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Atheism 01
Atheists often follow the same moral code as religious people.

Atheism 01

Atheism is a non-belief in God. In your KS3 Religious Education lessons, you will be learning about the various different religions people believe. But what about those who have no religious beliefs?

If you take a look at a list of the most populous religions in the world, you might find a category for non-believers, or atheists. One such list has a category for "secular/agnostic/atheist", which, with 1.1 billion members, falls in third place behind Islam (1.2 billion) and Christianity (2.1 billion). This inclusion is intended to point out that a sizeable number of people have no religious beliefs.

What do these terms mean? An atheist is someone who does not believe in any supernatural beings or explanations for phenomena.

An agnostic is a person who does not claim absolute disbelief, but feels instead that the existence or non-existence of supernatural beings is unknowable and thus keeps an open mind on the topic. But what is meant by "secular"? The word itself refers to the world, and specifically to laws that derive from civil sources, rather than from religious scripture or law. A secular country is one in which religious power is limited to its own spheres, in governing its own organisation, rather than applying to all citizens. A secular country or organisation will not discriminate between followers of different religions, or no religion. Secularism is therefore not incompatible with religious belief, instead being a guarantee of religious freedom for all. The rare exception to this is where secular states have enforced atheism.

1.
Which well-known modern writer is a supporter of atheism and also the author of The Selfish Gene?
John Sawkins
Kevin Lawkins
Richard Dawkins
Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking is a famous scientist who researches and writes about physics and cosmology, rather than biology
2.
Voltaire said "Those who believe absurdities will commit ..... "
Activities
Amenities
Annuities
Atrocities
Atheists believe that religion is an "absurdity" and blame religion for many of the wars of the past and present
3.
Atheists give many reasons for their beliefs but which one of the following is NOT used as an argument against religion?
Religion is only for the rich
Religion stops people thinking in a rational way
Religions obstruct scientific research
Religions waste time and money
The idea that religion distracts people from poverty with the promise of justice to come in an afterlife has been used as a criticism, however
4.
As with most religions there are different groups within atheism. Which of these is NOT a recognised group?
Negative
Positive
Weak
Premier
A "positive atheist" is one who aims to be morally upright and understands that religious people have reasons for their beliefs
5.
Is it possible to be both an atheist and religious?
No
Yes
Only on Sundays
Only on weekdays and Saturdays
Some religions do not believe in a God or gods, but rather in supernatural beings such as spirits. Buddhists are sometimes said to be "atheist" because Buddhism does not worship a creator; they do, however, recognise a spiritual, supernatural world. Although "atheism" technically means "without (a belief in) god", atheists do not believe in any supernatural beings, and therefore are not religious believers. Sometimes those without religious belief still enjoy taking part in religious rituals
6.
Which one of these is true of atheists?
They often follow the same moral code as religious people
They have no morals
They have few morals
They have highly developed morals
While each religion has its own moral code, ethical behaviour and religious practice are not the same concept
7.
Some atheists concede that there are good aspects to religion - which one of the following is in that category?
Religious charities and good works
Religious festivals that give meaning to life
Religious rituals that explain the world and people's place in it
Religious history of Christian leaders
Charity is not always recognised as an unalloyed good
8.
Another group that reject the idea of supernaturalism is which one of the following?
Activists
Capitalists
Humanists
Revivalists
Without the capital H, humanists are people who hold a higher view of humanity -- these humanists do not necessarily reject belief in the divine. Humanists (with the capital H) are often called "Secular Humanists" to emphasise a lack of religious belief
9.
Atheists are people who .....
Don't believe in supernatural beings
Believe in superhuman beings
Believe in supernatural beings
Believe in Superman
"Supernatural" means "transcending nature". A supernatural being would therefore not be an observable part of nature. "Superhuman", on the other hand, means a human being with exceptional powers. Atheists are defined by not believing in any supernatural beings
10.
A person who strongly believes that religion should be excluded from government is best described as .....
An atheist
An agriculturalist
A secularist
A structuralist
A secularist is opposed to religious practice being mandated by a government, especially in its laws
Author:  Sheri Smith

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