6th April 2020

“The etymology of atheist can be traced to Ancient Greek from the word ­atheos meaning without (a-) god (theos). Around late antiquity when monotheistic religions began to flourish, the word sort of acquired the connotation of 'denying the gods' or 'ungodly'. This is probably the source of the negative connotation that is associated with atheist. Considering the fact that religion and the state were entwined, if one is going to be hostile to the beliefs of the state, the connotation of 'traitor', 'lawlessness' or 'radical' would presumably be part of official discourse.”

Ken Ueda