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Is everything a religion?


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I didn't want to hijack another thread, so I'm asking here.

 

Islam is a religion.

Christianity is a religion. (I know, "it's not a religion; it's a relationship," but it terms of religious studies is it, so could we just work within that framework for this question?)

Hinduism is a religion.

Wicca is a religion.

 

These require belief in some supernatural/invisible force.

 

When I hear "atheism is a religion" I'm curious. Atheism is non-belief. So, therefore, to people who say atheism and these other frameworks are all equally religion--isn't that basically to say

 

"a" equals religion

and

"not-a" equals religion

 

So, everything equals religion.

 

You can't avoid it. Everything is religion.

 

I don't believe that, and I definitely don't get it. If both belief and non-belief are both religion, then, everything is religion.

 

But it doesn't work that way with other binaries. Pregnant or not-pregnant. Alive or dead. Non-believer or believer.

 

We don't say being not pregnant is being pregnant.

Being alive is being dead.

Being an atheist (non-believer) is being religious (believer).

 

If you believe atheists are religious, what in the world do I have to do/be to be non religious? What can I possibly do to avoid being labeled "religious"?

 

 

T.

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For the sake of religious discussions, I've always included atheism as a religion. Atheism is, in itself, not really a religion, although there are atheistic religions (Satanism, for example, and, depending on who you ask, Buddhism, although it doesn't really fit the definition of a religion).

 

So, for the sake of religious discussion, it should be thought of as a religion, but for the sake of definition, it should not be thought of as a religion.

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I'm not sure you can do anything to not be labeled religious. In our school district, atheism is considered a religion. It's the religious belief that there is no deity of any sort.

 

Everyone has a religious belief, so I guess my vote is with everyone is religious, though I hadn't really thought about it technically before nor do I care much about it one way or the other - just a theoretical musing right now.

 

Then, of course, there are the agnostics that don't care one way or another, but it's still a religious belief.

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I'm not sure you can do anything to not be labeled religious. In our school district, atheism is considered a religion. It's the religious belief that there is no deity of any sort.

 

Everyone has a religious belief, so I guess my vote is with everyone is religious, though I hadn't really thought about it technically before nor do I care much about it one way or the other - just a theoretical musing right now.

 

Then, of course, there are the agnostics that don't care one way or another, but it's still a religious belief.

 

 

No, it is the NON-religious belief that there are no deities.

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It is all what you believe for yourself. I have heard that being atheist is making yourself a god....... I don't know whether that is true or not..... I'm in a cult, as far as most Christians believe...(I'm a Christian Scientist)..... such is life. I have been "shunned" by many people and in many places (scout troops, workplaces, etc).

 

I live for me...... not anyone else. It does suck, though, that I can't get into most hs groups because I'm obviously evil...and so are my children.

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For the sake of religious discussions, I've always included atheism as a religion. Atheism is, in itself, not really a religion, although there are atheistic religions (Satanism, for example, and, depending on who you ask, Buddhism, although it doesn't really fit the definition of a religion).

 

So, for the sake of religious discussion, it should be thought of as a religion, but for the sake of definition, it should not be thought of as a religion.

 

Why can't it be considered non-belief? If Buddhism doesn't meet the definition of religion, why can't atheism avoid it? What about atheism makes it religious...more religious than Buddhism for example.

 

Atheists don't have creed or practices or Atheist traditions. We don't worship supernatural entities nor do we acknowledge any.

 

Satanism is a theistic religion, actually. Though there are small subsets that aren't, most Satanists do believe in a god (or, most likely, a monotheistic God), but they worship that god's enemy. Similar to most Christians believe in Jesus's divinity, and that he is the member of a god-head, but not all.

 

T.

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I think people state atheism is a religion only if they are defining religion as a worldview. Defining religion as our worldview is especially common among Christians. Worldview is defined pretty much as the lens through which you interact with your world. Thus they are more likely to say atheism is your worldview or your religion.

 

No insult is intended.

 

And I do realize that some atheists will claim they have no lens whatsoever and that they view the world logically and with only facts....

 

But honestly, that is what the above people are thinking when they state that atheism is a religion. Like it or not, they are assuming that you have a particular worldview. They assume that you have reached the conclusion that God does not exist and you now filter all the information you receive around you through that filter (belief system, non-belief system, worldview, religion).

 

I don't feel like I said this as well as I could have, but I don't have time to elaborate.

