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Is atheism a religion?

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posted on Jun, 29 2007 @ 11:41 AM
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A religion is a set of beliefs and practices generally held by a community, involving adherence to codified beliefs and rituals and study of ancestral or cultural traditions, writings, history, and mythology, as well as personal faith and mystic experience. The term "religion" refers to both the personal practices related to communal faith and to group rituals and communication stemming from shared conviction.
Definition

Seems to my limited brain that the athesists have the beginnings of a powerful religious movement. They have their priests/prophets: Lamarck, Darwin, Dawkins. They have a powerful dogma - time and mutations answer most questions and Science will answer the rest. There only remains a powerful set of rituals to be decided upon and we have a religious movement.

Ain't that just ironic?




posted on Jun, 29 2007 @ 01:46 PM
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10'000 spoons when all you need is knife!

Now that's ironic.




posted on Jun, 29 2007 @ 01:59 PM
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It's not ironic, it's ridiculous.

The definition of religion has to do with belief in a deity or the supernatural.

Atheism is the opposite of religion, it is LACK of religion, which you well know.

re·li·gion (r-ljn)
n.
1.
a. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
b. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
2. The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
3. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.

Religion is superstition. Science is not.

You theists need to get over it and quit trying to drag science down to your level.

Here's are some links to help you Christians get it through your heads that atheism is the LACK of religion:

www.abarnett.demon.co.uk...

atheism.about.com...



[edit on 29-6-2007 by MajorMalfunction]



posted on Jun, 29 2007 @ 04:39 PM
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We wouldn't label someone who doesn't believe in aliens as being "religious" or having a religion. There are many groups of people who believe in aliens that have slightly different views on the subject. There are those who believe that we come from aliens, there are those who believe that aliens live among us, and those who think aliens are out there, but haven't visited us yet.

Now, if someone doesn't believe in aliens, we don't group them in with the believers and call it simply another belief system regarding aliens. They DON'T believe.

So, translating that to the various forms of religion, some are Catholic, some are Lutheran, some are Muslim. They all believe in a higher power, but with different details. But someone who DOESN’T believe in a higher power isn’t another form of religion. It is the absence of religion, the absence of belief in a higher power.

And atheists don’t have a “set of beliefs and practices”. Atheists are as different from each other as can be. They don’t gather, worship, congregate or PRACTICE anything. No rituals, traditions, mythology or “faith”.

The reason people think of atheism as another religion is that the majority of people believe in a higher power. So when some people don’t believe, they’re put into a group and called atheists. How we love to label people!

But the truth is that the majority of people are theists of a variety of types and the minority are simply NOT theists. Not religious, not belonging to a church, a club or a set of beliefs. Only one thing unites them. And that’s what they DON’T believe in.



posted on Jun, 29 2007 @ 05:06 PM
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Atheism is basically the disbelief in any form of deity.

Unless you consider Atheism to be something like Universalist Unitarians, than no it's
not a Religion, since Atheists can run the range of other beliefs.


It's like one of my favourite quotes says.
"If Atheism is a religion, than bald is a hair colour."



posted on Jun, 29 2007 @ 05:30 PM
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Originally posted by Heronumber0Seems to my limited brain


Stop limiting your brain and you may be able to grasp what everyone here is saying



posted on Jun, 29 2007 @ 08:12 PM
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Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
It's not ironic, it's ridiculous.

The definition of religion has to do with belief in a deity or the supernatural.

Atheism is the opposite of religion, it is LACK of religion, which you well know.

re·li·gion (r-ljn)
n.
1.
a. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
b. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
2. The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
3. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.

[edit on 29-6-2007 by MajorMalfunction]


MM for 1 substitute 'Science' for supernatural;
For 3, a spiritual experience need not come from a supernatural source but also from contemplating Nature as spiritualist people will tell you.
I am not trying to pick a fight but just want to indicate that you atheists are every bit as grounded in your dogma as theists are. Maybe I am just in an obstreporous mood.



posted on Jun, 29 2007 @ 08:30 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Now, if someone doesn't believe in aliens, we don't group them in with the believers and call it simply another belief system regarding aliens. They DON'T believe.


Fair point. You are saying that it is a negative of belief period.


And atheists don’t have a “set of beliefs and practices”. Atheists are as different from each other as can be. They don’t gather, worship, congregate or PRACTICE anything. No rituals, traditions, mythology or “faith”.


