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There is an abundance of evidence for the existence of philosophical atheism, Ray, which seems to have emerged and spread across Europe and the East in the fifth and sixth centuries.

Indian Philosophy

In the East, a contemplative life not centred on the idea of deities began in the sixth century BCE with the rise of Jainism, Buddhism, and various sects of Hinduism in India, and of Taoism in China. These religions offered a philosophic and salvific path not involving deity worship. Deities are not seen as necessary to the salvific goal of the early Buddhist tradition, their reality is explicitly questioned and often rejected. There is a fundamental incompatibility between the notion of gods and basic Buddhist principles.

Within the astika ('orthodox') schools of Hindu philosophy, the Samkhya and the early Mimamsa school did not accept a creator-deity in their respective systems.

The principal text of the Samkhya school, the Samkhya Karika, was written by Ishvara Krishna in the 4th century AD, by which time it was already a dominant Hindu school. The origins of the school are much older and are lost in legend. The school was both dualistic and atheistic. They believed in a dual existence of Prakriti ('nature') and Purusha ('spirit')but rejected notions of an Ishvara ('God') in its system, arguing that the existence of Ishvara cannot be proved and hence cannot be admitted to exist. The school dominated Hindu philosophy in its day, but declined after the tenth century, although commentaries were still being written as late as the sixteenth century.

Medieval Europe

Both Anselm of Canterbury, and later, William of Ockham acknowledge those who doubt the existence of God.

John Arnold's Belief and Unbelief in Medieval Europe discusses individuals who were indifferent to the Church and did not participate in faith practices. Arnold notes that while these examples could be perceived as simply people being lazy, it demonstrates that 'belief was not universally fervent'. Arnold enumerates examples of people not attending church, and even those who excluded the Church from their marriage.

Geoffrey Blainey, writing about the Jewish Baruch Spinoza,explains that Spinoza had been expelled from his synagogue for his protests against the teachings of its rabbis and for failing to attend Saturday services. He believed that God did not interfere in the running of the world, but rather that natural laws explained the workings of the universe. In 1661 he published his Short Treatise on God, but he was not a popular figure for the first century following his death: 'An unbeliever was expected to be a rebel in almost everything and wicked in all his ways', writes Blainey, 'but here was a virtuous one. He lived the good life and made his living in a useful way. . . . It took courage to be a Spinoza or even one of his supporters. If a handful of scholars agreed with his writings, they did not so say in public.'

Renowned British playwright and poet Christopher Marlowe was also accused of atheism when a tract denying the divinity of Christ was found in his home.

Likewise, Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, a child of the Age of Enlightenment, was expelled from England's Oxford University in 1811 for submitting to the Dean an anonymous pamphlet that he wrote entitled, The Necessity of Atheism. This pamphlet is considered by scholars as the first atheistic tract published in the English language.

Evidence for co-existence of atheism in cultures and societies where a deity or deities were also being worshipped, as requested Ray.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 21-Apr-19 07:46 by eyeofhorus33.

