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Synonym Study

  • Infidel is applied to a person not believing in a certain religion or the prevailing religion
  • Unbeliever is a more negative term, simply designating, without further qualification, one who does not accept any religious belief
  • Freethinker , the current parallel term, similarly implies rejection of the tenets and traditions of formal religion as incompatible with reason
  • Deist , a historical term, was applied to 18th-century rationalists who believed in God as a creative, moving force but who otherwise rejected formal religion and its doctrines of revelation, divine authority, etc.
  • An agnostic questions the existence of God, heaven, etc. in the absence of material proof and in unwillingness to accept supernatural revelation
  • An atheist rejects all religious belief and denies the existence of God