Why Atheism is Not a Religion

The logic is simple, here’s an analogy… I don’t golf, does that make me a golfer?

Here’s another point, do Atheists have a desire to mimic cannibalism by eating the body or drinking the blood of famous dead Atheists?  Of course not.

Saying Atheism is a religion is just plain ignorant.


About AnonAtheist

I'm a past middle aged man who woke up a few years ago and realized all religion is nonsense. Why did I come to this decision? Because of my kids. As a good father, I had an obligation to research at least the locally predominant Christian religion before I decided what to tell my children about it. After reading as much of the Bible as I could stand it was obvious. Religion is a load of malarkey. Enjoy my blog!
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3 Responses to Why Atheism is Not a Religion

  1. Glen Stark says:

    Your comment about mimicking cannibalism only applies to Christian religions, and only a subset of those religions. It has no relevance to the question of whether or not atheism is a religion or not.

    The question of whether or not atheism is a religion requires and deserves a little more thought. To determine whether atheism is a religion or not requires a careful analysis of what one means by atheism and what one means by religion.

    In my mind religion has at its heart the idea that faith, even when the evidence opposes ones faith, is a virtue to be pursued. I consider it the defining characteristic of a religion. So as long as one is making statements like ‘as an atheist, the evidence leads me to conclude that there is no god”, then no, I don’t think your atheism is religious in nature.

    Atheism means not believing in a deity… it means you are not a theist. You could have a deeply religious, non-theistic, non-evidenciary based religious belief, in which case you would both be an atheist and be religious. Atheism is not the opposite of religion, however it is likely that being areligious would lead to an atheistic belief system.

    The whole question of atheism and religion becomes a little tricky because it’s not possible to disprove the existence of something. It’s only possible to show that so far you have no evidence for said existence. So the moment you become absolutely certain that there is no god, you open yourself to the accusation that you have faith in that conviction, i.e. you have a religious belief.

  2. TJ Geiser says:

    I like Glen Stark’s take on it – more nuanced than my own, which was simply that the prefix “a-” is generally a negation, so “atheism” just indicates an outlook without theism in it. But that’s pretty shallow.

    The useful nuance (to me, anyway) in Stark’s analysis is that theism ain’t religion. In fact, it isn’t even necessary to religion, as any visitor to websites catering to an extreme political view can tell in an instant. (Try calm discussion with a Freeper or Tea Bagger in the U.S. for example.)

    Too bad the “spiritual experience” is so hardwired into humans and so easy to confuse with religion, when additional IQ would be much more useful. An MRI of a nun deep in prayer shows areas of the brain lighting up that are unique to activities involving spiritual engagement, whatever that is. It’s one of those “ya knows it when ya feels it” deals. Hallelujah.

    I suspect it’s subjectively indistinguishable from the “Eureka!” experience of theoreticians or the “Wow!” felt by mathematicians solving a difficult problem or, for that matter, the “in the zone” feeling of top-of-form athletes. It’s integrative. I’ve felt it myself once or twice – musicians, artists, public speakers, performers of all types – lots of people must experience it without going all theistic or religious.

    But tell people it was some god or other touching base with them personally, and watch at least half of them embrace it as religion and, you know, start sending the kids’ lunch money to that nice well coiffed evangelist on the TV and doing other such less than survival-positive stuff to get a share of pie in the sky when they die.

    If I’m right and it’s hard-wired, rationality will never prevail. Too many people who actually experience that awesome state think it’s from an external source. A whole lot of religionists (and politicians and MLM promoters and financial operators and…) make good livings off people’s poor grasp of reality. It’s such a dependably fertile grazing ground for the greedy.

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