Edited by Daisy
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Out of curiosity, Webster says this:

 

religious: relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity

 

So in the aspect of an "acknowledged ultimate reality" (ie no deity in ones future or life), it fits atheism. The "or deity" would be for those that believe in one - emphasis on the "or."

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I wouldn't necessarily say an atheist is religious, but there is a definite belief system involved. There are those who are "dogmatically atheist" - it's their way or the highway. Their beliefs are correct and anyone who doesn't believe that way can suck an egg. That is what I think of when people talk about atheism as a religion. KWIM? The attitude is no different than a dogmatic Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, etc.

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I don't believe athiests are religious. Religion is man's attempt at reaching up to God, trying to earn favour through works and rules. Christianity is God reaching down to man, the work was done on the cross.

 

It sounds like the word faith is key here. Athiests DO have a lot of faith. ;)

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I looked up a dictionary definition of religion.

 

These are the first two entries (dictionary.com):

 

1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

 

2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.

 

---

 

I don't think Atheism fits either one of these. There is no creation belief. There is no ritual. There is no observance of any kind. There is also no moral code specific to Atheists. Atheists don't tend to get together as a group. What would they talk about? They might like being around other Atheists so as to avoid comments about their non belief, but otherwise I wouldn't see the point.

 

Whether atheism is a religion or not probably depends on the individual atheist, but then again, some who call themselves christians or muslims don't exactly hold the beliefs or practice the traditions. Most atheists I've talked with are definitely in compliance with, "a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe" except maybe the purpose of it all.

 

Regardless of whether or not one considers atheism a religion itself, atheism is a religious belief - a belief about the future/afterlife or deity.

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Most atheists consider themselves non-religious because they do not participate in any specific activities with relation to any specific deity. They base their designation of "non-religious" on the fact that they do not perform specific actions or rituals.

 

However, "religion" is a label for what a person thinks about God. Personally, I think atheism is much or more a leap of faith as many other religions, so I consider it a religion. However, a dear friend of mine who is an atheist does not agree with me on that point.

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I tend to think of atheists as "religious" in a sense because they have a belief (the belief that there is no God or gods). I consider most agnostics nonreligious because they aren't as dogmatic in their belief that there no deities. Most of the agnostics I know don't think that there is a God or gods, but they don't care much about the issue. Atheists are usually absolutely sure that there is no God or gods, and, to me, that constitutes a religious belief of some sort.

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So, basically, atheists have to fit into a box called "religious" because a bunch of other people have decided 'it is so' and we have to be told that "we have a lot of faith ;) " because others have decided that 'it is so'.

 

I'm so tired of being told what I am/what I believe/what I do not believe. If I TOLD a christian what THEY believe or what THEY should be called all heck would break loose, but atheists? Eh, they are just dumb, hell-bound heathens so who cares what they say? :glare:

 

I see this attitude of "atheists have to have soooo much faith to not believe what we KNOW is the TRUTH". It's rather arrogant.

 

Ridicule of atheists is quickly becoming the last acceptable prejudice.

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Why can't it be considered non-belief? If Buddhism doesn't meet the definition of religion, why can't atheism avoid it? What about atheism makes it religious...more religious than Buddhism for example.

 

Atheists don't have creed or practices or Atheist traditions. We don't worship supernatural entities nor do we acknowledge any.

 

Satanism is a theistic religion, actually. Though there are small subsets that aren't, most Satanists do believe in a god (or, most likely, a monotheistic God), but they worship that god's enemy. Similar to most Christians believe in Jesus's divinity, and that he is the member of a god-head, but not all.

 

T.

Wrong. The most popular kind of Satanism is LaVayan Satanism, which is the polar opposite of Christianity. Is is anti-cultural, full of self-worship and hate for other religions, and believes in no God or theistic being in any shape or form.

 

It is an example of an atheistic religion; a group of people following the same set of beliefs.

 

Atheism, in itself, is not a religion, because it is not a unified group with a unified set of beliefs. A LaVeyan Satanist is just as atheistic as any person who just labels themselves 'atheist', for example.

 

Saying atheism is a religion is like saying theism is a religion; theism encompasses many religions, just as atheism encompasses many religions, and many people who do not follow a religion.

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So, basically, atheists have to fit into a box called "religious" because a bunch of other people have decided 'it is so' and we have to be told that "we have a lot of faith ;) " because others have decided that 'it is so'.

 

I'm so tired of being told what I am/what I believe/what I do not believe. If I TOLD a christian what THEY believe or what THEY should be called all heck would break loose, but atheists? Eh, they are just dumb, hell-bound heathens so who cares what they say? :glare:

 

I see this attitude of "atheists have to have soooo much faith to not believe what we KNOW is the TRUTH". It's rather arrogant.

