Difference between Agnostic, Atheist, Theists and Evolutionists

One of the most famous Atheists, Madeline Murray-O’Hare, made the voice heard over the United States when she proclaimed it was wrong for the schools to impose a mandatory prayer on all students. What about the atheists who believed in no God? Should a public, government-run institute such as a public school force a religious ritual on a population who does not believe in a God or even in the Christian version?

She was only one of many famous atheists whom the mainstream Christian society considered eccentric, evil, evolutionists who will bring about the downfall of society and go straight to hell at death. This is a bit of an unfair assumption from people who also claim that it is only God who judges people. Perhaps it is a better thing to find out what it means to be an atheist.

Agnostics often get confused with atheists. An agnostic is one who will not totally dismiss the possibility of there being a God or higher power but feels that this being has no real merit in their lives to actively pursue worshipping it.

Some agnostics may have their beliefs in a higher power well defined, but either refuse to give it the honor most theists give their gods or may even think that God as a force that is neither here nor there and has no real connection with our personal lives. There are many different beliefs for agnostics as there are for atheists.

Even among atheists and agnostics are varied terms to describe their beliefs, such as Freethinker, Secular Humanist, Humanist, Nihilist and Materialist, among the many.

Sure, there have always been atheists with us including a few Presidents of the United States. Most are in the closet about it unless asked point blank. Many feel such a topic is as silly as asking an adult if they still believe in Santa or the Easter Bunny. It is not that many are ashamed of a disbelief in a higher power, it’s just a moot point in their minds not worthy of serious discussion in mixed company.

If we have to differentiate Atheist vs Agnostic in one line:

Atheism – The Belief There Is No God/

Agnostics – Maybe Yes, Maybe No

Not all atheists are evolutionists and not all evolutionists are atheists. People tend to confuse the terms as interchangeable. Evolutionists believe the creation of life, the universe and everything comes about by the theory of evolution which is backed up by enormous scientific data. Some evolutionists believe there was a God or higher power who gave evolution a kick start. Some atheists believe there may be another scientific reason, other than evolution or with evolution as a minor role, to bring about life as we know it.

Atheists are not Satan worshippers. This is a ridiculous assumption as an atheist does not believe in a Christian God. Satan is a notion from the Christian religion as a direct creation from God. If an atheist does not believe God exists, how can one believe this non-existent God would create another creature like a Satan let alone worship such a creation?

Atheists believe that it is mankind alone which dictates the normal mode of behavior to set the standards of what society can accept. They discount the notion that these principles were laid down by a God 5000-6000 years ago as there have been proven societies which have existed with their own codes of law, albeit unwritten.

As mankind can dictate right and wrong, an atheist also holds strongly to the principle of personal responsibility. Many feel it is not right to blame your behavior or the wrongs of society on a Satan. Instead, blame the wrongs on the people responsible for the wrongs. Likewise, why blame the same God for all your blessings and curses and cast an opposite mirror on the same blessings and curses when it happens to someone who worships a different God?

An atheist feels it is okay to accept the fact that you are human. Humans will eventually die as any living thing. As a human, you have the ability to think, reason, and make life better or worse for yourself, your family, and the world at large. You only have the here and now to live your life to the fullest as you will not have a second chance. When you die, you merely drift off into an unconsciousness and evaporate into nothing. You won’t know any better at that point, so you are not suffering over the things you lost or over your nothingness. You are simply a lightbulb that went out.

With the belief that there is nothing beyond ourselves, an atheist must come to terms with the fact that things happen in life. Sometimes bad things happen. Sometimes good things happen. It has nothing to do with a God, but merely part of life and how it works.

It is not as hard as some theists might think to live a fully functional, well-adjusted life without a belief in God. Most find as an atheist, they are more free to think, do and act as opposed to the theist who is stuck to the rules of a religious organization to seek approval of a God.

Aside from these common traits, an atheist can be as varied in thought, philosophies, education and beliefs as in the theist world. To assume that all atheists are following the same non-“religion” is as silly as to say all theists believe in a single religious deity and religious path. As proof of this, here are some of the famous atheists. You will note how differently some of these people thought, viewed the world and their contributions to society.