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Subject Views Written By Posted
Are we entering into a post atheistic Age? 1225 drrayeye 17-Apr-19 20:10
Re: Are we entering into a post atheistic Age? 242 Nolondil 17-Apr-19 21:08
Re: Are we entering into a post atheistic Age? 191 drrayeye 17-Apr-19 21:49
Re: Are we entering into a post atheistic Age? 182 Susan Doris 18-Apr-19 16:30
Where are the practicing atheists in the West 178 drrayeye 18-Apr-19 18:44
Re: Where are the practicing atheists in the West 185 Nolondil 19-Apr-19 00:28
Re: Where are the practicing atheists in the West 190 drrayeye 19-Apr-19 04:23
Re: Where are the practicing atheists in the West 176 Susan Doris 19-Apr-19 05:42
Re: Where are the practicing atheists in the West 175 drrayeye 19-Apr-19 12:28
Re: Where are the practicing atheists in the West 175 Susan Doris 20-Apr-19 04:54
Re: Where are the practicing atheists in the West 165 drrayeye 20-Apr-19 07:59
Re: Where are the practicing atheists in the West 160 Susan Doris 20-Apr-19 13:49
Re: Where are the practicing atheists in the West 158 drrayeye 20-Apr-19 14:17
Re: Where are the practicing atheists in the West 162 Susan Doris 20-Apr-19 16:43
In other words 158 drrayeye 20-Apr-19 17:11
Re: In other words 167 PB Bytes 20-Apr-19 17:42
Re: In other words 157 Eddie Larry 20-Apr-19 18:23
Re: In other words 164 drrayeye 20-Apr-19 18:40
Re: In other words 165 PB Bytes 20-Apr-19 19:39
Re: In other words 159 Itatw70s 20-Apr-19 21:50
Re: In other words 158 drrayeye 20-Apr-19 23:39
Re: In other words 155 Susan Doris 21-Apr-19 06:14
Real atheists 155 drrayeye 27-Apr-19 05:55
Re: Real atheists 157 Susan Doris 27-Apr-19 10:31
Re: Real atheists 142 drrayeye 27-Apr-19 17:05
Re: In other words 160 Susan Doris 21-Apr-19 06:07
Re: In other words 156 drrayeye 21-Apr-19 06:16
Re: In other words 166 Susan Doris 21-Apr-19 06:20
Re: In other words 161 drrayeye 21-Apr-19 06:27
Re: In other words 153 Susan Doris 21-Apr-19 07:43
Re: In other words 163 Susan Doris 21-Apr-19 04:51
Re: In other words 157 drrayeye 21-Apr-19 06:21
Re: In other words 159 Susan Doris 21-Apr-19 07:50
Re: In other words 161 Itatw70s 24-Apr-19 23:41
Re: In other words 156 drrayeye 25-Apr-19 00:33
Re: In other words 163 Susan Doris 25-Apr-19 04:56
Re: In other words 156 Itatw70s 25-Apr-19 22:40
Re: In other words 160 Susan Doris 26-Apr-19 05:28
Re: In other words 156 Itatw70s 26-Apr-19 12:55
Re: In other words 154 Eddie Larry 26-Apr-19 16:19
Re: Are we entering into a post atheistic Age? 198 eyeofhorus33 17-Apr-19 21:48
Re: Are we entering into a post atheistic Age? 174 drrayeye 17-Apr-19 22:00
Re: Are we entering into a post atheistic Age? 182 Itatw70s 18-Apr-19 00:03
Re: Are we entering into a post atheistic Age? 174 drrayeye 18-Apr-19 00:40
Re: Are we entering into a post atheistic Age? 170 Susan Doris 18-Apr-19 16:37
Beyond a response to the topic 173 drrayeye 18-Apr-19 17:04
Atheism was forbidden throughout much of history but it quietly co-existed and outlives the long-dead gods. 177 drrayeye 18-Apr-19 17:45
