Glossary

Atheism: The worldview that God does not exist. Also see Naturalism.

God-of-the-gaps:  Using God to explain “gaps” in our knowledge or understanding. Before people understood where lightning came from, they would say it was caused by a God, like Zeus, being angry. We now know this is not the case.

Materialism: See Naturalism

Naturalism: The worldview in which all that exists is the natural or material world. In this view, something cannot be real unless it has physical properties. This is the most common view among atheists, and the main philosophical view among the scientific community. This is also known as materialism or physicalism.

Objective Morality-  Good and evil that is independent of human opinion. An objective statement is true regardless of what anyone thinks. The truth resides in the object, or action being described, not the opinion of the person saying it. E.g. The moon is smaller than the sun. A tank is bigger than a tricycle. Killing babies for fun is wrong.

Pantheism: The worldview in which the universe is God and God is the universe. There is no distinction between the creator and the creation on this view, and the universe must have have existed infinitely in the past for this view to be true. The reason for this is that if God and the universe are the same thing, and the universe had a beginning, then God would have to have created himself, which doesn’t make sense. Hinduism, and some forms of Buddhism hold this view.

Theism: The worldview in which God created the universe and is independent from it. The three great monotheistic religions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all hold this view.

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