850,000,000 people around the world
are Atheist, Agnostic or Non-Religious. That's more than 1
out of 10 people, making up the 4th
largest belief group.
Statistics have shown that the more educated an individual, the less
likely they are to be religious or believe in a god. 72%
of the National Academy of Sciences members have a 'personal disbelief
in god' and another 20% claim 'doubt or agnosticism'.
Less than 1% of the US prison population is 'atheist'
vs. about 10% in the general population.
The Divorce rate among atheists and agnostics is 21% vs.
30% for Jews, 27% for Born again Christians, and 24% for other Christians.
More Atheist Statistics...
The Atheist Empire web site was created in 1998
and is one of the largest and most popular resources for Atheists and
Non-believers, featuring over 70 pages of content and has
accumulated over 840,000 page views. The
Minds Quotes section is ranked in the top two for 'atheist
quotes' on both Google and Yahoo. Other sections such as the
Population Statistics and
Humor sections have gained popular appeal.
More about the Atheist Empire...
- 78% of visitors are Atheists
- 35% say science has had the biggest impact
on their belief
- 88% come from christian dominated societies
- 66% say most people are intolerant or
hateful towards atheists
Atheist Prison Population
|National Academy of
the National Academy of Sciences
||Personal disbelief in god
517 members, half responded
|doubt or agnosticism
Religious Affiliation US voters
|Agnostic or Atheist
|What religious or nonreligious group doesnít share
your vision of American society
(Muslims were second)
|The world population of non religious** ranges anywhere from 850
million to 1.1 billion making up 15 to 26.8%.
|The US population of non religious** ranges anywhere from 25 to 30
million making up 9 to 15%.
|If the US Prison Population statistics are accurate then there are
far less nonbelievers in the prison system. This can be interpreted in
many ways. Note that religious conversion is very active in prisons.
** the ambiguous term non religious as used above includes those
identified as atheist, agnostic, secular, nonbeliever and non-religious as
defined by those responsible for the polls and statistics.
Divorce rates by religion (U.S.)
% have been divorced
The Associated Press computed divorce statistics from data
supplied by the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Health. They
the highest divorce rates were found in the 'Bible Belt'. "Tennessee,
Arkansas, Alabama and Oklahoma round out the Top Five in frequency of
divorce...the divorce rates in these conservative states are roughly 50
percent above the national average" of 4.2/1000 people.
"Out of convicted rapists, 57% admitted to reading
pornography. 95% admitted to reading the Bible."
Atheism (A'thE-iz"um),-n, is defined as:
1. the doctrine or belief that there is no God.
2. disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.
The term atheism comes from the Greek word atheos, meaning
godless. Atheos is derived form a, meaning "without,"
and theos, meaning "deity".
Atheism is to be distinguished from agnosticism, which leaves open
the question whether there is a god or not.
a collection of definitions and translations
Strong and Weak Atheism
Stating that you do not
believe in a god or gods.
Asserting that God does not
or can not exist.
850,000,000 Secularists, Non-Religious, Agnostic and Atheists in
the world. That's about 15% or more than 1
out of 10 people, making this the fourth largest
religious belief grouping.
The population of non-believers in the USA is about
10% and 10-25% in Europe.
Most studies of the hightly educated and scientists show a
higher proportion of atheists and non-believers.
Prison populations appear to have a lower proportion of
Atheists and non-believers.
Statistics of Atheists are generaly considered
statisticaly low especially in 'self-identification' surveys because many
who are technically 'Atheists' shy away from the term, often using
'non-religious', 'agnostic', 'secular' or 'humanist' due to Atheism's
False Assumptions About Atheism
There is a lot of false information and social beliefs out
there about atheists. This is the cause of the majority of the hate and
prejudice felt towards atheists. Below are answers to the most common
false assumptions about atheists.
A fair site for Christians by Christians about Atheists
APOLOGETICS & RESEARCH MINISTRY: Atheism
Is Atheism a Religion?
"Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair
Unlike a religion, atheism is not organized under a common
doctrine (belief system). The only shared opinion among atheists is the
nonexistence of a deity. There are a few common
beliefs among atheists such as views regarding morality, religion and
spirituality, but these beliefs vary greatly and are outside the
definition of atheism and thus are not required to be an atheist.
remains unorganized and as some would say, "organizing atheists is like
trying to heard cats".
Are Atheists immoral?
For the most part, immorality and morality are subjective.
Every culture, civilization, belief system, family and individual has
their own definition of what being moral means. There are however a few
common ideas derived from natural laws that are considered immoral such as
deceit, theft, murder any any other kind of caused suffering (see
Statistically speaking; atheists make up a smaller
percentage of the prison population than the general population and have a
lower divorce rate than the major religions.+
There is no evidence that atheists are any less moral
according to their societyís cultural beliefs than those of the society
who subscribe to a religious doctrine. Most atheists consider themselves
moral. Many atheists call themselves Secular
Humanists; they adhere to a set of
beliefs that promotes human values without specific allusion to religious
CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS & RESEARCH MINISTRY:
"Can Atheists be ethical?
The answer to this question is a definite, 'Yes.' ...They are subject to
the same laws of our country (and other countries). They have a sense of
right and wrong. They must work with people and being unethical in society
would not serve them very well. It is practical and logical for an atheist
to be ethical and work within the norms of social behavior. Atheists,
generally, are honest, hardworking people."
statistics page for further information.