Re: Atheism was forbidden throughout much of history but it quietly co-existed and outlives the long-dead gods. 173 Susan Doris 19-Apr-19 05:50
Lots of evidence for historical, philosophical atheism Ray 162 eyeofhorus33 21-Apr-19 07:41
Re: Lots of evidence for historical, philosophical atheism Ray 165 Susan Doris 21-Apr-19 07:54
Good for you 159 drrayeye 21-Apr-19 11:08
Re: Good for you 155 Susan Doris 21-Apr-19 12:51
Evangelistic atheism 162 drrayeye 21-Apr-19 15:11
Re: Evangelistic atheism 158 Susan Doris 21-Apr-19 17:35
The pagan origins of Easter 165 eyeofhorus33 21-Apr-19 17:44
We're not pagans any more 158 drrayeye 21-Apr-19 19:15
Erm ... 171 eyeofhorus33 21-Apr-19 21:24
Re: Erm ... 155 drrayeye 21-Apr-19 22:17
Re: Erm ... 158 Itatw70s 21-Apr-19 23:09
Spirituality of supposed pagans 161 drrayeye 22-Apr-19 00:01
Re: Spirituality of supposed pagans 159 Itatw70s 22-Apr-19 00:09
Re: Spirituality of supposed pagans 165 Susan Doris 22-Apr-19 07:41
Re: We're not pagans any more 154 Itatw70s 25-Apr-19 00:25
Defining atheism 172 eyeofhorus33 21-Apr-19 17:33
Re: Defining atheism 160 drrayeye 21-Apr-19 19:18
Re: Defining atheism 161 Itatw70s 25-Apr-19 22:52
Why Shdeldrake? 151 drrayeye 26-Apr-19 03:30
Re: Why Shdeldrake? 150 Itatw70s 26-Apr-19 13:52
Re: Why Shdeldrake? 160 drrayeye 26-Apr-19 16:47
Re: Why Shdeldrake? 151 Itatw70s 26-Apr-19 18:29
Re: Why Not Shdeldrake? 150 Itatw70s 27-Apr-19 00:33
Re: Why Not Shdeldrake? 154 drrayeye 27-Apr-19 01:12
Re: Why Not Shdeldrake? 158 Itatw70s 27-Apr-19 18:48
Re: Why Not Shdeldrake? Ray, personal message. 160 Itatw70s 28-Apr-19 00:01
Re: Why Not Shdeldrake? Ray, personal message. 156 drrayeye 28-Apr-19 05:48
Re: Why Not Shdeldrake? Ray, personal message. 152 Itatw70s 28-Apr-19 16:18
Re: Why Not Shdeldrake? Ray, personal message. 148 drrayeye 28-Apr-19 22:27
Re: Why Not Shdeldrake? Ray, personal message. 155 Itatw70s 28-Apr-19 23:48
I'm a dualist 148 drrayeye 29-Apr-19 05:48
Re: I'm a dualist 253 Itatw70s 29-Apr-19 11:50
Re: Are we entering into a post atheistic Age? 167 PB Bytes 20-Apr-19 16:08
Re: Are we entering into a post atheistic Age? 163 Eddie Larry 20-Apr-19 20:39
Re: Are we entering into a post atheistic Age? 156 Itatw70s 20-Apr-19 22:00
Re: Are we entering into a post atheistic Age? 156 Eddie Larry 20-Apr-19 22:06
Re: Are we entering into a post atheistic Age? 157 Itatw70s 20-Apr-19 22:40
The Jesus narrative 162 PB Bytes 21-Apr-19 15:57
Re: The Jesus narrative 159 Eddie Larry 21-Apr-19 16:38
Re: The Jesus narrative 160 PB Bytes 21-Apr-19 19:47
Re: The Jesus narrative 151 Eddie Larry 21-Apr-19 19:56
Re: The Jesus narrative 161 PB Bytes 21-Apr-19 20:38
It isn't unique 180 eyeofhorus33 21-Apr-19 19:16
again 163 drrayeye 21-Apr-19 19:24
Yes and no, Ray 180 eyeofhorus33 21-Apr-19 19:41
Re: Yes and no, Ray 154 PB Bytes 21-Apr-19 19:57
Re: Yes and no, Ray 164 drrayeye 21-Apr-19 21:46
Re: Yes and no, Ray 158 Eddie Larry 22-Apr-19 01:18
Re: It isn't unique 155 PB Bytes 21-Apr-19 19:52
