If the Middle Ages are to stand in history books as the Age of Faith, it could be equally asserted that the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries will no doubt be remembered as the Era of Unbelief. Whereas unbelievers in the Middle Ages were careful in how they expressed their theological doubts for fear of befalling persecution, theists (be they Protestant, Catholic, or Orthodox Jew) have today learned selectivity in how they go about expressing challenges to the prevailing lack of belief impacting fundamental cultural institutions such as government, academia, and the scientific establishment. And like the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages, the atheistic establishment of today seeks to foster a worldview influencing all aspects of society and binds all individuals whether they wish to be or not. Such an assertion will become more obvious in the following analysis which identifies significant atheistic thinkers, clarifies why some chose to adhere to this particular belief system, and critiques this worldview and contrasts it with Christian monotheism.
As an intellectual tradition, atheism has captured the minds of some of history’s most formidable thinkers. Creation science apologist Ken Ham of Answers In Genesis has astutely pointed out that social issues and public policies rest upon a foundation of thought and belief. Keeping with this analogy, atheism proceeds from a theoretical base up through a practical program designed to influence various spheres of culture such as politics and education with prominent luminaries within the movement solidifying this mental edifice along the way. read more »