The Instigator
Cantseeinthedark
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

Atheism is a religion

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/30/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 890 times Debate No: 39668
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)

 

Cantseeinthedark

Pro

I saw your name so I figured you would be an excellent person to debate this with. Atheism is itself a religion. Religion can be defined as "an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group" as well as "an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods" The Atheist "God" would be the god of non belief. This idea of non belief is worshiped for worshiped can be defined as "extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem' The object of esteem in this circumstance is the idea of non belief. This idea does indeed fall under the category of a god by the definition " a person or thing of supreme value" And what to an atheist is the supreme value? Non belief
iamanatheistandthisiswhy

Con

Thank you for the invite.

Firstly, I think it is important to clarify some points you made. You mentioned that belief has two meanings, and while atheism would definitely not be a religion in terms of the second definition "an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods", it could satisfy the first definition. So already atheism falls outside of the god concept, and as we know religion in today's society this is very important. However you then introduce the god concept later as "a person or thing of supreme value", but this is no longer a god by most societal definitions. In effect it seems that atheism has at this point been defined as not a religion according to societal definitions.

This brings me to the second point, if we now define atheism as a religion with the definition "an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group". Then I have no problem to call atheism a religion, but it is very important that we realize that atheism now falls outside the scope of other religions, like Christianity, Islam etc. There is no God, that is what atheism claims. While atheism is important to me, it is only important as long as irrational thought exists in the world regarding the god concept. If there was no religion in the world atheism would not exist, as there would be no reason to have this view.

Lastly and very importantly. You assume that for an atheist there supreme value is non belief. However this is not justified in any means as it is a blanket statement. Atheism has no tenants which to adhere to, and so to say this is a supreme value is wrong. Atheism does mean non belief. However, it would be wise to rather say atheism is rational non belief, as what atheists believe is backed by rational science and thought. To consider rational thought as worship makes no sense, as it purely is rational thought and not worship of belief.
In closing, what I and my opponent have shown in this round is that religion can be defined into two groups. Group A which contains atheism, and then group B which contains all other religions.

Over to my opponent.
Debate Round No. 1
Cantseeinthedark

Pro

Cantseeinthedark forfeited this round.
iamanatheistandthisiswhy

Con

My opponent has forfeited the round, due to personal reasons. So I will do the same and continue in Round 3.

Over to my opponent
Debate Round No. 2
Cantseeinthedark

Pro

I thank my opponent for his courtesy. Now back to business.

"However you then introduce the god concept later as "a person or thing of supreme value", but this is no longer a god by most societal definitions. In effect it seems that atheism has at this point been defined as not a religion according to societal definitions."

It was never my intention to define atheism as a religion in any other form than a strictly technical definition for societal definitions differ depending on the society defining them.

"This brings me to the second point, if we now define atheism as a religion with the definition as an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group". Then I have no problem to call atheism a religion,"

My opponent agreed that atheism is a religion based upon one of my definitions of the word. I will continue debating the second definition I have given but it is important to note this agreement.

"but it is very important that we realize that atheism now falls outside the scope of other religions, like Christianity, Islam etc."

I agree that atheism would fall outside other religions but still it WOULD be classified as a religion.

"In closing, what I and my opponent have shown in this round is that religion can be defined into two groups. Group A which contains atheism, and then group B which contains all other religions."

Again I agree with this. Atheism exists outside other religions but technically still is a religion itself.

"Atheism has no tenants which to adhere to, and so to say this is a supreme value is wrong. Atheism does mean non belief. However, it would be wise to rather say atheism is rational non belief, as what atheists believe is backed by rational science and thought. To consider rational thought as worship makes no sense, as it purely is rational thought and not worship of belief.

This I do disagree with. All Atheist do follow the tenant of non belief. And not all follow it because of "rational thought" but simply that they don't feel like there is any type of truth in religion. For no other reason then a gut feeling. Similar to other religious followers reasoning for following there religions. Non belief however is required to be an atheist. And therefore I believe it is reasonable to view it as atheist's supreme value.
iamanatheistandthisiswhy

Con

This debate is turning into an interesting one, as I do agree with my opponent on many points. It seems that the debate mainly comes down to atheism non belief been classified as a supreme value. If non belief is a tenant, what does that actually mean? it seems that when we make this central tenant argument that we are trying to shift atheism from one non religious (an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group) definition to another religious (an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods) definition. This is a problem as atheism would not exist without religion, so how can it be a religion.

However, It could be said that without religion atheism would still fall into a group defined as "an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group." But would it really? This definition would no longer be applicable as it would be a non necessary activity. Again I reiterate atheism would not exist without religion, so there would be no point to hold this interest/belief/activity if there was no religion.

I also disagree that an atheist can hold the non belief view without a degree of rationality. If we look at an analogy to a mainstream religion it can be viewed in this way: Christianity has the bible, Islam has the Koran, Mormons have the Book of Mormon, while atheist have nothing. So to be a Christian or Muslim,you need to rationalize your faith with reference to a holy text. Atheism does not have a holy text, so in effect to hold the atheistic viewpoint you need to have some information on which it is based. This information, comes from sound rational ideas and is different for every atheist.

If we insist that atheism is a religion in the interest/belief/activity sense of the word, then I suppose we should also add hockey fans, book readers, dog lovers, etc. to the group. After all It is true that they all have an interest/belief/activity which is very important to them.

In closing religion is a highly emotionally charged word,which most people associate with a god. This god is normally defined as a being beyond our comprehension and as such to define atheism as a religion is in effect creating an incorrect association in the minds of most people.

I thank my opponent for an interesting debate.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Cantseeinthedark 3 years ago
Cantseeinthedark
And i am not arguing any of those that you mentioned Kale for however I will debate with you on the fact that non-card playing is a hobby though. Sounds fun.
Posted by Cantseeinthedark 3 years ago
Cantseeinthedark
I apologize for my absence yesterday. I was dealing with something personal and truly did not feel like debating with anyone about anything.
Posted by KaleBevilacqua 3 years ago
KaleBevilacqua
Bald is a hair color.
Non-card playing is a hobby.
Silence is a noise.
Abstinence is a sexual activity.
"Nowhere" is a place.

If all of those can be true, then atheism can be classed as a religion.
Posted by SimpleObserverofThings 3 years ago
SimpleObserverofThings
Yea... like Off is a network channel...
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Skeptikitten 3 years ago
Skeptikitten
CantseeinthedarkiamanatheistandthisiswhyTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for forfeiture. Arguments to Con, as Pro's entire argument was basically a False Equivocation fallacy. Pro was taking two unrelated definitions for the word "religion" and then acting as though those definitions were interchangeable, which is clearly false.
Vote Placed by NiqashMotawadi3 3 years ago
NiqashMotawadi3
CantseeinthedarkiamanatheistandthisiswhyTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct points go to Con as Pro was the first to forfeit in Round 2. Con showed how atheism differs from other religions and stated that if it we just use the definition B present in the debate that it is an "interest" then the same can be said about hockey and dog-lovers. In other words, Con showed the absurdity of calling atheism a religion and showed how Pro's Definition A was somewhat absurd as it encompasses all interest groups as religions. Pro's argument was a simply a false category error as he didn't manage to prove that atheism is a religion but provided a definition A which was too broad to be a good definition as it included all interest groups, and a Definition B which didn't apply to atheism as atheism doesn't have a bible and worshiped tenets as Con pointed out. Hence, Arguments go for Con.