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Why is atheism claimed to be a religion?

AlbinoBunny
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4/15/2013 3:59:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
By official government documents, and other official documents.

Atheism isn't a religion.

The option should be "no religion", if that is in fact what they are trying to ask. Although you can be an atheist with a religion, or a theist without one.
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muzebreak
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4/15/2013 4:10:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Here ya go!

http://www.wnd.com...
"Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact." - Carl Sagan

This is the response of the defenders of Sparta to the Commander of the Roman Army: "If you are a god, you will not hurt those who have never injured you. If you are a man, advance - you will find men equal to yourself. And women.
bladerunner060
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4/15/2013 4:19:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
It isn't a religion. But it is a religious position.

To use the "Atheism is a religion like bald is a hair color" analogy, if the question is "what is your hair color" "I'm bald" Is the only good answer (well, ignoring eyebrows and the like for the discussion). If the question is "what is your religion", "Atheism" is the only answer you can give, even though it's answering the wrong question; to ask what religion you are implies you have one, and so begs the question. So: You're right, but it's a small potatoes problem.
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F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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4/15/2013 7:28:33 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I agree with the OP. DDO for instance doesn't give "none" as an option for religion. "None" as an option for hair color would work for bald people as well.
AlbinoBunny
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4/15/2013 7:33:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/15/2013 4:10:34 PM, muzebreak wrote:
Here ya go!

http://www.wnd.com...

In the UK. I know you're stuck with stupid legal cases, but I hope we're not as well.
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AlbinoBunny
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4/15/2013 7:38:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/15/2013 4:19:21 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
It isn't a religion. But it is a religious position.

To use the "Atheism is a religion like bald is a hair color" analogy, if the question is "what is your hair color" "I'm bald" Is the only good answer (well, ignoring eyebrows and the like for the discussion). If the question is "what is your religion", "Atheism" is the only answer you can give, even though it's answering the wrong question; to ask what religion you are implies you have one, and so begs the question. So: You're right, but it's a small potatoes problem.

And that leaves the theist with no religion. He can't say bald because for some reason we've made that mean atheism, when it should mean no religion.

Belief in god, gods, or not believing in either, doesn't have to come under religious belief.

Even worse, what if you're Taoist and atheist. You'd have to say you're a red head and bald? Wtf? Just say Taoist, being atheist doesn't come into it.
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Radar
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4/15/2013 10:17:23 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/15/2013 3:59:58 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
By official government documents, and other official documents.

Atheism isn't a religion.

The option should be "no religion", if that is in fact what they are trying to ask. Although you can be an atheist with a religion, or a theist without one.

Said with all the passion of a religious fundamentalist. :)
bladerunner060
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4/15/2013 10:34:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/15/2013 7:38:03 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 4/15/2013 4:19:21 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
It isn't a religion. But it is a religious position.

To use the "Atheism is a religion like bald is a hair color" analogy, if the question is "what is your hair color" "I'm bald" Is the only good answer (well, ignoring eyebrows and the like for the discussion). If the question is "what is your religion", "Atheism" is the only answer you can give, even though it's answering the wrong question; to ask what religion you are implies you have one, and so begs the question. So: You're right, but it's a small potatoes problem.

And that leaves the theist with no religion. He can't say bald because for some reason we've made that mean atheism, when it should mean no religion.

Belief in god, gods, or not believing in either, doesn't have to come under religious belief.

Even worse, what if you're Taoist and atheist. You'd have to say you're a red head and bald? Wtf? Just say Taoist, being atheist doesn't come into it.

Well, Taoism is a specific religion. I agree with you: the answer should be "no religion", and theists are left out of the current paradigm. But there aren't as many general theists without a specific deity who aren't deists as there are religionless atheists, so atheists have a category.

I agree that "no religion - atheist" should be an option, as well as "no religion - theist". But we won't ever get an infinite number of flavors.
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APB
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4/15/2013 10:42:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
The reason people call Atheism a religion is because it acts like one. Same brainwashing, same false data, same conviction that they're right and everybody else is wrong.

