Definition of Antitheist


Antitheist is generally defined as one who is opposed to belief in the existence of gods but can also be defined as one who is opposed to God or gods as well. The primary definition means that an antitheist argues for ending the belief in gods, not merely that belief in gods is irrational, mistaken, or a bad idea. The second definition allows for one to believe in the existence of a god, but requires believing that this god is evil in some fashion and thus must be opposed.

The Oxford English Dictionary, second edition, defines antitheism as opposition to "belief in the existence of a God."

The Chambers Dictionary has three definitions for antitheism: "doctrine antagonistic to theism; 'denial' of the existence of a God; opposition to God."

The label antitheist tends to overlap use of new atheist, militant atheist, and critical atheist.

Also Known As: new atheist, critical atheist, dystheist, misotheist, maltheist

Common Misspellings: antithiest


Atheism might plead a lack of evidence within its own field of observation. But Antitheism pronounces upon the things which are, and the things which are not within that field.
- 1833 Chalmers, Bridgw. Treat. ii. iv. 405; Source: Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition.

An antitheist--that is, one who deliberately opposed and hated God.
- 1855 Geo. Eliot Essays (1884) 171; Source: Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition.

The antitheist or anti-Christian world, which by violence, falsehood, sophistry, wars against the truth.
- 1860 Pusey Min. Proph. 533; Source: Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition.

"...I am not so much an atheist as an anti-theist. I am, in other words, not one of those unbelievers who wishes that they had faith, or that they could believe. I am, rather, someone who is delighted that there is absolutely no persuasive evidence for the existence of any of mankind's many thousands of past and present deities."
- Christopher Hitchens, Is Christianity Good for the World?

I say I'm an antitheist because I think it'd be rather awful if it was true ... you would never have a waking or sleeping moment where you weren't being watched, and controlled, and supervised by some celestial entity from conception until, well, not even until your death because it's only after death when the real fun begins, isn't it? It'd be like living in North Korea."
- Christopher Hitchens, on the Sean Hannity show

"I'm not even an atheist so much as I am an antitheist; I not only maintain that all religions are versions of the same untruth, but I hold that the influence of churches, and the effect of religious belief, is positively harmful."
- Christopher Hitchens, Letters to a Young Contrarian

"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo. Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers on the chain not in order that man shall continue to bear that chain without fantasy or consolation, but so that he shall throw off the chain and pluck the living flower." - Karl Marx, A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right