Re: The Jesus narrative 157 Itatw70s 21-Apr-19 20:01
Re: The Jesus narrative 153 PB Bytes 21-Apr-19 20:35
Re: The Jesus narrative 153 Itatw70s 21-Apr-19 21:13
Re: Are we entering into a post atheistic Age? - No 174 Eddie Larry 18-Apr-19 15:03
Read the OP 169 drrayeye 18-Apr-19 15:20
Re: Read the OP 177 Eddie Larry 18-Apr-19 16:18
The evidence and the claim 176 drrayeye 18-Apr-19 16:52
Re: The evidence and the claim 172 Itatw70s 18-Apr-19 23:30
Re: Ethnic distinctions 175 Nolondil 19-Apr-19 00:24
Re: Ethnic distinctions 176 Itatw70s 19-Apr-19 16:36
The blue spheres? 172 grangram 19-Apr-19 10:31
The conversation is different 166 drrayeye 20-Apr-19 23:54
Re: The conversation is different 165 Eddie Larry 21-Apr-19 04:04
In my experience 170 drrayeye 21-Apr-19 06:25
Re: In mhy experience 160 Eddie Larry 21-Apr-19 14:52
Re: In my experience 149 drrayeye 21-Apr-19 15:26
Re: In my experience 147 Eddie Larry 21-Apr-19 16:43
no consternation 157 drrayeye 21-Apr-19 19:30
Re: no consternation 151 Itatw70s 21-Apr-19 22:32
Purpose of this thread 161 drrayeye 21-Apr-19 23:54
Re: Purpose of this thread 163 Susan Doris 22-Apr-19 07:07
Rupert's suggestion 159 drrayeye 22-Apr-19 11:50
Re: Rupert's suggestion 149 Susan Doris 22-Apr-19 14:25
Not quite 156 drrayeye 22-Apr-19 16:04
Re: Not quite 155 Susan Doris 22-Apr-19 18:38
self fulfilling prophecies 157 drrayeye 22-Apr-19 23:34
Re: Purpose of this thread 157 Nolondil 22-Apr-19 18:42
Re: Purpose of this thread 160 drrayeye 22-Apr-19 23:30
Rupert's suggestions 158 Itatw70s 25-Apr-19 23:09
That's not what I asked 148 drrayeye 26-Apr-19 03:25
Re: That's not what I asked 162 Itatw70s 26-Apr-19 14:16
Re: That's not what I asked 151 Susan Doris 26-Apr-19 14:57
Re: That's not what I asked 145 Itatw70s 26-Apr-19 17:01
Real atheists 146 drrayeye 26-Apr-19 22:57
Re: Real atheists 150 Susan Doris 27-Apr-19 05:08
There must be 50 ways 149 drrayeye 27-Apr-19 06:40
Re: There must be 50 ways 153 Susan Doris 27-Apr-19 10:35
Re: That's not what I asked 152 drrayeye 26-Apr-19 16:51
Re: no consternation 161 Eddie Larry 22-Apr-19 23:36
Re: no consternation 152 Susan Doris 23-Apr-19 05:15
Re: no consternation 153 drrayeye 23-Apr-19 12:33
Re: no consternation 151 Susan Doris 23-Apr-19 15:56
My mother 151 drrayeye 23-Apr-19 19:04
Re: My mother 155 Eddie Larry 23-Apr-19 20:33
Re: My mother 162 drrayeye 23-Apr-19 21:10
Re: My mother 156 Eddie Larry 23-Apr-19 21:27
Re: My mother 146 drrayeye 24-Apr-19 05:58
'Objective" to a scientist 148 drrayeye 24-Apr-19 10:34
Re: 'Objective" to a scientist 153 Susan Doris 24-Apr-19 15:51
Was for Eddie 156 drrayeye 24-Apr-19 18:54
Re: Was for Eddie 150 Susan Doris 25-Apr-19 05:10
Re: 'Objective" to a scientist 166 Eddie Larry 24-Apr-19 19:55
Re: 'Objective" to a scientist 154 drrayeye 25-Apr-19 00:14
Re: 'Objective" to a scientist 144 Eddie Larry 25-Apr-19 02:12
Re: 'Objective" to a scientist 154 Susan Doris 25-Apr-19 05:18
Re: 'Objective" to a scientist 155 greengirl5 25-Apr-19 13:33
Re: 'Objective" to a scientist 150 Susan Doris 25-Apr-19 13:48
