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Is atheism a religion?

ghost

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Could Atheism be a form of religion in a way? It takes out 'God', And sets no God as the standard. But wouldnt that make it some sort of belief? Sort of like a religion in a way. And If there thing is to fully take away religion they are only reaslablishing it in a different that suits them.
 

Dezaad

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Re: Atheism a religion

Atheism does not say that no god exists. It says that there is no evidence of god's existence, and thus god is of no consequence.
 

Alex

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Re: Atheism a religion

ghost said:
Could Atheism be a form of religion in a way? It takes out 'God', And sets no God as the standard. But wouldnt that make it some sort of belief? Sort of like a religion in a way. And If there thing is to fully take away religion they are only reaslablishing it in a different that suits them.
The Webster's Dictionary definition of “atheist” is “one who denies the existence of God.” Some do not agree with the dictionary's definition. It seems to first accept the existence of a god, and only then, denies it. An atheist completely rejects the notion of any gods, not just God. American Atheists defines “atheist” as “someone who is without theism.” This is a more accurate description because it does not first accept any gods.
 

Dezaad

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Re: Atheism a religion

Webster doesn't quite define Atheist with the strong definition. Webster does allow for the "weak" definition of Atheism.

athe·ism
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle French athéisme, from athée atheist, from Greek atheos godless, from a- + theos god
2 a : a disbelief in the existence of deity

dis·be·lieve
Function: verb
transitive senses : to hold not worthy of belief
 

Alex

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Re: Atheism a religion

Dezaad said:
Webster doesn't quite define Atheist with the strong definition. Webster does allow for the "weak" definition of Atheism.

athe·ism
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle French athéisme, from athée atheist, from Greek atheos godless, from a- + theos god
2 a : a disbelief in the existence of deity

dis·be·lieve
Function: verb
transitive senses : to hold not worthy of belief
Thanks for that. The definition I got was from an older dictionary. I assume your's is newer. Cool.

I think the point I was trying to make still stands. Atheism is not a religion because it does not first accept any gods. The Webster's Dictionary may not be an accurate definition of it.
 

Dezaad

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Re: Atheism a religion

Let's create a thing and call it X

Let X be:

The Belief that there is no evidence to support the notion that God exists.

Let X be neither:

The Belief that there is no God.
--Nor--
The Belief that there is a God.


Now, if X is the same thing as Atheism, or is a subset of Atheism, then Atheism can be used in language in place of X. If not, then realize that the vast majority of people who call themselves atheist are in fact "X-ist", and should be labelled such.


My point is that we ought to dispense in advance with the word games people get caught up in when debating whether Atheism is a religion, or at least a belief.

Strong Atheism is the belief there is NO god.
Weak Atheism is X (see above).

And just for clarity:
Agnosticism is the belief that nothing about God can ever be known.


Now, to the point of the thread:

Weak Atheism makes no claims about whether God exists. It does make claims about the evidence for god's existence (i.e. that there is none).

Is Weak Atheism a religion? I suppose that if you stretch the definition wide enough then almost any belief could be a religion. Is the belief that there is no evidence for the existence of Santa Claus a religion?
 

Stherngntlmn

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Re: Atheism a religion

Yes... and honestly I think it probably takes more extreme faith to keep hold of a belief in the absense of a God than to believe in the existance of one.
 

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Re: Atheism a religion

Stherngntlmn said:
Yes... and honestly I think it probably takes more extreme faith to keep hold of a belief in the absense of a God than to believe in the existance of one.
It does not take any faith to keep hold of a belief in the absence of a god. Faith is the absence of fact. There are no facts to support a god exists so Atheists live without theism. There are scientific facts that lead to the notion a god does not exist so it does not require faith.
 

Dogger807

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Re: Atheism a religion

Stherngntlmn said:
Yes... and honestly I think it probably takes more extreme faith to keep hold of a belief in the absense of a God than to believe in the existance of one.
Nah.. it's the absense of faith.. no one acepts atheism on faith.
 

donkeykong

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Re: Atheism a religion

alex said:
It does not take any faith to keep hold of a belief in the absence of a god. Faith is the absence of fact. There are no facts to support a god exists so Atheists live without theism. There are scientific facts that lead to the notion a god does not exist so it does not require faith.
I'm interested in hearing the evidence to which you refer.
 

