The Instigator
superbowl9
Pro (for)
Winning
19 Points
The Contender
Steffan
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Atheism is not a religion

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
superbowl9
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/19/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 448 times Debate No: 59199
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (10)
Votes (3)

 

superbowl9

Pro

Hello,
Recently I've come across the assertion that atheism is a religion quite a bit, so I decided to have a debate to see what this assertion was all about.

Rules

Rounds 1-4 are all debate, no acceptance round and you can make arguments in any round.

If you disagree with the following definitions, please state as such in your opening argument.

Definitions:

Atheism:
1. A disbelief in the existence of deity[1]


Religion:
1. The belief in a god or in a group of gods[2]
2. An organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods[2]

Sources
1. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
2. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Steffan

Con

Well, I believe and notice the word Believe that they are saying that atheism is a religion due to the fact that just like Christianity that which cannot be seen or that which can be interpreted as the creator in fact created the universe, that is as in "the big bang" (for atheists). Both "believe" that such an event took place for neither can prove nor disprove one another.

That is my take on it.
Debate Round No. 1
superbowl9

Pro

Not all atheists believe in the big bang. However, the difference between the big bang or any other position an atheist may take, such as the universe always being here or the universe as the uncaused cause is that these positions are either backed by scientific evidence[1] or are default positions. It does not take faith to believe in the big bang, as it explains a lot of what we see happening in the universe today and has some scientific evidence to back it up (granted the big bang theory has flaws), unlike a god or gods. It requires no faith to believe that the universe is an uncaused cause because the universe is here. There is certainly evidence for the universe; we're living in it! However, saying that god created the universe is not supported by any evidence and requires faith to believe.

1. http://www.schoolsobservatory.org.uk...
Steffan

Con

Steffan forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
superbowl9

Pro

Extend my Arguments.
Steffan

Con

Steffan forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
superbowl9

Pro

Extend my arguments.
Steffan

Con

Steffan forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
BTW: I studied Theology for 3 years, 2 years at an all male Christian college and 1 year as a Pentecostal follower, it was in my year of studying Pentecostal Theology that I decided to read the Bible from Genesis to Revelations, to understand how both Theologies (Traditional/Christendom and Pentecostal) differ so extremely.
I realized it was all about which passages each religion cherry picks that defines the beliefs of that version of Christianity.
They all cherry pick.
The Bible as a whole, when read like a novel, is extremely STUPID and conflicts with itself numerous times, even within the same books, yet other books are written as though the author has no idea of what has already been stated and thus even more stupid conflicts occur.
As a book, the Bible makes utterly no sense.
That is why each sect/cult cherry picks bits and patches them together to try and make some sense of it, but, again all these sects cherry picking from the Bible, conflict.
No consistency in scripture nor beliefs.
It is all total Nonsense!
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
Non-Religious are Without a God, which is what Atheos (Gk) has been translated as meaning.
Since Atheist is a derivative of Atheos, then all Godless people, (irreligious, non-religious) are Atheists.

"Etymology[edit]
From Ancient Greek O40;_2;^9;_9;`2; ("theos, "godless, without a god")."
Source: http://en.wiktionary.org...

Thus my comments are correct and Atheism cannot be a Religion, as it includes the, Irreligious and non-religious.

Capiche M8!

:-D~
Posted by USPharaoh 2 years ago
USPharaoh
So sticking with the debate topic as to whether Atheism is or is not a religion I don't see any differences between calling it one if one would call Buddhism one. Granted, it can be argued that Buddhism, Hinduism and other similar groups are more like belief systems... and not a religion... we would have to agree on what a Religion is .... and that right there is not easily done. So if religion requires a deity... then no, if religion is basically just an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views then it seems to fit....
Posted by USPharaoh 2 years ago
USPharaoh
Unfortunately you failed to grasp the basic argument here. What is being debated is if Atheism could be considered as a Religion..... NOT whether the non-atheists but non-religious is.
Approx 2% of the world population is considered as Atheist..while around 18% are non-religious
So Atheism as a Religion applies to 100% of the Atheists..... irregardless of whether they join any of the thousands of groups, communities or clubs......