However, you do believe in moral principles and in the Aristotlean Golden Mean (if it could be applied to moral values). I would argue that the morality we see does not come from a majority vote of what is 'right and proper' but from the remnants of Divine Revelations through the period of history that man has inhabited.


The reason people think of atheism as another religion is that the majority of people believe in a higher power. So when some people don’t believe, they’re put into a group and called atheists. How we love to label people!


I thimk you nailed it here with that explanation. I cannot conceive of anyone simply not believing in a Higher Power. It is a puzzle to me. However, I prefer these people to a minority of religious hypocrites that I see on a daily basis. At least atheists are honest.

Have you never contemplated on the existence of a soul/consciousness or a greater purpose to things? You must have done because I did. I had a conversation with a bricklayer one day and he said to me: 'I look at a single blade of grass and I see the complexity inside it and how it catches the light to make itself grow. Then I see us with our millions of cells and I know that there is something that made that complexity.' I think he said in a few words what took me a lifetime to figure out.



posted on Jun, 29 2007 @ 08:48 PM
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Originally posted by Heronumber0


MM for 1 substitute 'Science' for supernatural;
For 3, a spiritual experience need not come from a supernatural source but also from contemplating Nature as spiritualist people will tell you.
I am not trying to pick a fight but just want to indicate that you atheists are every bit as grounded in your dogma as theists are. Maybe I am just in an obstreporous mood.


Science is the opposite of dogma. Dogma does not change. Science changes with new information.

I thought you studied science in school, so you're actually one of the last people I would have expected to give such a flat-earth answer as that one.

You can twist and turn and try to make it fit, but semantics do not make religion out of science.

I believe you are obstreperous. Because, no offense, you are not making any logical sense whatsoever.

And, yeah, I know I'm snarky. I have had a fever and cold for a week now. And so I'm a bit more irritable than usual. And one thing that really gets my goat more than anything else is when people try to tell me that atheism is a religion.

I don't believe in religion. I find it to be superstitious. I live in the 21st century, physically AND mentally. I don't believe in a soul or I'd say spiritually as well.



posted on Jun, 29 2007 @ 09:00 PM
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Originally posted by MajorMalfunction

Originally posted by Heronumber0


MM for 1 substitute 'Science' for supernatural;
For 3, a spiritual experience need not come from a supernatural source but also from contemplating Nature as spiritualist people will tell you.
I am not trying to pick a fight but just want to indicate that you atheists are every bit as grounded in your dogma as theists are. Maybe I am just in an obstreporous mood.


Science is the opposite of dogma. Dogma does not change. Science changes with new information.

I thought you studied science in school, so you're actually one of the last people I would have expected to give such a flat-earth answer as that one.

You can twist and turn and try to make it fit, but semantics do not make religion out of science.

I believe you are obstreperous. Because, no offense, you are not making any logical sense whatsoever.

And, yeah, I know I'm snarky. I have had a fever and cold for a week now. And so I'm a bit more irritable than usual. And one thing that really gets my goat more than anything else is when people try to tell me that atheism is a religion.

I don't believe in religion. I find it to be superstitious. I live in the 21st century, physically AND mentally. I don't believe in a soul or I'd say spiritually as well.


MM - Dudette, I think you're awesome. I'm impressed with very few people. You are one of the few that I am. Trust me, I'm an idiot, so for most folks that's not really a compliment - but I do mean it as one, I hope you take it as one. I look for your posts and usually am impressed. Stay cool my friend.



posted on Jun, 29 2007 @ 09:06 PM
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Lombozo, my friend, you always make me smile. Here I am sitting, thinking, I was a bit harsh there, wasn't I? And then you post something that makes me go, maybe that wasn't so bad after all. It's so hard to get perspective when you have a 200 decibel snot headache.

Nice to see you online too, since you said you'd be AWOL more often now.



posted on Jun, 29 2007 @ 09:10 PM
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Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
Lombozo, my friend, you always make me smile. Here I am sitting, thinking, I was a bit harsh there, wasn't I? And then you post something that makes me go, maybe that wasn't so bad after all. It's so hard to get perspective when you have a 200 decibel snot headache.

Nice to see you online too, since you said you'd be AWOL more often now.


