Lists of atheists

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Atheists are those who either reject theism,[1] or who hold the position that deities do not exist.[2] In the broadest sense, atheists are those who do not believe in the existence of deities,[3] alternatively called nontheists.[4][5]

Persons listed here have either been specifically identified as an "atheist" by a reliable source, or have expressed nonbelief in deities. See: Weak and strong atheism.

Sources disagree as to the level of disbelief a person must have to be categorized as an atheist. Under the most restrictive definition, only those who believe that there are no deities are considered atheists. However, for purposes of this list, the most inclusive definition is used.[6]

Certain individuals may use an alternative label for their position on the existence of a god or gods, such as agnostic, or may even deny being atheists altogether. In such cases, the person's preferred label is noted, and their inclusion in the list is not to be taken as indicative of their self-identity as atheists, but of their nonbelief in gods.

People who have merely criticized religion are excluded, since many critics of religion have identified themselves as believers in the existence of a god or gods. People who identify themselves as humanists, naturalists, rationalists, secularists, etc. are not automatically included, as not all who go by these labels are atheists. Likewise, those who adhere to a movement or philosophy typically associated with atheism, such as Anarchism, Brights, Communism or Objectivism, are not listed unless their atheism has been explicitly confirmed by a reliable source.

Contents

[edit] Lists of atheists by profession

[edit] Lists of atheists by surname

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Theism is used here in its most general sense, that is belief in one or more deities. This would then define an atheist as one who rejects the belief that any deities exist, regardless of whether the further conclusion is drawn that deities do not exist.
    • Edwards, Paul (1967). "Atheism". The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Vol. 1. Collier-MacMillan. p. 175. "On our definition, an 'atheist' is a person who rejects belief in God, regardless of whether or not his reason for the rejection is the claim that 'God exists' expresses a false proposition. People frequently adopt an attitude of rejection toward a position for reasons other than that it is a false proposition. It is common among contemporary philosophers, and indeed it was not uncommon in earlier centuries, to reject positions on the ground that they are meaningless. Sometimes, too, a theory is rejected on such grounds as that it is sterile or redundant or capricious, and there are many other considerations which in certain contexts are generally agreed to constitute good grounds for rejecting an assertion.". 
  2. ^ Rowe, William L. (1998). "Atheism". in Edward Craig. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 
  3. ^ religioustolerance.org's short article on Definitions of the term "Atheism" suggests that there is no consensus on the definition of the term. Simon Blackburn summarizes the situation in The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy: "Atheism. Either the lack of belief in a god, or the belief that there is none." Most dictionaries (see the OneLook query for "atheism") first list one of the more narrow definitions.
  4. ^ Eller, David (2004). Natural Atheism. pp. 12. 
  5. ^ religioustolerance.org's short article on Definitions of the term "Atheism" suggests that there is no consensus on the definition of the term. Simon Blackburn summarizes the situation in The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy: "Atheism. Either the lack of belief in a god, or the belief that there is none." Most dictionaries and encyclopedias (see the OneLook query for "atheism") first list one of the more narrow definitions.
  6. ^ Since the term has several meanings, and so is used differently by different people, many self-styled "atheists" may in fact only hold "weak atheist" positions, which they may or may not have clarified. Thus for the purposes of this list, the broader definition is used for inclusion: an expressed position of weak atheism — disbelief in God or gods — is sufficient.
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