Atheism is not the lack of belief in God, it's the belief there is no God. There's a subtle difference. The first is simply, "I am not convinced by this," the second is, "I actively deny this."
Rational_Thinker9119
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4/15/2013 10:44:59 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Atheism could be considered a religion, because nobody gathers up for Asanta Clause rallies, people don't sell Asanta Clause books. If you believe something doesn't exist, why spend time in a group celebrating this belief? Shouldn't just be unspoken about if you believe God doesn't exist? In some ways, Atheism could be considered a religion, but not generally.
AlbinoBunny
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4/15/2013 11:22:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/15/2013 10:44:59 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Atheism could be considered a religion, because nobody gathers up for Asanta Clause rallies, people don't sell Asanta Clause books. If you believe something doesn't exist, why spend time in a group celebrating this belief? Shouldn't just be unspoken about if you believe God doesn't exist? In some ways, Atheism could be considered a religion, but not generally.

Because so many people believe in gods.

Is theism a religion?

Why is having a spoken belief suddenly a religion? Do you know what a religion is?
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AlbinoBunny
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4/15/2013 11:23:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/15/2013 10:17:23 PM, Radar wrote:
At 4/15/2013 3:59:58 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
By official government documents, and other official documents.

Atheism isn't a religion.

The option should be "no religion", if that is in fact what they are trying to ask. Although you can be an atheist with a religion, or a theist without one.

Said with all the passion of a religious fundamentalist. :)

So basically you have nothing to say on the matter then?
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AlbinoBunny
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4/15/2013 11:23:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/15/2013 10:42:41 PM, APB wrote:
The reason people call Atheism a religion is because it acts like one. Same brainwashing, same false data, same conviction that they're right and everybody else is wrong.

Atheism is not the lack of belief in God, it's the belief there is no God. There's a subtle difference. The first is simply, "I am not convinced by this," the second is, "I actively deny this."

And theism is a religion too?
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Rational_Thinker9119
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4/15/2013 11:25:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/15/2013 11:22:06 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 4/15/2013 10:44:59 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Atheism could be considered a religion, because nobody gathers up for Asanta Clause rallies, people don't sell Asanta Clause books. If you believe something doesn't exist, why spend time in a group celebrating this belief? Shouldn't just be unspoken about if you believe God doesn't exist? In some ways, Atheism could be considered a religion, but not generally.

Because so many people believe in gods.

Is theism a religion?

Why is having a spoken belief suddenly a religion? Do you know what a religion is?

Fair enough. I see your point
AlbinoBunny
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4/16/2013 12:03:49 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Which brings up another important point. There are quite a few people I know who believe in a god, but don't really believe in a religion. Some of their family are Christian, so although they don't really believe in Christianity, they believe they should label themselves as such. I believe these things are interlinked somewhat with my OP.
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APB
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4/16/2013 1:31:34 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/15/2013 11:23:29 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 4/15/2013 10:42:41 PM, APB wrote:
The reason people call Atheism a religion is because it acts like one. Same brainwashing, same false data, same conviction that they're right and everybody else is wrong.

Atheism is not the lack of belief in God, it's the belief there is no God. There's a subtle difference. The first is simply, "I am not convinced by this," the second is, "I actively deny this."

And theism is a religion too?

Theism is many religions.
pozessed
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4/16/2013 11:40:06 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/15/2013 3:59:58 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
By official government documents, and other official documents.

Atheism isn't a religion.

The option should be "no religion", if that is in fact what they are trying to ask. Although you can be an atheist with a religion, or a theist without one.

It's all based on perception. As soon as you advocate your beliefs, it is a religion to anyone who perceives it as such; even if you don't.
Agnostics are the only people who can claim to truly not have a spiritual religion.

Lets also look at art of the definition of the word.
Religion
6. something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience: to make a religion of fighting prejudice.
http://dictionary.reference.com...

I chose this definition because it is most appropriate for your question. Most people understand you don't have to be speaking of your spiritual faith to be "doing something religiously".
AlbinoBunny
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4/16/2013 12:29:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/16/2013 1:31:34 AM, APB wrote:
At 4/15/2013 11:23:29 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 4/15/2013 10:42:41 PM, APB wrote:
The reason people call Atheism a religion is because it acts like one. Same brainwashing, same false data, same conviction that they're right and everybody else is wrong.

