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Why do people believe "Atheism" is a religion?

Posted Feb 20, '13 at 11:40am

Kasic

Kasic

5,746 posts

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."
 

Posted Feb 20, '13 at 11:50am

HahiHa

HahiHa

5,591 posts

Knight

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.
 

Posted Feb 20, '13 at 11:57am

Kasic

Kasic

5,746 posts

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.
 

Posted Feb 20, '13 at 1:32pm

NoNameC68

NoNameC68

5,266 posts

Knight

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?
 

Posted Feb 20, '13 at 9:06pm

MageGrayWolf

MageGrayWolf

9,809 posts

Knight

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.
 

Posted Feb 21, '13 at 3:08am

Nerdsoft

Nerdsoft

1,283 posts

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".

 

Posted Feb 21, '13 at 3:11am

Kasic

Kasic

5,746 posts

So yes, you can say atheism is a religion and still be in the "logic zone".


Only if you follow the logic that a pear is an apple because each is a fruit.
 

Posted Feb 21, '13 at 3:44am

MageGrayWolf

MageGrayWolf

9,809 posts

Knight

which is the belief that God simply does not exist.


It can also be simply the lack of belief. It doesn't have to be active disbelief.

that's the core of every religion.


That's not the core of every religion. Their are atheist religions out there.

So yes, you can say atheism is a religion and still be in the "logic zone".


Just as much as not collecting stamp is a hobby, or not playing football is a sport. I would also like to refer back to Nemo's point of how theism is not a religion either at this time.

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

"Theism isn't a religion, as I stated before, it just so happens that you need to hold religious views to be a theist."
 

Posted Feb 21, '13 at 7:25am

Nerdsoft

Nerdsoft

1,283 posts

It can also be simply the lack of belief. It doesn't have to be active disbelief.

Isn't the lack of belief agnosticism? PAP agnosticism?
Only if you follow the logic that a pear is an apple because each is a fruit.

They have their own logic. Logic does not have to be rational, it just has to be thought logical by someone and it becomes their logic. In Orwellian terms: 2+2=5. So not only if you follow the logic that a pear is an apple because each is a fruit. Logic depends on the person's point of view.
 

Posted Feb 21, '13 at 10:42am

EmperorPalpatine

EmperorPalpatine

9,475 posts

Isn't the lack of belief agnosticism?

"Agnosticism is the belief that the existence or non-existence of any deity is unknown and possibly unknowable."

"In the popular sense, an agnostic is someone who neither believes nor disbelieves in the existence of a deity or deities... In the strict sense, however, agnosticism is the view that humanity does not currently possess the requisite knowledge and/or reason to provide sufficient rational grounds to justify the belief that deities either do or do not exist."

"Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists."

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.


"Atheism is accepted within some religious and spiritual belief systems, including Jainism, Buddhism, Raelism, Neopagan movements such as Wicca, and nontheistic religions."
 
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