The Instigator
spotroy
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Prescott
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points

Should atheism be considered a religion?

Do you like this debate?NoYes+4
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Prescott
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/4/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 437 times Debate No: 69425
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (3)

 

spotroy

Pro

The definition of religion is "The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods." This is especially true for atheist and their "science". You don't hear me going around saying how much i like using ancient Mayan herb powders. Atheist worship science and there is a war against God. Join together brothers and we will end these ignorant fools!
Prescott

Con

Atheism should not be considered a religion. Atheism is the rejection of theism, it is not a belief but rather a lack of belief. Atheism and its counterpart, theism, are derived from the Greek word theos which describes a belief in god(s). The prefix 'a' in the word atheism means without belief in god(s). Since atheism is not a system of beliefs it should not be considered a religion.

There are many definitions of religion. Commons themes in nearly all definitions of religion are; organized system of beliefs, regulated social practices, and a structured worldview. Atheism lacks all of these things. Atheists can and do have various world views. There is no organized belief system in atheism, which is simply the lack of belief in theistic gods. Atheists vary in their stances on issues from abortion to the issue of marriage. Unlike Christianity which condemns abortion, there are atheists that come down on both sides of the debate. There is nothing inherent to atheism that gives instruction on forming one's outlook on morality, the world, and social issues. Atheism provides no guidance for anything. Atheism does not require belief in any sort of origin story, or belief regarding what happens to humans after they die. There are atheists that believe in the scientific origin story of our universe and there are atheists that don't. There are atheists that do not believe in an afterlife and there are atheists that do believe in some sort of life after death.

To put it shortly, atheism is not a belief system but rather atheism is a rejection of a particular belief system (theism).
Debate Round No. 1
Prescott

Con

REBUTTAL

1. Pro claims religion is the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods. Even by this definition atheism should not be considered a religion. As stated in my opening statement, the only thing atheism describes is the person's lack of belief in a theistic deity. Lack of belief in a theistic deity can in no way be considered belief in and worship of a deity, personal or otherwise.

2. Pro then launches an attack on atheism by trying to shoehorn science into the part superhuman force, or god. Science is not a superhuman, it is not a controlling force, and it is certainly not a deity. Science is a classification of a certain type of knowledge gathered by observation and experimentation regarding the natural world. Without conscious minds science would not exist. Even if we could agree, for argument's sake, that all atheists worship science it would not mean science is elevated to the position required to satisfy Pro's stated definition of religion.

3. While there could possibly be atheists that do worship science it does not follow that atheism necessitates a worship of science. Pro is affirming the consequent in this case. Atheism is merely a rejection of theism, so extrapolating some required worshipping of science is unwarranted. This also neglects the case that many scientists, past and present, are religious. Isaac Newton wrote extensively about religion and yet he was very influential in the realm of science. The Big Bang was a theory first proposed by the priest and physics professor, Georges Lema"tre. Science is not some deity of atheist. Science is a useful tool for all people of all world views to observe, study, and understand the natural world.

4. Pro alleges there is an atheistic war being launched against God. There is no war against God. There is an academic "war" by atheists against theists wanting to stifling knowledge in order to preserve and cultivate faith in children.
Debate Round No. 2
spotroy

Pro

spotroy forfeited this round.
Prescott

Con

Since my opponent basically forfeited round two and actually forfeited round three I will keep my conclusion brief.

The boiled down definition of a religion is an organized system of beliefs. Atheism is not a belief system, atheism is the rejection or lack of belief in theism. Pro has not offered no objections to this claim. Atheism should not be considered a religion because a religion is a structured belief system. Being an atheist means you lack belief in a theist god, it has no say whatsoever on any belief you have. Not believing in a God is a lack of belief, not a belief in itself.

Thank you for the debate. I hope it was enjoyable to someone out there on DDO.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by missmedic 1 year ago
missmedic
Atheism fulfills none of the properties generally held to characterize religion.
Atheism involves no belief, no dogma, no faith: it is simply the absence of theism. It does not involve any kind of worship, rituals, faith, prayers, etc, and it has no spiritual leader and no sacred text. Although individual atheists have philosophies by which they live (whether they be based on secular humanism, objectivism, Buddhism, etc), there is no clearly defined philosophy common to all (or even most) atheists.
Posted by UndeniableReality 1 year ago
UndeniableReality
But all religious people believe in something that they do not actually know is true, by definition, no?
Posted by Esiar 1 year ago
Esiar
What the person below is saying is a generalization.

It's like saying all religious people are suicide bomber, or that they all believe in the trinity.
Posted by missmedic 1 year ago
missmedic
Atheism is the absence of theism; by itself, it isn't even a belief, much less a belief system.
Religion is used to explain the supernatural world and to pretend to know things no one can know.
Science is used to explain the natural world through reason and logic it demands critical inquiry, debate and rejection of theories if the evidence doesn't support them. Religion should demand no less.
Posted by Esiar 1 year ago
Esiar
Religion can be defined as a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe.

So Atheism is a religion.
Posted by UndeniableReality 1 year ago
UndeniableReality
" Join together brothers and we will end these ignorant fools!"

This sounds like a call to genocide.

Your definition for religious belief includes anyone who does not believe that humans are most powerful force controlling events in the universe, does it not?
Posted by 21MolonLabe 1 year ago
21MolonLabe
*them
Posted by 21MolonLabe 1 year ago
21MolonLabe
Not all Christians are not ignorant. It is the fact that, when Christians cannot understand something, they just accredit it to God rather than try and find the answer, that makes the, seem ignorant. Intelligent Design ALLOWS ignorance. It in itself is not ignorant.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by debate_power 1 year ago
debate_power
spotroyPrescottTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture. Neither posted sources, which I found odd.
Vote Placed by NathanDuclos 1 year ago
NathanDuclos
spotroyPrescottTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: he gave up. ya con? .
Vote Placed by Beagle_hugs 1 year ago
Beagle_hugs
spotroyPrescottTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Rewarding Con for the forfeit by Pro. Con made good arguments despite getting trolled...something that's way too common on this site.