Atheism is not the lack of belief in God, it's the belief there is no God. There's a subtle difference. The first is simply, "I am not convinced by this," the second is, "I actively deny this."

And theism is a religion too?

Theism is many religions.

Theism isn't many religions, many religions are theistic.
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AlbinoBunny
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4/16/2013 12:31:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/16/2013 11:40:06 AM, pozessed wrote:
At 4/15/2013 3:59:58 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
By official government documents, and other official documents.

Atheism isn't a religion.

The option should be "no religion", if that is in fact what they are trying to ask. Although you can be an atheist with a religion, or a theist without one.

It's all based on perception. As soon as you advocate your beliefs, it is a religion to anyone who perceives it as such; even if you don't.
Agnostics are the only people who can claim to truly not have a spiritual religion.

Lets also look at art of the definition of the word.
Religion
6. something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience: to make a religion of fighting prejudice.
http://dictionary.reference.com...

I chose this definition because it is most appropriate for your question. Most people understand you don't have to be speaking of your spiritual faith to be "doing something religiously".

That's stretching the definition beyond the kind of religion I am referring to.
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pozessed
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4/16/2013 6:20:48 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/16/2013 12:31:04 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 4/16/2013 11:40:06 AM, pozessed wrote:
At 4/15/2013 3:59:58 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
By official government documents, and other official documents.

Atheism isn't a religion.

The option should be "no religion", if that is in fact what they are trying to ask. Although you can be an atheist with a religion, or a theist without one.

It's all based on perception. As soon as you advocate your beliefs, it is a religion to anyone who perceives it as such; even if you don't.
Agnostics are the only people who can claim to truly not have a spiritual religion.

Lets also look at art of the definition of the word.
Religion
6. something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience: to make a religion of fighting prejudice.
http://dictionary.reference.com...

I chose this definition because it is most appropriate for your question. Most people understand you don't have to be speaking of your spiritual faith to be "doing something religiously".

That's stretching the definition beyond the kind of religion I am referring to.

That's not a stretch, it is part of the definition. Not to mention you ignored the first paragraph I wrote.
AlbinoBunny
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4/16/2013 10:38:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/16/2013 6:20:48 PM, pozessed wrote:
At 4/16/2013 12:31:04 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 4/16/2013 11:40:06 AM, pozessed wrote:
At 4/15/2013 3:59:58 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
By official government documents, and other official documents.

Atheism isn't a religion.

The option should be "no religion", if that is in fact what they are trying to ask. Although you can be an atheist with a religion, or a theist without one.

It's all based on perception. As soon as you advocate your beliefs, it is a religion to anyone who perceives it as such; even if you don't.
Agnostics are the only people who can claim to truly not have a spiritual religion.

Lets also look at art of the definition of the word.
Religion
6. something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience: to make a religion of fighting prejudice.
http://dictionary.reference.com...

I chose this definition because it is most appropriate for your question. Most people understand you don't have to be speaking of your spiritual faith to be "doing something religiously".

That's stretching the definition beyond the kind of religion I am referring to.

That's not a stretch, it is part of the definition. Not to mention you ignored the first paragraph I wrote.

So capitalism is a religion? Any advocation of my beliefs becomes a religion? I would argue that

'For a belief to be classed as a religion to should meet most but not necessarily all of these conditions.
""Belief in something sacred (for example, gods or other supernatural beings).
"A distinction between sacred and profane objects.
"Ritual acts focused on sacred objects.
"A moral code believed to have a sacred or supernatural basis.
"Characteristically religious feelings (awe, sense of mystery, sense of guilt, adoration), which tend to be aroused in the presence of sacred objects and during the practice of ritual.
"Prayer and other forms of communication with the supernatural.
"A world view, or a general picture of the world as a whole and the place of the individual therein. This picture contains some specification of an over-all purpose or point of the world and an indication of how the individual fits into it.
"A more or less total organization of one"s life based on the world view.
"A social group bound together by the above." [1]'

1. http://goo.gl...

