Atheism is a Religion?

750x500-ehow-images-a02-3l-d5-do-threecup-shuffle-magic-trick-800x800Religious People often insist that atheism is a religion in attempt to show how atheists are hypocrites who at once both are religious and appose religion. This is a logical fallacy known as ‘equivocation’, where one definition of a word is deceptively substituted for a second definition. If you define religion to be ‘any strongly held belief’, some forms of atheism (namely anti-theism) may indeed be considered a religion, if you define religion as most of us do, to mean ‘theism’, atheism is not only not a religion, but it’s antithesis.

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24 thoughts on “Atheism is a Religion?

    1. That made no sense at all. You are equating a “lack of belief in gods” with “believing in nothing”. Not the same thing.

      As an atheist, I believe in lots of things. But none of the things I believe in are supernatural beings.

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      1. Because you have such a strong belief that there is no God, as I have there is a God. Then your Atheism is your religion. You should read the definition of religion in a dictionary.

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        1. You make a huge assumption there. I don’t have a strong belief that there is no god. I have a lack of evidence that there is a god, so I do not at this time believe that one exists. Should there ever be sufficient evidence to support the existence of a god, I will change my mind.

          I also don’t believe in unicorns, leprechauns, or magnetic monopoles. Are you going to claim that my lack of belief in those things is a religion? Do you believe in fairies? If you don’t, can we call your lack of belief in fairies a religion? Or is it just something you don’t believe in?

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          1. The evidence is right in front of you, and if you cannot see it, then you are blind. There is, too much, order in the universe to not have a creator.
            All you are looking for is someone to argue with, and I will not waste my time because you are not looking for an honest debate. You are also condescending in your verbal attacks with your questions.

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            1. Whether there’s a god cannot be decided by a debate. Apologetics are not evidence, they are arguments, which is not the same thing. I spent years looking for evidence, including back when I genuinely believed. I found none. If there is evidence that I cannot see, then your god is a lousy communicator, which is not my fault. If your god exists, and wants me to believe he exists, then he already knows what evidence he would need to send to change my mind. And yet, nothing.

              You accuse atheists of believing in “nothing”, dictate to me what you think I have a strong belief in, and tell me to read the dictionary, yet I’m the one who’s being condescending? I think you are attacking my tone because you don’t have a good answer to the point I’ve made. “Not believing in something” isn’t a religion. If it were, then “bald” is a haircolor, “off” is a TV channel, and “not collecting stamps” is a hobby.

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              1. ubi dubium: The problem is the way you think. The evidence is right in front of you, but you refuse to see or accept it. If you have ever been to a murder trial, when the murderer is convicted it is not on 100% evidence it is, on the amount of evidence that presented. Even science is not based on 100% but on the preponderance of the evidence. Saying all Ravens, are black and then finding one with one strand of white destroys the, ‘all.’
                To believe in the God of creation you need to look, all around and see the evidence, but it seems you believe in evolution, am I right? Take a long hard look at nature and see the constant uniformity. Evolutions say this just happened by time and chance. If you believe this, you are swallowing in something far more difficult, than assuming in the existence of God. Read about Thermodynamics and you will see anything left to itself will decay not evolve into something better.
                You will never find 100% of anything in this world.

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                1. I’ve looked around me. I see a vast cosmos that is overwhelmingly hostile to any form of life. In all the vastness of space, we cling to one small fraction of the surface of one tiny fragile planet. And the life on this planet is a continuing cycle of ceaseless unrelenting brutality and death. Most organisms born on this planet will die of starvation or disease, or be eaten long before they are ever able to reproduce. Any god that meant for our universe to be home to life and specifically to humanity would have been able to do a much better job than this. Your “look around you” argument does not persuade.

                  And I’ve studied Thermo in college, and it does not apply to evolution. A closed system will have increasing overall entropy, but the earth is not a closed system. There’s an enormous energy source pouring energy onto our planet all the time, so that argument also does not persuade.

                  Your apologetic arguments are no good for converting non-believers, because that is not their purpose. They are for making believers feel like the things they believe have logic and reason behind them. They are to make you feel better. Most atheists you encounter on the internet have already heard all of this stuff. If it was effective, we wouldn’t still be atheists. It’s not effective.

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                    1. I’m plenty happy, happier now than I ever was back when I was religious. I’m seeking to know what’s real, without trying to fool myself into thinking I have all the answers, just because an ancient book or a preacher says so.

                      You keep making assumptions about me, without actually knowing anything about my life.

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                    2. I do not think so, for, deep down, you know you cannot find what you are looking for. You never will with such a negative attitude of believing you must have 100% proof, there is a God.

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                    3. Once again, you think you know more about my life than I do. That’s pretty arrogant!

                      I don’t need 100% proof. I would settle for a preponderance of the evidence, and it’s just not there. Even if there were the evidence you claim, that would not point to any specific god, just a vague Deism, which I’m pretty sure is not what you are advocating. Then there’d still be the problem as to whether any of the world’s religions are right about what this god is like and what it wants. They can’t all be right, but they can all be wrong! Considering that there are thousands of different religions, even if there were one correct one, the probability that a random stranger on the internet just happened to hit on that correct one is really really small.