Are atheists Satanists?
As stated above (Is Atheism a religion?), atheists do not
subscribe to a common doctrine (belief system). Beyond that, Satan is part
of the Christian belief system. If an atheist were to believe in the
Christian doctrine, he would also most likely have to believe in God and
therefor would not be an atheist.
A few atheists do side with Satanists because they believe
in the Humanistic and anti-Christian parts of the Satanic doctrine. This
however is not common and most Satanists are theists.
Atheists are also commonly accused by Christians and other
theists as being the workers of Satan (evil) or of being guided by Satan
(evil). As far as I know we are all acting of our own free will.
Atheists don't believe in anything!
This, like much of the information out there about non-believers is pure
propaganda intended to make the atheist out to look like he lacks
direction and purpose in life without faith (see picture
This is simply not true. Atheists believe in all the same things
believers do except for god and religion. Non-believers tend to focus
more on what can be observed. See
Atheists are angry or depressed!
Atheism as a whole is not derived from psychological
conditions such as depression. Certainly there are some who act out and
turn their back on the church due to depression and some join the church
due to depression but those cases are not typical. In general, most
non-believers live healthy lives and reject faith based on reason rather
than emotional problems.
If believers are in general, happier than non-believers,
that says just as much about the psychological effects of religion in
numbing the mind. See 'God
and the Brain'.
"The fact that a believer is happier than a
skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is
happier than a sober one." - George Bernard Shaw
Are atheists communists?
Atheism has nothing to do with political beliefs. Atheism is part of the
Communist and Socialist doctrines, but atheists are not necessarily
Communists or Socialists. Many point to the actions of Communist Russia,
China and North Korea as examples of what atheists in political power
would do. Communism uses an enforced stance of atheism to squash
religious decent and instill it's own supreme dictatorship. Most
atheists would not replace God with an all powerful government, that
would be hypocritical. There is a strong belief in the values of freedom
brought by a secular government.
There are no atheists in fox holes!
An argument that
only those who believe they are protected by God are true patriots and are
brave enough to fight for their country. Simply not true. Sure atheists
are smart enough to realize their mortality, but will and do defend their
country and their beliefs.
Association of Atheists and Freethinkers
CBS Correspondent Bob Schieffer apologizes for saying,
'their are no atheists in foxfoles'
Is there Prejudice against Atheists?
Just ask any atheist, chances are they will
answer, "absolutely!" Many try to disguise discrimination against
non-believers as a moral issue. Much of that is discussed in
False Assumptions. That rhetoric gravely
mirrors that which is used against homosexuals today and was used only
decades ago against African-Americans. As acceptance for other minority
groups and religions grows, Atheists will probably be the last to gain the
protection under the 'PC' umbrella.
It has never been advantageous for religions to be accepting or even
tolerant of Atheism and doubters. Their smear campaigns, criticism,
censorship and punishment of dissenting opinions throughout history still
echos today. It was seen strongest in the anti-communist era with
Mccarthyism and is now seen in areas dominated by radical Islam.
The following exchange
took place at the Chicago airport between Robert I. Sherman of American
Atheist Press and George H. W. Bush, on
August 27 1987.
"What will you do to win the votes of Americans who are atheists?"
"I guess I'm pretty weak in the atheist community. Faith in God is
important to me."
"Surely you recognize the equal citizenship and patriotism of Americans
who are atheists?"
"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor
should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God."
"Do you support as a sound constitutional principle the separation of
state and church?"
"Yes, I support the separation of church and state. I'm just not very
high on atheists."
From Atheist Usenet Newsgroup FAQ
Paths to atheism
Every atheist has his own story about how he became an
atheist. No atheist takes only one path; there are often many factors that
take one to atheism. These factors are grouped into four distinct
categories or "paths to atheism". An atheist may be the result of any
combination and degree of the four paths.
your story here
This is the most common path taken to atheism. The individual
discovers their lack of belief in a god or gods by way of examining the
definition of and the beliefs surrounding the existence of a god or
gods. The disbelief or lack of belief is found either by concluding that
the god cannot exist or that there is no reason to believe that the god
The individual finds that the beliefs of a particular religion does
not fit them or has let them down and rebels against it by heading in
the opposite direction towards non-belief.
This situation is where atheism is freely or forcibly taught to the
individual. It is also possible for an individual to indoctrinate
Natural (Unknown concept) atheists
This is probably the least
common path to atheism taken by adults. This is due to the
aggressiveness and commonness of religion. When the concept of the
existence of a deity is unknown, the individual is an atheist. A newborn
baby is an atheist; the idea of a god is something that is taught or
Thought unrestrained by authority, tradition, or established
belief, especially in matters of religion.
Ethical theory and practice that emphasizes human interests,
values, and dignity by way of reason, scientific inquiry, and human
fulfillment in the natural world and often rejects the importance of
belief in God.
Preoccupation with or emphasis on material objects, comforts, and
considerations, with a disinterest in or rejection of spiritual,
intellectual, or cultural values.
A philosophy created by Ayn Rand that holds the validity of
objective phenomena over subjective experience.
From Latin meaning belonging to reason. In philosophy, itís a
theory that holds that reason alone, unaided by experience, can arrive
at basic truth regarding the world.
A skeptical attitude or doubt towards supernatural or unproven