 

Ridicule of atheists is quickly becoming the last acceptable prejudice.

 

There are those who believe as you have stated, but I tend to think of atheism as a religion/philosophy/worldview simply because the lack of a god cannot be proven any more than the existence of a god or even multiple gods can be proven. It all falls within the realm of religion and philosophy. That some atheists would prefer to avoid the branch of religion & philosophy altogether doesn't negate the fact that the subject does indeed fall within that branch.

 

If I knew it offended the atheist to call atheism a religion, I would avoid doing so for their sake. Perhaps calling it a philosophy would be the better way to go. It is hard as most of us do interact with our world using our own worldviews. I don't think that necessarily makes religious folks prejudice against non-religious folks. I think it just means we have to learn new and unfamiliar language to interact with you. We are bound to occasionally fail in our ability to communicate.

Edited by Daisy
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I looked up a dictionary definition of religion.

 

These are the first two entries (dictionary.com):

 

1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

 

2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.

 

---

 

I don't think Atheism fits either one of these. There is no creation belief. There is no ritual. There is no observance of any kind. There is also no moral code specific to Atheists. Atheists don't tend to get together as a group. What would they talk about? They might like being around other Atheists so as to avoid comments about their non belief, but otherwise I wouldn't see the point.

 

Wouldn't atheism fit if you just read the main parts, not the "especially" or "often" or "usually". To me, those words read as qualifiers. If I say, "often" I mean that there are times when it's not, kwim? So there can be religion that doesn't fit any of those qualifying clauses. So would most atheists have "a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe"? My experience is that the answer is yes--there would may be variations, as there are in Christianiity between say Catholics and Protestants, but each atheist I have known has shared the same beliefs about the cause (we're still researching it, finding out more each year), nature (material) and purpose (no overarching purpose for the universe though people are free to create their own purpose for their own lives.) I've linked one set below.

 

Atheism takes the same "space" in the human psyche as religion does in several spheres. I would not call it faith, but worldview, as a pp has said.

 

Secular humanism was found by the US Supreme Court to fill the same function as religion when a man was granted conscientious objector status (during the Vietnam era, I believe) based on conflict with his religious beliefs. I might be able to dig up the citation later. But if not totally identical with atheism, it shares the belief that there is no diety.

 

http://www.americanhumanist.org/Who_We_Are/About_Humanism/Humanist_Manifesto_I

 

This is one summation of humanism, often labeled secular humanism because there are other forms of humanism associated with certain religions.

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I think people state atheism is a religion only if they are defining religion as a worldview. Defining religion as our worldview is especially common among Christians. Worldview is defined pretty much as the lens through which you interact with your world. Thus they are more likely to say atheism is your worldview or your religion.

 

No insult is intended.

 

And I do realize that some atheists will claim they have no lens whatsoever and that they view the world logically and with only facts....

 

But honestly, that is what the above people are thinking when they state that atheism is a religion. Like it or not, they are assuming that you have a particular worldview. They assume that you have reached the conclusion that God does not exist and you now filter all the information you receive around you through that filter (belief system, non-belief system, worldview, religion).

 

I don't feel like I said this as well as I could have, but I don't have time to elaborate.

 

Hi, Daisy.

 

Actually, you explained it well. And I've gotten some good answers. I think I "get" the way that people are explaining it here. In fact, I do understand why "areligious" needs to be listed when talking about religious adherents. I just googled religious beliefs in the world, and found a pie chart. In that chart, non-religion was also listed, and I see why that would need to be.

 

I hadn't thought to equate "religion" to "worldview" in Christian parlance. When I was Christian, one who big into "world view" I think that's how I would have seen it as well. In fact, now that I think of it, I might have even done just that. I do wonder if "world view" is just a Christian euphemism for "religion." Really, it's the only place I ever hear about world view. :)

 

Thanks, everyone, for your input. I think I learned a lot. I'm used to people saying, "atheism is a religion, and you're just as religious as I am. You just worship. . . [insert dreck here]" but it seems that's not what folks here are saying. Interesting.

 

Thanks, all!

 

T.

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There are those who believe as you have stated, but I tend to think of atheism as a religion/philosophy/worldview simply because the lack of a god cannot be proven any more than the existence of a god or even multiple gods can be proven. It all falls within the realm of religion and philosophy. That some atheists would prefer to avoid the branch of religion & philosophy altogether doesn't negate the fact that the subject does indeed fall within that branch.

