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Is atheism a bona fide religion ?

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posted on Dec, 18 2007 @ 09:02 PM
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reply to post by intrepid
 


Heheh...yep. It's a sore issue for some. The trick I find is to not take it so darn seriously!
It's (shock, horror) really not all that important wether there's a god or not...

well, of COURSE there isn't...

But then we knew that - right?


Just joshin' with you.

J.




posted on Dec, 18 2007 @ 09:12 PM
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Originally posted by intrepid
Jeez, lots of antagonism on this topic. Merriam Webster defines "atheists". Is this a fair assessment?

atheist

Main Entry:
athe·ist Listen to the pronunciation of atheist
Pronunciation:
\ˈā-thē-ist\
Function:
noun
Date:
1551

: one who believes that there is no deity



Thankyou Intreped for that definition. That should do it. But don't worry about the seeming conflict between the atheists and the Christians. These days are tough days and religion seems to be a hot topic of debate. To believe or not to believe.. that is the question. No one has a good enough answer for the other to the satisfaction of the other. But for me at least, I often look forward to my own debates between me and the atheists. They are entittled to their view as I am mine. Yes, we both get on each other at times but I think it goes deep enough to allow for continual discussion. And to that end there are twists and turns and hints of conspiracy by either side at the other for this greater conflict going on all over the world. The present world war being fought today by many is really a war of ideals and beliefs, of all kinds. So, take courage, we may aggrivate, but we try not to antagonate if at all possible.



posted on Dec, 18 2007 @ 09:18 PM
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Originally posted by NewWorldOver

Ultimately, the human conception of God is flawed and can be manipulated : hence, Religion.


Totally agree



Atheists hate religion.


Totally disagree. Another typical generalisation from a christian. How do you know whether or not I hate religion? Your not atheist, you wouldnt know, just like I wouldnt know why you believe in god


They do not understand the concept of God enough to disprove or accept proof of 'his existence'.


1). A lot of atheists come from christian backgrounds
2). A lot of christians (sorry to single out the one group) do not understand the concept atheism, as you have just proved



The Universe exists. The Universe = God. This is never going to be 'proof' for Atheists though, as the Universe is empty material matter to them. So... it's that easy as you for atheists to deny God.


No, the universe will never be proof enough. Why? Because atheists dont believe in god........

Atheism = the position that affirms the non-existance of gods

Maybe you should read up on it



posted on Dec, 18 2007 @ 09:27 PM
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reply to post by intrepid
 


That's an explanation of what an atheist is in the same sense as saying a Christian is someone who believes in Jesus.

Is that sufficient to really explain what it is to be a Christian? All the nuance and real meaning is stripped out by the brevity of the definition.

Furthermore, atheism isn't the belief there is no god, so Merriam-Webster got it wrong. Atheism is a lack of belief in any god based on the lack of evidence for the same.

Splitting hairs? maybe. But the explanation we atheists are trying to give here are more accurate than the dictionary version, and I wouldn't be surprised if the person or people involved in editing have no concept of what an atheist is any more than any of the people in this thread who are saying atheism is a religion.

Not so surprising that it's wrong, considering most people don't understand it unless they actually are atheists. Richard Harris suggests it's because dictionary definitions, especially older ones (like "atheist") were written by Christians.



posted on Dec, 18 2007 @ 09:44 PM
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reply to post by MajorMalfunction
 


I'll accept the dictonary version thankyou. It seems logical that both the belief there is a God, and the belief that there is no God are both beliefs. If you say that atheism is simply the lack of belief in a God, you still haven't denied that you believe there is no God.



posted on Dec, 18 2007 @ 09:48 PM
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I'm considering changing how I define myself as calling myself atheist is alot easier than the less accurate 'buddhist'.. [which I am sometimes] but many believers here have no respect for my own definition of atheist and have decided to impose their own to suit their own agendas.. much like some call witchcraft devil worship. I truly believe it's a tactic meant to disempower perspectives they consider a threat to their own.

