Update: it is bit too provocative to call early Christians ‘atheists’, obviously, but the Doctrine of the Trinity, in its preposterous grandeur shows that some former pagans had trouble grasping the one god idea, but the legacy of Judaism rushed into the void. Sometimes pagans actually considered Christians to be ‘atheos’, etc… The quotes around atheists is important.
The issue of theism and atheism is hide-bound in the Christian/Islamic brands. And even there the history is distorted. Operational atheism is a term that can be used by those who are neither theist or atheist but none the less reject the historical ‘theism’ of monotheism, These belief systems are so fragile beyond ‘faith’ dogma that they fall apart and discredit theism. But there is no reason one can’t develop or recast the ideas in some new form. But all such efforts tend to be thrown into the same bucket.
We can adopt another approach and our essay on Samkhya/ancient/modern is an example, sort of…
We know little about the beliefs of early Christians outside of the Judaic monotheism.
Strangely the doctrine of the Trinity shows some early Christians either as ‘atheists’ in some sense as they consider the Indic Samkhya and its triadic cosmology.
Completely lost to us now, but the Chruch Fathers and their milieu must have been confronted over and over with many different brands. Samkhya as a atheist path suddenly
appears in a Christian form, and this confounds our sense of the history of early Christianity.
The demand for faith was completely destructive of any chance of really understanding anything.
My comment: The issue isn’t really atheism, one way or the other. It is the theory of natural selection. Beyond any theological issue, that theory is false and Darwinism collapses. Some think…