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Could Atheism be technically considered a religion?

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posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 03:42 PM
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My apologies if this has already been posted in this thread.

re·li·gion

noun
1.
a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
2.
a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
3.
the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.
4.
the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.
5.
the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.




posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 03:44 PM
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reply to post by ProfessorChaos
 


No, having no hair means you don't require a comb.
Having no belief in magical invisible sky wizards means you don't have a religion.

Atheism is the non-belief in religious ideology, it's not a religious ideology of its own.
edit on 3-12-2012 by detachedindividual because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 03:52 PM
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Ah very good, you nailed it. This is called the burden of proof. This burden of proof exists upon those who believe, say it's true. It's their burden to provide proof.



Originally posted by LesMisanthrope

Originally posted by wagnificent

Originally posted by favouriteslave
No Atheism is not a religion. Atheist don't "believe" there is no god, they KNOW there is no god.



How do they know that there is no God? What instruments do they use to observe this? Did they observe God's non-existence, or did they somehow violate the rules of logic to prove a negative?


How could one prove the 'non-existence' of 'something'? Something can not non-exist, for the moment it becomes something, or is considered something, implies its existence. Until God is proven to exist, there is no argument to be had. The proposition "God exists" is false. Can it be proven otherwise?



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 04:00 PM
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i proved to myself one day, that atheists are catholics, albeit excommunicated catholics, cause when you discuss ancient history, they always quote papal biblical interpretation or papal historical interpretation as for why they don't believe in ancient history, this mostly stemming from the higher criticism that kick started the enlightenment period before the advent of archaeology, and almost entirely lead by former catholic priests who were the professors of the mainstream universities of the time.

pretty much every critical paper written about ancient history today, contains some measure of catholic sentiment before archaeology was a science and based on the pronouncements of the papal authority.

yep, the whole planet is catholic, cause you sure as heck can't get different religions to even read the text of the bible in its original language, without a handy dandy study guide based on stuff like zeitgeist or 300 year old critical papers that have been proven wrong more often than right.
edit on 3-12-2012 by undo because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 04:01 PM
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Let's all get some things straight please.

Firstly, let's define what an Atheist actually is. An Atheist is someone who does not have "faith" in something.
Which brings me to what is "Faith"? Faith is believing in something that can NOT be proven. No one can prove in a spiritual supernatural higher power or God therefore FAITH in it's existence is what one must have.

Now, some have been spouting about how they feel Atheists are trying to spread some agenda and are attacking religion in general. Well, when much of the political environment is bound to some form of religion, where much of the decision making is "faith" based or decided by those who are guided by faith, it is simple to see where Atheists feel the need to make their voices heard. Religious influenced decision making in the political environment is pretty much inescapable and effects us all. How is that decision making fair when often it has nothing to do with the scientifically proven reality in which we all live? It isn't.... plain and simple. There is no separation of church and state. THIS is our main argument.

Do Atheists go door to door wishing to have a friendly chat about the laws of physics? No. So please stop with the accusations that Atheists have an anti-religious agenda. We do not. We simply wish for the political environment that governs ALL OF US to truly represent the people, and for government to stop using religion as some B.S. moral compass.

Atheism is NOT a religion. We do not have faith, or feel, or simply believe something is true or exists in the absence of physical or scientifically found fact. It is very very simple... it is either real, or it is not.

END. OF. DISCUSSION.

...and I'll just leave this here for further explanation of how the religious get WAY too much respect already.

www.youtube.com...



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 04:04 PM
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Let atheism be the set of all things not religion. If atheism is not religion it contains itself, and is therefore inconsistent (Russell's Paradox). The only way to make atheism non-paradoxical is to define it as a religion*.
edit on 3-12-2012 by hezro because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 04:14 PM
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reply to post by unconditionalsurrender
 





What about the Cambrian Explosion? What about the avian lung, or bird wing? What about the undirected creation of complex systems such as the photosynthetic apparatus, or the electron transport chain? There is no evidence for any of this having occurred.


Nice post! With all of the things you mentioned above, what you and I can say about it is, "We are not convinced that these things conform to the theory of evolution.' However, what the religious say is, 'If it can't be answered by science, then there is our proof of a god." And this just isn't the case. There is no logical connection there.

If life and the universe were a crime, there are no little bits of evidence that slowly lead to any perpetrator, much less a singled out perpetrator. There are no finger prints, no loose hairs, no ransom note, no motive, no nothing. So, if our creation were a crime, we would have to claim that god is not a suspect at this time. Hey, maybe later, but just not now.

