The Instigator
Con (against)
7 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
7 Points

Is atheism a religion?

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
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 2 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/6/2019 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,621 times Debate No: 120657
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (91)
Votes (2)




Taken from: Atheist Alliance International
‘Theism’ means ‘belief in a god or gods’. Believers usually sign up to the values and principles of a godly belief system: it’s an ideology. Theistic ideologies are commonly known as faiths or religions. Many ideologies have the suffix ‘ism’; for example, Liberalism, Socialism, And communism but, In the case of ‘atheism’, The ‘ism’ ending has merely been inherited from its root: ‘theism’. The prefix ‘a’ turns the meaning around to the negative, That is, ‘not a belief in a god’, So ‘atheism’ is as far from a faith or religion as it’s possible to get.

Atheism is not a belief system† so that should end this article right here, But theists will likely not be satisfied. They might point to the things atheists and religions have in common: religions form churches, Atheists form associations; churches and atheist associations appoint members to formal roles such as bishop and president; church members give offerings, Atheists pay subscriptions; churches hold services, Atheist hold meetings. Churches and atheists both have literature they value and people they admire.

The problem is, These are superficial similarities and if they make atheism a religion, They make political parties and table tennis clubs religions too. That is obviously absurd.

There is one organization that makes it their job to decide which group is a religion and which is not, And that’s The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the USA. Religions receive highly favorable treatment in the USA and the IRS wants to avoid giving these advantages to organizations that are not genuine religions. So the IRS has a set of criteria they apply to any group claiming to be a religion. The primary criteria are listed below with how atheist groups qualify [shown in parenthesis].

1. Distinct legal existence [Some atheist groups are legal entities. ]
2. Recognized creed and form of worship [No creed or forms of worship. ]
3. Definite and distinct ecclesiastical government [No ecclesiastical governance. ]
4. Formal code of doctrine and discipline [No doctrine. ]
5. Distinct religious history [No religious history. ]
6. Membership not associated with any other church or denomination [Atheists may join any number of atheist groups. ]
7. Organization of ordained ministers [No ministers of any kind. ]
Ordained ministers selected after completing prescribed courses of study [No courses of study. ]
9. Literature of its own [No literature reserved for one group. ]
10. Established places of worship [No worship. ]
Regular religious services [No religious services. ]
Sunday schools for the religious instruction of the young [No instructing the young. ]
13. Schools for the preparation of its members [No atheist schools. ]

With only one criterion applicable to atheists (and that one all political parties and many clubs share), The IRS won’t be granting religious tax exemptions to atheist groups any time soon.

Theists might follow-up by asking why atheists bother to meet to talk about gods they do not believe in. There are several reasons atheists meet but none of them are to talk about gods they don’t believe in. A common reason, Especially in very religious countries, Is to find some time to socialize with like-minded people who are not preoccupied with religious beliefs.

In many cases, Atheists meet as a reaction against religious intolerance, The infiltration of religious dogma into schools and legislation, Or the entanglement of church and state. They meet to get organized in an attempt to combat these religious excesses.

Let’s spell this out, Atheists have no beliefs in common, No gods of any kind, Nothing they worship, No scripture, No shared values, And no dogma. They have no clergy, No schools, And no sacred buildings. The only thing all atheists share is a lack of belief in gods.

Why then do the religious so often claim atheism is a religion? We don’t know, You’ll have to ask religious people that question. Perhaps it is an attempt to drag atheism down to the level of a religion—a set of unsubstantiated beliefs, In a landscape where beliefs are held only on faith. If so, They would be completely wrong about that too.

Prove that Atheism is a religion.

dsjpk5 is disqualified from voting in the voting process as he likes to play a god.



Atheism has been around since at least the times of King David.

You say that atheists have no beliefs in common, But this is not true. Your common belief is that there is no God. Especially the God of the Bible.

You say there are no gods of any kind, But if you say that, Then you are saying that you are a god because you are omniscient because no god could possibly exist without you knowing about it.

You say you don't worship anything, But in all truthfulness you worship man. . . Scientists and philosophers that you read who say there are no gods.

You say you have no dogma or scripture, But honestly what would you call The Humanist Manifesto?

You say you have no schools, Yet humanism is widespread on college campuses and schools. Professors are mostly atheist or agnostic and teach the evolution of man from pond-scum.

You say you do not have clergy like the church, But I would say Richard Dawkins is your pastor.

I will appeal higher than the IRS and let you know that the Supreme Court declared atheism a religion in Torcaso v. Watkins in 1961.

Also Secular Humanist groups receive tax benefits and secular and atheist chaplains are allowed in the military.