 

If I knew it offended the atheist to call atheism a religion, I would avoid doing so for their sake. Perhaps calling it a philosophy would be the better way to go. It is hard as most of us do interact with our world using our own worldviews. I don't think that necessarily makes religious folks prejudice against non-religious folks. I think it just means we have to learn new and unfamiliar language to interact with you. We are bound to occasionally fail in our ability to communicate.

 

Oh, I don't think it's a problem is someone accidentally calls an atheist a religious person, and doesn't mean any harm. (Or, at least not to me). I think the harm comes when a religious person goes on to tell the non-religious person what is is that the non-religious person believes, and imposes their own beliefs about that persons non-beliefs on them. :tongue_smilie: Clear as mud? :lol:

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Wrong. The most popular kind of Satanism is LaVayan Satanism, which is the polar opposite of Christianity. Is is anti-cultural, full of self-worship and hate for other religions, and believes in no God or theistic being in any shape or form.

 

It is an example of an atheistic religion; a group of people following the same set of beliefs.

 

Atheism, in itself, is not a religion, because it is not a unified group with a unified set of beliefs. A LaVeyan Satanist is just as atheistic as any person who just labels themselves 'atheist', for example.

 

Saying atheism is a religion is like saying theism is a religion; theism encompasses many religions, just as atheism encompasses many religions, and many people who do not follow a religion.

 

Ah, you're quite right, I got confused there. You're right about LaVayan Satanism being anti-theistic.

 

I actually agree with what you've posted.

 

:)

 

T.

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Oh, I don't think it's a problem is someone accidentally calls an atheist a religious person, and doesn't mean any harm. (Or, at least not to me). I think the harm comes when a religious person goes on to tell the non-religious person what is is that the non-religious person believes, and imposes their own beliefs about that persons non-beliefs on them. :tongue_smilie: Clear as mud? :lol:

 

Yep. And I agree. It tends to tick people off.

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I know when we lived in PA, many were trying to find a loophole in the homeschooling laws by homeschooling for religious reasons. The state itself had defined "religion" as any deeply held conviction or belief. Thus, if one deeply held to their atheism, it would be considered a religion in PA (so would environmentalism, thriftiness, political philosophy, etc... as long as it was "deeply held").

 

I find that I tend to use the word religion when referring to atheism (falling into the "deeply held" definition), but what I really mean is a belief system or worldview or life perspective. I am referring to the individual's consciously chosen path. However, in conversation, this is often too long and complicated to explain, so I shorten it to "religion" or "belief system" and hope that I am understood, forgiven, or both.

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I don't believe athiests are religious. Religion is man's attempt at reaching up to God, trying to earn favour through works and rules. Christianity is God reaching down to man, the work was done on the cross.

 

It sounds like the word faith is key here. Athiests DO have a lot of faith. ;)

 

 

I hear that a lot "Atheists have more faith than Christians." Ray Comfort has a book, I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist."

 

I think that this usage of "faith" co-opts the Christian definition of faith, actually.

 

It takes faith to believe that an invisible bunny-monster, that only the 2-year-old can under, her bed exists. It does not take faith to believe that the invisible bunny-fairy does not exist.

 

Or, slightly tangentially, but to use a Christian metaphor that I once often used: "If you have faith that the ice will hold you up, you will step out on it. If you don't step out on the ice, that means you don't have faith that it will hold you up."

 

T.

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Depending on the dictionary or source - the definition of "religion" is somewhere along the lines of "belief in a supernatural power in control of nature and destiny."

So - atheism is not a religion. I believe semantics in the US have gotten extremely sloppy, with many deciding that "what it means to them" is what the definition is....

I'm a deist - and I am not sure whether it could be classified as a religion or not. I personally don't feel that it is in the traditional sense, as I do not believe God interferes with our lives or destinies.

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I know when we lived in PA, many were trying to find a loophole in the homeschooling laws by homeschooling for religious reasons. The state itself had defined "religion" as any deeply held conviction or belief. Thus, if one deeply held to their atheism, it would be considered a religion in PA (so would environmentalism, thriftiness, political philosophy, etc... as long as it was "deeply held").

 

I find that I tend to use the word religion when referring to atheism (falling into the "deeply held" definition), but what I really mean is a belief system or worldview or life perspective. I am referring to the individual's consciously chosen path. However, in conversation, this is often too long and complicated to explain, so I shorten it to "religion" or "belief system" and hope that I am understood, forgiven, or both.

