This article deals with Atheism as it relates to NationStates. For more general information, see the Wikipedia article on this subject.
Atheism is the complete lack of a religion; it is acknowledging that there is no force or power other than the physical. It could also be described as the condition of lacking theistic belief. For more information on the background of atheism see Wikipedia:Atheism.
Nor is atheism synonymous with secularism, or the separation of church and state. For instance, fundamentalist Christians may be devout believers but refuse to swear an oath based on their interpretation of the Bible and so support secularism. Atheists may swear an oath without the act having any deeper meaning as it was intended rather than provoke an open confrontation or explicit rejection of religion. Nevertheless, there are often close ties between atheism and secularism.
Atheist nations in Nationstates
Atheism is prevalent in various different NS nations. Support for atheism has been the official stance of many nations who would otherwise have very little in common - democracies and dictatorships, socialist countries and capitalist ones, etc. Meanwhile, there are also many nations who (strongly or passively) oppose atheism, and they cover an equally broad range of ideologies and socio-economic systems.
Support for atheism -- or rather secularism -- in NationStates may be expressed by the refusal to appoint a spiritual advisor to the government or to prohibit religious displays on government property when asked to by Issues.
The wide diversity of its supporters may be explained by the fact that societies can have very different reasons for endorsing atheism or secularism. Some nations, for example, may conciously endorse it because they see religion as the "opiate of the masses," which is used to "blind people to the true state of affairs in a society, and thus make them more amenable to social control and exploitation." In other societies it may simply be the natural result of a nihilistic attitude to life in general. Many dictatorships, on the other hand, have regulated or forbidden religious groups which are viewed as possible centers of opposition against their totalitarian rule. Others created religions in their own image, such as personality cults, which have religious characteristics but prescribe an atheistic lifestyle.
Atheism and secularism are more common in the so-called Western world which (for the sake of a definition) includes the wealthy, industrial, and developed nations in NS. While many of these nations have more conservative Christian leanings, others have their roots in secular humanism or other atheistic value-systems.
Several organisations have dedicated themselves to atheist ideals.
- The Democratic Secular Resistance Organisation (Also known as The Secular Resistance or the DSRO) which is an international terrorist/freedom fighter organisation committed to atheist ideals.(DRSO website)
- The Order of the Invisible Hand has preached against religion on many occasions and has come to see the Church as one of its primary enemies.
Atheism in NS nations
- Almost all nations have at least some atheism, as it is virtually impossible to have every person in a nation belonging to a religion.
- The indigenous Wymgani people of Ariddia are notable for being one of the few societies in the world to have had no concept of religion whatsoever before contact with foreign societies. Wymganis had no notion of the spiritual before it was introduced to the Ariddian Isles by colonial settlers. Today, a large majority of Wymganis remain atheists, although some have converted to Christianity, Islam and a number of other faiths.
- Footballia never has had a religion, as many Footballians do not believe in any and never developed a religion of their own. The vast majority of Footballians continue to believe in a lack of a God, although a few have converted.
- British Londinium has atheism placing first in terms of number of believers.
- Philopolis and remains heavily anti-clerical and heavily non-theist.
- Hallevor has been by choice predominantly atheist due to popularity of science.
- Maji's citizens are predominantly atheist with 98.6% of the population professing disbelief in the existence of the supernatural. The government is officially atheist and, by popular demand, has banned religion completely.
- Swilatia and Costa Bravo designate atheism as the state religion, and the government also endorses atheism.
- Athens and Midlands does not have an official state religion despite the popularity of Hinduism, so therefore the government is relatively Atheist. Atheism came second in the 2005 Census Report on Religion Distribution.
- Although the royal family of Khenas was frinastist because of occupation by Swilatia during ancient times, there are many atheists in Khenas nowadays due to influence from today's Swilatia
- Asyhlo AO is about 45% atheist; atheism is most popular among the indigenous Asyhloans.
- Jey has an atheist majority with 51% of the nation's citizens classifying themselves as atheists.
- Terran Inhabitants is ruled by and Atheist and has a population that is 50% atheist and 20% agnostic.
- Category:Atheists, for a list of atheists.