Atheism is the absence of any sort of belief that God exists.
Its followers believe that in order to explain the existence and workings of the universe, one does not need to use God. Atheists, in general, find answers to worldly questions by themselves and they do not seek the aid of God or any religious practice to make a decision about what is right and wrong. They believe that human beings do not need scriptures or any sort God to devise moral codes to live according to. Atheism is often mistaken for being a separate belief whereas it is merely just the lack of one. There are many reasons why people move towards atheism and non-belief.
- They believe there is insufficient evidence to support any religion
- Religion as a whole is nonsensical
- Some atheists often once had a faith and lost it over the years to turn to atheism
- The culture around them is non-religious that compels them to not believe in any God
- They are just simply not interested in Atheism
- They feel religion is irrelevant to their lives and that it doesn’t matter
- They want to stay away from the concept of religion because religious extremism has caused great harm in the world
- The world around them is so evil and is such a bad place that the existence of God simply seems false
The history of atheism can be dated back to as far back as the 5th century BC and few of the earliest examples of atheism include religion like Buddhism, Jainism and Taoism. There is also dispute over whether these religions can be regarded as atheist but there are certain branches of these beliefs that do profess the non-belief in God. In some beliefs it is also the case that the question of whether or not god exists is left unanswered because it is regarded as unimportant.
Atheism can be traced back to Greece in the 5th century BC and two of the first men that claimed to be atheist are Theodorus of Cyrene and Euhemerus. Two of their companions, Epicurus and Lucretius, believed that God existed but just that He had nothing to do with humankind. This belief is better known as Deism. In Medieval Europe, atheism has been rare to find but not completely unknown.
As far as population numbers are concerned, estimating accurate atheist demographics is a tough task because of the different degrees of atheism that exists today in the modern world. From God being an active concept to one that is considered completely unimportant to even talk about, there are varying conceptions of atheism throughout the world. In most surveys, the number of people that do not have a religion and the number of people without belief in a certain deity are different. There are estimates of about 500-750 million people that lack a belief in a deity and about 250 million self-proclaimed atheist all across the globe. Most of these populations usually exist in the countries of Russia and China.
The following are country-wise statistics of atheist populations:
- Asia and the Pacific 76%
- Europe 12%
- North America 5%
- Latin America 4%
- Saharan Africa 2%
- Middle East (less than 1%)
In today’s times, Science is making more and more people question the existence of God as most concepts of the natural world are being defined by science. Moreover, at the rate of advancements of technology, there are more and more convenient ways to connect with like-minded individuals and therefore fellow atheists. People go online and look through the internet, getting to know about more facts and figures that are not necessarily true but are easier to believe. This unites such people and misguides the ignorant. Moreover, atheists believe that it is easier and safer to have no religion than to be bound to a belief and also be susceptible to religious extremism.