 

See, I could live with that. If religion were definted to mean a deeply-held belief, that encluded thriftiness, environmentalism, co-sleeping, baby-wearing, green-living, pro-lifeness, I could see fervent atheism fitting in. And, then, we see that basically everything would be religion :) That's certainly one possibility, and the one I was wondering about.

 

T.

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I always just assumed that including atheism in a list of religions was a form of bureaucratese. If we can't define you by checking a box, we are confused. But where does the atheist checkbox go, if not in the list of religions? I always thought that it was included as a stance on religion, in the same sense that choosing a religion is taking a stance on religion. But I don't think of atheism or agnosticism as religion in and of themselves, any more than I'd define secular humanism as a religion.

 

There are Unitarian Universalists (my religion) who use all three of those labels to define their stance on the existence of deity. I think that the UUs I know who describe themselves this way would define themselves as people who desire spiritual or devotional community and find it under our big umbrella, but who do not consider themselves religious. They can do this because UUs believe in universal salvation, so really there is no reason to have a problem with areligious congregation members. But Unitarian Universalism is a religion, with a long history, and atheism, agnosticism, and secular humanism are not. That's my two cents.

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I always just assumed that including atheism in a list of religions was a form of bureaucratese. If we can't define you by checking a box, we are confused. But where does the atheist checkbox go, if not in the list of religions? I always thought that it was included as a stance on religion, in the same sense that choosing a religion is taking a stance on religion. But I don't think of atheism or agnosticism as religion in and of themselves, any more than I'd define secular humanism as a religion.

 

 

This makes total sense to me.

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There are those who believe as you have stated, but I tend to think of atheism as a religion/philosophy/worldview simply because the lack of a god cannot be proven any more than the existence of a god or even multiple gods can be proven. It all falls within the realm of religion and philosophy. That some atheists would prefer to avoid the branch of religion & philosophy altogether doesn't negate the fact that the subject does indeed fall within that branch.

 

If I knew it offended the atheist to call atheism a religion, I would avoid doing so for their sake. Perhaps calling it a philosophy would be the better way to go. It is hard as most of us do interact with our world using our own worldviews. I don't think that necessarily makes religious folks prejudice against non-religious folks. I think it just means we have to learn new and unfamiliar language to interact with you. We are bound to occasionally fail in our ability to communicate.

 

Sorry, I don't mean to pick on you, Daisy, and I'm not really, I just see a lot in your posts.

 

The difference in claiming the lack of a god, and the existence of a god is this--we assume something doesn't exist until we have proof it does exist. When someone proposes that something exists, the onus is upon them to prove it.

 

For instance, if I claim there's a big red gorilla in my dishwasher, the onus is upon me to prove it.

 

I don't have to prove the lack of a god, or the lack of a tea pot that reads minds. It is up to the person who claims these things to prove them. If they can't be "proven" this is where faith comes in.

 

Which is not to actually argue with you on the "world view" aspect. Just to point out the "shiften the burden of proof" here. Believing in the existence of something is not the same in believing in its non-existence.

 

T.

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I think people state atheism is a religion only if they are defining religion as a worldview. Defining religion as our worldview is especially common among Christians. Worldview is defined pretty much as the lens through which you interact with your world. Thus they are more likely to say atheism is your worldview or your religion.

 

No insult is intended.

 

And I do realize that some atheists will claim they have no lens whatsoever and that they view the world logically and with only facts....

 

But honestly, that is what the above people are thinking when they state that atheism is a religion. Like it or not, they are assuming that you have a particular worldview. They assume that you have reached the conclusion that God does not exist and you now filter all the information you receive around you through that filter (belief system, non-belief system, worldview, religion).

 

I don't feel like I said this as well as I could have, but I don't have time to elaborate.

:iagree: No, that was wonderfully stated!

 

There are those who believe as you have stated, but I tend to think of atheism as a religion/philosophy/worldview simply because the lack of a god cannot be proven any more than the existence of a god or even multiple gods can be proven. It all falls within the realm of religion and philosophy. That some atheists would prefer to avoid the branch of religion & philosophy altogether doesn't negate the fact that the subject does indeed fall within that branch.

 

If I knew it offended the atheist to call atheism a religion, I would avoid doing so for their sake. Perhaps calling it a philosophy would be the better way to go. It is hard as most of us do interact with our world using our own worldviews. I don't think that necessarily makes religious folks prejudice against non-religious folks. I think it just means we have to learn new and unfamiliar language to interact with you. We are bound to occasionally fail in our ability to communicate.