As for evolution, even if it came to pass that it is totally wrong, there ARE pieces of evidence that "suggest" everything evolved from something else. Our DNA is too similar to other animals. Fossils show changes in creatures over millions of years. Again, even if evolution is totally wrong, we can't rule it out as a suspect.

And, I would much rather chase after something with bits of evidence than to chase down something with NO evidence at all.
edit on 12/3/2012 by jiggerj because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 04:40 PM
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It's funny that this thread was created, because intrepid and I began a debate in the Debate Forum on this very topic.

It tackles the issue head-on and there is no "noise" to read through as this is a mano y mano debate.

Atheism is not a religion debate



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 04:40 PM
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Originally posted by Creedo
Let's all get some things straight please.

Firstly, let's define what an Atheist actually is. An Atheist is someone who does not have "faith" in something.
Which brings me to what is "Faith"? Faith is believing in something that can NOT be proven. No one can prove in a spiritual supernatural higher power or God therefore FAITH in it's existence is what one must have.

Now, some have been spouting about how they feel Atheists are trying to spread some agenda and are attacking religion in general. Well, when much of the political environment is bound to some form of religion, where much of the decision making is "faith" based or decided by those who are guided by faith, it is simple to see where Atheists feel the need to make their voices heard. Religious influenced decision making in the political environment is pretty much inescapable and effects us all. How is that decision making fair when often it has nothing to do with the scientifically proven reality in which we all live? It isn't.... plain and simple. There is no separation of church and state. THIS is our main argument.

Do Atheists go door to door wishing to have a friendly chat about the laws of physics? No. So please stop with the accusations that Atheists have an anti-religious agenda. We do not. We simply wish for the political environment that governs ALL OF US to truly represent the people, and for government to stop using religion as some B.S. moral compass.

Atheism is NOT a religion. We do not have faith, or feel, or simply believe something is true or exists in the absence of physical or scientifically found fact. It is very very simple... it is either real, or it is not.

END. OF. DISCUSSION.


I guess I just don't recognize your authority to END the DISCUSSION.

No, I personally will NOT choose to stop the accusation that there are atheists who harrass, attack, and try to verbally bully others.
I run into that kind all the time on forums, and have a few in my family. For the ones I know well, I am aware that their reasons are NOT as simple as you proclaim- they have a deeper personal problem with religion- usually because of an early religious education they are still rebelling against in their head.

It may be possible that in some areas, there is a lot of mixing of religion and state, but not everywhere in the world! That is where I have foudn these particular type of atheists really like the religious- they can't seem to conceive in mind that secularism exists ! I live in France, where secularism (laicism) exists.... there are many countries here in Europe like that, especially in the north.

I've argued with these before, and their insistance that this "evil" is everywhere, is exaggerated and fanatic, and sounds exactly like the fanatic religious who insist the fight against Satan is necessary because he is everywhere.

Just different names for the evil, that's all.



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 05:01 PM
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A very good question...

Maybe not playing footbal is a sport!

hmmm...maybe the question wasnt quite as good as you thought....
edit on 3-12-2012 by idmonster because: too many "stamp collector" metaphors



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 05:23 PM
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Atheism has no ceremonies, rituals, or traditions. There is no membership to be a part of. You probably wont find groups of atheists sitting around discussing and re-assuring our 'beliefs' together on a regular basis. I was once a practicing Catholic because my family attended the local Catholic church since my youth. I became skeptical at a young age, when I realized that this religion wasn't backed by many real facts. I became atheist before I even knew what it meant, under my own independent thinking, even though I pretended to play along to appease my family for years.

If atheism was a religion, and had 'church' services and the like, I would be considered a devout member. But since it isn't a religion, I am not.

If I spend my whole life without ever even thinking of god, satan, heaven or hell, jesus, muhammad, budda, zeus or ANY of this for a single second, does that make me a member of the religion of Atheism?

The only time any theist or atheist thoughts cross my mind now days is on the occasional thread on ATS.



edit on 3-12-2012 by SouthernForkway26 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 05:26 PM
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Originally posted by Bluesma


I guess I just don't recognize your authority to END the DISCUSSION.


I merely meant that there really is no argument here so it is pointless to debate if Atheism is a religion. Atheists in general are adherent to the scientific method. Either something is real and provable or is not... we do not have faith that something may or may not be fact.

