ForumsWEPRWhy do people believe "Atheism" is a religion?

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blk2860
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blk2860
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I'm a Christian, but why do people talk about Atheism like a religion? I mean, it's just not believing in any Gods or Deities. It's just a question I had.

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Kasic
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Kasic
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Short answer: People don't understand what atheism is.

Long answer: Religion is such an integral part of many people's lives that they assume someone has to have some sort of belief system to tell them what is right and wrong and how everything got here. Thus, they think in ignorance that atheism must be a religion because everyone has a religion (their thought process) and since they call themselves an atheist, that's their religion. It all stems from ignorance and assumption, along with having been indoctrinated into thinking that everyone needs to believe in something.

Devoidless
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Devoidless
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All in all, people are borderline mongoloids when it comes to many things. Atheism being one of them.

xgeogander
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xgeogander
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Who said they don't believe in God? of course they do but subconsciously.
that's why it's a religion ^_^

Bladerunner679
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Bladerunner679
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Who said they don't believe in God? of course they do but subconsciously.


you'd better be sarcastic.

people hate what they fear, and fear what they don't understand. in order to deal with this, the mind will sometimes make "rationalities" in order to the person to better understand without actually understanding what it is. that is a factor of atheism's "religion".

-Blade
NoNameC68
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NoNameC68
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Here's a better question, why do people believe "Theism" is a religion? : )

Atheism, nor theism, is a religion. The only meaning behind these words is to determine whether someone believes in a higher entity.

I don't know why, or rather how, people come to think of atheism as a religion. Perhaps it's because these people see religion as a set of beliefs, and if one does not believe in God, then that's a belief in and of itself. The problem with this logic is that religion isn't merely a set of beliefs. Religion is more specific than that, it has to do with believing in something divine in which our morality is dictated, or which nature is explained through divine explanations.

Though atheists can technically be religious, they often aren't. And I believe being a theist, you're automatically going to have a religion or non-specific religious views. This is where another common misconception arises, the belief that theism is a religion. Theism isn't a religion, as I stated before, it just so happens that you need to hold religious views to be a theist.

For example, you also need to be human (as far as we currently know) to be an atheist or a theist, but that does not mean atheism and theism's definition includes "to be human", it just so happens you need to be human to be an atheist or theist.

NoNameC68
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NoNameC68
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Sorry, bad example. I thought about it, and since animals lack a belief in a higher being (again, as far as we know), I guess this would make them atheist as well. But, hopefully the example still makes my point clear. x.x

HahiHa
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HahiHa
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To make the distinction between human atheism and "animal atheism", maybe we could just define that there's a sort of neutral atheism (default term appliable also on animals), and another atheism (don't know how to call it) where you know about the theist concepts, able to comprehend them, yet still retain your atheism.

Though that doesn't change a thing in that none of it is a religion. Religions are sets of religious (spiritual) beliefs of a collective of people. That simply doesn't apply on atheism.

Jacen96
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Jacen96
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How does one define a religion? Couldn't you define it as simply a system of beliefs?

Athiests have a system of beliefs, they believe God is not real and that science can answer everything.

