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Is atheism a religon?

Updated on December 5, 2013

Is atheism a religion?

Most atheist would say, "No, that's like saying that off is a tv channel."

Some non-atheists would say, "Yes of coarse, it is a world view."

Only one of them can be right.

I will examine which one is correct below.

Please comment. If you have an objection to my argument, or I forgot something, let me know and I will try to address it.

First Thoughts

Before you read this article, do you think that atheism is a religion?

See results

First Thoughts

Before you read this article, do you think that atheism is a religion?

Yes

Yes

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    • titanslayer 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Actually it does have to be set of belief because to be an atheist you most not believe in God which is the same as BELIEVING that he doesn't exist. It is impossible to have a lack in belief because disbelieving something is the same as believing its contrapositve.

      And atheism does fit the first 2 parts of your definition as well, atheists have beliefs about the universe so that fits part one. And the universally don't believe in God which would be a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons.

      Even if you didn't bring up a different definition my definition is just as valid and by my definition atheists are religious.

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      re·li·gion

      1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

      2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.

      3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.

      Atheism doesn't contain, devotional and ritual observances or moral code governing the conduct of human affairs, therefor according to definition 1 atheism is not a religion. according to definition 2 atheism is not a religion, because it does not have a fundamental set of beliefs and practices, It actually has a lack there of. same goes for 3, atheism doesn't have a set of beliefs and practices. therefor Atheism is not a religion.

    No

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      • titanslayer 4 years ago

        @anonymous: Using the same analogy being atheist to a different religion does form the belief that they are wrong. If you reject a belief you believe it isn't true. Their are many beliefs that come from this. The most obvious one is their religion contradicts mine, but I don't believe it so it is possible for my religion to be true. Rejection of all religions creates the belief that they are all hogwash and the universe and life itself have an origin other then God. Also, the meaning of life is shaped by this belief.

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        Simply put, Christianity (or insert alternative religion) is the proposal that a god exists, the 'facts' associated with it's existence, the stories attributed to it, and the 'rules' by which a believer should live.

        Atheism is the rejection of the claim a god exists.

        It is not denial, it is simple dismissal of the claim until evidence is presented.

        Every individual may be considered mute on the subject until a 'god proposal', at which point follows acceptance (religion) or dismissal (atheism) of that individual claim.

        Anyone of any religion may be considered atheist to other religions. I am simply atheist to all of them. This does not spontaneously create a system of belief.

      Is atheism a religion?

      This argument is about us having different definitions of religion. So here is the definition from the dictionary.

      1

      a : the state of a religious

      b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance

      2

      : a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices

      3

      archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness

      4

      : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

      Does that sound like atheism to you? The first three ways of defining it don't but, "a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith " kind of sounds like it might be. Atheism is a cause for my the universe the way that it is. It can be held as a principle to others. And it is a system of beliefs (to clarify any negative belief, "I don't believe X" is logically equivalent to its contrapositve, "I do believe in X." So atheism is in fact a belief.) But that does not make it a religion. For it to be a religion it has to be held with ardor and faith. Lets define ardor and faith.

      Ardor- "intense emotion: great passion, enthusiasm, or eagerness"

      I suppose you could find a atheist that show ardor about being a atheist, so by these definitions that atheist would be religious. But not all atheists would show ardor. So far we he have shown that atheism can be a religion but it is not necessarily religious.

      Faith-

      1.

      belief or trust: belief in, devotion to, or trust in somebody or something, especially without logical proof

      "I wouldn't put my faith in him to straighten things out."

      2.

      religion or religious group: a system of religious belief, or the group of people who adhere to it

      3.

      trust in God: belief in and devotion to God

      "Her faith is unwavering."

      4.

      set of beliefs: a strongly held set of beliefs or principles

      "people of different political faiths"

      5.

      loyalty: allegiance or loyalty to somebody or something"

      Atheism is a belief and according to our first definition faith is a belief or trust. And according to the fourth definition faith is a set of beliefs. That sounds like atheism to me. So according to the lexical definition of religion atheism is a religion.

      Update: Atheism and Theism

      I was told by @titan that people were saying that my argument hinges not only on the definition of religion but also on the definition of atheism. The same guy also said that theism is not a belief.

      So here is the proper definition of atheism

      1. unbelief in God or deities: disbelief in the existence of God or deities

      There is no"2" that is the only definition of atheism. If the guy was saying that my argument doesn't hold up because not all atheists are the same then think again. My argument would cover every single person that fits this definition.

