a•the•ist [ey-thee-ist] -noun
"Absence of belief in the existence of any gods."
1571, from Fr. athéiste (16c.), from Gk. athe(os) godless "to deny the gods, godless," from a- "without" + theos "a god". A slightly earlier form is represented by atheonism (c.1534) which is perhaps from It. atheo "atheist."
"The existence of a world without god seems to me less absurd than the presence of a god, existing in all his perfection, creating an imperfect man in order to make him run the risk of hell." [Armand Salacrou, (1899-1989) "Certitudes et incertitudes," 1943]
"Atheism is more than just the knowledge that gods do not exist, and that religion is either a mistake or a fraud. Atheism is an attitude, a frame of mind that looks at the world objectively, fearlessly, always trying to understand all things as...a part of nature." [Carl Sagan, (1934-1996), American astronomer, astrophysicist and author]
* Official definition by the Atheist Alliance International. Dictionary editors and publishers have been notified of the official definition of atheist. Unfortunately many dictionaries still record that atheists deny the existence of god, which erroneously assumes there is a god of which to deny its existence.