:iagree:

 

Mandy

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From dictionary.com:

 

religion: a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

 

According that definition, atheism is not a religion because it says nothing about how the world was created (there is no atheist cosmology), there are no devotional or ritual observances (atheists don't light candles on an empty shrine to symbolize their devotion to nothing), and there is no sacred book defining how atheists should behave.

 

Atheism is not a religion, and my personal belief, which will probably offend someone here, is that people who say it is are trying to backhandedly legitimize their beliefs by equating "faith" that there is no god to "faith" that there is a god.

 

Tara

Edited by TaraTheLiberator
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I agree about atheism being a "stance on religion", included in lists by bureaucrats to define/identify everyone.

 

I do think it helps define one's "flavor", in the same way that race does- people have race, or a combination of races, and people also have some approach or stance regarding religion. "White" or "Caucasian" people don't lack skin color any more than atheists lack a stance regarding religion.

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I always just assumed that including atheism in a list of religions was a form of bureaucratese. If we can't define you by checking a box, we are confused. But where does the atheist checkbox go, if not in the list of religions? I always thought that it was included as a stance on religion, in the same sense that choosing a religion is taking a stance on religion. But I don't think of atheism or agnosticism as religion in and of themselves, any more than I'd define secular humanism as a religion.

 

There are Unitarian Universalists (my religion) who use all three of those labels to define their stance on the existence of deity. I think that the UUs I know who describe themselves this way would define themselves as people who desire spiritual or devotional community and find it under our big umbrella, but who do not consider themselves religious. They can do this because UUs believe in universal salvation, so really there is no reason to have a problem with areligious congregation members. But Unitarian Universalism is a religion, with a long history, and atheism, agnosticism, and secular humanism are not. That's my two cents.

I love our local UU church! Unfortunately, they meet 25 miles away on Sunday morning. This distance is too far for us. Sunday is a bad day for us. We are not morning people.

 

But when we can attend, it is nice that I can be a Christian UU; my dh can be a Muslim UU; my ds can be an agnostic UU! We can use different stories that speak to our individual souls, but apply them to a common moral/ value system and enjoy our time with an accepting religious community.

 

However, FWIW, on those check box govt forms, I would check Christian and dh would check Muslim. When the time comes, ds will probably need the atheist box to be there just to have something to check.

 

Mandy

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So, basically, atheists have to fit into a box called "religious" because a bunch of other people have decided 'it is so' and we have to be told that "we have a lot of faith ;) " because others have decided that 'it is so'.

 

I'm so tired of being told what I am/what I believe/what I do not believe. If I TOLD a christian what THEY believe or what THEY should be called all heck would break loose, but atheists? Eh, they are just dumb, hell-bound heathens so who cares what they say? :glare:

 

I see this attitude of "atheists have to have soooo much faith to not believe what we KNOW is the TRUTH". It's rather arrogant.

 

Ridicule of atheists is quickly becoming the last acceptable prejudice.

 

There are those who believe as you have stated, but I tend to think of atheism as a religion/philosophy/worldview simply because the lack of a god cannot be proven any more than the existence of a god or even multiple gods can be proven. It all falls within the realm of religion and philosophy. That some atheists would prefer to avoid the branch of religion & philosophy altogether doesn't negate the fact that the subject does indeed fall within that branch.

 

If I knew it offended the atheist to call atheism a religion, I would avoid doing so for their sake. Perhaps calling it a philosophy would be the better way to go. It is hard as most of us do interact with our world using our own worldviews. I don't think that necessarily makes religious folks prejudice against non-religious folks. I think it just means we have to learn new and unfamiliar language to interact with you. We are bound to occasionally fail in our ability to communicate.

Oh, I find this so very ironic. Here Cyndi has told all and sundry how she feels as an atheist about what non-atheists claim atheism is. Then Daisy posts just exactly what Cyndi has complained about.

 

Talk about steamrolling over a person's feelings. And we wonder why people get so offended.

 

It does not matter what another person believes or does not believe. What mattes is that the people are respected no matter the beliefs. or lack thereof.

 

And a believe does not a religion make. I believe the sun will rise tomorrow. That does not mean that I am a follower of Ra and the ancient Egyptian sun cult.

 

Atheism became a religion through bureaucratic paperwork.

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I wrote...

but I tend to think of atheism as a religion/philosophy/worldview simply because the lack of a god cannot be proven any more than the existence of a god or even multiple gods can be proven.