From Wiki:

"The chief characteristic which distinguishes the scientific method from other methods of acquiring knowledge is that scientists seek to let reality speak for itself, supporting a theory when a theory's predictions are confirmed and challenging a theory when its predictions prove false. Although procedures vary from one field of inquiry to another, identifiable features distinguish scientific inquiry from other methods of obtaining knowledge. Scientific researchers propose hypotheses as explanations of phenomena, and design experimental studies to test these hypotheses via predictions which can be derived from them. These steps must be repeatable, to guard against mistake or confusion in any particular experimenter. Theories that encompass wider domains of inquiry may bind many independently derived hypotheses together in a coherent, supportive structure. Theories, in turn, may help form new hypotheses or place groups of hypotheses into context. Scientific inquiry is generally intended to be as objective as possible in order to reduce biased interpretations of results. Another basic expectation is to document, archive and share all data and methodology so they are available for careful scrutiny by other scientists, giving them the opportunity to verify results by attempting to reproduce them. This practice, called full disclosure, also allows statistical measures of the reliability of these data to be established (when data is sampled or compared to chance)."

This is pretty much the exact polar opposite of a religious faith-based belief structure.



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 05:33 PM
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Originally posted by scrounger
reply to post by Lucid Lunacy
 


Well first again I point out that the definition IS THAT LOOSE. It is not only shared by websters dictionary (which I previously posted) but also by the SUPREME COURT.

The fact you and "others" have similarly said is different than this is your first amendment right (which I will defend) is just that your opinion.

Your wish "Its meaning should be limited. It's a lack of belief in God" is just that a wish. It does not make it so.

As previously stated the supreme court has ruled on this. The same one that other athiest go to to get (for example) manger scenes removed from public buildings.

Now when it is not to your favor you complain.

As for what limits could be placed on atheist how about this role reversal.

You cannot (as a religion defined again by the supreme court) be taught in schools.
You cannot have atheism mentioned or applied in government documents as seperation of church and state.
You cannot hold public displays of atheism on public lands, in public buildings, or at anytime done by government workers on government time.

You cannot display any books, symbols (if they exist) if it offends co-workers.
You cannot tell others at work about atheism as it is "forcing" your beliefs on others?

Lastly (but not the end of the list) I can sue to an atheist to stop them from doing/saying/displaying anything I disagree with because it offends me or makes me feel uncomfortable.

How is that for role reversals.

Now as for your statement "Myself and others here have tried to show before how diverse atheists are. They are not one group" and that is a fair and reasonable statement.

But for some reason atheist/activists seem to do that VERY SAME THING for all religious types.

Be they quietly passing out religious materials, active school groups, posting displays on public lands, prayers at graduations or even statements on money.

Just a few examples but we here constantly ALL RELIGION is bad or no place in XX location.

So again I understand why but you are trying to change definitions, deny supreme court rulings, and pointing out atheist are not all the same when the debate/definitions suddenly are factually provable to be against your view.

Me personally I have no problem you not being religious/worship the spagetti monster/islam/ect or if your school (example) you are graduating at has the valectatorian say an islamic prayer, or you have a menorah in front of city call.

I can choose to ignore, tolerate, or just plain leave the situation.

What I oppose is one of those (or other group) telling me though the courts that because they are offended or "feel they are being forced to endure/listen to/see" something I have to stop is where I draw the line.

Unless someone is putting a gun to your head (or other physical restraint/force) to say or do something then shut up, put on your big boy/girl paints and deal with it like an adult.

If being offended is all it takes an atheist would not be able to voice their opinion about anything


edit on 3-12-2012 by scrounger because: hit post by accident


Try it...try and sue me if I talk about atheism! You'll never even get to court. No lawyer would take it up. Why?

Because that Court thet you refer to as "supreme" has absolutly no juradiction over me. Your court can make all the stupid laws and decrees it wants to...but they only apply in your little corner of the world.

Supreme arogance to think that what your court says applies to all of humanity.



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 06:07 PM
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Originally posted by Creedo
Let's all get some things straight please.

Firstly, let's define what an Atheist actually is. An Atheist is someone who does not have "faith" in something.
Which brings me to what is "Faith"? Faith is believing in something that can NOT be proven. No one can prove in a spiritual supernatural higher power or God therefore FAITH in it's existence is what one must have.

Atheism is NOT a religion. We do not have faith, or feel, or simply believe something is true or exists in the absence of physical or scientifically found fact. It is very very simple... it is either real, or it is not.


