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Atheism is characterized by an absence of belief in the existence of gods. Atheism is not a religion in the sense that Christianity, Islam, and, Judaism are. This absence of belief generally comes about either through deliberate choice, or from an inherent inability to believe religious teachings which seem literally incredible. It is not a lack of belief born out of simple ignorance of religious teachings.
Atheism can involve the positive assertion that there is no deity. Believing that gods do not (or cannot) exist is known as "strong atheism". Atheism can be the absence of a belief that there is a deity. This is often referred to as the "weak atheist" position. Some atheists go beyond a mere absence of belief in gods: they actively believe that particular gods, or all gods, do not exist. Some atheists believe in the non-existence of all Gods; others limit their atheism to specific Gods, such as the Christian God, rather than making flat-out denials.