Stub page for atheism.
There are several common usages of the word atheism, from lack of belief in gods (sometimes called ‘weak atheism’) to the belief that gods don’t exist (sometimes called ‘strong atheism’). In order to be as inclusive of as many atheists as possible, we use the bare minimum definition of atheist, which is any person who does not believe in any god or gods. Therefore atheism is simply a lack of a god belief, and the antonym of theism.
The etymological root for the word atheism is the ancient Greek ἄθεος (atheos), meaning ‘without god(s)’.
A lot of atheists also consider themselves to be agnostic. The terms atheist and agnostic are not mutually exclusive. Atheism and theism address belief, whereas gnosticism and agnosticism address knowledge. Agnosticism is the position of not knowing if there are or aren’t gods. Some agnostics who also don’t believe in any gods prefer to describe themselves only as agnostics. Often, this is due to the negative opinion people have of atheists, or the idea that atheism is the claim that there is no god. It’s important to recognise that words can have multiple usages and respect what people choose to identify as.