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                    4. Or I understand confirmation bias. People tend to see what they want to see and disregard everything else. Especially if they’ve been raised to assume a particular point of view is true. I was raised that way, and once believed it, as you do. But not any more.

                      Knowing about confirmation bias, I now try to look at everything, not just those few things your church tells you to look at. The more I look, the more I see a vast impersonal universe that shows no signs of caring about us.

                      If your god were real, he’d have a better way of communicating with me than the unsupported assertions and assumptions of a random stranger on the internet.

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                    5. If the specific truth you are referring to is “I don’t presently believe any of the supernatural stuff claimed by any religion”, then yes, I’m the only one that can speak to what I, myself, believe. Otherwise, only the religious claim to have some kind of a lock on “Absolute Truth™”. I just withhold belief until sufficient evidence is present to warrant it.

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                    6. Why don’t you face it? You are not looking for truth are you? You like the position that you hold to assume there is no God. You seem to enjoy the use of rhetoric to satisfy your own ego. I am not saying this to try to offend I am merely stating a fact, because you are frightened to surrender to God.

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                    7. You keep making those assumptions about “facts” and about me, and none of them are correct. If there were a god, that would be a very important thing to know. But it’s also important not to jump to hasty conclusions, or just take some random person’s word about something so important. People are fallible, especially people who think they have some kind of divine mandate to go convert everybody. Better to withhold belief than to put my trust in some con artist. “Surrender to god” is usually just code for “do what I say god wants, and also give me your money”.

                      If there were a god, I would expect that a true message from that god would not arrive in the same format that all the false messages from incorrect religions do. You sound just like every other preacher I’ve ever heard from every other religion. There is nothing special about your message, and nothing about it distinguishes you from every other false prophet out there. As far as I can tell you have no special insight, you jump to lots of incorrect conclusions, and I don’t think any god is talking to you.

                      If your god’s actually out there, he knows where I live. He’s invited to lunch tomorrow, if he cares to show up. I’m not holding my breath.

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  1. As someone who disbelieves in all worldly God-believing religions but who believes there could be some from of God out there somewhere, those who specifically identify as atheists and who connect and gather under that term do come across to me as often having elements of religiosity. To define atheism as religion does not seem that much of a stretch.

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  2. To some degree believing in a God is fine- kind of like 2 faces to a coin and a good example is a quantum binary Both is and isn’t. because believing and not believing are in the same boat. They have no proof that there is no god. They also have no proof that there is no god. A belief in nothing is a different category of people. But Atheism is a disbelief in a ultimate singular deity, or many deities altogether. Though to disregard histories and stories and legends of “Gods” that may have existed throughout history is also not logical. How these people sprung up and claimed to be gods is a strange topic. But the claim that they are gods.. that WE may be gods in the process or at least part of one – is another debate. If we think of God as a collective and we are part of that collective as sparks of God.. that make up his, hands, heart and mind. This is in reality is what God is.. A consciousness.. not a smiting, arrogant floating through the air God. In the manner of god to exist we have to exist. In order for spirits to exist and make sense we have to exist. It’s a symbiotic relationship. You cannot conclude there is no god based on the idea that causal nature does not have affect on anything unless it is of a godly given nature or gift. Purpose, reason and relationships all depend on Spirits or deities or gods or whatever you want to call them, spirits also come from your thinking brain at a low level but at a higher level you can create a higher functioning spirit just by imagining it (God, demons, devils, make belief fairies and so forth). Your mind is too objectively static believing only in the dead matter, balance subjective and benevolence and you’ll have the scope and spectrum of the world. Not to close doors, but embrace and make of all there is in life. Hope, Opportunity and Faith is your friend. Without these human intuitions and things a life is not complete. Also, Multi-dimensions is the opportunity for these forms to come to existence.. monads, spiritual bodies and higher dimensional beings are a very real thing.

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  3. I’m amazed that so few people seem to know the definition of religion. It’s a belief in a cause (usually supernatural), purpose, and meaning of life–usually shared with others and providing a structure for living based on those beliefs. So not believing such a set of unknowables is not religion. Period. My atheism is not a religion. It’s a question.

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  4. I really enjoyed the game of God Tennis in these comments. I’ve enjoyed such games myself, many times over the years. Unfortunately, other than for the fun of it, I’ve found there is not much point. The contenders in such an argument cannot possibly find resolution as they are mirror images of each other’s position. Similar to two like poles of a magnet they repel each other. Each side has a sound logic, from their prospective. Each mind sees what its mind is willing to see of the o so malleable truth, but neither can or will ever convince the other. The only solution is to release the other person and oneself from the dangerous thought that -one is right or knows the truth. In my view, perception is truly personal and belief is the end of a long road that is near impossible to decipher in ones self, let alone in another.

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  5. I’ve heard a handful of good analogies. Atheism is a religion in the same way that off is a TV channel. Or that not collecting stamps is a hobby. Those are apt comparisons.

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  6. I completely agree with this post, it is all in how religion is being defined by each person. Religion has taken on more of a subjective meaning, this argument is merely semantics.

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