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Is Atheism a religion?
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Posted 12/12/14 , edited 12/12/14
In any dictionary you look at, religion is defined as the belief and worship of a superhuman entity (God/gods). Since atheism is disbelief or denial of the existence of God/gods, and by extension, does not possess any system of worship for God/gods, I don't see how it could be referred to as a religion in any formal sense of the word. It's an oxymoron.

Atheism shares some things in common with religions, like being a philosophical assertion, fostering a community and so on, but atheism itself is no more a religion than I am an elephant. I share some commonalities with an elephant - mammalian, eukaryotic, multicellular, land-dwelling - but these things don't make me an elephant, do they?
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こ ~ じ ~ か
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Posted 12/12/14

Darkphoenix3450 wrote:

not collecting stamps is a hobby RIGHT?
not playing golf is a sport RIGHT?
not believing in a god is a religion RIGHT?


NonStampCollector FTW!

Do you believe in Athena?
No
Do you believe in Odin?
No
Do you believe in.....
~several hours later~
Do you believe in Yahweh?
No
ATHEIST! RARGLEBARGLE$&@$%#!
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Posted 12/13/14 , edited 12/13/14
Atheism isn't a religion, at least the one you are thinking of. That's silly.
Posted 12/13/14

LalaSatalin wrote:

Atheism isn't a religion, at least the one you are thinking of. That's silly.



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Posted 12/13/14
While it's already been mentioned, it's worth reiterating due both to its important and the frequency in which its misunderstand, but Atheism is not a religion, at least insofar as Social scientists would define religion. Religion is, generally, defined as a system of unified values and beliefs relative to a higher, almost always supernatural power. Atheism is just a proposition that says that there's no good reason to believe any religion is true. There's no supernatural elements invoked.
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Posted 12/13/14

jmac825 wrote:

In any dictionary you look at, religion is defined as the belief and worship of a superhuman entity (God/gods). Since atheism is disbelief or denial of the existence of God/gods, and by extension, does not possess any system of worship for God/gods, I don't see how it could be referred to as a religion in any formal sense of the word. It's an oxymoron.

Atheism shares some things in common with religions, like being a philosophical assertion, fostering a community and so on, but atheism itself is no more a religion than I am an elephant. I share some commonalities with an elephant - mammalian, eukaryotic, multicellular, land-dwelling - but these things don't make me an elephant, do they?


You've mixed up theism and religion.
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Posted 12/13/14
Well, atheism is pretty much the lack of a religion, so... no. However, someone up in the comments said the US Government recognizes it as such. To this I say that atheism is not a religion, but it is a religious standing. A religion is something you have to subscribe to, a religious standing to me is just your viewpoint on things, which is what I think the US should put it as. The closest thing I can think of to an atheist "religion" is LaVeyan Satanism or whatever it is called as they have a "church" and I think some even practice rituals but in a spiritual sense, not actually believing in/worshipping any gods. Sorry if I'm wrong about some things, I don't personally know anyone in that church but that's the only thing I can think of similar to religion for atheists.
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Posted 12/13/14

Ember_McLain wrote:

While it's already been mentioned, it's worth reiterating due both to its important and the frequency in which its misunderstand, but Atheism is not a religion, at least insofar as Social scientists would define religion. Religion is, generally, defined as a system of unified values and beliefs relative to a higher, almost always supernatural power. Atheism is just a proposition that says that there's no good reason to believe any religion is true. There's no supernatural elements invoked.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ra%C3%ABlism
They have no gods.
They have a higher power.
They have a system of unified beliefs and values.

This is a religion according to your definition.
It is atheist.
I also dislike your definition because of the phrase "Relative to a higher power."
I think Jainism has gods, making it theistic, but don't consider them any better than people, instead calling those who achieve whatever it is they're supposed to, "God", or or something like that.
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Posted 12/14/14

Nobodyofimportance wrote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ra%C3%ABlism
They have no gods.
They have a higher power.
They have a system of unified beliefs and values.

