Before the written word there were religions. Hindus and Buddhists are older than Christianity and origins perhaps predate the written word.
Since there have been skeptics and nonbelievers since the beginning of the written word it seems safe to believe they were there prior to it as well. If this is true, the atheists among all those societies where the religions have now died out were right. The gods did not exist. It is thought there were thousands of long lost religions so thousands of time atheists had it right.
So, how can what atheists have taught us since the beginning of time help us today? It is self evident. Past religions were bogus. Present religions are as well. Fans of present religions might consider the wisdom of past atheists.
But, of course, I am saying this tongue in cheek. Past religious people despised atheists and current believers do as well. Current people will say, “Well sure, atheists were right about those other gods. They weren’t real. Our god is. Just because atheists were right for hundreds of thousands of years and religious people were wrong all that time can’t mean we are wrong. We are right. Our god is the first real one.”
Time simply eliminates gods and brings on new ones. A while from now, people will look back on atheists and say they were right. But when that time comes, they will also say those future atheists are wrong because the new god is the first real one.