Atheism, in a broad sense, is the rejection of belief in the existence of gods; in a narrower sense, it is the belief that gods do not exist.
Atheism is the opposite of theism, which is understood in the most general case as the belief in the existence of at least one god. Atheism is often understood as a denial of the existence of the supernatural in general: gods, spirits, other intangible beings and forces, afterlife, etc. In relation to the religion, atheism is a concept that denies religion as belief in the supernatural.
Use free sample research papers on the topic to learn that the conviction in the self-sufficiency of the natural world and human (non-supernatural) origins of all religions, including the religions of revelation, is common for atheism. Many of those who consider themselves atheist are skeptical of all the supernatural beings, phenomena, and forces, pointing to the absence of empirical evidence of their existence. Others argue for atheism relying on philosophy, sociology, or history. Most atheists are supporters of secular philosophies such as naturalism, humanism, and rationalism. There is no single ideology or pattern of behaviour inherent to all atheists.
The term “atheism” appeared as a derogatory epithet applied to any person or teaching being in conflict with established religions. Only later, it came to mean a certain philosophical position. With the spread of freedom of opinion, freedom of thought and conscience, the scientific skepticism and criticism of religion, the term began to acquire a more specific meaning and was used by atheists for self-definition.
A survey for the United States, published in 1998 in the Nature journal, showed that the percentage of believers in the personal god, who “is in the intellectual and the sensual connection with humanity, and can respond to prayers, or life after death” is minimal among the members of the National Academy of Sciences — only 7% of respondents. The poll did not take into account other types of religiousness. Among the rank-and-file scientists, the number of believers has remained at the same level as in the previous.
According to the information of the Mensa Magazine, this inverse relationship between religiosity and education was found in 39 studies from 1927 to 2002.
These results generally conform to the statistical meta-analysis by Professor Michael Argyle of the University of Oxford held in 1958. He analyzed seven research papers on the relationship between religion and IQ among schoolchildren and university students interviewed in the United States. It identified a clear inverse relationship: the higher the intellect, the lower religiosity. A negative correlation between IQ and religiosity also was found in the work by Satoshi Kanazawa.
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