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  • Democritus (460-357 BCE),
  • Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BCE),
  • David Hume (1711-1776),
  • Marquis de Sade (1740-1814),
  • President James Madison (1751-1836),
  • Lord George Gordon Byron (1788-1824),
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822),
  • Auguste Comte (1798-1857),
  • Elizur Wright (1804-1885),
  • John Stuart Mill (1806-1873),
  • President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865),
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902),
  • Karl Marx (1818-1883),
  • Walt Whitman (1819-1892),
  • Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899),
  • Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919),
  • Samuel “Mark Twain” Clemens (1835-1910),
  • Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900),
  • Thomas Edison (1847-1931),
  • Sigmund Freud (1856-1939),
  • George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950),
  • Joseph Conrad (1857-1924),
  • Clarence Seward Darrow (1857-1938),
  • President William Howard Taft (1857-1930) – Agnostic,
  • Pierre Curie (1859- 1906),
  • Herbert George “H.G.” Wells (1866-1946),
  • Marie Curie (1867-1934),
  • Joseph McCabe (1867-1955),
  • Frank Lloyd Wright (1869-1959),
  • Vladimir Ilich Lenin (1870-1924),
  • Bertrand Russell (1872-1970),
  • Robert Frost (1874-1963),
  • Albert Einstein (1879-1955),
  • W.C. Fields (1880-1946),
  • James Joyce (1882-1941),
  • Virginia Woolf (1882-1941),
  • Margaret Sanger (1883-1966),
  • Pearl S Buck (1892-1973),
  • Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961),
  • Linus Carl Pauling (1901-1994),
  • George Orwell (1903-1950),
  • Howard Hughes (1905-1976),
  • Ayn Rand (1905-1982),
  • Jean Paul Sartre (1905-1980),
  • Quentin Crisp (1908-1999),
  • L. Ron Hubbard (1911-1986) – In spite of that religion he started was still an atheist,
  • Burt Lancsater (1913-1994),
  • Francois Mitterrand (1916-1996),
  • Isaac Asimov (1920-1992),
  • Gene Roddenberry (1921-1991),
  • William M Gaines (1922-1992),
  • Charles Schultz (1922-2000),
  • Madalyn Murray O’Hair (1923-1995),
  • Richard Burton (1925-1984),
  • John Chancellor (1927-1996),
  • Anton Szandor La Vey (1930-1997),
  • Carl Sagan (1934-1996),
  • John Lennon (1940-1980),
  • Frank Zappa (1940-1993),
  • Michael Zaslow (1944-1998)
  • Woody Allen,
  • Clive Barker,
  • Dave Barry,
  • Ingmar Bergman,
  • Bj√∂rk,
  • Marlon Brando,
  • George Carlin,
  • Adam Carolla,
  • John Carpenter,
  • Fidel Castro,
  • Dick Cavett,
  • Stephen Chapman,
  • members of Chumbawamba,
  • Micky Dolenz,
  • Patrick Duffy,
  • Harvey Fierstein, Larry Flynt,
  • Dave Foley, Jodie Foster,
  • John Fowles,
  • Janeane Garofalo,
  • Bill Gates,
  • Al Goldstein,
  • Seth Green,
  • Stephen Greenblatt,
  • Judith Hayes,
  • Nat Hentoff,
  • Katharine Hepburn,
  • Penn Jillette,
  • Angelina Jolie,
  • Margot Kidder,
  • Michael Lewis,
  • John Malkovich,
  • Barry Manilow,
  • Tom Metzger,
  • Randy Newman,
  • Gary Numan,
  • Camille Paglia,
  • Ron Reagan Jr.,
  • Christopher Reeve,
  • Salman Rushdie,
  • Howard Stern,
  • Donald Sutherland,
  • Julia Sweeney,
  • Matthew Sweet,
  • Ted Turner,
  • Gore Vidal,
  • Kurt Vonnegut Jr.,
  • Harland Williams

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