Re: 'Objective" to a scientist 145 greengirl5 26-Apr-19 06:44
Re: 'Objective" to a scientist 149 Susan Doris 26-Apr-19 07:03
Re: 'Objective" to a scientist 148 greengirl5 26-Apr-19 13:19
Re: 'Objective" to a scientist 148 Susan Doris 26-Apr-19 15:09
Re: 'Objective" to a scientist 153 PB Bytes 26-Apr-19 16:18
Re: 'Objective" to a scientist 145 Susan Doris 26-Apr-19 17:26
Re: 'Objective" to a scientist 161 PB Bytes 26-Apr-19 18:43
Re: 'Objective" to a scientist 158 Susan Doris 26-Apr-19 16:29
Re: 'Objective" to a scientist 154 PB Bytes 26-Apr-19 16:59
Re: 'Objective" to a scientist 150 Susan Doris 27-Apr-19 12:38
Re: 'Objective" to a scientist 151 PB Bytes 27-Apr-19 13:53
Re: 'Objective" to a scientist 138 Eddie Larry 27-Apr-19 14:00
Re: 'Objective" to a scientist 149 PB Bytes 27-Apr-19 14:21
Re: 'Objective" to a scientist 143 Susan Doris 27-Apr-19 16:46
Re: 'Objective" to a scientist 146 Susan Doris 27-Apr-19 17:16
Re: 'Objective" to a scientist 149 PB Bytes 27-Apr-19 19:37
Re: 'Objective" to a scientist 150 PB Bytes 27-Apr-19 18:50
This off topic line of thinking 148 drrayeye 26-Apr-19 17:17
Re: This off topic line of thinking 148 Susan Doris 26-Apr-19 17:50
lack of belief in a god 143 greengirl5 26-Apr-19 22:57
Einstein and God 149 greengirl5 26-Apr-19 22:45
Where did it go? - Re: Einstein and God 148 greengirl5 27-Apr-19 08:54
Re: My mother 152 Susan Doris 24-Apr-19 05:11
Re: My mother 159 Eddie Larry 25-Apr-19 02:18
Defending science on the science board 152 drrayeye 23-Apr-19 06:46
Re: In my experience 177 Susan Doris 21-Apr-19 17:48
Re: In my experience 167 eyeofhorus33 21-Apr-19 18:14
Re: In my experience 164 Itatw70s 21-Apr-19 18:34
No idea what you are talking about 166 eyeofhorus33 21-Apr-19 19:24
Re: No idea what you are talking about 159 Itatw70s 21-Apr-19 19:51
My Christian way 156 drrayeye 21-Apr-19 19:37
Your Christian way 167 eyeofhorus33 21-Apr-19 21:05
Re: Your Christian way 153 Itatw70s 21-Apr-19 21:42
Re: Your Christian way 166 Susan Doris 22-Apr-19 08:50
Re: Your Christian way 151 greengirl5 25-Apr-19 13:30
Re: Your Christian way 150 Susan Doris 25-Apr-19 13:51
Re: Your Christian way 144 greengirl5 25-Apr-19 22:37
An honest answer 170 drrayeye 21-Apr-19 22:44
Re: An honest answer 157 Susan Doris 22-Apr-19 09:10
Easter eggs 156 greengirl5 23-Apr-19 15:20
Re: Easter eggs 164 Eddie Larry 23-Apr-19 15:33
Re: Easter eggs 156 greengirl5 23-Apr-19 22:34
Re: Easter eggs 158 Eddie Larry 23-Apr-19 22:43
In other words ... 191 eyeofhorus33 22-Apr-19 18:53
Maybe 169 drrayeye 22-Apr-19 23:19
Re: Maybe 179 Susan Doris 23-Apr-19 05:03
Re: Maybe 151 drrayeye 25-Apr-19 13:53
Re: Maybe 156 Susan Doris 25-Apr-19 15:05
What this thread has been about 168 drrayeye 25-Apr-19 17:00
Re: What this thread has been about 171 Susan Doris 25-Apr-19 17:22
Yes - ! Re: Are we entering into a post atheistic Age? 207 greengirl5 25-Apr-19 00:17
Re: Are we entering into a post atheistic Age? 168 Susan Doris 26-Apr-19 06:06


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