Friday night - Lombozos online! Snot headache? Yikes! A bit hash you were? Nope - just honest.



posted on Jun, 29 2007 @ 09:17 PM
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Originally posted by MajorMalfunction

Science is the opposite of dogma. Dogma does not change. Science changes with new information.


There is absolutely no reason why religious interpretation cannot change with Science if we consider scriptures to be allegory and metaphor. Science should inform and confirm faith for a truly religious person. This is why I do not believe in disestablishmentarianism.


I thought you studied science in school, so you're actually one of the last people I would have expected to give such a flat-earth answer as that one.


MM I have spent three hours at the airport staring into a coffee cup waiting for a friend in a mythical flight due to a mistake by another friend that would grace any comedy. This after a full day at school. I am not a flat-earthist.


You can twist and turn and try to make it fit, but semantics do not make religion out of science.


I have read your links and will think about the matter more carefully but I will not withdraw my comments about atheism being dogma quite yet.


I believe you are obstreperous. Because, no offense, you are not making any logical sense whatsoever.


See above Laurel and Hardy airport scene (I'm Stan Laurel in this one).


And, yeah, I know I'm snarky. I have had a fever and cold for a week now. And so I'm a bit more irritable than usual. And one thing that really gets my goat more than anything else is when people try to tell me that atheism is a religion.


I hope your cold gets better. I've had the same for about a month.



posted on Jun, 29 2007 @ 09:26 PM
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Originally posted by Heronumber0
You are saying that it is a negative of belief period.


Not really. I'm saying it is a lack of belief.



However, you do believe in moral principles


I have morals, yes.



and in the Aristotlean Golden Mean (if it could be applied to moral values).


Honey, I don't even know what that IS, much less believe in it.




I would argue that the morality we see does not come from a majority vote of what is 'right and proper' but from the remnants of Divine Revelations through the period of history that man has inhabited.


Okay...



I cannot conceive of anyone simply not believing in a Higher Power.


As most atheists cannot conceive of a "higher power".




Have you never contemplated on the existence of a soul/consciousness or a greater purpose to things?


Me personally? Yeah. In fact, I believe in the spirit or the soul. I think that is the essence of who we are, I actually believe in life after death. I just don't believe these things require a "higher power" to operate.



I know that there is something that made that complexity.


I don't.


[edit on 29-6-2007 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Jun, 29 2007 @ 09:30 PM
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I think it is. It is more than just a religion, it's a proselytizing religion actively seeking converts. The evidence for this is clear just on this board. Hard core atheists are not happy with believing in no god, they almost always have to try to get others to share their beliefs, spending much time and effort to convert the heathen masses just as many religions have done in the past.

Pure agnosticism, where you really don't know if there's a god or not, or if a known Earth religion, if any, is correct would be a true non-religion in my opinion.



posted on Jun, 29 2007 @ 09:40 PM
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Originally posted by Heronumber0
I would argue that the morality we see does not come from a majority vote of what is 'right and proper' but from the remnants of Divine Revelations through the period of history that man has inhabited.




Ah, but that is not the case. Morality stems from our biology. Religion has built on it, yes. But for people like myself, I prefer the term "ethics." It means "morality" but takes god out of it.

Morality is seen in all groups of social animals. They have a code of behavior for being in the group, and breaking that code, or being "immoral" has consequences.

Religion takes credit for morality, simply because that is the one thing it is clinging to that it can say gives it a purpose. I am amazed how many people seem to think you have to be religious to have any kind of ethical behavior.

To those people I have to ask this question: Does this mean that you have to have a god concept because you, yourself, without being watched by the "guy in the sky" would become a ravening monster? If there was no god, would you go out and start robbing, killing, stealing? Is it god keeping you from doing socially inappropriate acts, or is it that you know they're wrong because you have empathy -- the ability to put yourself into another person's shoes and think how you would feel about a particular act?

If religion is the cause of morality, how do you explain religious people such as David Koresh? Or Jim Jones of the People's Temple? They were very religious. Were they moral? What about Torquemada -- he was a Christian. Were his morals proper? Or was he, like the Nazis, "just following orders" as he oversaw and ordered the torture and brutal deaths of people who didn't believe his version of god?

Is fatwa a moral act? Was declaring a death sentence on Salman Rushdie (who, incidentally, I think is one of the most brilliant and thought provoking authors of our time) for writing a book moral? Was blowing up the WTC moral? That was done because of religion.