 

Oh, I find this so very ironic. Here Cyndi has told all and sundry how she feels as an atheist about what non-atheists claim atheism is. Then Daisy posts just exactly what Cyndi has complained about.

 

Talk about steamrolling over a person's feelings. And we wonder why people get so offended.

 

It does not matter what another person believes or does not believe. What mattes is that the people are respected no matter the beliefs. or lack thereof.

 

And a believe does not a religion make. I believe the sun will rise tomorrow. That does not mean that I am a follower of Ra and the ancient Egyptian sun cult.

 

Atheism became a religion through bureaucratic paperwork.

 

I genuinely do not understand what you had a problem with in what I said in the highlighted portion. How is my stating that the existence or non-existence of god/s cannot be proven steamrolling anyone's beliefs? I am completely lost. :001_huh: I was just trying to show that the entire discussion falls within the realm of philosophy.

 

I'm sorry if I said something to offend you but I'm still clueless as to what it was. Sigh.

Edited by Daisy
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And a believe does not a religion make. I believe the sun will rise tomorrow. That does not mean that I am a follower of Ra and the ancient Egyptian sun cult.

 

Exactly. I believe that if I drop a heavy object above my foot, it will hit my toe and hurt. That is not a religious belief.

 

Tara

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I wrote...

 

 

 

I genuinely do not understand what you had a problem with in what I said in the highlighted portion. How is my stating that the existence or non-existence of god/s cannot be proven steamrolling anyone's beliefs? I am completely lost. :001_huh: I was just trying to show that the entire discussion falls within the realm of philosophy.

 

I'm sorry if I said something to offend you but I'm still clueless as to what it was. Sigh.

Oh, I'm not offended. And maybe I read it wrong. I do think it is ironic though.

 

One of the resident atheists stated what atheism is and then it was a yeah, some people believe that but I think it is something else.

 

Turn it around.

 

You are a Christian believing in Christ as your Savior. Then comes along a Buddhist and who says "Yeah, some people believe that but I think Christianity is blah, blah, blah."

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I wrote...

 

 

 

I genuinely do not understand what you had a problem with in what I said in the highlighted portion. How is my stating that the existence or non-existence of god/s cannot be proven steamrolling anyone's beliefs? I am completely lost. :001_huh: I was just trying to show that the entire discussion falls within the realm of philosophy.

 

I'm sorry if I said something to offend you but I'm still clueless as to what it was. Sigh.

 

Hi, Daisy.

 

Hmm, I think I've gotten rubbed by just the thing Parrothead mentioned. I'll see if I can explain it.

 

Lack of belief in god is a religious belief (world view, etc.)

Belief in a god is religious belief

 

Right, back to this.

 

It's right there in, "People can't prove lack of a god any more than they can prove existence of a god, so each belief is equally religious/worldviewy/philosophical."

 

My previous post tried to point that out.

 

You believe in Jesus Christ as your savior (I'm assuming). That is part of your religious belief. You do not believe that tribbles are tempting you to eat too much ice cream. (I'm assuming :)) This is a religious belief too --- or is it?

 

Can you prove that Tribbles are not tempting you to eat too much ice cream? No? Then should I be able to claim that such is a "religious belief?"

 

I'm not really angry about this because I think it's inadvertent, and you're trying not to step on toes (being very careful to use "world view" and "philosophy" but I don't think that's where the frustration lies.

 

The frustration and hurt comes in by making the equivalent between

your belief in Jesus and your lack of belief in ice-cream tempting tribbles.

 

Are they equivalent, or not?

 

If not, it's not right to say belief in god and lack of belief in god are equivalent.

 

Does that make sense?

 

T.

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Turn it around.

 

You are a Christian believing in Christ as your Savior. Then comes along a Buddhist and who says "Yeah, some people believe that but I think Christianity is blah, blah, blah."

 

And what's wrong with that? They are stating their beliefs as their beliefs. Others can agree or disagree. What, exactly, is wrong with that? I'm mystified.

 

I see absolutely nothing in this thread that should offend anyone. Everyone is just giving their beliefs/thoughts on the subject at hand and it's actually very interesting seeing why people believe what they believe! Do we all REALLY have to hold the same beliefs??? I hope not - on any subject! But I want EVERYONE to feel free to share their beliefs even if it's not the same as someone else. I don't want censorship due to the possibility of offending someone because we might believe something differently.

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There are those who believe as you have stated, but I tend to think of atheism as a religion/philosophy/worldview simply because the lack of a god cannot be proven any more than the existence of a god or even multiple gods can be proven.

