"Nonbelief in, or the positive denial of, the existence of a God or gods. A related concept is agnosticism. Dogmatic atheism asserts that there is no God. Skeptical atheism maintains that the finite human mind is so constituted as to be incapable of discovering that there is or is not a God. Critical atheism holds that the evidence for theism is inadequate. This is akin to philosophical atheism, which fails to find evidence of a God manifest in the universe. Speculative atheism comprises the beliefs of those who find it impossible to demonstrate the existence of God. Buddhism has been called an atheistic religion since it does not postulate any supreme being. The Jains are similarly atheistic, and so are those who adopt the Sankhya system of philosophy in Hinduism."


"Belief that the existence of God cannot be proven; that in the nature of things the individual cannot know anything of what lies behind or beyond the world of natural phenomena. The term was coined 1869 by T H Huxley. Whereas an atheist denies the existence of God or gods, an agnostic asserts that God or a First Cause is one of those concepts (others include the Absolute, infinity, eternity, and immortality) that lie beyond the reach of human intelligence, and therefore can be neither confirmed nor denied."

(Webster's Concise Multimedia Encyclopedia 1995)

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