[D.A. logo] Definitions of "atheism" and "atheist"
Clarifying a point of confusion.
[Greek word for: atheism]
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Official definitions of "atheism" and "atheist"

For the mostpart the following definitions are nearly identical, yet have distinct definitions to maintain the accuracy of their meanings.  Please also see our research references for additional information.


atheism (noun)   absence of belief in deities

Linguistic structure
Absence (rather than opposition) is indicated by the "a-" prefix, meaning "without," hence "atheism" is concisely characterized as "without theism."
See also:  Lack of belief in gods (educational YouTube video; 10 minutes)

Etymology
The word "atheism" originated from the Ancient Greek word "ἄθεος"4 ("átheos") meaning "godless" or, to emphasize it more generally, "without deities."
See also:  http://www.define-atheism.com/etymology.pl

Burden of proof
Since the "atheism" classification is not justified by claims for or against theistic or anti-theistic positions, the burden of proof is not applicable.  Although it's certainly possible to have reasons for choosing atheism, it's not required.

Further clarification
For the sake of completeness, and due to the wide-spectrum of theistic deity-dependent concepts (including supernatural agents - such as angels and demons - which don't qualify as goddesses or gods), "atheism" is therefore specifically and distinctly the classification of "absence of belief in deities and [theistic] supernatural agents."

atheist (noun)   absent of belief in deities

Linguistic structure
Absence (rather than opposition) is indicated by the "a-" prefix, meaning "without," hence an "atheist" is concisely characterized as "not a theist."
See also:  Lack of belief in gods (educational YouTube video; 10 minutes)

Etymology
The word "atheist" originated from the Ancient Greek word "ἄθεος"4 ("átheos") meaning "godless" or, to emphasize it more generally, "without deities."
See also:  http://www.define-atheism.com/etymology.pl

Burden of proof
Since the "atheism" classification is not justified by claims for or against theistic or anti-theistic positions, the burden of proof does not apply to atheists.  Although it's certainly possible to have reasons for choosing to be an atheist, it's not required.

Further clarification
For the sake of completeness, and due to the wide-spectrum of theistic deity-dependent concepts (including supernatural agents - such as angels and demons - which don't qualify as goddesses or gods), an "atheist" is therefore specifically and distinctly "absent of belief in deities and [theistic] supernatural agents."

Define atheism (logo)

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