And what you suggest makes categorisation that much harder people everyone will have many "religions" which they dispute as being "religions" because they're really not "religions", just beliefs.

Atheism is not a religion, just like theism isn't. It is the non-belief of god(s) and theism is the belief of god(s). Religions maybe categorised as either though, most often as theistic from what I've seen I'll admit.

I belief there should be an offer of "No religion".
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pozessed
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4/17/2013 7:38:13 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/16/2013 10:38:06 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 4/16/2013 6:20:48 PM, pozessed wrote:
At 4/16/2013 12:31:04 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 4/16/2013 11:40:06 AM, pozessed wrote:
At 4/15/2013 3:59:58 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
By official government documents, and other official documents.

Atheism isn't a religion.

The option should be "no religion", if that is in fact what they are trying to ask. Although you can be an atheist with a religion, or a theist without one.

It's all based on perception. As soon as you advocate your beliefs, it is a religion to anyone who perceives it as such; even if you don't.
Agnostics are the only people who can claim to truly not have a spiritual religion.

Lets also look at art of the definition of the word.
Religion
6. something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience: to make a religion of fighting prejudice.
http://dictionary.reference.com...

I chose this definition because it is most appropriate for your question. Most people understand you don't have to be speaking of your spiritual faith to be "doing something religiously".

That's stretching the definition beyond the kind of religion I am referring to.

That's not a stretch, it is part of the definition. Not to mention you ignored the first paragraph I wrote.

So capitalism is a religion? Any advocation of my beliefs becomes a religion? I would argue that

'For a belief to be classed as a religion to should meet most but not necessarily all of these conditions.
""Belief in something sacred (for example, gods or other supernatural beings).
"A distinction between sacred and profane objects.
"Ritual acts focused on sacred objects.
"A moral code believed to have a sacred or supernatural basis.
"Characteristically religious feelings (awe, sense of mystery, sense of guilt, adoration), which tend to be aroused in the presence of sacred objects and during the practice of ritual.
"Prayer and other forms of communication with the supernatural.
"A world view, or a general picture of the world as a whole and the place of the individual therein. This picture contains some specification of an over-all purpose or point of the world and an indication of how the individual fits into it.
"A more or less total organization of one"s life based on the world view.
"A social group bound together by the above." [1]'

1. http://goo.gl...

And what you suggest makes categorisation that much harder people everyone will have many "religions" which they dispute as being "religions" because they're really not "religions", just beliefs.

Atheism is not a religion, just like theism isn't. It is the non-belief of god(s) and theism is the belief of god(s). Religions maybe categorised as either though, most often as theistic from what I've seen I'll admit.

I belief there should be an offer of "No religion".

Have you never heard the expression "they do that religiously"? She shops religiously, He eats at that time religiously, He speaks about it religiously, etc.

"religion" is not defining only a persons "faith" anymore as you would like it to be. Society has a definition for the word which is widely accepted and used in various ways and I doubt that your opinion will change how people perceive the definition.

I can't stand religious segregation, so I understand your dilemma.
PureX
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4/17/2013 8:54:47 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I think there are several factors involved in why some people refer to atheism as a religion. One is that there are some over-zealous religionists who see themselves as being at enmity with any and all other ways of viewing "God", reality, and truth. In their minds, all conceptual paradigms are enemy "religions" that, by their very existence, contend with their own.

Another reason is that, as has been pointed out above, there seems to be a rising faction of anti-religious atheists who have turned their conception of science into a kind of anti-religion, religion, of it's own. Which only serves to lend credibility to, and fuel the ire of religious zealots, even as I think these new atheists are themselves a reaction to religious protagonists. So that both of these groups tend to inspire and stir up each other.

But besides this, I think there is some basic misunderstanding as to what exactly atheism is, and to what or whom the term should be applied.

"Atheism" is by definition the antithetical position of theism. But "theism" refers to a fairly broad spectrum of ideas and beliefs, while the term atheism only refers to the rejection of these ideas and beliefs, which is itself as impossible to defend as the various theist's propositions are to prove.