      Also here is the definition of theism

      1. belief in God: belief that one God created and rules humans and the world, not necessarily accompanied by belief in divine revelation such as through the Bible

      2.

      belief in god or gods: belief in the existence of a god or gods

      So yeah theism is a belief.

      Did I change your mind

      Do you think atheism is a religion?

      See results

      Final thoughts

      Do you think atheism is a religion?

      Yes

      Yes

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        • anonymous 4 years ago

          It is a religion. They may not have altars, rituals, prayers, religious holidays, etc. but they have an adamant set of beliefs and tend to have gatherings and retreats with other atheists. Just Youtube a video of Madelyn Murray O'Hare, particularly the part where she mocks the pope for wanting to convert life forms on the moon. Some might say "That's like calling the Democrat/Republican party a religion", but political gatherings are only about running a country via taxes, government, authority, etc.

          Atheism is about spiritual worldviews.

        • titanslayer 4 years ago

          @paradoxpolter: Oh, thanks I'll be sure to update the page.

          Thanks for the squidlike.

        • paradoxpolter 4 years ago

          I like the argument you used. but I think that some people would say atheism is not a belief so the conculsion you derived when you said, "Atheism is a belief and according to our first definition faith is a belief or trust. And according to the fourth definition faith is a set of beliefs. That sounds like atheism to me. So according to the lexical definition of religion atheism is a religion." is invalid.

          You should point out that logically not believing something is believing its contrapostive. Then your argument should be water tight. ;D

        No

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          • titanslayer 4 years ago

            @anonymous: Removing one religion doesn't make the other religions stop existing.

            You couldn't remove religion. We just don't even know what that would be like so that question is unanswerable. All and all your analogy falls falls flat especially your removal of atheism thing. Not not every belief system is a religion but atheism leads to a belief system that that would be considered religious by the lexical definition of the word.

          • anonymous 4 years ago

            Atheism is a religion like abstinence is a sex position.

            But more seriously :- )

            remove atheism and does Religion still exist? Undoubtedly Yes

            Remove religion and does Atheism still exist?, The question doesn't even arise

            Religion is an assertion that god(s) exist is true. Atheism is a comment on the truth of that statement, and therefore' 'believe' that the truth of that assertion has not been proved.

            Not every belief system is a religion, but every religion is a belief system.

          • titanslayer 4 years ago

            @anonymous: The argument that their is no shared beliefs between atheists doesn't work.

            New Agers rarely have common beliefs yet they are a religion. Also, please keep your sense of superiority to yourself. It doesn't help you make your point.

          • anonymous 4 years ago

            Atheism is a lack of belief in an individual claim (eg Christianity, the Christian god).

            Atheism in all religious claims (Christian, Muslim, Hindu... etc) is symbolic of consistency in scepticism but little.

            There are no shared beliefs between atheists. If I meet another, the only thing we definitely have in common is lack of belief in a god (and possibly a greater dependence on critical thinking and rationality).

          • titanslayer 4 years ago

            @anonymous: Does it have to be a set of beliefs? And the dictionary definition is the definition that is important. I used the definitions correctly. And saying stuff like, "Calling it a religion is like calling bald a hair color." over and over does not make that a valid argument.

          • anonymous 4 years ago

            My objection is that Atheism is not a set of beliefs, it is a single belief, and the dictionary definition of faith is not how it is commonly used. Calling it a religion is like calling bald a hair color.

          Questions, Comments, Corrections, Suggestions

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            • titanslayer profile image
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              titanslayer 4 years ago

              @anonymous: Send the youtuber back here, I have my response to his objection.

            • profile image

              anonymous 4 years ago

              I sent your page to someone on youtube, he said the following

              "His argument is that atheism is a religion. You directed to bad arguments from squidoo to back this claim. Even IF atheism is the belief there is not god (which is not the most inclusive definition of the term...thus my point that the argument ALSO hinges upon how we define atheism) that single belief, that there is no god, does not make it a religion. Similarly, "theism" is not a belief. It's state of belief regarding the existence of gods. Same goes for "atheism".

              You should update the page to address his objection better. if you reply to this and let me know if you update the page I will send him back her. Thanks for your time.

            • titanslayer profile image
              Author

              titanslayer 4 years ago

              I just wanted to say, I misclicked when I was taking my polls on the page, so the polling on this page is a bit off.