published in 1922. Modernism in the Roman Catholic Church is a theological viewpoint that usually includes a specific type of rationalist approach to the Bible, secularism and modern philosophical systems; it is regarded as heretical by the Catholic Church[citation needed]. Some Catholics see Modernism as the descent from Christianity to atheism.

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Emma Goldman (June 27 (NS), 1869 – May 14, 1940) was an anarchist known for her political activism, writing and speeches. She played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in North America and Europe in the first half of the twentieth century.

During her life, Goldman was lionized as a free-thinking "rebel woman" by admirers, and derided by critics as an advocate of politically motivated murder and violent revolution. Her writing and lectures spanned a wide variety of issues, including prisons, atheism, freedom of speech, militarism, capitalism, marriage, free love, and homosexuality. Although she distanced herself from first-wave feminism and its efforts toward women's suffrage, she developed new ways of incorporating gender politics into anarchism. After decades of obscurity, Goldman's iconic status was revived in the 1970s, when feminist and anarchist scholars rekindled popular interest in her life.

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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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