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: 263

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

Socratic Method

Started by Michael in Ethics & Morals. Last reply by onyango makagutu 16 hours ago. 2 Replies

Babies Are Not Born Atheists

Started by Ed in Small Talk. Last reply by archaeopteryx 7 hours ago. 14 Replies

Gideons International

Started by Ed in Small Talk. Last reply by _Robert_ 23 hours ago. 5 Replies

Draw Muhhamed day was yesterday Bring out your drawings

Started by ThyPlagueDoctor in Small Talk. Last reply by ThyPlagueDoctor 15 hours ago. 7 Replies

Events

Blog Posts

YES

Posted by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on May 23, 2015 at 5:00pm 9 Comments

The Purpose of Atheism

Posted by Pope Beanie on May 22, 2015 at 8:35pm 3 Comments

Services we love!

Advertise with ThinkAtheist.com

© 2015   Created by umar.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service