Martyrs of atheism

Feb 2013
Second City
Theo Van Gough comes to mind, though maybe martyr isn't the right term. A victim of the Party of God.
Mar 2012
Intern's Palace Apartment ,Woodlands,Texas
The problem here is that the 'atheist martyr' is almost an oxymoron. Most atheists would lie through their teeth if somebody threatens their life (Galileo, in example). On the other hand, I think this proves how courageous people like Giordano Bruno were. I personally would recognize any deity demanded from me if somebody plans to burn me alive.

However, I think that people who have tried to modernize or break the dogmas of religion could be named as martyrs of freedom of/from religion. These people, like Socrates and Czech priest Jan Hus, have paved way for atheism and free thought in general, even if they were not atheists themselves.
That's the main point, martyrdom isn't exactly faith based in nature either, some can argue that Galileo and Bruno were martyrs for Copernican Theory, and Jan Hus in the reformation. The same can also go to political martyrs like men in the American Revolution or abolitionist movement.


Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
the Nile to the Euphrates
Hermann of Ryswick -
who, in 1499, had been condemned for teaching its materialistic doctrines--that matter is uncreated and has existed with God from the beginning, that the soul dies with the body, and that angels, whether good or bad, are not created by God. He abjured and was sentenced to perpetual imprisonment, but escaped and persisted in propagating his errors. When again apprehended, in 1512, the inquisitor at The Hague had no hesitation in handing him over as a relapsed to the secular arm, and he was duly burned.
%C3%89tienne Dolet

Lucilio Vanini

Jacob Hutter

Michael Servetus

[ame=]Charles Estienne - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

Giordano Bruno



Giovanni Pico della Mirandola

Geoffroy Vall%C3%A9e - After the massacre of St. Bartholomew in 1573, he published the essay "Bliss Christians or Beach faith" (fr. Béatitude des Chrétiens ou le Fléau de la foy), directed against religion. Therefore, by the verdict of the Parliament of Paris in 1574, he was betrayed by burning with his work.

Marco Antonio de Dominis

Cecco d%27Ascoli

Roger Bacon

Jean-Jacques de Barillon ? Wikipédia (he was imprisoned)

Isaac de la Pereira (1596-1676) - a Jewish anatomist Isaac La Peyrère (1596-1676): His Life, Work, and Influence - Google Êíèãè

[ame=]Dietrich Flade ? Wikipedia[/ame] » 1589: Dietrich Flade, for leniency towards evildoers

Lorenzo Valla (He came under the court of the Inquisition)

Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa

Pietro Pomponazzi

Otto Brunfels

Johann Weyer

[ame=]Gerolamo Cardano - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

[ame=]Tommaso Campanella - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

[ame=]Ulisse Aldrovandi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

[ame=]John Dee - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

Giuseppe Francesco Borri

[ame=""] Pietro Giannone[/ame]

[ame=]Bernard Palissy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

[ame=]Thomas Woolston - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

These people were killed only for theological reasons and nhad nothing to do with science. But nevertheless:

[ame=]Peter of Bruys - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

[ame=]Arnold of Brescia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

[ame=]Johannes Scotus Eriugena - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

Pietro Authier - a Catharian, killed by church. - Pietro Authier (perfetto cataro) (m. 1310)

[ame=]Marguerite Porete - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

Also I've something heard about a physicist Becker, I suspect he was a German or Dutsch, he was imprisoned because of religious accusation. And somebedy about Heinrich von Piemont who was killed by church. Lima de Noir or Limu Nuare. Sganarelle . Don't you know them?
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Dec 2011
Midwest USA
I have looked but not found a text of early persecution of Christians claiming that they were persecuted as being atheists, because they denied the gods, I also think that the charge of atheism was lodged against Socrates.

Perhaps I am misremembering the text, since I cannot find it in any handy reference.


Ad Honorem
Nov 2012
The Philatelist Society has a price on my head.

(One free internet to the person who explains that one.)
OK, there are stamps with profiles of famous people, right? And the cost of the stamp would sometimes be located close to the profile. Hence, "price on my head" (49 cents as of today, right), next to the profile of the person on the stamp.

Who would be the person to say it? Mark Twain was a famous atheist and a humorous man, but a) if he said it, it would be somewhere in quotes; b) not sure that they issued stamps with his profile when he was alive; c) not sure there was a philatelist society at that time.

It could be Einstein, an atheist, and famous enough to have own "stamp", but English was not his first language. Sounds like a native English speaker has coined it.

Hitchens? Dawkins? Not too popular. Hawking? He has a stamp. Bill Gates?

Another version, it could be said by an atheist about a non-atheist (e.g., Mother Theresa's) stamp that has been recently issued.
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Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
the Nile to the Euphrates
For centuries in Europe and probably also on other continents atheism was a crime. Do you know any famous cases of atheists being sentenced for death because of their beliefs?
Charlie artists?