Atheism - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 34 pages of information about Atheism.
This section contains 9,980 words
(approx. 34 pages at 300 words per page)
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Rudiments in Ancient and Primitive Religion

Already in the writings of Cicero (c. 106–43 BCE), the question was raised whether there might be some "wild and primitive peoples" who possess no idea of gods of any kind. The view of David Hume in his Natural History of Religion (1757) was that polytheism, in his view the earliest religion of humankind, was devoid of a belief in God. According to most nineteenth-century anthropological theories, the belief in God was a late development in the evolution of religious ideas. Contemporary ethnographic research supports the view that a belief in a supreme creator is, at least, a pervasive feature of the religion of many primitive peoples.

The complete absence of the idea of God would not qualify as atheism as it has here been defined, but the role of the supreme being among primitive peoples is instructive for an understanding of religious forms...

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This section contains 9,980 words
(approx. 34 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Atheism Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Religion
Atheism from Encyclopedia of Religion. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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