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Re: Atheism a religion

donkeykong said:
I'm interested in hearing the evidence to which you refer.
Evolution is evidence and genetics is the proof that backs it up. Strong genetic similarities link us to chimpanzees.
 

Dezaad

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Re: Atheism a religion

Stherngntlmn said:
Yes... and honestly I think it probably takes more extreme faith to keep hold of a belief in the absense of a God than to believe in the existance of one.
Weak Atheism does not take any faith at all. See definition above.

Are you deliberately ignoring the fact that I painstakingly explained above that Weak Atheism does not "hold a belief in the absence of a God"? Or are you simply too afraid to question your own cherished beliefs?

However, you're right, of course, to some extent. It does take faith to hold a belief in the absence of God. Strong Atheistic belief does take faith. Whether it takes more faith than believing in God seems a bit rich, though. But, that is irrelevant to the question the thread has implicitly posed: Is Atheism a Religion?

Weak Atheism is not a religion. It makes no claim at all as to the existence of God, as I stated before. It seems to me that at a minimum a religion would have to make a claim with regard to God's existence. Atheism, taken as a whole, does not do this.

Weak Atheism is simply the expression of scientific consensus: That there is no evidence for the existence of God.

It is irrelevant to address the question of whether Strong Atheism is a religion until you've settled whether Weak Atheism is. Strong would be the easier task, since it at least fulfils any requirement of a religion having faith. Any argument saying that it takes faith to believe there is no God is placing the cart before the horse.
 

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Re: Atheism a religion

alex said:
It does not take any faith to keep hold of a belief in the absence of a god. Faith is the absence of fact. There are no facts to support a god exists so Atheists live without theism. There are scientific facts that lead to the notion a god does not exist so it does not require faith.
I differ with you here. There is a 'leap of faith' to bridge the gap between evidence that leads to the notion that god does not exist, and conclusive evidence that god does not exist.
 

donkeykong

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Re: Atheism a religion

alex said:
Evolution is evidence and genetics is the proof that backs it up. Strong genetic similarities link us to chimpanzees.
Only retards still deny evolutions. Open minded Christians would say that God created evolution. I don't think there is any science that we know of which provides evidence for or against an omnipotent force that created the universe(which is how I define God).
 

Dezaad

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Re: Atheism a religion

donkeykong said:
Only retards still deny evolutions. Open minded Christians would say that God created evolution. I don't think there is any science that we know of which provides evidence for or against an omnipotent force that created the universe(which is how I define God).
You might be interested in reading this site: BetterHuman.Org

I've just come accross it recently, and have yet to fully investigate.
 

RightinNYC

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Re: Atheism a religion

donkeykong said:
Only retards still deny evolutions. Open minded Christians would say that God created evolution. I don't think there is any science that we know of which provides evidence for or against an omnipotent force that created the universe(which is how I define God).
Please avoid inflammatory or deragatory statements.
 

RightinNYC

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Re: Atheism a religion

ghost said:
Could Atheism be a form of religion in a way? It takes out 'God', And sets no God as the standard. But wouldnt that make it some sort of belief? Sort of like a religion in a way. And If there thing is to fully take away religion they are only reaslablishing it in a different that suits them.
I've always thought it was seen as this way:

Atheism - Belief that there is no god.
Agnosticism - Belief that there might or might not be a god, and that it is unknown.

By these definitions, atheism is a belief, while agnosticism is the absence of belief.
 

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Re: Atheism a religion

RightatNYU said:
ghost said:
Could Atheism be a form of religion in a way? It takes out 'God', And sets no God as the standard. But wouldnt that make it some sort of belief? Sort of like a religion in a way. And If there thing is to fully take away religion they are only reaslablishing it in a different that suits them.
I've always thought it was seen as this way:

Atheism - Belief that there is no god.
Agnosticism - Belief that there might or might not be a god, and that it is unknown.

By these definitions, atheism is a belief, while agnosticism is the absence of belief.
If you were to succeed in redefining Agnosticism so that it was the word that now means Weak Atheism, what word would you use to denote someone who believes that knowledge of god's existence and nature is impossible?



"Doctrine that one cannot know the existence of anything beyond the phenomena of experience.

