Atheism is technically a religion. Now, calm down. I'm going to present my case to you all.


The primary definition of religion according to (with the parts in bold and parentheses added by me) is: a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually (but not always) involving devotional and ritual observances, and often (but not necessarily) containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

I am an atheist. I was raised I as a Christian and pretended to be one for a long time, but I didn't care about church, prayer, or my soul. However, we atheists need to realize that technically we have a religion. We have no proof that there are no deities, we simply do not believe in their existence.
I don't find anything to be wrong with religion in and of itself; only what people try to do with it. If someone else needs to believe that there is some sort of god(s) or goddess(es) unknown up/out there to live fulfilling lives, that's fine. But I don't... thoughts?

Tags: atheism, religion

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You aren't wrong but I don't know that all atheist believe the same thing so it is like one of those religions with lots of little factions. I don't know that I have every really felt the need for proof it's like having proof Santa or fairies don't exist we don't have proof of that either. That sounds arrogant doesn't it I don't mean it to be.

I have no problem with religion as a general thing but what people do with it that I don't always like so much. I don't like the way people treat every single word in the bible as the word of god as it was written be men over a long period of time.

You're right, it is like a religion with many factions. In know way was I trying to say that all atheists believe the same thing... I'm sorry if it seemed that way. I don't feel like I need proof either, though I don't believe you actually "prove" anything (but that is a whole other discussion). And no, that didn't seem arrogant at all.


I agree with you, there is nothing really long with believing in something. But that bothers me as well. I have tried time and again to explain to people that even if they believe that the Bible is the direct word of God, it was written by men and is therefore flawed. I have never had anyone say, "You know what, you're right, but it's the best we've got." They just continue to defend it, and that really bothers me.

Oh no I wasn't saying you were saying all aithiest it just got me thinking as too what type of religon it would be. yeah I agree about not being able to "prove" anything. 

In Australia religion isn't really talked about as for most people it isn't part of day to day life. So I don't really have to deal with it much.  


I was just making sure that I hadn't accidentally implied anything. c:

You're so lucky! I wouldn't say it is typical to be talked about commonly here in America, but it seems to be for me. My grandfather is a Christian Minister, and almost all of my friends and family are Christians. I'm the black sheep when it comes to religious beliefs (and many other things, for that matter). A lot of the people I know talk about God a lot, so it comes up.

Absence of belief is not the same as belief of absence, though. I, personally, don't support the belief that there are no deities. I think the non-existence of deities is the most likely scenario, but since it's impossible to prove the non-existence of something (particularly something so abstract and poorly defined as a god), I just choose to not believe in any of them instead. I've chosen to only believe in what can be proven.


I have no belief in their existence (as there is no proof), but I don't believe in their non-existence (as it can't be proven).

I see what you're saying. Say that five times fast. Heh. I simply wanted to point out that people who DO believe that there are not any deities have a religion, since many of these people have "problems" with religion (though that may not hold true for this site, I just have seen a lot of it before).
I still do not believe that atheism as a religion. I believe that in order to be classed as a religion there must be an element of 'belief' present. As atheists we do not have 'faith' that God does not exist, we see scientific evidence and understand that it is fact, I don't not see 'belief' as any part of it. There are no traditions that we carry out, all that can be common for atheists is the fact that they do not think an almighty figure exists. In Religions there are a lot more elements that bring people together in a collective consensus than just not accepting that a divine entity exists.

If we called atheism a religion? Then what do you have to be to be in this religion? Is reading Richard Dawkins books treated like reading the bible? Is watching Carl Sagan treated as preying? Is debating with a friend treated as preaching?

The only thing that unites us is our ability to understand the scientific facts, I see a religion as a lot more than that.

I see where you're coming from, and it really just depends on your definition of religion. Within the bounds of the definition I posted when I started this topic, atheism can be classified as a religion. I merely found it interesting and amusing. I'm still an atheist, so I don't pray, since I don't believe that there is anything to pray to.


Also it's worth noting that atheists use evidence as the foundation for their beliefs, but it's still a belief, since according to science, you can't actually "prove" anything, even gravity. But that's a semantics things, so...

Even taking that definition verbatim, atheism is still not a religion any more than "not playing canasta" is a hobby.  There is only one stipulation that must be true for a person to be an atheist:  That person must not believe in a god or gods.  Any number of ridiculous things can still be believed, and as long as that person does not believe in gods, he or she is an atheist.  Secular Humanists are atheists just as much as Cthulhu cultists are atheists.  The definition states that "a set of beliefs" is necessary for a religion, but exactly the opposite is true for atheism, which is completely contingent on lacking a belief.
Atheism is a philosophy. Atheism has no religious texts, no rituals, and no moral code. We believe there is no cause, nature or purpose to the Universe.

Any more questions?
Atheism isn't a religion. The only similarity of belief that all atheists necessarily share is the lack of belief in any deity.

I agree with the sentiment,

but we aren't a religion.

There are a lot of other parts of religion that, regardless of the loose definition you've given, they do follow.

Like devotional and ritual observances.

See, religion is the organization.

Faith is what gives religion its power.

One can be spiritual (or non-spiritual) without being religious.


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