Live and let live!

[edit on 18-12-2007 by riley]



posted on Dec, 18 2007 @ 10:01 PM
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atheism is most definately not a religion but a belief. we do not worship any god and are not affiliated in any kind of cult. we simply believe in living and dying organisms and evolution.
as far as i'm concerned every person has a right to their own opinion and dont know why people have to debate so fiercly over the subject.



posted on Dec, 18 2007 @ 10:14 PM
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reply to post by MajorMalfunction
 


OK, you've got the floor, why is it wrong?



posted on Dec, 18 2007 @ 10:42 PM
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Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
I'm an atheist. And atheism is not a religion.

I've had this argument so many times since I joined it's not even funny.

Here's the definition of a religion:

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


We don't believe in supernatural powers, we don't worship, we don't belong to orders, we don't have spiritual leaders (people like Dawkins aren't leaders -- they don't do anything but state an opinion, and leave the decision up to the reader. Unlike religious "leaders" who demand money so god will love you), and if you want to argue #4, I've been there too.

Devotion's definition is:

1. Ardent, often selfless affection and dedication, as to a person or principle.
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.

Atheists are not going to die for their beliefs, and therefore "devotion" doesn't really apply, unlike Xians who can't wait to die in the end times so they can be with their imaginary friend.

So, no, atheism isn't a religion and anyone who thinks so doesn't know what atheism is at all, and probably shouldn't make blanket assumptions like that without more education on the subject.

[edit on 17-12-2007 by MajorMalfunction]

How do you explain atheists who are communists dying for their beliefs?



posted on Dec, 18 2007 @ 10:53 PM
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Originally posted by CharlesMartelHow do you explain atheists who are communists dying for their beliefs?

They are not dieing for atheism.. and there a christian communists. Communism and atheism are not interchangable concepts.. perhaps you should look up both words as it's like saying that chistians who fight for their countries are dieing for jesus.



posted on Dec, 18 2007 @ 11:00 PM
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reply to post by riley
 


Thanks riley I was wondering what the link was between communism and Atheist dying was all about.

I know we have Islamic radical dying for religious believes.



posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 01:16 AM
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I consider myself a non-believer, I don't belong to any groups. I don't believe in god or the devil, heaven or hell. And for those who believe in that stuff then good for you, just don't try to force your beliefs onto me because I wouldn't try to force anything onto you.



posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 01:28 AM
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Originally posted by Alxandro
I know it's all semantics and play on words but it's probably safer to call it a pseudo-religion.

Athiests tends to put man and science at the center of the Universe. This is perfectly fine to a certain degree but by arrogantly making scientists the supreme entities the belief system lends itself to appear that it has no basis or foundation because beliefs could be proven wrong or change at any time, say for example upon the release of some eagerly anticipated scientific journal.

My point is that Man has not yet reached the pinnacle of science and technology. It's safe to say we are more intelligent now than we were 50 years ago yet why do athiests today believe Man cannot get any more intelligent?

If Man ever acquires, or perhaps re-acquires, the power of telepathy, will it be revealed that we are actually utlizing the same part of the brain as we do for prayer?

As I've stated before, the more intelligent a person becomes, the more common sense they tend to lose.


Your calling it a pseudo-religion betrays your bias. A "false" religion? How can something that doesn't even claim to be a religion be a false one?

Atheism doesn't put man at the center of the Universe. Atheism sees man as just one infantisimal and finite part of the Universe. It is religion and its belief that we are alone in the Universe that has thrust man to the center stage.

Atheism is an understanding, based on reasoned observation, that we are what we are; no soul, no afterlife, just plain people. We live and we die. If there is anything that carries of after we shuffle off this mortal coil, it is only our DNA. If you wish to call that a belief system, or a religion, go ahead. It certainly won't keep me awake at night.

