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Glossary - Atheism
Atheism is the "absence of belief in deities." The letter "a" in "atheism" is a prefix meaning "without," thus "atheism" means "without theism."
One important distinction to note is that atheism is occasionally mistaken as being naturally anti-theistic, which is a position that is not only diametrically opposed to theism, but is also not logically consistent with the natural positionless classification of atheism.
The words "absence of belief" are the key to clarity in a world among many opponents of atheism. An example of one popular fallacy about atheism is that it's not possible to be an atheist once one is aware of the concept of deities, but this fallacy is easily dismissed by the fact that every conscious person is capable of freedom of thought (which also supports how easy it is for people to not necessarily hold a position on any number of topics, including theology).
Atheism may be a matter of personal choice, or it may be a natural character trait (every member of every conscious species was born an atheist). If one becomes a theist, reverting to atheism automatically becomes an option.
If you choose to take this option it's entirely up to you, and your choice should be made without any undue influence from others. When it comes to announcing your decision to revert to atheism, it may be important to consider the potential reaction from your local community (particularly if there are oppressive laws forcing everyone to be a theist which could result in serious injury, imprisonment, or death).
Many people do choose atheism to support freedom of choice, despite potential dangers in some countries (so we encourage you to consider the ramifications of your decision to be an atheist prior to announcing it publicly). As more people choose atheism as a way of life, the on-going public vilification of atheism (often by those who are secretly jealous of the profound freedoms that atheists enjoy) is expected to gradually diminish.
How to join
Joining atheism is easy; there's no paperwork, and it's entirely free. Atheism has no minimum requirements for intelligence, education, physical fitness, or dietary habits, and there are no rituals or traditions that must be followed. The only requirement is to fit the classification of being "absent of belief in deities" (this "absence of belief" is entirely different from a "belief that deities specifically don't exist").
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