Necessity of Atheism

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Thomas Jefferson Hogg (1792—1862) biographer of Percy Bysshe Shelley

David Hume (1711—1776) philosopher and historian

John Locke (1632—1704) philosopher


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A prose pamphlet by P. B. Shelley and his friend T. J. Hogg, published anonymously at Oxford, 1811. Using the sceptical arguments of Hume and Locke, the authors smartly demolish the grounds for a rational belief in the Deity. The pamphlet ends with a flourishing ‘Q.E.D.’, as in a school‐boy's exercise, which caused great offence, as did its title. It is probably the first published statement of atheism in Britain.

Subjects: Literature.

Reference entries

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792—1822) poet