Debate:Is atheism a religion?

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This is a debate about whether or not atheism is a religion (as can be shown by the title). Well, don't just read this sentence, go read what other people have to say and rebuttle them or back them up you dolt. Yeesh. Don't deleate what someone else has written, please.

Answer: this is not a debate topic since the answer can already be found at religion. Depending on the definition one goes by, atheism may or may not be considered a religion. --Elton 14:24, 30 April 2008 (EDT)
This is a debate page, not an article.
Opinions are welcome. Please remember to sign your comments on this page, and refrain from editing other user's contributions.

Contents

Yes

Atheism is a religion. This is because, to a certain extent, they are worshipping something. As Christians, Jews, and Muslims are one god, atheists worship the fact that there is no god. This might sound contradicting and might make no sense, but bare with me. If you are a Christian, you take to heart the fact that Jesus was the savior of man. You believe that Jesus is the savior. However, if you are athiest, you are taking to heart the fact that there is no god. --Rocky

As an atheist, I also have to sleep denying Mohammemed, Buddha, Jesus, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It's hard, but it must also e hard for you Rocky, having your religion defined as not believing in everything but Jesus. It must also be hard taking to heart that there are no super-intelligent aliens living among us, no unicorns, and no centaurs. All of those things are believed by some in a religious sense, so what does it feel like to say "I am a Christian, defined by not believing in x,y,z,... for 10 minutes". Boy, your definition really makes sense!--Mariowhaa 02:04, 7 May 2008 (EDT)

Obviously, atheism is a religion. Once cannot scientifically prove or disprove the existance of a god. Therefore, there must be some leap of faith, to some degree, to get from agnoticism to atheism. Therefore, I consider atheism to be the belief in no gods, rather than no belief in gods. This is a religious belief. Sunyatsen 16:15, 28 May 2008 (EDT)

While you may not agree in that proof, many people believe that all evidence suggests there is no god, and that the logical position in the absence of evidence is not "there may be X or there may not be X," but rather "there is no X unless you can prove X." In other words, it depends on what you consider to be the "default" position on matters of existence. You are not an agnostic when it comes to magical teapots in outer space, you are an atheist... you would say "there is no teapot out there unless you can prove it." In the same way, many individuals feel that "maybe there's a god" is not a reasonable position in the absence of anything to suggest there might be.--Tom Moorefiat justitia ruat coelum 16:19, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
The belief that there is no God may be a religious belief, but a religious belief is not necessarily a religion. Belief in angels is a religious belief, but there is no religion of angelism. Dadsnagem2 16:27, 28 May 2008 (EDT)


When atheists don't believe in God (or believe there is no God), they believe in something else - all people believe in something. It may not be an official religion, but at least this is religious (believe in something).Kmcheng 16:45, 25 December 2008 (EST)

Your quote "all people believe in something" illustrates your ignorance about atheists and their lack of belief. The purpose of atheism is precisely NOT to believe in something. Jpope14 13:38, 26 June 2012 (EDT)

No

Atheism does not fit the definition of 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 zeal or conscientious devotion.[1]

One could argue that for some atheists atheism fits definition number four, but that is really a metaphorical usage of the word. Dadsnagem2 14:35, 30 April 2008 (EDT)

To call Atheism a religion would mean you would also have to say that christianity is not a religion because a christian does not believe in, say, Odin.

"Atheism is a belief the same way that not collecting stamps is a hobby." (Overheard on another forum) --Gulik5 20:41, 30 April 2008 (EDT)

In the same vein: "Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair color." --Don Hirschberg Dadsnagem2 11:17, 1 May 2008 (EDT)

No, although there have been Atheistic quasi-religions, such as the positivist 'Church of Humanity' in the late 19th/early 20th century. Bugler 11:18, 1 May 2008 (EDT)

Atheism is defined as the disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings. If you consider the disbelief in god/gods to be a religion, then you can also say that Christians have more than one religion because they don’t believe in the Greek god Zeus or in Allah, the Muslim God. Basically, all Christians are then both Christian and Atheist. --Atheistftw 11:03, 6 July 2008 (EDT)

"We are all athiests I just happen to believe in one less god than you"-I forget who said it but I feel it sums up this debate quite well--DerikJ 10:02, 27 February 2010 (EST)

Atheism's lack of belief in a God is no more religious than Christianity's disbelief in any other god is religious. What makes belief religious is positive belief in a deity, not negative belief about other deities. Jpope14 13:37, 26 June 2012 (EDT)

Atheism is the rejection of religion. By definition, it cannot be a religion. Someone in the yes column said that atheism was a religion because atheists take to heart that there is no god. But that is the exact opposite of what atheism actually is. There is no taking anything to heart.

You see the quotes about "atheism is a religion like..." think about this: "atheism is a religion like theism is a religion" I think that people who are atheists might have a religion that involves there not being a god, but in a general sense atheism is not a religion. I would go as far to say atheism is the lack of a clearly defined religion. But that is not to say that atheists make statements about their beliefs, it's just that atheism isn't their religion. --Mdamber 11:08, 1 June 2013 (EDT)

No, even though some like the unpleasant Richard Dawkins push it as fervently as any religious fundamentalist does. Most, I would go far as nearly all, simply don't care. They do not believe in God and have no interest in religion whatsoever.--Patmac 11:35, 1 June 2013 (EDT)

Impossible to Say

Lacking a concrete definition of "religion," it is impossible to say whether or not atheism is a religion. The first step in this debate should be to determine such a definition. And in this case, that's probably also the last step.

  • A religion is a set of beliefs designed to explain natural phenomena. Atheism is not a religion.
  • A religion is a worldview. Atheism is a religion.

And so on. So before you try to answer this, preface your argument with your definition of "religion."--Tom Moorefiat justitia ruat coelum 16:22, 28 May 2008 (EDT)

The "R" Word

What constitutes a religion: any system of attitudes, practices, principles, requiring an adherence to belief in and faith of an order of actions. Whether they be theistic or non-theistic in their origins. An atheist is thereby conforming to religious principles. You can also look up the definition of 'Religion' in conservapedia to help explain the meaning of the word. Unfortunately atheists detest the application of the word 'Religion' that they exclusively like to apply only to theistic beliefs such as Judaism, Christianity, ...etc. Therefore the reason for the liberal redifining of the term. To the atheist, this is a derogatory term meant to only apply to others and rejected for the use to their own set of beliefs. This can be argued is why when someone mentions the "R" word it is accepted they are describing Judaism, Christianity, and not the secular world.--Roopilots6 12:22, 28 June 2008 (EDT)

"... requiring an adherence to belief in and faith of an order of actions" assumes that Atheism has this. It instead has a LACK of this. So how can you claim that it is a religion?

References

  1. "religion." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 30 Apr. 2008. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/religion>.
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