Well, no, it's not that simple, unfortunately. You've gotta have faith in something. You, as a human being, have faith in your own perceptions--which you cannot prove are accurate. You trust that your brain is correctly processing information that is objectively true. Think about it--you've got no reason to believe you're not hooked up to a really nice computer simulation somewhere...or dreaming...etc. etc. If you start thinking hard enough, what is real is not so simple. It's something you take for granted every day, but just because one takes something for granted doesn't believe it's true. And remember, according to burden of proof, you have to prove that what we (or you or I) perceive as reality is really real. I'm not making any such claims.


Now, I don't mean to get us bogged down in a debate about the nature of reality. I just want to point out that you've gotta have faith in something, even if it's faith in the ability of the human race to correctly perceive reality and measure it accurately via science and reason.



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 06:16 PM
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"a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe"

The above is a dictionary reference for a religion.

Yes, Atheism is a religion. It has preachers, evangelists, and is desperate to covert the masses to it's belief system.



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 06:50 PM
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There are reasons atheist ideas are being 'pushed'. I believe that there is more acceptance compared to even 10 years ago. The internet has caused many people to become athests, I believe, because it has allowed people to communicate their true thoughts relatively anonymously without all the social backlash. Turns out many people are atheist.

For me, religion is a non-factor in my life. I can easily look past daily theological refrences almost subconsiously, however I see the point some make about removing religious words in places like our courtrooms. A person has the freedom of speech, but a courthouse is not a place for religious slogans. I want to be tried by 12 of my peers, not by 12 people who can believe in something that there is no evidence for.

A thought on faith:

Religion requires faith, To me, this can be broken down into having a combination hope and trust. For religion to work, you hope it is real and have to trust that its real. Without both of these, religion is a lost cause.

Athiests generally put their 'faith' in science, but the word 'faith' doesn't really apply to science. Science can be trusted easily, because something has to be proven and repeated before it can be accepted as true. A scientist can have 'faith' or hope on how a certain experiment might turn out, but in the end only the facts are accepted, regardless of the initial point of view.



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 07:31 PM
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reply to post by neo96
 



and whether or not atheists like it or not "morality" has a basis in religion.

So yeah atheism is a religion






Sort out your thoughts before you post


Anyways... I know what you were attempting to say. Morality belongs to you and others like you. Yawn.
edit on 3-12-2012 by Lucid Lunacy because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 07:33 PM
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yes it can not necessarily by their practices but by their belief in it and their faith.

They are, just like religious people, adamant that they are right and are 100% sure they are right.

They speak with much hate of any belief different than theirs OR they belittle a belief different than theirs and ridicule it.


You will get chastised for even posting this as they are zealots just like religious folk.


They look like a duck, sound like a duck but they are not a duck... according to them

Just keep in mind they will split hairs to convince you otherwise.
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posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 08:35 PM
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Originally posted by DrGod
Yes it could.
Atheists "believe" there is no god.
Atheists have "faith" that they are right.
Since god can never be proven, then this is just another kind of religion.


This. It is, but don't tell them that. It throws a wrench into their whole "I'm superior because I don't believe in something just to make me feel better" view. They love feeling superior, either they are better morally because they do what's right because it's the right thing to do, and not like others who simply fear the afterlife result if they don't do what God tells them... yeah okay. Or they are stronger people because they can accept this is all there is and we are just star dust. Everyone else just is too weak to see that truth. Talk about hypocrisy.


Originally posted by EllaMarina
reply to post by ProfessorChaos
 


I'm actually amused at the idea that the combination of the lack of a belief in a deity and common scientific viewpoints would constitute a religion. Opponents of atheism love to think that atheists are hypocritically practicing a religion of their own, not that I understand why.


Ella illustrates my point nicely. Don't associate those highly superior atheists with us low life form mouth breathers that can't possibly think on their scientific level. It's insulting.


Originally posted by AngryCymraeg
Given the fact that atheists do not worship a giant bearded person in the sky, do not have a hierarchy who wear silly clothes and do not practice elaborate but ultimately pointless rituals then I'd say that no, atheism is not a religion.


Angry does too. Here he is attempting to make anyone who follows... I don't know what religion he is referring too, but whatever it is, they are all intellectually inferior scum that should be mocked and scorned.

EDIT: for Ella and Angry, thanks guys, I think you proved my point better than I ever could have on my own.
edit on 3-12-2012 by CalebRight14 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 08:58 PM
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reply to post by hezro
 


This is funny, Why would you call it to religion ? Millions are delusional and other millions are educated enough to not eat that crap. It is not a belief , it is just you are not brainwashed. Atheist usually more opened and thinking logically.



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