Most self-proclaimed "atheists" are not atheists at all, they are really just anti-religious agnostics. They are anti-religious because they reject the specific religious representations and claims for and about "God" that they have been presented. But they are agnostic in that they admit that they can't logically proclaim that ALL theistic god-concepts are false. They reject those they are presented with, but won't reject theism in total because that would requite them to negate an unknown.

One of the reasons this somewhat confusing condition occurs is that atheism is an ideological position, and we humans are capable of holding to more than one ideological position at any one time, even as they may in themselves be contradictory. This doesn't make atheists wrong, or foolish, it simply makes them human, which means they have a multi-dimentional intellect that can think, feel, and express more than one ideological position at a time.
annanicole
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4/17/2013 9:20:01 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I have never viewed atheism as a religion. Is not "religion" the re-"binding" ... the re-"attaching" ... the re-"connection" of man with his Creator, or a higher being? I thought the word derived from the same root as "ligation" or "ligature" or "ligament" with "re" giving it the "again" meaning. Atheism does not even pretend to reattach or rebind or re-ligate men to God, and my inclination is that no one would try to twist atheism into a religion without ulterior motives.

The article states, "The Supreme Court has said a religion need not be based on a belief in the existence of a supreme being. In the 1961 case of Torcaso v. Watkins, the court described "secular humanism" as a religion."

What is the ultimate purpose of this "atheism is a religion" business? There are bound to be motives for such an assertion. Is it to somehow bring the teaching of atheism under Establishment Clause scrutiny? I'm just asking - I don't know ....
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."
matt.mcguire88
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4/17/2013 9:28:55 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
It may be perceived as a religion because it would appear that some atheists are obsessed with their position and think they possess all knowledge and truth, so it becomes somewhat of a theoretical stance, but it is not a religion (at least in the physical dimension that is). I think.....
PureX
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4/17/2013 9:55:03 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/17/2013 9:20:01 AM, annanicole wrote:
I have never viewed atheism as a religion. Is not "religion" the re-"binding" ... the re-"attaching" ... the re-"connection" of man with his Creator, or a higher being? I thought the word derived from the same root as "ligation" or "ligature" or "ligament" with "re" giving it the "again" meaning. Atheism does not even pretend to reattach or rebind or re-ligate men to God, and my inclination is that no one would try to twist atheism into a religion without ulterior motives.

I agree that we often misuse the term "religion" by conflating it with any and all things of a theological nature. My understanding, however, is that "religions" are collections of doctrines, texts, images, rituals, and practices used to express one's theological ideals, in the course of their lives. Religion is the carrying out of a theological proposition, not a theological proposition, itself. So that it would and could not apply to atheism, by definition.

But, we humans tend to be somewhat fast and loose with our vocabulary, and so the words that we use and their meanings are always in flux. Which not only causes confusion, but leaves room for deliberate misrepresentations, too. And I agree with you that there is some of both going on here.
AlbinoBunny
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4/17/2013 10:48:31 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/17/2013 7:38:13 AM, pozessed wrote:
At 4/16/2013 10:38:06 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 4/16/2013 6:20:48 PM, pozessed wrote:
At 4/16/2013 12:31:04 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 4/16/2013 11:40:06 AM, pozessed wrote:
At 4/15/2013 3:59:58 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
By official government documents, and other official documents.

Atheism isn't a religion.

The option should be "no religion", if that is in fact what they are trying to ask. Although you can be an atheist with a religion, or a theist without one.

It's all based on perception. As soon as you advocate your beliefs, it is a religion to anyone who perceives it as such; even if you don't.
Agnostics are the only people who can claim to truly not have a spiritual religion.

Lets also look at art of the definition of the word.
Religion
6. something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience: to make a religion of fighting prejudice.
http://dictionary.reference.com...

I chose this definition because it is most appropriate for your question. Most people understand you don't have to be speaking of your spiritual faith to be "doing something religiously".

That's stretching the definition beyond the kind of religion I am referring to.

That's not a stretch, it is part of the definition. Not to mention you ignored the first paragraph I wrote.

