[LMB] Religion question

Damien Sullivan phoenix at mindstalk.net
Sat Jul 24 02:39:47 BST 2021

On Wed, Jul 14, 2021 at 11:07:51AM -0400, Elizabeth Holden wrote:
> Peter Hews said:
> >   Atheism wasn't an option before science.
> Sure it was, though I'm not sure what you mean by "before science" - seems
> to me that science, as a way to understand the world by observation and
> experiment, goes back to the ancient Greeks, if not the ancient Sanskrit
> speakers. Do you mean the Age of Enlightenment?
> There are references to atheists in 5th century BC Greece, according to
> Wikipedia.

Most of those references are accusations of others being 'atheist',
which isn't very meaningful. Romans accused Christians of being atheist
for not worshipping Roman gods.

Ada Palmer has written about 'proto-atheism', ideas adjacent to modern
atheism: atomism, Deism, natural explanations of phenomena like rain or
thunder, social contract ideas of morality.

"In medieval Islam, Muslim scholars recognized the idea of atheism and
frequently attacked unbelievers, although they were unable to name any
atheists.[68] When individuals were accused of atheism, they were
usually viewed as heretics rather than proponents of atheism."

'Matthias Knutzen (also: Knuzen, Knutsen) (1646 – after 1674) was a
German critic of religion and the author of three atheistic pamphlets.
In modern Western history, he is the first atheist known by name and in

-xx- Damien X-)

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