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Atheism 'as natural to humans as religion'

Posted on Friday, 19 February, 2016 | Comment icon 358 comments

Atheism does not appear to have been a recent invention. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Brosen
Far from being an invention of the modern world, atheism has actually been around for thousands of years.
The idea that mankind is naturally predisposed to believe in a god is something that has been debated by scientists for years, but while many subscribe to the idea that atheism as a concept is something that has only arisen relatively recently, new research has suggested that it may have actually existed far longer than anyone had suspected and was common even in ancient times.

In a new book entitled 'Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World', Prof Tim Whitmarsh has traced atheism as far back as the sixth century BC where prominent Greek thinkers such as Xenophanes of Colophon had openly expressed a disbelief in supernatural gods and deities.

Plato also spoke about 'non-believers' in a historical context in the fourth century BC.

"Rather than making judgement based on scientific reason, these early atheists were making what seem to be universal objections about the paradoxical nature of religion - the fact that it asks you to accept things that aren't intuitively there in your world," said Prof Whitmarsh.

"The fact that this was happening thousands of years ago suggests that forms of disbelief can exist in all cultures, and probably always have."

Source: Tech Times | Comments (358)

Tags: Atheism, Religion

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #349 Posted by GreenmansGod on 11 May, 2016, 11:59
Comment icon #350 Posted by Liquid Gardens on 11 May, 2016, 13:23
Indeed, and as I often repeat though I didn't come up with it, "there are no atheists in foxholes" isn't an argument against atheism, it's an argument against foxholes.
Comment icon #351 Posted by psyche101 on 12 May, 2016, 3:25
Comment icon #352 Posted by Habitat on 12 May, 2016, 3:34
Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
Comment icon #353 Posted by PrisonerX on 12 May, 2016, 3:51
Lose focus walking across the street and you may be killed. Humans war, and people die. That is the way of things. I have no special sympathy for soldiers. It is what it is. We all die fighting, in a manner of speaking. As for "as above, so below"...I don't believe that is an atheist's saying. But never mind that. Ignore away.
Comment icon #354 Posted by Horta on 12 May, 2016, 4:14
No pillows in those days? He also said (supposedly) "it is not what goes into someone's mouth, but what comes out of it, that defiles them". Though they deffinately didn't have keyboards in those days so we have to make an assumption that same thing goes lol. A favourite jesus aphorism that one. Not only when countering the (usually) cherry picked religious quasi philosophy of believers, but especially useful when talking to food Nazis. I do know of at least one person who made a deal with god during a WW2 battle such was the fear and terror, and resultantly became a pastor... [More]
Comment icon #355 Posted by Habitat on 12 May, 2016, 4:16
It is one that I have pondered, but there was no KFC around then !
Comment icon #356 Posted by Mr Walker on 12 May, 2016, 4:39
The context here was about unclean foods/ These foods were unclean because they were dangerous or unhealthy if eaten on a regular basis. However jesus pointed out that a loving person can do more harm by refusing to eat food put in front of them, than by eating it. The dietary laws and rules remain and it is best to obey them for our healths sake,(according to my cardiologists and dieticians) but must be obeyed via love. We can hurt another more by refusing to eat the food they have prepared than we hurt ourselves by eating one meal of pork or sea food etc. On the other hand we have a reason... [More]
Comment icon #357 Posted by Horta on 12 May, 2016, 4:55
Could be a whole lotta that other context, the one that has jesus as a sage, being overlooked here.

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