The main difference between atheists and most religious people of whatever sect is that while we may not agree with your belief in god, we are not prepared to kill you for the difference of opinion. Most religious sects on the planet past and present, do not and did not have those particular scruples.

There are even Christians here in the US in this day and age who believe that we need to train our children to go to war against Islam, to kill them for Jesus. See the documentary Jesus Camp if you don't believe me.

Organized religion and dogma is responsible for more death in this world than any other single cause, except perhaps the natural end to life. Millions upon millions upon millions of people have been killed for cleaving to a belief that was not the same as their neighbor's.

The older I get, the more sad and ridiculous it seems. It is like two five year olds fighting over who is cooler, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Pokemon.

They're ALL make believe. Science is not make believe. You'll never get a group of atheists in one building once a week to do some sordid ritual because trying to get a bunch of atheists to do the same thing and have the same attitude is like trying to herd cats.



posted on Jun, 29 2007 @ 09:55 PM
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Is Atheism a Religion?

Damn...good question...

Let's look at the technological dictionary version of this...(Come on...someone has to start this rediculous thingy...why not the Duck...I'm freakin laughing while I type this)

Ok...here goes.

Definition of Religion:

Definition of Religion

There you have it folks...however, according to the 4th definition in the above reference that I gave to you all:

#4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.

I'm a stickler for details.

Many would percieve the notion of 'Atheists to be religious' under this certain juristiction.

Atheists...forgive me...my mother even told me I would be a great lawyer, when it comes to 'strict' details.



posted on Jun, 29 2007 @ 09:58 PM
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Devotion:

1. Ardent, often selfless affection and dedication, as to a person or principle. See Synonyms at love.
2. Religious ardor or zeal; piety.
3.
a. An act of religious observance or prayer, especially when private. Often used in the plural.
b. devotions Prayers or religious texts: a book of devotions.
4. The act of devoting or the state of being devoted.

www.thefreedictionary.com...

We are not devoted to science. It's just the only thing that makes sense and the only thing that can be proven. And even then, it changes as religion does not. Some of the books in the Christian bible have stories in them that go back 6000 years, and except for copying errors through the generations, it has not been changed.

Selflessness includes being willing to die for something. I'm not going to die defending science. It doesn't need defending. Religion on the other hand, is always defensive, and people are willing to die to defend it. Why do you think that is?

And I don't pray to the law of gravity. I'm not going to war over it. It's self-evident and doesn't need blood sacrifice of infidels.


[edit to add a couple more paragraphs. for clarity's sake]


[edit on 29-6-2007 by MajorMalfunction]



posted on Jun, 29 2007 @ 10:07 PM
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Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
Devotion:

1. Ardent, often selfless affection and dedication, as to a person or principle. See Synonyms at love.
2. Religious ardor or zeal; piety.
3.
a. An act of religious observance or prayer, especially when private. Often used in the plural.
b. devotions Prayers or religious texts: a book of devotions.
4. The act of devoting or the state of being devoted.

www.thefreedictionary.com...

We are not devoted to science. It's just the only thing that makes sense and the only thing that can be proven. And even then, it changes as religion does not. Some of the books in the Christian bible have stories in them that go back 6000 years, and except for copying errors through the generations, it has not been changed.

Selflessness includes being willing to die for something. I'm not going to die defending science. It doesn't need defending. Religion on the other hand, is always defensive, and people are willing to die to defend it. Why do you think that is?

And I don't pray to the law of gravity. I'm not going to war over it. It's self-evident and doesn't need blood sacrifice of infidels.


[edit to add a couple more paragraphs. for clarity's sake]


[edit on 29-6-2007 by MajorMalfunction]


Hon, you and I could freakin quote the whole of the Enclyclopeida Britania.

I quoted...you quoted..what now?

Ok...let's look at beliefs!!!!!

Dang! Ok...(building spit in my mouth now, looking around to see if anyone saw me with a gob in my mouth now...swallowing gob...feeling disgusted...ahem)

MMf?

What do you think my friend? Is Atheism a 'sudo-religion'...like I said before...'What the hell can we classify Atheism"?



posted on Jun, 29 2007 @ 10:08 PM
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Why does it need to be classified? I'm willing to tell anyone about it. LMAO

Seriously though, it's not a religion. It's just atheism. File it under "A" and be done with it.




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