Atheist vs. Infidel - What's the difference?

Main Difference

The main difference between Atheist and Infidel is that the Atheist is a rejection of belief in the existence of deities and Infidel is a term used in certain religions for one who has no religious beliefs.

Wikipedia

  • Atheist

    Atheism is, in the broadest sense, the absence of belief in the existence of deities. Less broadly, atheism is the rejection of belief that any deities exist. In an even narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which, in its most general form, is the belief that at least one deity exists.The etymological root for the word atheism originated before the 5th century BCE from the ancient Greek ἄθεος (atheos), meaning "without god(s)". In antiquity it had multiple uses as a pejorative term applied to those thought to reject the gods worshiped by the larger society, those who were forsaken by the gods or those who had no commitment to belief in the gods. The term denoted a social category created by orthodox religionists into which those who did not share their religious beliefs were placed. The actual term atheism emerged first in the 16th century. With the spread of freethought, skeptical inquiry, and subsequent increase in criticism of religion, application of the term narrowed in scope. The first individuals to identify themselves using the word atheist lived in the 18th century during the Age of Enlightenment. The French Revolution, noted for its "unprecedented atheism," witnessed the first major political movement in history to advocate for the supremacy of human reason. The French Revolution can be described as the first period where atheism became implemented politically. Arguments for atheism range from the philosophical to social and historical approaches. Rationales for not believing in deities include arguments that there is a lack of empirical evidence, the problem of evil, the argument from inconsistent revelations, the rejection of concepts that cannot be falsified, and the argument from nonbelief. Nonbelievers contend that atheism is a more parsimonious position than theism and that everyone is born without beliefs in deities; therefore, they argue that the burden of proof lies not on the atheist to disprove the existence of gods but on the theist to provide a rationale for theism. Although some atheists have adopted secular philosophies (e.g. secular humanism), there is no one ideology or set of behaviors to which all atheists adhere.Since conceptions of atheism vary, accurate estimations of current numbers of atheists are difficult. According to global Win-Gallup International studies, 13% of respondents were "convinced atheists" in 2012, 11% were "convinced atheists" in 2015, and in 2017, 9% were "convinced atheists". However, other researchers have advised caution with WIN/Gallup figures since other surveys which have used the same wording for decades and have a bigger sample size have consistently reached lower figures. An older survey by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in 2004 recorded atheists as comprising 8% of the world's population. Other older estimates have indicated that atheists comprise 2% of the world's population, while the irreligious add a further 12%. According to these polls, Europe and East Asia are the regions with the highest rates of atheism. In 2015, 61% of people in China reported that they were atheists. The figures for a 2010 Eurobarometer survey in the European Union (EU) reported that 20% of the EU population claimed not to believe in "any sort of spirit, God or life force".

  • Infidel

    Infidel (literally "unfaithful") is a term used in certain religions for those accused of unbelief in the central tenets of their own religion, for members of another religion, or for the irreligious.Infidel is an ecclesiastical term in Christianity around which the Church developed a body of theology that deals with the concept of infidelity, which makes a clear differentiation between those who were baptized and followed the teachings of the Church versus those who are outside the faith. The term infidel was used by Christians to describe those perceived as the enemies of Christianity. After the ancient world the concept of otherness, an exclusionary notion of the outside by societies with more or less coherent cultural boundaries, became associated with the development of the monotheistic and prophetic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam (cf. pagan).In modern literature, the term infidel includes in its scope atheists, polytheists, animists, heathens and pagans.A willingness to identify other religious people as infidels corresponds to preference for orthodoxy over pluralism.

Wiktionary

  • Atheist (noun)

    A person who does not believe in deities.

  • Atheist (noun)

    A person who believes that no deities exist one who has no other religious belief.

  • Atheist (noun)

    A person who rejects belief that any deities exist (whether or not that person believes that deities do not exist).

  • Atheist (noun)

    A person who does not believe in a particular deity (or any deity in a particular pantheon), notwithstanding that they may believe in another deity.

  • Atheist (adjective)

    Of or relating to atheists or atheism; atheistic.

  • Infidel (noun)

    One who does not believe in a certain religion.

  • Infidel (noun)

    One who does not believe in a certain principle.

  • Infidel (noun)

    One with no religious beliefs.

Oxford Dictionary

  • Infidel (noun)

    a person who has no religion or whose religion is not that of the majority

    "a crusade against infidels and heretics"

  • Infidel (adjective)

    adhering to a religion other than that of the majority

    "the infidel foe"

Webster Dictionary

  • Atheist (noun)

    One who disbelieves or denies the existence of a God, or supreme intelligent Being.

  • Atheist (noun)

    A godless person.

  • Infidel (adjective)

    Not holding the faith; - applied by Christians to one who does not believe in the inspiration of the Scriptures, and the supernatural origin of Christianity; used by Mohammedans to refer to those who do not believe in Islam.

  • Infidel (noun)

    One who does not believe in the prevailing religious faith; a heathen; a freethinker; - used especially by Christians and Mohammedans.

Princeton's WordNet

  • Atheist (noun)

    someone who denies the existence of god

  • Atheist (adjective)

    related to or characterized by or given to atheism;

    "atheist leanings"

  • Infidel (noun)

    a person who does not acknowledge your God

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