To believers, atheists are those poor, godforsaken
creatures without a hope in the world.
Beyond the popular image of a truly 'damned' community of atheists, however, are real people -- free thinkers who are just as awed by nature's mystery and grandeur as any deeply religious adherent.
The case for atheism
Centuries ago, Copernicus and Gallileo were condemned by the church for asserting that the sun (gasp!) did not really revolve around the earth, forever redefining mankind's place in the universe.
Today, the modern church continues to lose its grip on millions who are forsaking a personal, deeply religious feeling for the awesome mystery that is the cosmos. Untethering themselves from centuries-old religious institutions, atheists would rather look inward -- or out into the heavens -- to find their own answers.
Those who have declared themselves publicly as non-believers at some point include the likes of Albert Einstein, playwright George Bernard Shaw, and painter Vincent Van Gogh. More modern famous atheists range from astronomer Carl Sagan and Virgin CEO Richard Branson, to American humorist Dave Barry and singer Björk.
Meanwhile, joining a band of outright disbelievers are the agnostics who feel that it is impossible to wrap one's head around the notion of an all-seeing entity, and simply declare... "who knows?"
More about atheism around the Web:
Around the Web discover sites devoted to the cause of rational thought and science, along with discussions on the strict separation of church and state, the teaching of evolution in schools, and other hot-button issues championed by atheists and agnostics who choose not to take anybody's word as gospel...
- Encyclopedic knowledge on the topic from Wikipedia, with
a sweeping overview including subtopics on agnostic atheism,
ignosticism, naturalism and related philosophies, global statistics,
historical perspectives, plus an extensive collection of links
to more information, facts, criticism and discussion.
- A prime source of historical, literary, and current trends
in atheism, agnosticism and naturalism, with an extensive archive
of articles and related reference materials, busy forum,
suggested reading, links to e-mail lists and discussion groups.
- Watchdog organization following issues of particular U.S.
interest including separation of church and state, evolution
in the classroom, scientific studies, related legislation,
with an electronic version of their quarterly journal including
a collection of articles from the print version plus Web-only
content, subscription information.