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The Contender
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Should atheism be classified as a religion?

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/16/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 881 times Debate No: 38981
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)




If you go to Google search "define religion", it defines it as "details of belief as taught or discussed." Atheism is a belief, atheists believe that there is no God or Gods. If you believe that religion is a bunch of rules, then consider that atheism has one basic rule, "there is no God, Gods, Goddess and/or Goddesses." If you believe that religion is based on unproven theories, can you prove that god doesn't exist?

Belief is defined on Google as "an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists." and "something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion or conviction." I believe that these statements are accurate. Atheists reject that a supernatural creator or "God" exists. Atheists firmly believe this statement.

Since atheists believe that a God doesn't exists, therefore they are bound to the rule that they will not believe a God exists.

Theories that are atheist from just plain atheism to evolution is all unproven. It's all based on relations to man and earth, just like any other religion. Both sides try to bring there evidence, but other side of them declines the evidence.

Therefore, because belief and because the theory of atheism is unproven, just like Hinduism or Buddhism, is a religion.


I thank my opponent for posting this debate.

Atheism is more defined as the rejection of any God or deity. Also religion can be defined as the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods. Atheism does not technically have a set of rules/boundaries but Atheists do have a similar set of beliefs among themselves (natural selection, evolution, the big bang etc.).

There are many different aspects which also define a religion. Organized religions have churches, tax free acceptances and a system of power and usually a "prophet" or "Messiah". Atheism does not have these and is not bound by any narrow set of rules. I would also like to point out that Atheism does not have any sort of worship, unlike every other religion; this sets it apart from the religious category.

I would also like to point out; much of your argument is based on the definitions of key words which associate religion. This does not prove that Atheism is a religion.

I also do not believe religion is a bunch of rules, that is your opinion. Religion is more a set of beliefs rather than rules which is followed by worship and other practices.

I agree that Atheism is unproven, even though much factual evidence suggests it is, but this does not put it in the same category as religion, as religion is not defined as a belief which is unproven but the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.

Looking forward to the next round :)
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you, to my opponent for taking up the challenge. This'll be an interesting debate indeed :)

Clearly we have two very legitimate definitions of religion.

I suppose it depends on how far into atheism you are and how far you take it. Some proclaimed atheists take to a large platform such as YouTube, books etc. and do so like it's there job.

Now even though atheists do not have churches, they still have other facilities like ones they use for research. Instead of tax free acceptances, there's prizes and various grants. The system of power that exists in atheism are actually public schools, school boards and many colleges and universities. As well as the government that authorizes it to exist in the public system.

I come from a Christian background and have been apart of a couple of denominations but have also been associated with a few other denominations. With these experiences, I learned that the practices associated with these different groups come with rules and usually it doesn't end well if you practice something else. These practices include the way you dress, what you do in every day life etc, the way you worship etc. In these churches you find that the authorities of these churches make up whatever rules and you'd be surprised how much of these are just rules. This is why I associated religion with rules. If you want evidence of Christianity feeling like rules I can provide it upon request. This is not just my opinion although it may be two sides of a coin.

The keywords were intended for a sell and for someone to join. Which is my mistake.

Can't wait to see what you have to say :)


Some very good points in this round :)

These facilities that you speak of are scientific research facilities i presume? These are not the same as churches and other research besides atheist theories are being conducted. Although there is grants, they do not only apply to Atheists, they apply to anyone applicable and there are various grants to various things. On the contrary to the public schools point, Atheists make up a small majority of public school students and those students who are Atheists are standing up for themselves, saying that they feel uncomfortable when a supposed secular school system and government is becoming non secular by making them perform a religious prayer (one article on the news i read was at a graduation, the school board did not permit it because a student stood up to it, but the teachers did it anyway) (Secular meaning it favors no religion, look the word up if you want a more in depth meaning).

Your argument here seems to be that these rules are physical rules (such as the way you dress pray etc.) more than a certain way to believe. Atheists do not have this, even though i think religion is not made up of rules, by you saying this you put atheism out of the category. Atheists do not have any rules regarding what to wear or any form of worship. All Atheists actually believe in is that there is no God or Deity. This is not a rule, but what distinguishes an Atheist from an Agnostic or any religion. I have also met many Christians which believe that the rules are something that you more should abide by rather than being told to abide by them (not to steal, be nice to other etc.) but if your talking about rules which are about restricting others in the way they do every day things, then that's going off the point of any normal religion and in more of a cult or extremist area.