Lastly, Atheism is arbitrary, Inconsistent and borrows from the Bible.
Debate Round No. 1


Good thing I know how to read and my opponent doesn't and has no perception or understanding, None whatsoever, As to what atheism is. "Lastly, Atheism is arbitrary, Inconsistent and borrows from the Bible. " Now if he wishes to rephrase his entire 100% ignorant argument and start from the beginning and study up on what atheism is and bring in some actual evidence, And not bring in some poppycock poo that was digested from a spattered spoon of a buttered and oiled hand grenade weight loss program then perhaps we can have a debate. If not, Then this debate is over.


How about refuting my arguments. Isn't the Humanist Manifesto an atheistic document? Are you choosing to ignore the Supreme Courts decision? Or can you not refute my points and have to resort to name calling when someone comes to you with evidence to prove you otherwise.
Debate Round No. 2


"How about refuting my arguments. " How can I possibly do that when you do not have the foggiest idea as to what an atheist is? You need to get your act together kid in order for this debate to continue and learn what an atheist is. Well that's only true if you want this debate to continue. Do you?
"Isn't the Humanist Manifesto an atheistic document? " I'll give you a hint kid, There's no such a thing an "atheist document".


I did refute your points. Do you even know what is the Humanist Manifesto is? I see you also fail to address the Supreme Court decision that says that atheism is a religion. Also you ignored my point about atheist chaplains that are in the military.
Let me test your claim that atheism isn't a religion. If something isn't religious, Then it cannot oppose religious claims. You claim that you are not religious, Yet you make judgments about religious topics, Therefore making religious statements. So you show that you are religious when you try to refute another religious view.
Debate Round No. 3


OK I can't help somebody who truly doesn't have the foggiest idea as to what they are talking about. *yawn* god are you boring. So I'm going to slaughter you now since you didn't listen to me, Maybe you'll listen to someone else. If you don't take in these videos, That's not my problem. Btw, These professionals know one helluva lot more than you.
https://www. Youtube. Com/watch? V=7o5h0DdcyTA&t=264s - Reasons for accepting atheism #1
https://www. Youtube. Com/watch? V=WbxqvugoJuw - Proof that atheism is accurate and correct #2
Atheism doesn"t have the B. O. P. It is the rejection of claims that have not met their B. O. P.
Atheism is the lack of belief in something.
https://www. Youtube. Com/watch? V=E3rGev6OZ3w&t=130s - Penn Jillette: Reading the Bible (Or the Koran, Or the Torah) Will Make You an Atheist #3
https://www. Youtube. Com/watch? V=lMLzThidlZM The Burden of Proof is on Christians or Atheist? ! - The Atheist Experience #776 #4 https://www. Youtube. Com/watch? V=_25w9CE73ak - Bill Maher - Atheism IS NOT a Religion #5
https://www. Youtube. Com/watch? V=qHsFA7cp7M0&t=178s - Atheism a religion? #6
https://www. Youtube. Com/watch? V=cUh91EP8ClE - The case for Atheism (Richard Carrier) #7
https://www. Youtube. Com/watch? V=lDpEeHD54Mo&t=1397s - The Gospel According to Carrier #8
https://www. Youtube. Com/watch? V=mLdjoEWOnec - A believers guide to Atheism in 9 minutes #9
https://www. Youtube. Com/watch? V=wtO1e9breLs - Is Atheism a Dogmatic Religion? # 10
https://www. Youtube. Com/watch? V=TqhRlpjp4Dw - Atheist VS christian Jaclyn Glenn #11


What you just showed is that you cannot think for yourself and have to get professors to talk for you. I could give you a whole bunch of videos as well for on Youtube you can find anything. But I want you to refute my points, Not give me a ton of videos.
Debate Round No. 4


"What you just showed is that you cannot think for yourself and have to get professors to talk for you. " Wrong. As you have no idea what atheism is. See you punk kid, I've been doing this for 43+ years and am only a few weeks away from 44, And I'm sick and tired of repeating myself to earthquake shook rattle and roll puppies like you who have to flatly invent excuses form which they know nothing about as you have clearly done. And awe its just so cute and cuddly that you ignored the evidence presented unto you, So why should I pay ---any--- attention to a single word that you have to say when its entirely false, All of it? AND YOU CLEARLY DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT?
Now let's humiliate and degrade you some more since you flat out deserve it. . . You claim"your" arguments, Wow contradictory hypocrite they are not YOUR arguments now are they. Other idiots dreamed them up before you. You just simply plagiarized them.
Let's copy and paste what I stated earlier to omar2345 shall we?
Notice that Pro thought the author of the article was "you" in which case that would be me? Why is it that so-called christians, And or whatever so-called well-being institute he represents, That they have trouble reading? I gave full credit after all to where the article came from.
Now if you go to the wikipedia page from where he most certainly got his information from and didn't read it carefully enough. . .
"It has occasionally been argued that in Torcaso v. Watkins the Supreme Court "found" secular humanism to be a religion. This assertion is based on a reference, By Justice Black in footnote number 11 of the Court's finding, To court cases where organized groups of self-identified humanists, Or ethicists, Meeting on a regular basis to share and celebrate their beliefs, Have been granted religious-based tax exemptions. "
"occasionally been argued" Well gosh! Its been argued by drum rill please - by every single person out there that loves to get into religious debates who doesn't understand what atheism is. AND continuing. . . "have been granted religious-based tax exemptions. " I think that about sums it up nice and sparkling clear.

