Atheism: Good Enough…

I like funny infographics. Here’s one:

(From here. L-R, T-B: Ernest Hemingway, Abraham Lincoln, Carl Sagan, Mark Twain, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin.)

Now, you might argue that not all the men pictured here were really atheists. While it is true that people like Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Benjamin Franklin did believe that there was probably some sort of god, it was only because scientific knowledge in that day was so lacking.

In the 18th and first half of the 19th century, there was no theory of evolution, or the big bang. It would have been very difficult to reject the Christian belief that god created everything, when there was no real alternative theory that could explain everything. If you could somehow bring these people into the 21st century, and teach them all that science has discovered along with the vast bulk of evidence that goes along with it, I’m almost certain they would accept it.

What we do know for certain is that all the people pictured were not faithful Christians, or believed in a personal god.  And that they were at least adherents to rational thought and skepticism, which is the most important thing of all.

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5 Responses to “Atheism: Good Enough…”


  1. 1 Freddy Allen July 28, 2011 at 10:19 am

    So, essentially the argument in that image is…ahem…”hey them thar smart fellers found it good ’nuff, so it must be right huh?” It’s always hilarious to me when people point out that some famous or well-respected figure believed the same way they do, as if that somehow bolsters their argument. PS Charles Darwin also thought Pink Floyd would never reunite with Roger Waters…I think we know how that turned out. (Yeah I know, and atheism doesn’t make sense either.)

  2. 2 Arik Rice September 3, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Well, I was just sharing an image that gave me a chuckle. I know that appeals to authority like this really don’t hold any water.

  3. 3 fd April 24, 2012 at 9:18 am

    You are really wrong here. Lincoln, Jefferson, Einstein, and Franklin were not atheists. There religious beliefs varied but they never truly denounced god. In fact, Lincoln was incredibly religious to his god. Atheists have a nasty nasty habit of making things up to promote their beliefs or try and belittle their “Fairy tale believing enemies.”

  4. 4 Arik Rice April 25, 2012 at 4:31 am

    If you read what I wrote, you’ll see I’ve already addressed your points. Yes, some of the people pictured were not ‘atheists’ in the way we think of them today, but they were rationalists and critical thinkers. And, they did not kowtow to the prevailing religious attitudes of the day.

  5. 5 abe lincoln quotes January 24, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Pretty! This has been a really wonderful article.
    Thanks for providing this info.


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