I am using Atheists just as it is defined...not "reactive atheists" such as you are trying to inject into the debate.
Sorry to hear about your poor bible camp outing.
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
Though the vast majority of Atheists are not consciously rejecting Deities, most don't even bother to consider religion, they just live Godless lives.
So those that publicly or band together to assert that they reject Deities only comprises less than 5% of Atheists. While 95% of Atheists are just living in ignorance of religion.
Ignorance is not a belief system.
So Atheism as a religion only applies to a minority of Atheists.
So to apply it to all Atheists is Fallacious.
You are using the Reactive Atheists, (those who actively campaign against religion) as Straw men.
So you are producing a Straw man Fallacy there.
I've known hundreds of atheists and only one other I know of actively denies the existence of God, the one thing we have in common is that we both studied Theology.
It is my studying the Bible that made me a Reactive Atheists.
The others have no knowledge of the Bible and simply don't care about looking inside one.
So you can blame the Bible and the Koran for creating your Straw man Reactive Atheists.
Yes, my friend became an Atheist while studying the Koran, as they are forced to do where he originated from.
It's the stupidity contained in Scripture that creates Reactive Atheists.
Posted by USPharaoh 2 years ago
USPharaoh
I have side with atheism being a religion: Based purely on the facts that it the rejection of belief in the existence of deities......
Once a group, or formalized agenda becomes organized (socially and economically) it becomes a set of beliefs counter to the organized set of beliefs of religion. Tough to understand...and even tougher to define but it boils down to basics that we can all grasp:
Group A believes that item X is true... and organizes to support that stance.
Group B believes that item X is not true ... and organizes to support that stance.

There is a great fallacy that religion means/equates to believing in God..... not so. There are many organized religions that don't believe in God. Extend that principle to any organized belief....

If one uses only a simplified Wiki-view then they are cornered into a narrow definition.... but logic dictates a much more broad and defensible definition. There is no shame for atheists to be included in an organized belief system.... it is not counter nor a betrayal of their beliefs...provable or not, it is not a matter of such.

It is undeniable that one holds an either/or stance. Either one believes, or does not....there is no position in between.... because if one does not believe, then they default to non. There can be no in-the-middle.
Posted by superbowl9 2 years ago
superbowl9
To address your other statement about atheists only caring about Christianity, this is not true. Many atheists know all about the eight major religions and know them better than many who practice them. I cannot claim to be one of those people, although I hope to be in the future. It may seem to you that all atheists are this way because in the United States, the UK, and other countries which have freedom of religion and encourage free speech, are dominated by Christianity. Thus, many atheists from these countries are surrounded by Christianity constantly and are affected by it 24/7, and some even live in Christian communities. They don't concern themselves with the other religions because they don't see them as a threat, they only want to be able to refute the claims of the people around them.
Posted by superbowl9 2 years ago
superbowl9
I don't really agree with Brendan, although I see his point and would definitely be willing to change my view on the matter.

I believe what Brendan is saying i that religion is not necessarily tied to a god or gods, but it is more the ceremonial, ritualistic practices that define it.

This brings up the example of the atheist churches in America, who have no god yet still practice "religious" activities to hold on to that sense of community.

However, this is not how I would define a religion, as in my definition, the word religion is tied to a god(s). In my view, all the things religious people do, such as pray, read holy books, and perform rituals, are directed towards a higher power. If you don't believe in a higher power, how can you pray? The other things religion does, such as sing, hold hands, dance, etc. I would define as more ceremonial or communal; not religious.

I do know about agnosticism, by the way.
Posted by Samreay 2 years ago
Samreay
Brendan, the debate is not if an atheist can belong to a religion, that is - as you pointed out - obviously correct. It is whether atheism itself fulfills the definition of a religion.
Posted by Brendan_Liam 2 years ago
Brendan_Liam
your definition of rleiigion is a bit christian.

There are many atheist religions-clearly you're not aware of that. No question that Atheism is not a reigion, not a phiosophy, it's not much at all as it doesn't really make any positive claim-it simply rejects one concept, and nothing more than that. It is a reigion only to an ignorant person. But hey-most atheists don't really understand agnosticism. And very few know much about any reigion except chrsitainity.... further they discard all other regioins with no basis other.... than..... christianity. Ironic they keep this and other chrsitan truths even upon reaizing christiahnity is bs to put it lightly.

there are reigions that are atheist, ie reiigions with no gods-like mine. I'm a nichiren Buddhist, i have no gods, but i chant, i pray, i worship, i recite a sutra, and many other 'ritual' type things, im clearly religious, very religious, but I'm also like many other reigious folks-technically atheist.

Remember to avoid dishonesty now that you're atheist-leave that to those with no truth-the chrsitains. And i say that regarding your false assumption: Atheism has NOTHING TO DO WITH RELIGION. it has to do with gods-and sure many religions have gods, most likely most of them do, but several have zero.

ATheism is not irreligionism. To insinuate it is reveals a bit of a selfishi wordview-shared by many irreligious atheists. Atheist rleigions tend to focus on THIS WORLD, make no promises after death, arent trying to save you, arent trying to feed you crap and keep you in the dark. other than your blunder defining religion, good arguments. And it was a blunder-Buddhism is older than christianity, it is one of the oldest religions, it is one of the world's 8 major rleigions, and i dont know any theist buddhists-because gods and karma are mutually exclusive.

A buddhist with a god, has an unemployable god.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
superbowl9SteffanTied
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Vote Placed by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
superbowl9SteffanTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited giving Pro the better conduct vote, as well as Pro had better arguments and sources.
Vote Placed by patrick967 2 years ago
patrick967
superbowl9SteffanTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: FF