This is a religion according to your definition.
It is atheist.
I also dislike your definition because of the phrase "Relative to a higher power."
I think Jainism has gods, making it theistic, but don't consider them any better than people, instead calling those who achieve whatever it is they're supposed to, "God", or or something like that.
"Raëlism", the nonsensical religion you linked, is indeed a religion. I never once said, and feel free to read my previous post that you quoted yet still seemed to misunderstand, despite it's relative and comparative shortness, that religions need a god. Again, the sociological definition of religion merely states religion is defined as a system of unified values and beliefs relative to a higher, usually supernatural power. The UFO religion you linked is relative to a supernatural power, aliens, because there are no scientific evidence support the veracity of Raëlism nor are there natural observations attesting to the verisimilitude of the claims made by such a silly cult.

Atheism and Agnosticism are epistemological positions with no apparent magistrate. Consequently their do not fall within the purview of the previous definition of religion -- they fail on both counts, in fact.

Also, Jainism still comports with the aforementioned definition as well. I should say, as if it already wasn't obvious, if you dislike that definition, as you've already said yourself, feel free to invent your own definition. Just realize, however, most people probably won't recognize whatever nonsense you dream up in order to fit your sensitivity agenda.
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Posted 12/14/14

Outside pedantry defining things like religion don't normally matter.
As it stands though, can you source your definition?
From what I gathered about Jainism it failed the relative to a higher power test, but if you say otherwise I'll concede that to you, considering I know nearly nothing of it.
I can define religion to include or exclude all of atheism at will, so there's really no concern over the issue on my end.
Posted 12/14/14
It can't be. It rejects all religious beliefs. This topic doesn't need to be discussed.
Posted 12/15/14 , edited 12/15/14
In some instances it is a religion because some people believe to the utmost that there is no god, and fervently deny all possibility. Say whatever you want, but those people exist, and that is that. One could make a broad generalisation and say all athiesm is a religion, or Agnosticism is a religion. An "auto-religion", if you will. Religion is just a word, definitions vary, and it means different things to different people. What does it really mean to call yourself an athiest, given that its an umbrella term for so many groups and types of organisations? I don't think it means much from a Buddhist if a Raelian is also calling themself an athiest. Well, whatever. If its classified as a religion, be happy, its tax-friendly.
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Posted 12/15/14 , edited 12/15/14

Sarah_Blight wrote:

In some instances it is a religion because some people believe to the utmost that there is no god, and fervently deny all possibility. Say whatever you want, but those people exist, and that is that. One could make a broad generalisation and say all athiesm is a religion, or Agnosticism is a religion. An "auto-religion", if you will. Religion is just a word, definitions vary, and it means different things to different people. What does it really mean to call yourself an athiest, given that its an umbrella term for so many groups and types of organisations? I don't think it means much from a Buddhist if a Raelian is also calling themself an athiest. Well, whatever. If its classified as a religion, be happy, its tax-friendly.
If atheism is a religion then what is the acceptable label to use for lack of religion? There is no other word, aside from irreligious, to adequately use as a label for someone with no religion. We don't need to come up with a new word for that, because if we did you'd still call it a religion. It's as if you're acknowledging that people who lack a religion exist but as soon as it's given a label by which people identify then it's suddenly a religion (regardless of the actual beliefs and practices or lack thereof those people engage in).

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Posted 12/17/14

Sarah_Blight wrote:

In some instances it is a religion because some people believe to the utmost that there is no god, and fervently deny all possibility. Say whatever you want, but those people exist, and that is that. One could make a broad generalisation and say all athiesm is a religion, or Agnosticism is a religion. An "auto-religion", if you will. Religion is just a word, definitions vary, and it means different things to different people. What does it really mean to call yourself an athiest, given that its an umbrella term for so many groups and types of organisations? I don't think it means much from a Buddhist if a Raelian is also calling themself an athiest. Well, whatever. If its classified as a religion, be happy, its tax-friendly.


it is true you can still be religious even if your don't believe in a god. But that does not change the fact that lack of belief is not a religion, its someone's beliefs that make them religious such as their supernatural beliefs. Witch has nothing to do with Atheism, Anti-theism is only the lack of belief in a God or Gods.. Atheism is a lack of belief in a god or gods, so yes you can have a religion and still be an atheist, but Atheism it self is not a religion.

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OP Nuked. Locked,
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