So capitalism is a religion? Any advocation of my beliefs becomes a religion? I would argue that

'For a belief to be classed as a religion to should meet most but not necessarily all of these conditions.
""Belief in something sacred (for example, gods or other supernatural beings).
"A distinction between sacred and profane objects.
"Ritual acts focused on sacred objects.
"A moral code believed to have a sacred or supernatural basis.
"Characteristically religious feelings (awe, sense of mystery, sense of guilt, adoration), which tend to be aroused in the presence of sacred objects and during the practice of ritual.
"Prayer and other forms of communication with the supernatural.
"A world view, or a general picture of the world as a whole and the place of the individual therein. This picture contains some specification of an over-all purpose or point of the world and an indication of how the individual fits into it.
"A more or less total organization of one"s life based on the world view.
"A social group bound together by the above." [1]'

1. http://goo.gl...

And what you suggest makes categorisation that much harder people everyone will have many "religions" which they dispute as being "religions" because they're really not "religions", just beliefs.

Atheism is not a religion, just like theism isn't. It is the non-belief of god(s) and theism is the belief of god(s). Religions maybe categorised as either though, most often as theistic from what I've seen I'll admit.

I belief there should be an offer of "No religion".

Have you never heard the expression "they do that religiously"? She shops religiously, He eats at that time religiously, He speaks about it religiously, etc.

"religion" is not defining only a persons "faith" anymore as you would like it to be. Society has a definition for the word which is widely accepted and used in various ways and I doubt that your opinion will change how people perceive the definition.

I can't stand religious segregation, so I understand your dilemma.

No. It's just you know my meaning by the way I use it, so I'd rather you talk about it with the meaning I've given it than go off subject.

Thank you.
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pozessed
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4/17/2013 10:53:55 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/17/2013 10:48:31 AM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
No. It's just you know my meaning by the way I use it, so I'd rather you talk about it with the meaning I've given it than go off subject.

Thank you.

You asked why society treats atheism as a religion did you not? How can you get an answer to that question if you don't use the definition that society accepts and uses?
AlbinoBunny
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4/17/2013 10:55:50 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/17/2013 8:54:47 AM, PureX wrote:
I think there are several factors involved in why some people refer to atheism as a religion. One is that there are some over-zealous religionists who see themselves as being at enmity with any and all other ways of viewing "God", reality, and truth. In their minds, all conceptual paradigms are enemy "religions" that, by their very existence, contend with their own.

Mhmm.


Another reason is that, as has been pointed out above, there seems to be a rising faction of anti-religious atheists who have turned their conception of science into a kind of anti-religion, religion, of it's own. Which only serves to lend credibility to, and fuel the ire of religious zealots, even as I think these new atheists are themselves a reaction to religious protagonists. So that both of these groups tend to inspire and stir up each other.

Call them Humanist or New Atheist (if it has to be this awful term, at least capitalise it...) then.


But besides this, I think there is some basic misunderstanding as to what exactly atheism is, and to what or whom the term should be applied.

"Atheism" is by definition the antithetical position of theism. But "theism" refers to a fairly broad spectrum of ideas and beliefs, while the term atheism only refers to the rejection of these ideas and beliefs, which is itself as impossible to defend as the various theist's propositions are to prove.

Theism is the belief in god(s). Many religions have this stance as well. Atheism is not having a belief in god(s), there are far less, but I believe still some religions which hold this position. Theism or atheism shouldn't be regarded as religions in and of themselves.


Most self-proclaimed "atheists" are not atheists at all, they are really just anti-religious agnostics. They are anti-religious because they reject the specific religious representations and claims for and about "God" that they have been presented. But they are agnostic in that they admit that they can't logically proclaim that ALL theistic god-concepts are false. They reject those they are presented with, but won't reject theism in total because that would requite them to negate an unknown.

Now it just becomes a definition game. I can't 100% claim that no gods exist, so does that mean I can't be an atheist?


One of the reasons this somewhat confusing condition occurs is that atheism is an ideological position, and we humans are capable of holding to more than one ideological position at any one time, even as they may in themselves be contradictory. This doesn't make atheists wrong, or foolish, it simply makes them human, which means they have a multi-dimentional intellect that can think, feel, and express more than one ideological position at a time.

Atheism isn't a set of ideas, it is just one. It is not an ideology.
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