Difference between Atheism and Theism

Key Difference: Atheism and Theism both deal with religion and the existence of God. The primary difference between Atheism and Theism is the fact that theism is the belief in the existence of God, whereas Atheism is the belief in the non-existence of God.

Religion and belief is a personal matter, it is said that what a person believes is between him and his God. However, the matters of religion are rarely left also, hence the existence of God, his role in creation and in everyday life, as well as what a person believes is all subject to comment and discussion, and that is the least of what can happen. People have found themselves discriminated against and even prosecuted or hunted down based on their religious beliefs.

However, even before one can speak about religion, or rather the various different religions, it should be noted that all religions have one thing in common, regardless whether people believe it or not. All religions believe in the existence of God or gods; the God may be singular, as in Christianity or Islam, or multiple as in Hinduism.

The contrast to the existence of God, is the belief that there is no, i.e. no God, benevolent or otherwise exists. This is Atheism. Atheism believes that there is no God or gods, and god certainly did not create the universe, nor does he actively take part in it.

The term theism comes from the Greek word, ‘theos’ which means "god". Atheism comes from the Greek word ‘atheos’, which means "without god(s)". Atheism literally just adds a- in front of theism. The prefix a- in Greek means without; hence atheism or ‘atheos’ means without God.

There are many variations or levels of believe in atheism and theism. There are people who claim that they believe in God but not in religion, people who claim that they would like to believe in God, and various other belief systems.

People often tend to mistake atheism as a religion itself or as a group. However, that is not the case. Atheism is a belief model and nothing more. Some people also claim that atheism is against religion and/or God, which is again not the case. It is only a matter of personal belief.

Comparison between Atheism and Theism:




Definition (Oxford Dictionaries)

Disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.

Belief in the existence of a god or gods, specifically of a creator who intervenes in the universe.


Atheism is the belief that there is no God; that no God exists; and no God created the universe.

Theism is the belief that there is a God; that God exists; and that the God created the universe and still intervenes in it.


Belief that God does not exist

God does exist and influences the world

Reference: Oxford Dictionaries (Atheism and Theism), Wikipedia (Atheism and Theism), Atheists
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