It is popularly equated with religious skepticism, and especially with the rejection of traditional Christian beliefs under the impact of modern scientific thought. T.H. Huxley popularized philosophical agnosticism after coining the term agnostic (as opposed to gnostic)"


"agnosticism." Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. 2005. Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service
14 July 2005 <http://www.britannica.com/ebc/article?tocId=9354743>.​
 
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Re: Atheism a religion

alex said:
Evolution is evidence and genetics is the proof that backs it up. Strong genetic similarities link us to chimpanzees.
So where have we seen significant evolution through documented history?
 
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Re: Atheism a religion

Everyone continues to say that there is much evidence to support evolution. Saying that our DNA make up is similar to that of a chimp. You comtinue saying that there is no proof of God's existence.
Now first of all, where is documented history have we seen significant evolution take place? Sure science says we are similar to apes and has fossils that they say can prove it. How reliable is this science? How can someone say by looking at fossils that we were once apes? Science said the world was flat back in the 1300's and that was wrong, how can we be sure that later on down the line scienc isn't going to say "Just kidding". We don't have enogh evidence to support evolution fossils and similar DNA isn't enough.
As for God, there is evidence if you know where to look. How did the universe come to be? Not how did the world come to be but our whole universe. Kinda hard to think that up if you don't believe in God. As for Jesus there is well documented proof of his existence as well. So it looks like God has a little more evidence and alot more faith on his side.
 
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Re: Atheism a religion

galenrox said:
Alright, how in the hell are they a cult? I mean, I personally disagree with them, but how is not believing in God a cult belief, it's a lack of belief in the first place.
And religions don't neccisarily need to worship anything. The church of satan doesn't worship anything (it's actually a common misperception that they worship satan, they worship man, and man's ability to live as s/he sees fit, and they view Satan as the representative of this belief, and so the praise is actually metaphorical), and yet the church of satan is considered a religion. The ULC has no set beliefs, and they are indifferent to whether or not you believe in anything, and that is also a recognized religion.
They are not a religion because they don't worship anything. This makes them a group of people with the same idea.

Religion- (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural
(Merrian Webster)
 

nkgupta80

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Re: Atheism a religion

Everyone continues to say that there is much evidence to support evolution. Saying that our DNA make up is similar to that of a chimp. You comtinue saying that there is no proof of God's existence.
Now first of all, where is documented history have we seen significant evolution take place? Sure science says we are similar to apes and has fossils that they say can prove it. How reliable is this science? How can someone say by looking at fossils that we were once apes? Science said the world was flat back in the 1300's and that was wrong, how can we be sure that later on down the line scienc isn't going to say "Just kidding". We don't have enogh evidence to support evolution fossils and similar DNA isn't enough.
As for God, there is evidence if you know where to look. How did the universe come to be? Not how did the world come to be but our whole universe. Kinda hard to think that up if you don't believe in God. As for Jesus there is well documented proof of his existence as well. So it looks like God has a little more evidence and alot more faith on his side.
You can believe in a creqator God and evolution. Remember The theory of evolution itself is apart from the theory of the origin of life. Secondly, All i know is that science has given us a much much more detailed outlook on the physical realities ofthe world than any religion has. So when it comes to understanding the physical realities of the world science wins. And remember the theory of evolution is still a theory. The only reason scientists consider it over Biblical views, is because Biblical creation is not a theory, and has no irrefutable evidence to back it, or give it substantial validity.

BTW, documented history would never prove anything because our history is so small compared to the timeframe of the world.
 

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Re: Atheism a religion

galenrox said:
re·li·gion ( P ) Pronunciation Key (r-ljn)
n.

Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
1. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
2. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
3. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.
(dictionary.com)

Yes, the first definition atheism would not fit into, but the next two it very well could.
No, Atheism could not fit the 2nd. The third is the only possibility here. And, Frankly, I think the 3rd is a bit loosey goosey with language. Environmentalism, The Fight For Freedom, Capitalism could all fit into number 3, as well as many many more.

The most a person could say, if one was going to accept 3 as a definition, is that Atheism is a religion for some people, in the colloquial sense.

col·lo·qui·al ( P ) adj.
Characteristic of or appropriate to the spoken language or to writing that seeks the effect of speech; informal.
Relating to conversation; conversational.
Dictionary.com
 

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Re: Atheism a religion

Dezaad said:
I differ with you here. There is a 'leap of faith' to bridge the gap between evidence that leads to the notion that god does not exist, and conclusive evidence that god does not exist.
Excellent point. I understand what you are saying here, but I prefer to think that there are educated thought processes that bridge that gap and not a "leap of faith." You got me thinking though.
 
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