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Atheism

The denial that God exists. Atheism in the strict sense is rare; self-styled atheists are often agnostics or secularists. Tillich (1948) defines atheism as the view that “life has no depth, that it is shallow.” For Toulmin (1957) atheism is the view that cosmic powers are indifferent or “positively callous” to man. Atheists have been classified as “tough” and “tender,” or “crude” and “sensitive.” The tender atheist accepts higher values (empathy, truth, beauty, etc.) and so has a good deal in common with the Christian, even though his intellectual position differs radically.