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Cat
February 14th, 2007, 10:13 AM
This question came up when I was talking with some friends last weekend. They were claiming that atheism is a religion. Their rationale was that the option of checking atheist under the religion section appears on various forms, which is hardly an argument I could accept. They then claimed that because atheism has to do with beliefs about god its a religion.

My attitude is that religion involves a belief in the sacred, and that therefore atheism is not a religion.

I know this gets into a definition of religion, and I don't have a good one of those.

What do you all think?

Dustypuppy
February 14th, 2007, 11:20 AM
I agree with your definition of religion as a recognition of a sacred dimension of existence,which in the past (at least in the Western world) would have indicated belief in the Judeo-Christian God and associated mythology, atheism would have then been perceived to be most definitely not a religious in the slightest.
However times are a changing and to many so has the definition of 'religion',in the current age the humanitarian aspect of it has been hoisted up to the highest point. To many atheists science is can be classed as 'religion' they hold that it reveals universal truths pointing to the fact that there is no Divine being, one could even posit renowned scientists such as Steven Hawkings in a raised position to this group who admire and respect his knowledge, are in awe of him and so forth,perhaps such people fulfill the role of 'clergy' to the scientifically minded atheistic community? Personally I believe that atheism is not technically a religion per se as yet as it does not demonstrate the necessary criteria to be classed as one, but who knows this may change in the future, through further developments in humanistic and scientific research, I cant imagine many atheists would be thrilled at being called relgious though, kinda knocks them off their 'enlightened' perches!x

Zibblsnrt
February 14th, 2007, 02:36 PM
Tell an atheist that atheism is a religion; the results are usually fascinating. ;)

That said, I don't consider atheism a religion, though I consider evangelical atheism to effectively be one.

Cat
February 14th, 2007, 03:17 PM
What is an evangelical atheist? I have never heard that term before.

Oddly, there was one atheist and one agnostic in the room with me, and they both classed atheism as a religion.

David19
February 14th, 2007, 05:32 PM
What is an evangelical atheist? I have never heard that term before.

I think that would be an atheist who tries to get others thinking like them or says all other beliefs are BS, basically, there's a few online sites that i'd classify as evangelical atheists (for example, www.jesusneverexisted.com, one of the shittest sites in the world, bordering on anti-Semitism and there are others, mainly existing in the U.S.).

As for whether, atheism is an religion, I don't think it is, an atheist, to me, is lack of religion, the majority of my friends are atheists or agnostics, and they don't consider it an religion.

I think the only people who call it a religion are probably people who just want attention (by saying they're an atheist, then they get to explain it and get more attention).

When I was an atheist, I didn't call it an religion, i considered myself nothing.

Zibblsnrt
February 14th, 2007, 06:13 PM
What is an evangelical atheist? I have never heard that term before.

David nailed it in one; atheists who don't simply disbelieve, but disbelieve and go out of their way to try and make others disbelieve.

Philosophia
February 14th, 2007, 06:46 PM
David nailed it in one; atheists who don't simply disbelieve, but disbelieve and go out of their way to try and make others disbelieve.

Wouldn't that be called a "hard atheist"?
Edited to add: I found this website: http://www.abarnett.demon.co.uk/atheism/atheismreligion.html
that explains another POV to this debate.

BrightStar
February 14th, 2007, 06:47 PM
That's a good question.
I've always felt it takes a heck of a lot of faith to absolutely believe in nothing!

Peace and Love
BrightStar

Philosophia
February 14th, 2007, 06:49 PM
Some more links:
http://www.atheists.org/faqs/atheism.html#not.religion
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=45874
http://atheism.about.com/library/FAQs/ath/blathm_rel_religion.htm

SalemWitchChild
February 14th, 2007, 06:50 PM
I think it is a belief. Not a religion.

Zibblsnrt
February 14th, 2007, 07:20 PM
Wouldn't that be called a "hard atheist"?

Hard atheism involves the active disbelief; I'm using the term "evangelical" pretty deliberately, in the ecclesiastical sense of the word, where the person goes out to seek converts.

Philosophia
February 14th, 2007, 07:22 PM
Hard atheism involves the active disbelief; I'm using the term "evangelical" pretty deliberately, in the ecclesiastical sense of the word, where the person goes out to seek converts.

Oh, okay. Then I agree.