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Go back a few hundred years, and atheism was very much a minority position. Those who were atheists would have been ostracized by society and possibly even killed (as in burned at the stake, depending on how far back you go). Fast forward to the present, and atheism is far less objectionable, and in some circles even the dominant view. In the new millennium, prominent atheists abound. One website, www.celebatheists.com , is even dedicated to listing celebrity atheists.