How Much Do You Know About Atheism?



9 Questions

What is the definition of atheism?

What is the difference between atheism and theism?

When did the first individuals to identify as atheists live?

What is the difference between implicit and explicit atheism?

What is the Euthyphro dilemma?

What is the Death of God theological movement?

What is the correlation between wealth, education, and atheism?

What is the New Atheism movement?

What is the Freedom From Religion Foundation?


Overview of Atheism

  • Atheism is the absence of belief in the existence of deities.

  • It can also be defined as a rejection of the belief that any deities exist, or specifically the position that there are no deities.

  • Atheism is contrasted with theism, which is the belief that at least one deity exists.

  • The first individuals to identify as atheists lived in the 18th century during the Age of Enlightenment.

  • Albania declared itself the first official atheist country according to its policy of state Marxism in 1967.

  • Arguments for atheism range from philosophical to social and historical approaches.

  • Atheists argue that the burden of proof lies on the theist to provide a rationale for theism.

  • Accurate estimations of current numbers of atheists are difficult due to varying conceptions of atheism.

  • Atheism has been regarded as compatible with agnosticism, but has also been contrasted with it.

  • There are different types of atheism, including implicit and explicit, negative and positive.

  • Philosophers have presented arguments for atheism that can be classified as epistemological, metaphysical, and logical.

  • Theodicean atheists believe that the world as they experience it cannot be reconciled with the qualities commonly ascribed to God and gods by theologians.Overview of Atheism: Philosophy, Religion, Morality, and Criticism

  • The argument that an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent God is not compatible with a world where there is evil and suffering, and where divine love is hidden from many people.

  • Reductionary accounts of religion, including the view of philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach and psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud that God and other religious beliefs are human inventions.

  • Atheism is not mutually exclusive with some religious and spiritual belief systems, including Hinduism and Buddhism.

  • Axiological, or constructive, atheism rejects the existence of gods in favor of a "higher absolute", such as humanity.

  • Apophatic theology is often assessed as being a version of atheism or agnosticism.

  • Joseph Baker and Buster Smith assert that most atheists construe atheism as more moral than religion.

  • Sociologist Phil Zuckerman analyzed previous social science research on secularity and non-belief and concluded that societal well-being is positively correlated with irreligion.

  • Some sects within major religions reject the existence of a personal, creator deity.

  • According to Plato's Euthyphro dilemma, the role of the gods in determining right from wrong is either unnecessary or arbitrary.

  • Some prominent atheists have criticized religions, citing harmful aspects of religious practices and doctrines.

  • Atheistic schools are found in early Indian thought and have existed from the times of the historical Vedic religion.

  • Western atheism has its roots in pre-Socratic Greek philosophy, but atheism in the modern sense was extremely rare in ancient Greece.A Brief History of Atheism

  • Ancient Greek philosophers such as Prodicus, Protagoras, and Socrates were associated with atheistic ideas, but recent scholarship suggests they were more agnostic or critical of traditional religious beliefs.

  • Epicurus, a philosopher from the Hellenistic period, believed in a materialistic philosophy that rejected divine intervention in the universe, and denied the need to fear divine punishment after death.

  • The Islamic world during the Early Middle Ages produced rationalists and freethinkers who were skeptical about religion, including outspoken atheists such as al-Ma'arri.

  • The Renaissance saw the expansion of free thought and skeptical inquiry, with individuals such as Leonardo da Vinci and Niccolò Machiavelli opposing arguments from religious authority.

  • The 17th and 18th centuries saw the rise of deism, materialism, and skepticism toward supernatural occurrences, with individuals such as Thomas Hobbes, Baruch Spinoza, and John Toland openly espousing these views.

  • The 19th century saw the emergence of practical atheism and state atheism in Eastern Europe and Asia, particularly in the Soviet Union and Communist China.

  • Logical positivism and scientism paved the way for neopositivism, analytical philosophy, structuralism, and naturalism, with proponents such as Bertrand Russell emphatically rejecting belief in God.

  • Atheism found recognition in broader philosophies, such as existentialism, Objectivism, secular humanism, nihilism, anarchism, Marxism, feminism, and the general scientific and rationalist movement.

  • Periyar E.V. Ramasamy fought against Hinduism and Brahmins for discriminating and dividing people in the name of caste and religion.

  • Atheists in the United States, such as Vashti McCollum and Madalyn Murray O'Hair, were involved in landmark Supreme Court cases that struck down religious education in public schools and banned compulsory prayer.

  • The Death of God theological movement in the 1960s and the subsequent rise of secularization led to the question "Is God Dead?" being asked in Time magazine.

  • The Freedom From Religion Foundation was co-founded by Anne Nicol Gaylor and her daughter Annie Laurie Gaylor in 1978, and continues to advocate for the separation of church and state in the United States.Overview of Atheism

  • Atheism is the lack of belief in the existence of deities or gods.

  • The modern atheist movement began in the United States in the 1970s and promotes the separation of church and state.

  • The number of actively anti-religious regimes has declined since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

  • Atheists and agnostics on average score higher on religious knowledge tests than followers of major faiths.

  • The atheist feminist movement has become increasingly focused on fighting sexism and sexual harassment within the atheist movement itself.

  • The New Atheism movement advocates for countering, criticizing, and exposing religion with rational argument.

  • It is difficult to accurately quantify the number of atheists in the world due to varying definitions and distinctions between non-religious beliefs.

  • Wealth, education, and IQ have been positively correlated with atheism, and atheists tend to score higher on cognitive reflection tests.

  • Atheists are often viewed negatively and associated with immoral behavior by non-atheists, and are often perceived more negatively after considering their own mortality.


Test your knowledge of atheism with this quiz! From the definition of atheism to its history and various schools of thought, this quiz covers a wide range of topics related to atheism. Discover the different types of atheism and arguments for and against it, and learn about the role of atheism in philosophy, religion, morality, and criticism. Take this quiz to see how much you know about atheism and expand your understanding of this fascinating topic.

Ready to take the quiz?

Start Quiz