in the existence of deities
. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities
. Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist.
Atheism is contrasted with theism
which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists.
The term atheism originated from the Greek (atheos), meaning "without god", which was applied with a negative connotation to those thought to reject the gods worshipped by the larger society.
The inhabitants of the earth are of two sorts: Those with brains, but no religion, And those with religion, but no brains.
A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism; but depth in philsophy bringeth men's minds about to religion.
Atheism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reputation; all which may be guides to an outward moral virtue, though religion were not; but superstition dismounts all these, and erecteth an absolute monarchy, in the minds of men.
ATHEISM: A godless religion that retains all the dogmatic posturing of the faiths it so confidently denies, with few of the consolations.