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Thread: Atheism is a religion [W:1586,2242]

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    re: Atheism is a religion [W:1586,2242]

    First, the words were talking about here have different meanings in different contexts. Beyond that, they're used in various other ways, maybe incorrectly and with ulterior motives due to the strength of feeling and personal attachments associated with them.

    Fundamentally, atheism means not having a belief in any god or gods. It doesn't necessarily incorporate anything else beyond that. Individual and groups of atheists can (and generally do) have all sorts of further associated beliefs and opinions which they may act upon but none of that is automatically fundamental to atheism. It is perfectly possible for someone to be atheist without any of those additional things; they just don't believe in any gods.

    It's worth remembering that atheism isn't equivalent to an individual religion but equivalent to theism (the clue is in the name). It's really just the opposite of theism. If atheism itself were a religion, theism itself would be a religion and there wouldn't be all the diverse theistic religions that actually exist.

    Formally, religion typically involves some kind of deliberate act. It's something you do rather than (just) something you believe. Atheism (and theism for that matter) doesn't require any such act and therefore can't be a religion in and of itself. Individual atheists can be religious and there are atheistic religions but, just as there are theistic religions, that doesn't make atheism (or theism) a religion.

    Religion has a more casual definition which can relate beyond this context of course (you can religiously follow a sports team for example) and that can apply to how some people act in relation to their lack of belief in gods. Obviously that is even further from making atheism a religion by any formal definition.
    Last edited by HonestJoe; 07-25-14 at 07:36 AM. Reason: spelling

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    re: Atheism is a religion [W:1586,2242]

    Quote Originally Posted by spud_meister View Post
    No. You've broadened the meaning of religion as to rendered it meaningless. A religion is a set of beliefs about what happens after death.
    Religion is more than a set of beliefs and does not require an after-death existence. Some don't historically.

    In addition, I'm yet to see an atheist act on their non-belief in God.
    This is true to some extent. This is something that is a big whole in the atheism=religion argument.

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    re: Atheism is a religion [W:1586,2242]

    Quote Originally Posted by DDD View Post
    Plus the religious have summed up an omniscient, omnipotent non existent entity in order for their lives to be more meaningful. The atheists have not. How are atheists religious then?
    While you have noted that of the majority, there are still plenty of religious people in the world today who have pantheons still. Not every religious person describes their deity as omniscient and/or omnipotent.

    So an atheist would believe in the laws of physics, and empirical data, and would act upon them alone. Are these purely scientific concepts religion also?
    Science can show cause/effect and help to proves which events are actual causation and which are merely correlation. This principle, however cannot be applied when dealing with deities, at least not at this stage of human and scientific development. Deities can be neither proven nor disproved, thus any stance one has on them is purely based upon belief and faith.
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    re: Atheism is a religion [W:1586,2242]

    Quote Originally Posted by HonestJoe View Post
    It's worth remembering that atheism isn't equivalent to an individual religion but equivalent to theism (the clue is in the name). It's really just the opposite of theism. If atheism itself were a religion, theism itself would be a religion and there wouldn't be all the diverse theistic religions that actually exist.

    Formally, religion typically involves some kind of deliberate act. It's something you do rather than (just) something you believe. Atheism (and theism for that matter) doesn't require any such act and therefore can't be a religion in and of itself. Individual atheists can be religious and there are atheistic religions but, just as there are theistic religions, that doesn't make atheism (or theism) a religion.
    I can agree with you here and say that both theism and atheism are really more spirituality states then religions per se'. My dad has often said, "Spirituality is for God. Religion is for man." Within that statement is the context of each person's deity is in place where he uses "God".

    Religion has a more casual definition which can relate beyond this context of course (you can religiously follow a sports team for example) and that can apply to how some people act in relation to their lack of belief in gods. Obviously that is even further from making atheism a religion by any formal definition.
    I would say that, at least in the US, "religion" is also used loosely to denote any type of spirituality or belief system. In regards to the bold line in the first quote, we could apply that logic to claim the Christianity is not a religion otherwise there wouldn't be all the diverse Christians religions that actually exist. Same holds true for Judaism and Islam.
    Bi, Poly, Switch. I'm not indecisive, I'm greedy!

    My leaving the conversation does not indicate you won. It means that real life took priority, or I have just tired of your idiocy.

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    re: Atheism is a religion [W:1586,2242]

    Quote Originally Posted by Sababa View Post
    Religion is more than a set of beliefs and does not require an after-death existence. Some don't historically.
    Defining religion is tricky. I went with one that covers most religions and was easy to type.

    This is true to some extent. This is something that is a big whole in the atheism=religion argument.
    Some atheists are anti-religious, and their dislike of religion drives them to act against the religious. But none are driven by a lack of belief in a deity.
    So follow me into the desert
    As desperate as you are
    Where the moon is glued to a picture of heaven
    And all the little pigs have God

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    re: Atheism is a religion [W:1586,2242]

    Quote Originally Posted by KokomoJojo View Post
    if the extent of your philosophical review ends at the dictionary then we have little to discuss.

    Otherwise you might want to explain the substantial difference between;

    1) I disbelieve in the existence of God.
    2) I believe God does not exist.

    As I said early these are nothing more than semantic word games.
    Words have definitions. It's how language works. If you're going to dismiss that then we're going to have resume communicating by wiggling our fingers at our monitors.

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    re: Atheism is a religion [W:1586,2242]

    Quote Originally Posted by spud_meister View Post
    Ok, good. Atheism is a religion. Now what? Why is this important to you?
    If I remember right is has something to do with relegating science to faith, so we don't have to accept ideas like evolution or anthropogenic global warming.

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    re: Atheism is a religion [W:1586,2242]

    Quote Originally Posted by it's just me View Post
    People turn science into a religion, it's called "Scientism".
    Good point. However real science leans on skepticism, not dogmatic belief. Should a theory hold true the data should support it in reality today.
    Quote Originally Posted by poweRob View Post
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    re: Atheism is a religion [W:1586,2242]

    Quote Originally Posted by KokomoJojo View Post
    Here is a interesting read I found on atheism that exemplifies to some extent the root philosophy and 'substantial' meaning of the word.

    Here is how it works.

    People absorb the environment around them. From this environment they sort out what they 'believe' on everything.

    They sort what they believe as acceptable in one bin vs what they believe as unacceptable in another bin.

    What they believe is the controlling factor in what and how they 'conduct themselves' throughout life.

    Hence the substantial definition of religion is a 'belief that one acts upon'.

    This is centered upon how the mind works in and of itself, not the final product or outcome of the process, though the outcome proves the process.

    In other words if the final product is atheism or christian makes no difference, if a person governs themselves with regard to their beliefs no matter where derived it is when the will commits to action that it becomes officially 'their' religion.

    In both cases the mind went through the same fundamental process as described above.




    I struggled to think of the appropriate language that could be a work around to the premise and have not come up with any other construction that made sense. Despite who or what we are it boils down to a set of personal 'beliefs'.

    Everything we consciously process is a 'belief', whether those beliefs are true or false notwithstanding.

    In other words atheists 'believe' God does not exist. Use of the negative results in the same and is purely semantic.
    penn.jpg

    Of course, nutcase conspiracy theorists have a religion, it all fits: inane belief in made up baloney, faith against overwhelming evidence, inability to answer simple questions, etc, etc.
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    re: Atheism is a religion [W:1586,2242]

    Quote Originally Posted by joG View Post
    Of course it is a religion. Only Atheists hate the idea.
    OK, you ready to hand out tax exemptions?
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