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A Brief History of Atheism Part I

Updated on April 6, 2010


A Brief History of Atheism Part I

Ancient and Continuing

Charles J. Hunsinger


For far too many people, Atheism denotes an affiliation with a demonic entity, a league of evil doers conspiring against the goodness of a god or gods. They prowl the earth in search of weak souls, dragging them into the burning fires of hell, as they scream in tormented agony.

For many, the Atheist is a non-entity devoid of the human and god-like attributes of mercy, love, compassion and kindness. The life of an Atheist is a time spent in anger and frustration; filled with angst and bewilderment. The Atheist’s is a life of seeking and never finding; groping for hope and fulfillment in an abyss of eternal darkness, loneliness and damnation.

For many the Atheist is a Communist and for many the Atheist is Communism. Communism, of course, is a contradiction of everything that is American, which it is. Such an association places Atheism, as an enemy of Americans and America, one to be admonished, ridiculed, shunned, ostracized and even condemned. If one is to defend America, stand up for the integrity and character of Her Founding and history, than it is only obvious that the Atheist is an enemy of America and its Christian foundations.

Atheists become Atheists due to the lack of love and kindness in their lives or due, perhaps, to a perceived injustice that brings them to a negative understanding of a defined god. Atheists are just negative people who cannot find anything positive in life. For the Atheist faith does not exist and they spend their time looking for answers through a rational process, when it is faith that will provide the truth and it is the truth that will provide the peace that they so desperately seek.

It is my intention here, not to speak to these assertions of Atheism, as I believe that they speak for themselves. Such, I believe, is the history of the bias, prejudice and even hatred that is engendered in religious belief systems. The only assertion that, I feel, needs to be addressed is the connection with Communism. This is an enormously hurtful accusation and one that I take personally.

I do speak to the antiquity of Atheism, and that it is through that system of thought that all human positives originate. I would also put forward the notion that the human negative is best characterized in the word, the action and practice of deity belief.  It is my belief that, ‘a good man is a good man’, regardless of belief. It is sometimes that the good man needs superior justification (religion-government) to do bad things not good things. Unlike deity belief systems Atheism holds humanity, as a positive and inherently good.


The ‘Brief History of Atheism” here, is a reaching out to those who do not possess a sound understanding of the great antiquity of Atheistic thought. Perhaps, once understood the Atheist will not seem so alien, so foreign; after, all we are all human and that is a very good thing. 

Atheism, as many would believe, is a fairly modern dilemma and has only surfaced in contradiction to orthodox theism (religion), but this however, is very far from the truth. Essential Atheism is that form of Atheistic thought or cultural philosophy that is void of the essential three characteristics needed in modern religions; creator, salvation and damnation deities. Essential Atheism predates all deity worship religions practiced today.

The Atheist and Communist connection is essentially a contradiction in terms. Communism or Marxism, through socialism is atheistic only in terms of a defined supernatural deity. Under Marxist philosophy the State becomes omnipotent and supplants itself in the roll of a god and the church.

As a child growing up with the Cold War; a story was told about the schools in the Soviet Union. The story went something like this. A class room of young children would be asked if they wanted a piece of candy and, of course, all the children would raise their hand. The teacher would then have the children, who believed in a god, pray to the God for candy, which they would do so. Waiting a few moments in silence; the teacher would then ask those children if they had received any candy from their god. The reply, of course, would be no. The teacher would then ask the other children, who did not ascribe to a god belief to turn to the picture of Joseph Stalin, which hung in every Soviet classroom, and ask him for candy. Once asked, the teacher would pass out candy to those children instilling in them the notion that the State was omnipotent and would care for all their needs The State was now the provider, the care giver and protector. The other children because of their disloyalty to Stalin (the State) received no candy and could expect no kindness. A lesson learned.  

The story of documented Atheism begins, arguably, almost 5,000 years ago and earlier if one accepts such claims. For this writing however, I will attempt to stay with that, which has the most credibility and that is an age of about 5,000 years. Not all Atheistic thought is positive, as not all Atheists were or are of a positive mindset.

Part II

To follow soon


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    • hawkdad73 profile image

      hawkdad73 7 years ago from Riverside, Iowa


      I think that people need to explore this topic at the very least. I was raised in the Catholic faith, but I was also raised to believe in myself. I refuse to believe just to believe. I have considered my self an agnostic for many years; I have found that I have, in fact been teetering on the edge a of agnosticism and atheism.

      You are correct in saying that there is no freedom in choice of religion. We say that there is separation oof church and state, but how too often is there a religion that is admonished in the name of America through its choice of wars and their reliance on peoples' biases and assumptions?

      I am writing a series of hubs regarding religion and my look into what the different avenues have been for myself.

      Thank you. This was very informative.

    • cjhunsinger profile image

      cjhunsinger 7 years ago

      In response to thevoice:

      By virtue of your own religious text, you are commanded to believe in a god. There is no freedom involved here. If you choose not to believe in a god, the one so defined by your religious dogma, you will go to hell and burn eternally, suffer eternally, agonize eternally. If you can, please demonstrate the love, kindness, mercy and compassion in this. You might also inform me how this complies with any definition of freedom. Also I could be curious to understand, given the fact that your god is all knowing, how he can create an inferior creature such as us to test and not know the end result of the test.

    • thevoice profile image

      thevoice 7 years ago from carthage ill

      even by God Jesus people are free to believe as they choose