20,000 thumbs up!
A very good lecture :)
Very simply, scott, in my humble opinion, as even Dawkins said in the God Delusion, one can always leave room for the slight statistical chance that we may be wrong. After all, we can't PROVE that Shiva, Zeus or Diana DON'T exist.
What we can be sure of, however, is that the qualities of deity of every known religion are fabrications of the founders and early proponents of those religions and that the sources of "revelation" are woefully (in our view-happily) inadiquate and easily proven to be inaccurate and humanly flawed.
We can also be confident that the supposed mysterious and miraculous aspects of life do have plausible natural explanations and that no one can validly demonstrate a channel of communication or living revelation from a supernatural source which can show this to be otherwise.
Quite simply, there is no reason to look beyond what is in front of us and certainly, no reason to suspect or believe that if there is a power which stands apart from nature, that it should play a role in guiding or shaping our lives or that it even wants to or that it gives a damn about whether or not we acknowledge it.
It was just a passing thought.
But there have been cases in the past when this has happened. But not to Atheists but to believers of other Gods.
Roman conquest of the Celts. Resulted in the total destruction of the Celtic religion by killing all the druids.
The Spanish Inquisition: Destruction of Islam in Iberia.
Norwegian conversions: by Olaf I of Norway
I do wonder what the percentage of atheists, back in ancient times, in any given population, was. Maybe it was the same as today but they were smart enough to know to keep quiet.