Atheism also does not have any one true leader or person who does the same job as a preacher or pastor would. Which again almost every religion i know has one. With all the things that Atheism has apart from other religions, if it is accepted as a religion, it would more than likely be put into the cult section because of the fact that it isn't organized like religions are.
Debate Round No. 2


artydublu forfeited this round.


It seems my opponent has gone MIA.

I'm not sure if out of courtesy i should just write nothing until the next round, or if i should state some more points, so ill (out of courtesy) not show any points and wait for my opponent.
Debate Round No. 3


artydublu forfeited this round.


So my opponent has deactivated his account but ill post a summary and other points in the last round.

In the meantime, here is a recipe for the best devils food cake in the world :)

for the cake
50 grams best-quality cocoa powder (sifted)
100 grams dark brown muscovado sugar
250 ml boiling water
125 grams soft unsalted butter (plus some for greasing)
150 grams caster sugar
225 grams plain flour
" teaspoon baking powder
" teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
for the frosting
125 ml water
30 grams dark brown muscovado sugar
175 grams unsalted butter (cubed)
300 grams best-quality dark chocolate (finely chopped)


Preheat the oven to 180"C/gas mark 4/350"F.
Line the bottoms of two 20cm / 8inch round sandwich tins with baking parchment and butter the sides.
Put the cocoa and 100g / half cup dark muscovado sugar into a bowl with a bit of space to spare, and pour in the boiling water. Whisk to mix, then set aside.
Cream the butter and caster sugar together, beating well until pale and fluffy; I find this easiest with a freestanding mixer, but by hand wouldn"t kill you.
While this is going on " or as soon as you stop if you"re mixing by hand " stir the flour, baking powder and bicarb together in another bowl, and set aside for a moment.
Dribble the vanilla extract into the creamed butter and sugar " mixing all the while " then drop in 1 egg, quickly followed by a scoopful of flour mixture, then the second egg.
Keep mixing and incorporate the rest of the dried ingredients for the cake, then finally mix and fold in the cocoa mixture, scraping its bowl well with a spatula.
Divide this fabulously chocolatey batter between the 2 prepared tins and put in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Take the tins out and leave them on a wire rack for 5"10 minutes, before turning the cakes out to cool.
But as soon as the cakes are in the oven, get started on your frosting: put the water, 30g / 2 tablespoons muscovado sugar and 175g / 1 1/2 sticks butter in a pan over a low heat to melt.
When this mixture begins to bubble, take the pan off the heat and add the chopped chocolate, swirling the pan so that all the chocolate is hit with heat, then leave for a minute to melt before whisking till smooth and glossy.
Leave for about 1 hour, whisking now and again " when you"re passing the pan " by which time the cakes will be cooled, and ready for the frosting.
Set one of the cooled cakes, with its top side down, on a cake stand or plate, and spread with about a third of the frosting, then top that with the second cake, regular way up, and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides, swirling away with your spatula. You can go for a smooth look, but I never do and probably couldn"t.

Looks good.
Debate Round No. 4


artydublu forfeited this round.


I will now recap my arguments.

Atheism does not have the same aspects as religion (e.g. worshiping)
Atheism does not have the same perks as religion (e.g. Tax exempt status)
Atheism does not have a rule structure like religion (e.g. Commandments)
Atheism is not based on belief but more scientific knowledge fact and theory
And last of all, Atheism does not have sub-beliefs of Atheism (e.g. Orthodox Jew/ Non Orthodox Jew.)

Hope you all learned something from reading this and feel free to challenge me to the exact same debate :)
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by JimmyRusltler 3 years ago
It seems artydublu's account is no longer active. Anyone wishing to re challenge me at this topic is more than welcome :)
Posted by Cody_Jersey 3 years ago
i don't believe in religion and would consider myself atheist. so no i don't think atheism should be classified as a religion.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Mysterious_Stranger 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Deactivating ones account during a debate is never a good move.
Vote Placed by Volkov 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct point awarded for obvious reasons - you don't just deactivate your account in the middle of a debate, that isn't exactly nice. Spelling and grammar and sources were tied, didn't see any major mistakes and no sources were cited by either side. Arguments awarded to Con for refuting Pro's arguments effectively, plus Pro didn't exactly rebute Con's arguments past the second round. I also liked Con's recipe. Would like to see this debate again, though, it would be a very interesting one.