Flyingdog



posted on Jan, 8 2008 @ 10:14 PM
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reply to post by melatonin
 


atheism is a faith, but not a religion
faith="belief that is not based on proof" (dictionary.com). the law of disproving something is as follows "nothing can be proved or disproved by science", so any consept must be taken in faith, because it cannot be proven.

ex. the loch ness monster exists. the counter argument would be that they scanned the lake and it was never found. Then one could say that when they scanned the lake, it had flown to the moon evading radar and all sensor technology, and returned when noone was looking.

That senario is illogical, yes, but shows how nothing can be proven, or disproved by science.



posted on Jan, 9 2008 @ 06:58 AM
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reply to post by Bob Sholtz
 


ok... you didn't really back up that statement about atheism being about faith.

not believing in something due to a lack of evidence isn't a statement of faith, it's merely saying that you are unconvinced.



posted on Jan, 9 2008 @ 06:59 AM
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reply to post by intrepid
 


it's wrong because atheism isn't a belief, it's a lack of one.

atheism isn't a statement of "i believe there is no god" it's the statement "i don't believe in any god"



posted on Jan, 9 2008 @ 03:12 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
reply to post by intrepid
 


it's wrong because atheism isn't a belief, it's a lack of one.

atheism isn't a statement of "i believe there is no god" it's the statement "i don't believe in any god"


you just contradicted yourself, you can have a belief that has nothing to do with god, but you still think its true, making it a belief.



posted on Jan, 9 2008 @ 03:24 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
reply to post by Bob Sholtz
 


ok... you didn't really back up that statement about atheism being about faith.

not believing in something due to a lack of evidence isn't a statement of faith, it's merely saying that you are unconvinced.


it is, to state something as truth, that implies that you beleve what you are saying is true, but to be unconvinced, you must have a counter theory on how the universe and us came to be, if you don't, than you have no right to say someone is wrong. Atheism is the belief that the universe and ourselves happened out of chance and physics.

Regretfully, i find that many people accept atheism because they think science is pure fact and that it cannot be wrong.



posted on Jan, 9 2008 @ 03:33 PM
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Originally posted by CharlesMartel

Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
I'm an atheist. And atheism is not a religion.

I've had this argument so many times since I joined it's not even funny.

Here's the definition of a religion:

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


We don't believe in supernatural powers, we don't worship, we don't belong to orders, we don't have spiritual leaders (people like Dawkins aren't leaders -- they don't do anything but state an opinion, and leave the decision up to the reader. Unlike religious "leaders" who demand money so god will love you), and if you want to argue #4, I've been there too.

Devotion's definition is:

1. Ardent, often selfless affection and dedication, as to a person or principle.
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.

Atheists are not going to die for their beliefs, and therefore "devotion" doesn't really apply, unlike Xians who can't wait to die in the end times so they can be with their imaginary friend.

So, no, atheism isn't a religion and anyone who thinks so doesn't know what atheism is at all, and probably shouldn't make blanket assumptions like that without more education on the subject.

[edit on 17-12-2007 by MajorMalfunction]

How do you explain atheists who are communists dying for their beliefs?


Very good point, i would like to also point out that you are, as an atheist, debating and denying passionatly for your "principle", and that i believe falls under one of your own definitons for religion. "A cause, principle, or activity pursued with conscientious devotion."

And you say yourself that you activly pursue this when you said,"I've had this argument so many times since I joined it's not even funny". That also falls under the definition of religion that you have given.



posted on Jan, 9 2008 @ 06:45 PM
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Originally posted by Bob Sholtz
atheism is a faith, but not a religion
faith="belief that is not based on proof" (dictionary.com).


OK, I think you are equivocating here in many ways.

I would think the dictionary defintion is using 'proof' as 'evidence'.

I can agree that we can never prove or disprove concepts 100%. What we can do is use a sort of Baysian assessment of certainty using evidence and reason.

You appear to be saying that the statement 'trees exist' is as reasonable as the statement 'fairies exist'. We can never prove either 100%. Equally, we can't disprove either 100%. But are they both equally reasonable statements?

I don't think they are.



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