Easy to logically say Atheism=religion

~~~Darth Caedus

Freakenstein
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Freakenstein
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Athiests have a system of beliefs, they believe God is not real and that science can answer everything.

Easy to logically say Atheism=religion


The problem is that Atheism isn't the belief of no deity, but the lack of belief of a deity.

Atheism is a religion like abstinence is a sex position -- it's not.
Kasic
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Kasic
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How does one define a religion? Couldn't you define it as simply a system of beliefs?


By using the definition of religion. Definition

In particular, religion has three parts to it. It teaches a certain set of beliefs, has traditions involved in it, and dictates morals.

Atheism does none of the above. It only refers to a lack of a belief in a deity. It does not teach certain beliefs. It does not have traditions involved with it. It does not dictate morals. In no way is it a religion.

Easy to logically say Atheism=religion


No, it's not. Hence my first response to this thread.
"Short answer: People don't understand what atheism is."
HahiHa
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HahiHa
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Athiests have a system of beliefs, they believe God is not real and that science can answer everything.

Atheism requires none of the above. Atheism at its core is the lack of belief in any deity; the default stance, so to say. The theistic belief in a deity, in any deity, is to be understood as a new, additional property, not a variant of the default.

The main problem with people nowadays is they only hear about those atheists that jacen tried to describe, and thus think these are characteristics of atheism. Which is obviously wrong, if you know what atheism is. Atheism has nothing to do with science, per se. Nor does it imlpy a set of beliefs.

Though I have to say, at least atheism is now recognized as different from christian faith, even though it's still misunderstood. Medieval opinion of disbelievers were that they are either demons or possessed by demons, thus not accepting them as "different", but branding them as the evil part of the christians religion.
Kasic
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Kasic
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Athiests have a system of beliefs, they believe God is not real and that science can answer everything.


I would like to expand a little further on Hahiha's explanation.

1) An atheist may be religious, but it is not because they are an atheist. They follow some other religion. The reason atheism is not a religion is because it does not teach anything. The only given similarity between someone who is an atheist and another is that they do not have a belief in a deity.

2) They don't "believe that God is not real." It's not about disbelieving in the Abrahamic god. It's about not having a belief for -any- gods. Atheists don't exist to personally go against Christianity. This with me or against me attitude that many Christians have is part of the problem.

3) Atheism has noting to do with science. Science is what people follow because it can prove its claims. Even religious people follow science, no? Except for parts where their faith directly contradicts, in which case they stubbornly say their religion is right even though science has proven itself many times over and religion is still stuck thousands of years in the past.

4) "Believe that science can answer everything" is not a religious belief. That's a more general form of belief and what you're basically saying is that, "we can prove everything by using facts and supporting evidence." Which, boiled down, is saying stuff is real and we can prove what is real and what is not.
NoNameC68
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NoNameC68
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How does one define a religion? Couldn't you define it as simply a system of beliefs?

Athiests have a system of beliefs, they believe God is not real and that science can answer everything.

Easy to logically say Atheism=religion

~~~Darth Caedus


Please read my post. Having a system of beliefs isn't enough to make something a religion.

Am I the only one who believes the best way to debunk the "atheism is a religion" myth is to argue the fact that theism isn't even a religion?
MageGrayWolf
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MageGrayWolf
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Long answer: Religion is such an integral part of many people's lives that they assume someone has to have some sort of belief system to tell them what is right and wrong and how everything got here. Thus, they think in ignorance that atheism must be a religion because everyone has a religion (their thought process) and since they call themselves an atheist, that's their religion. It all stems from ignorance and assumption, along with having been indoctrinated into thinking that everyone needs to believe in something.


To add to this I have to wonder if some of it stems from an earlier time when it was believed that one couldn't simply lack belief. it wasn't until around the late 18th century was the term atheist used to describe a simple lack of belief and even then it wasn't til the early 20th century that it caught on as such. (This may have also influenced this false addition of agnostic as being neither.)

Fun footnote originally the term "atheos" (which atheist was derived) was originally used as an insult between different religions.

Athiests have a system of beliefs, they believe God is not real and that science can answer everything.


No it doesn't it's one position of belief on one aspect. An aspect that isn't even part of all religions.

Am I the only one who believes the best way to debunk the "atheism is a religion" myth is to argue the fact that theism isn't even a religion?


I'm not sure it's the best way but it is a good point, theism isn't a religion either, it's simply the positive claim on a god/s existence.
Nerdsoft
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Well, a) people don't really understand it (as has been said) and b) atheism is a view on the existence of God(s). Christianity is also such a view, namely the view that there is only one God, and that God created the universe, and that God sent down His son (or himself, depending on the exact beliefs of the Christian in question), AKA Jesus.
There are many other examples of monotheism, but I don't really do walls of text, so onto there's atheism (or "Atheism", if you think it's a religion), which is the belief that God simply does not exist. It's a stance on the existence of God or gods. And by one way of looking at it, that's the core of every religion.
So yes, you can say atheism is a religion and still be in the "logic zone".

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