Are atheists and non-theists the same thing? To me, it seems they are. But on several separate occasions I have heard people use them as words of 2 different meanings. I thought they meant the same thing. Here is the text that actually got me to post this question "...only 26% of nontheists and 18% of atheists are women".

The Oxford English Dictionary defines nontheism as "... not having or involving a belief in a god or gods, especially as a being who reveals himself to humanity." 

And the 2 main definitions for atheism I found is:

1. The lack of a belief that deity, in the form of one or more supernatural gods or goddesses, exists.

2.The denial of the existence of God or gods.

So, is there really a difference? If so, I would really like someone to explain it to me.

Views: 254

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

The Buddha and those who adopted his tenets as their religion (Buddhism in its pure, original form) are religious people without a personal (theistic) god. They don't claim there is no deity. Their religion simply doesn't address the matter. So, no, theists and non-theists may or may not be the same thing, depending on the particular case.

Most atheists are best characterized as simply not believing that there is a deity. Only the few make the affirmative statement that there is no deity, because such a statement would require entering into the quagmire of proof. Their argument is mostly based on the absence of evidence or the seeming impossibility of a being having the ascribed attributes.

By contrast, many non-theists simply don't spend much time thinking about it.

Interesting question. 

I think there is still room for mysticism in "non-theism". Like, there are no gods, but maybe some ghosts. 

I think Atheism, and realism are synonymous. non-theist is another cop-out like agnostic. 

RSS

  

Forum

FROM THE WORD OF GOD IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

Started by Stephen Gunn in Small Talk. Last reply by Erock68la 3 hours ago. 5 Replies

Lobby

Started by Glen L in Small Talk. Last reply by Glen L 4 hours ago. 4 Replies

Disorders of Sex Development

Started by ɐuɐz ǝllǝıuɐp in Small Talk. Last reply by Simon Paynton 4 hours ago. 12 Replies

Deepak's challenge

Started by Davis Goodman in Small Talk. Last reply by Unseen 9 hours ago. 29 Replies

Events

Blog Posts

Labels

Posted by Quincy Maxwell on July 20, 2014 at 9:37pm 11 Comments

Services we love

We are in love with our Amazon

Book Store!

Gadget Nerd? Check out Giz Gad!

Advertise with ThinkAtheist.com

In need a of a professional web site? Check out the good folks at Clear Space Media

© 2014   Created by Dan.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service