Atheism overview.

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    • Abstract:
      Atheism is defined as the doctrine or belief that there is no God, gods, or supreme beings. The word atheism comes from the prefix "a," meaning without, and the root "theism," meaning a belief in a god or gods. The late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries saw a sharp increase in the percentage of people, both in the US and worldwide, identifying themselves as "nonreligious," which includes those who describe themselves as either atheist or agnostic. (Agnosticism is the belief or doctrine that the existence of gods cannot be proven or disproven.) Indeed, most estimates suggest that the number of nonreligious people around the world is over 1 billion, larger than any religion except Christianity and Islam. However, data on the number of atheists specifically is less clear. This is in part due to longstanding negative public perception, and even persecution, of atheism in many societies.