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Eminent Atheists, Humanists, Rationalists
and Free Thinkers
Confucius (551 - 479 BC)
Confucius (551-479 BC) was the most outstanding Chinese thinker and humanist of all time. His genius involved transforming humanism latent in Chinese thinking into the strongest forces in Chinese thought down to this day. He said that having a distance from the spiritual beings was a sign of wisdom and never encouraged prayer. For him, education was the key. He was greatly concerned with harmonious social relations. He believed that nobility was no longer a matter of blood or birth, but of character. This was a very radical departure from customary Chinese thinking that preceded him.