The Atheism debate got heated last week when Attorney General Githu Muigai de-registered the Atheists Society of Kenya, following protests from religious leaders.
The society had initially been denied registration, but won an appeal and then it was ‘unceremoniously’ de-registered.
While this is the first time many Kenyans are hearing of this, it is a common thing elsewhere.
Below we look at some really famous atheists from around the world.
1. Richard Branson
British entrepreneur and Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson said in a 2011 interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan that he believes in evolution and the importance of humanitarian efforts but not in the existence of God. “I would love to believe,” he said. “It’s very comforting to believe.”
2. Daniel Radcliffe
British actor Daniel Radcliffe, known for his role as Harry Potter, declared he was an atheist in a 2009 interview. “I’m an atheist, but I’m very relaxed about it,” he said. “I don’t preach my atheism, but I have a huge amount of respect for people like Richard Dawkins who do.”
3. Ricky Gervais
Ricky Gervais, creator of the British series “The Office,” wrote about his religious journey in an essay published in 2010 by the Wall Street Journal. “Wow. No God. If mum had lied to me about God, had she also lied to me about Santa? Yes, of course, but who cares? The gifts kept coming,” he said. “And so did the gifts of my new found atheism. The gifts of truth, science, nature. The real beauty of this world.”
4. Peter Higgs
British physicist Peter Higgs is among those credited with the theory behind the Higgs boson, a subatomic particle long thought to be a fundamental building block of the universe. In an interview with the BBC, he expressed his discomfort with people calling it the “God particle.” He said, “First of all, I’m an atheist. The second thing is I know that name (started as) a kind of joke and not a very good one. … It’s so misleading.”
5. Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking is one of the world’s great theoretical physicists. His trade-press book A Brief History of Time took the world by storm in the late 1980s. In it he raised the prospect of a self-creating universe, which he has since developed at length. The theme he keeps pounding is the extraneousness of the God hypothesis.
6. Steve Wozniac
The Apple founder stated that he falls somewhere in the middle between atheism and agnosticism.
7. Mark Zuckerberg
The Billionaire Facebook founder was raised Jewish and had his bar mitzvah when he turned 13. Afterward, he became an atheist.
8. Brad Pitt
Although raised a southern baptist, Pitt considers himself 80% agnostic, 20% atheist.
9. James Cameron
The award winning director, who was once a converted agnostic, is now a full on atheist.
10. Lance Armstrong
Armstrong stated that when he had cancer, he put his faith in doctors and medicine (not God)
11. Rafael Nadal
The tennis champion stated, the belief in God, was a very difficult thing for him to believe.
– Additional reporting by CNN, Rantlifestyle.com