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Atheism a Religion?

Updated on July 23, 2014

Atheism a Religion?

Why should anyone believe in something? What is belief? Theism itself isn't a religion, but there are religions within theism. Accepting and not following are totally different aspects. If the contention is that they don’t believe God exists than it leads us to a pre supposition that God exists. And second thing is that what is religious about believing in God? Some may argue that Religion is the pivot and it can be divided into further sub categories as Atheism and Theism. Can it be termed as an opinion on Religion? These are some of the question which needs to be thought. For getting, somewhat, a clear understanding there has to be some specific rules which can be relied as to what is belief and Religion and can they be defined.

Atheism is a belief that there is no God. It avows the unreality of God. It is not just about the lack of belief in God but also one would say that it is the declaration of non-existence of God. Now the problem is that Religion is very difficult to define and the problem with the definition is that if defined it is confined. If the contentions are against supernatural things and activities then a Religion called Jainism worships non-supernatural things and some worship Sun.


The seven dimensions proposed by Ninian Smart are “narrative, experiential, social, ethical, doctrinal, ritual and material.” It says that every Religion has its own tales thus making it narrative, it is experienced, it has a social dimension as it cannot be in isolation, and doctrinal is because beliefs are due to Religions, it includes rituals and material things are created.


“Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair colour.” This claim is a little vague to argue upon, a shaved head can be a hairstyle though. People are so caught up in their Religious beliefs that if one are living without a Religion than that is not acceptable. Atheists have certain philosophies by which they live such as objectivism and Secular Humanism. Atheism is not being irreligious. It is disbelief and not a viewpoint. A philosophy of life cannot be necessarily termed as Religion.


Religion is a creation of humans and it is just as diverse and compound as human culture is. Religion has always played a vital role in an individual’s life and as a dominating factor it has governed and will be governing most of an individual’s activities. Thus it can be said that social behavior and activities of an individual is colored with religious values. It is really important to note here that what qualifies for Religion. What is that particular belief that makes it THE Religion.


Here are some arguments which can be against Atheism.

  • Starting with the first one, it says that “Religion is a means of understanding our existence” and Atheism is also a means to understand one’s existence so there is no difference.
  • “Religion is a philosophy of life” One will totally agree to it and so is Atheism thus making no difference.
  • Religion has its true faithful believers, who guard the prevailing attitude of the faith and which can also be seen in atheism.
  • Religions have leaders, the preachers of its code of belief and so does Atheism, for Example: Nietzsche and Marx. So what is that particular point which makes it difference is not still understandable.
  • They preach their Rationality or science. They are, kind of, obsessed with the idea of God.

Religion as faith can be termed as feeling. But it is without evidence. The one important thing to religion is that it has universal claim. Thus getting to a conclusion would not be fair here as this stage because there are only characteristics to belief and religion and God and also Atheism. What is required is a very specific approach.


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    • getitrite profile image

      getitrite 3 years ago

      This is not as accurate as you would like it to be. The main definition of religion is as follows: "n. the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods"

      Of course, those who wish to discount atheists as freethinkers, often try to stretch the definition to the most illogical parameters. Special pleading?