- Show more
Understanding the meaning of atheism
To understand the meaning of the term atheism, it may be necessary to first understand the etymological origin of the word itself, its most basic meaning, which emanates from the Greek and is specifically the result of the sum of three components: prefix ‘a-‘, whichIt is equivalent to ‘without’, the noun ‘Theos’, which can be translated as ‘God’ and the suffix ‘-ism’, which is synonymous with ‘doctrine’ (Etymonline.com, 2019) . In addition, to evaluate the degree to which these beliefs have varied or changed, we must have a clear understanding of the original concept to which we refer, ‘atheism’ is, according to the Oxford dictionary ‘the disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of the existence ofGod or gods’ Therefore, an ‘atheist’ would be a person who does not believe (oed) and it can be said that atheism would be the opposite of theism, the doctrine of those who believe in one or more deities. Within these principles, we can identify two main ‘currents’ within the same track;Ancient atheists of the twentieth century and ‘new atheists’. It is fair to say that there are some disparities between the two that will be discussed … but even more, there are similarities that can be seen over time and below, an attempt to expose them.
Atheism is not as recent as it is perceived, it has existed for a long time and, according to Professor Tim Whitmarsh, it is as old as the belief in God himself, in the book ‘Fighting against the gods’, Whitmarsh investigates the roots of those whoThey did not believe in divine beings … also insists that the idea that atheism is an ‘invention’ of enlightenment, which was driven by the advances of science, is a myth … a myth that survives to this day throughThe influences of Christianity. The Cambridge professor acknowledges that he has had to dig ‘under the debris accumulated for centuries of Christian censorship’ to find signs of atheism in millenary cultures (Flood, 2017). It is possible to deepen the footprints of atheism in polytheistic Greece, passing through Socrates and Plato: Socrates was forced precisely to drink subject for ‘not to recognize the ancestral gods’. (Although the main reason for his death was political) since atheism became more or less tolerated in the Athenian society, you diagoraes of Melos was in fact one of the first atheists in classical Greece, the atomists Leucipipo and Democritus subsequently defendedA materialistic vision of The World in which there was no place for divine intervention … and Whitmarsh remembers how the Epicureans, in pursuit of happy life and Carpe Diem, were called in their time ‘the atheists’. So, even if we have evidence of these ideas and their longevity, taking us back to ancient Greece, self-identification and public exchange of these opinions is a fairly recent phenomenon compared, for example: the first book published on the subject. Inside the United Kingdom did not happen until 1782.
A more modern atheism emerged between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, during the ‘radical illustration’, the first radicals took action for the first time and proposed a new type of ‘worship’, adoration for reason. It was a slow process and has remained a minority since then., It was not until the nineteenth century that they began to be tolerated, although they still collided with the authorities at that time. His level of credibility was in the increase … The work of geologists was the support for the integrity of these ideas that brought doubts about our existence, even before Charles Darwin launched ‘the origin of the species’, works such as Colleso in theOld Testament was able to present to the public the inconsistencies that are still spoken today. The ‘doubt’, of course, creates fear, and fear leads to more conflicts and what Clark and Kaiser call ‘cultural wars’, referring to how battles between different types of Christianity push people to get tired, toAvoid competition, which caused growth. Of atheistic ideas of different types during the same century. A new generation of ‘freethinkers’ appeared, such as Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud … adding that to World War I and all the tragedies that occurred during that period and the Russian Revolution … All contributed deeply to the great impulse experienced by atheism during those years during those years.
On the other hand, the term ‘new atheism’ is a minor inconvenience that can be used despite giving the impression that there is some type of manual for the ‘new atheist’, full of principles and guidelines. It is often said, although it is not true, that this term first appeared in an article published by Wired magazine in 2006, whose title was ‘The Church of Non -believers’, written by a non -religious journalist who presented fragments ofinterviews with three of the most famous militant atheists of the moment and then attacked them, making them controversial and incidents.