The 25 Most Influential Living Atheists. 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. The Filthy Little Atheist … Founding Father. [Site editor's note: The following is an excerpt from the new Disinformation title 50 Things You're Not Supposed To Know: Religion, authored by Daniele Bolelli.]
The story of his life is richer and weirder than any fiction. Among his close friends were visionary poets such as William Blake as well as political icons like Benjamin Franklin. Napoleon slept with his books by his pillow, and told him statues of gold should be erected to him in every city in the universe (but the admiration was not reciprocated). Thomas Edison believed him to be one of the most brilliant minds in human history. Some of his writings rank among the greatest bestsellers of the 18th century.
The Actor's Studio: Ricky Gervais on atheism. Penn Jillette on Atheism. [Adam Carolla Podcast 7.29.11] PAT CONDELL'S GODLESS COMEDY. Ricky Gervais... Obviously.