 

But you and I might be similarly disinclined to believe that the world was created by the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I don't think that "dis-belief" (or is it a belief?) makes our religion/philosophy/worldview "anti-Pastafarian." As if everyone not touched by the noodly appendage sees the world though the same lens. KWIM?

 

If I knew it offended the atheist to call atheism a religion, I would avoid doing so for their sake.

 

I think it is pretty safe to say that most people who are not religious find it highly annoying to be told by others that they are religious. The whole purpose of such endeavors seem like an attempt to deliberately provoke people by showing a lack of respect. Not aimed at you.

 

Perhaps calling it a philosophy would be the better way to go. It is hard as most of us do interact with our world using our own worldviews.

 

But the lack of belief in deities or super-natural beings is not indicative of a particular personal philosophy.

 

Their are organized philosophical movements that share an atheistic commonality, but then diverge to have worldviews that are almost polar opposites.

 

"Secular Humanists" for example tend to pretty much share the same attachment to the Moral Law as those in the Abrahamic tradition (once stripped of supernatural elements). So many Secular Humanists admire and take inspiration in such thing as Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, even if they don't believe he was a god.

 

But then you have "philosophies" like Objectivism, that reject the common shared mortality in favor of ideas that might be shocking to Secular Humanist and Christians alike.

 

Simply sharing a like of belief in supernatural beings does not mean people share a common philosophy. Just a not sharing beliefs on matters of the spiritual or divine doesn't mean people can't share a common moral sense.

 

Bill

Edited by Spy Car
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Oh, I'm not offended. And maybe I read it wrong. I do think it is ironic though.

 

One of the resident atheists stated what atheism is and then it was a yeah, some people believe that but I think it is something else.

 

Turn it around.

 

You are a Christian believing in Christ as your Savior. Then comes along a Buddhist and who says "Yeah, some people believe that but I think Christianity is blah, blah, blah."

 

Isn't that what we all do? I'm not going to be offended by the Buddhist who comes and tells me that they think Christianity is "blah, blah, blah." I'm going to listen and perhaps gain understanding into why we are different. I suppose tone is everything. There is a big difference in being told, "My understanding is this..." and being told, "You are wrong and going to hell and here's why..."

 

That's all I was trying to do. Explain why Christians would say atheism is a religion. I obviously didn't do that great of a job at it. I can completely understand why an atheist wouldn't want to be classified as a religion and I think it makes sense from their point of view. But ultimately, I'd have to disregard my own belief system if I was going to embrace the way you've chosen to classify yourself. That doesn't mean I don't respect you. As a matter of fact, because I do respect you, I would attempt to remember NOT to refer to atheism as a religion. Does that make any sense whatsoever?

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You do not believe that tribbles are tempting you to eat too much ice cream. (I'm assuming :)) This is a religious belief too --- or is it?

 

Can you prove that Tribbles are not tempting you to eat too much ice cream? No? Then should I be able to claim that such is a "religious belief?"

 

Are they equivalent, or not?

 

 

 

I would say no they aren't the same as Tribbles (as per Star Trek) had nothing to do with a deity or beliefs about a deity. "Religious" thoughts or beliefs as pertaining to "religion" has to have some sort of relationship to deity (belief in or belief in not existing). Tribbles, pots in dishwashers, monsters under the bed, stamp collecting, hobbies... none of these have anything to do with deity the way most people think about them.

 

I don't think the "deeply held convictions" applies to what we've been talking about. In our language we can say someone is religious about grammar, but we don't mean it in a deity sort of way. The two meanings are getting confused here.

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And what's wrong with that? They are stating their beliefs as their beliefs. Others can agree or disagree. What, exactly, is wrong with that? I'm mystified.

 

I see absolutely nothing in this thread that should offend anyone. Everyone is just giving their beliefs/thoughts on the subject at hand and it's actually very interesting seeing why people believe what they believe! Do we all REALLY have to hold the same beliefs??? I hope not - on any subject! But I want EVERYONE to feel free to share their beliefs even if it's not the same as someone else. I don't want censorship due to the possibility of offending someone because we might believe something differently.

 

Stating beliefs and opinions is different than providing accurate information.

 

If I said, "Christians are cannibals. They eat the flesh and blood of a dead rabbi." That might be my opinion, but it would obviously be wrong. People can say all kinds of crazy things. Go ahead. I will too. But you can't seriously expect people not to get angry if you spread erroneous information about them. :)

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