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Atheism 'as natural to humans as religion'


Posted on Friday, 19 February, 2016 | Comment icon 366 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 (366)

Tags: Atheism, Religion


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #357 Posted by Horta on 12 May, 2016, 4:55
]Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them Could be a whole lotta that other context, the one that has jesus as a sage, being overlooked here.
Comment icon #358 Posted by truthseeker68 on 2 June, 2016, 19:28
Athiesm is NOT a Religion first of all....So if this Moron from Cambridge really had a brain....He would not have said "Athiesm is one of the oldest Religion's Secondly...before the so called Mesiah's, Jesus and/or Muhammad and/or whomever else...ever existed there were MANY so called God's....and the whole idea of Monothiesm came about because everyone thought that the God they worshipped could beat up the other guy's God. Religion is nothing more than simple Childish School Yard BS....My Dad can beat up your Dad...My Mom is prettier than your Mom...I don't understand why anyone with any inte... [More]
Comment icon #359 Posted by psyche101 on 6 June, 2016, 8:42
Don't hold back man!! What are you trying to say????   JK   Well, I like this Truthseeker better than the other one....
Comment icon #360 Posted by Stubbly_Dooright on 8 June, 2016, 17:18
You don't know that for certain? My grandfather was in WW2, told me "No one had time to pray." Sadly the most inspiration person in my life died before the 21 century. My father was drafted and fought in WW2, and was a prisoner of war in a German POW camp. I strongly believe he died an Atheist. Based on conversations and experiences I have had with him.  Edit:  I want to take note my redundancy in posting. Because of the lack of time to be here, cause of job and other things, and the religion dieing thread, I haven't been to this one in ages.  So, sorry.  
Comment icon #361 Posted by Stubbly_Dooright on 8 June, 2016, 17:27
It was not what my father said, it was significant of a person that he was, that I know he was an Atheist. What he did say, was his memories and stories of his time in the army during WW2 and when he was a POW camp. Those stories of his time there, were the most talked about and the most remembered. Not one, did he have an epiphany of religion.  But, I don't think I like the idea of you calling my father a liar. That p***es me off to no end. If you had met my dad, you would think differently. Of course, there is no future in meeting him, since he passed in 2013. Why don't you prove all of our ... [More]
Comment icon #362 Posted by Podo on 8 June, 2016, 17:53
While I don't like the delivery, I actually think that PrisonerX has a point. Allow me to explain before executing me. I think the adage of "there are no atheists in foxholes" is garbage. I'm sure some of them would appeal to some deity, but to say that all of them do is just silly. Now, that being said, I don't think that the words of a soldier are necessarily ironclad. I'm not saying that your grandfather lied, but to say that no soldier has ever lied about [X] is also silly. The word of your grandfather is worth about as much as the word of anyone else's, since all anecdotes are created wit... [More]
Comment icon #363 Posted by Stubbly_Dooright on 8 June, 2016, 18:05
I have great respect for you and your posts, so I can see to which you are saying. I would never execute you.   The thing is, I see and agree with your points that it's not all black and white, and that all soldiers in foxholes are liars or are telling the truth. But, I get the feeling, that those of us posters that pointed out what our grandfathers and fathers were ( and it's my father, Podo  not my grandfather. I forgot what my mother's dad did, but my dad's father was in the forestry job. ) with the same thought of being Atheists and talking about being Atheists, or were and fought in the w... [More]
Comment icon #364 Posted by Podo on 8 June, 2016, 18:17
I think respect of the soldier is a very contingent thing, based on experiences. I don't respect soldiers any more than any other profession, for example. Many within my family have been military, and each and every one of them were angry, abusive sacks of crap who did more harm than good to everyone around them. It took me a lot of years to realize that all military personnel were not like them, and I spent many years of my life looking down at military members as uneducated losers who couldn't get a real job. I don't think that anymore, but I also don't elevate them above any other skilled i... [More]
Comment icon #365 Posted by Stubbly_Dooright on 8 June, 2016, 19:27
Oh, I agree, and that's like that for anyone in anything. I have seen liars ( I could tell ) and honest people in my experiences with working with customers from all walks of life. And I have seen my share of the type you speak of while in the places my husband has been stations. And I have seen the honest ones too.  I feel bad that you have had those experiences with such, and I do feel some of the times, I feel it could be other reasons for it too, PTSD and such. And that also, they were not just that honorable too. Not any of those in my family who did serve had those characteristics, I gue... [More]
Comment icon #366 Posted by Podo on 8 June, 2016, 20:01
Absolutely not. I would imagine that the vast majority are telling the truth.


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