Denial of the existence of God-or atheism-is by no means novel. There were atheists as far back as the first millennia b.c. King David referred to such people who, despite the manifest evidence in creation, acted like and even convinced themselves that there was no God as outright fools (Pss. 8:3, 10:4, 14:1). The Greeks had their share of atheists too. The Epicurean philosopher Philodemus (c. 110-35 b.c.) went so far as to identify three different types of atheism found in Hellenistic thought. There were those who were unsure whether any deity existed (we would call them agnostics), those who explicitly and publicly denied it, and those who, although keeping up appear-ances of religiosity, implicitly advocated atheism in their speeches or writings.
Adam S. Francisco is assistant professor of history at Concordia College (Bronxville, New York).
Issue: "The New Atheism" March/April 2008 Vol. 17 No. 2 Page number(s): 24-27
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