Yeah they sunk themselves so they could get religious based tax exemptions. That's not a very good way for you to present any valid evidence to support your case to prove that atheism is a religion. That's an ultimate fail.

So to go back in RD 1 since you are totally incapable of doing something as wide and as vast as "reading" which is what so-called christians, Because there's no such a thing as a christian, You nor anybody follow your christ in which there's no proof he ever existed just like your unproven god, You constantly referred to the article as "you say". It wasn't me that said one god damned thing. It was the article in which I gave full and due credit. What is the problem that you can't READ?

And you also tried to B. S. Your way through with crap that nobody even gave a munching green waits with a snicker snick on the burning candle stick that was so completely laughable because first before anything you needed to know and understand what an atheist is, In which you still don't know in which the videos 100% prove also, So by those means, You lose this debate. Conversation over.
Oh and oh yeah, One final thought. . . I can think on my own, You can't.


In my debate I have proved that atheism is a religion. From getting tax exempt status for being a religion in the eyes of the law. For having churches, Such as the Seattle Atheist Church. For having atheist chaplains in the armed forces. For having a written set of beliefs in the Humanist Manifesto that all atheists adhere to. For having pastors and for testing his claim that atheism isn't a religion. If something isn't religious, Then it cannot oppose religious claims. You claim that you are not religious, Yet you make judgments about religious topics, Therefore making religious statements. So you show that you are religious when you try to refute another religious view.
Debate Round No. 5
91 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Country-of-dummies 3 years ago
Ew, Omar is now the monkey in the middle proposing fairness and justice for all! Wanna know why my username is called Country-of-dummies? Because of dummies. . .
Posted by omar2345 3 years ago

I had more to say.
Why do you counter?
You vote is inadequate. You did not cover both sides.
Posted by dsjpk5 3 years ago
My sneaky comment concerns how you modified your vote after I voted. Sorry for the confusion.
Posted by omar2345 3 years ago

Should I tell you every single debate I am voting on or should I go through backwardseden's profile like you do?
By your standards you are also sneaky. You didn't tell me that you were voting either.
Posted by WrickItRalph 3 years ago

Atheists have shared beliefs, But they didn't get those beliefs because of being atheists. Me and Omar are both atheists and we can't agree on a bunch of things. You can't say that atheism is a religion, Because religions have tenants and there are no tenants to atheism. We don't even have tenants about how to reject god. Every atheist has their own way of rejecting it. For instance, I'm an antitheist which makes me an atheist, But I also make the positive claim that no god's exist. Some atheists don't take a position at all and just reject the god claim based on insufficient evidence, And some atheist are antireligion and want religions gone in addition to not believing. If you keep looking at us as a relgion, Then you're never going to be able to understand what you're up against.
Posted by dsjpk5 3 years ago
Someone thinks he's sneaky. Is this another vote off challenge?
Posted by DeletedUser 3 years ago
Old scallywag backwardsman
Posted by backwardseden 3 years ago
Yep. I agree with omar2345 that "I can't do this" because you GeneralGrant bring in answers have no idea as to what you are squawking about and have been debunked several times by us. But no, You only listen to your f--king self. And as stated even if someone were to agree with exactly what you were to say, Dream and feel, You would still manage to find fault with that person no matter what. This is precisely to the letter why you have no genuine friends and loved ones is not only do you not bring any truth and or genuine evidence to the table when getting in an argument with someone but because of this everyone WILL walk away and have nothing to do with you. . . Bye.
Posted by GeneralGrant 3 years ago
Of course not, Because you would answer in the positive thus making you agree with a document that has been around since 1933. It would also prove that you d have a system of beliefs. At least the atheist scientists including Richard Dawkins are brave enough to admit that they have a system of beliefs.
Posted by omar2345 3 years ago
I can't take the questions you are clearly able to answer on your own. You are either going to lie or face that like I said before Atheism is one claim. If an atheist believes in humanism. They are an atheist humanist. I am not going to reply to your next comment.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by omar2345 3 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 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:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro gave no argument that stated atheism by itself was a Religion. Even if we go by the Religion being a system of beliefs Pro does not realise Atheism is only one claim. Con gave sources Pro didn't. dsjpk5 calls my vote inadequate when he didn't even show both sides.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 3 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 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: Con admits to degrading Pro. That's poor conduct. Also countering omars inadequate vote. Did not cover both sides, and he made his own arguments.

By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use.