Why I am an atheist – Fernando Santagata

I’m an atheist because it is natural to be so.

In every time, people who were not subjected to irrational fears and intelligent enough to be free from social conditioning were atheists.
That has been true for a very long time: the first documented atheists were Greek philosophers about 2500 years ago.
Through time, when social conditions let life be bearable, people have found they don’t need a god to fear or invoke in battle.

So, let’s say everyone is being born an atheist, and so he/she remains as long as no one makes his/her life miserable by terrorizing her/him.

Fernando Santagata


  1. nobody says

    Not to nitpick, but most greek philosophers were theists. They are where much of the “sophisticated theology” of today comes from. Also, that’s why Socrates was killed.

  2. murielsilberstreif says

    I think it’s a bad idea to claim such a strong link between intelligence and atheism.
    You don’t need intelligence to not believe stuff, and it seems like you don’t need stupidity to believe, either.

  3. says


    Yes, most of them were..Epicurus, Xenophanes and other pre-socratic philosophers however, displayed some definite non theistic views.

    As you know, the Pythagorean/Platonic schools of woo were in part responsible for the dropping off of the ideas of the earlier philosophers just mentioned.

    Socrates was killed for having different deities to the ones in the city…or at least that was the official version.

  4. speedweasel says

    I think this is a half-truth. Don’t forget that religion is also a ‘genetic’ condition and afflicted individuals will frequently pass on their faith to their kids. This leads to that fantastic mixture of privilege and persecution that we see from middle class, white christians who have never had a real problem but are banging the drum for jesus anyway.

  5. Circe says

    the first documented atheists were Greek philosophers about 2500 years ago.

    (Emphasis mine)

    Sorry to nitpick, but that may be a bit off the mark. See, for example Ajita Keshkambali, and the Charvaka or Lokayat school of ancient Indian philosophy.

  6. sc_0544f56b1a921079750485f48ab4fc11 says

    Tangentially, are you aware that your RSS feed now has a trailer of no fewer than 6 ads? The ads are now generally longer than the content; this seems a tad absurd.

    Also on the weird front, can someone explain the difference between these two options below the comment window?

    “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.”
    “Notify me of follow-up comments by email.”