Atheist is so en vogue… at the risk of being so denim, I register my vote as “this cartoon is funny and thought-provoking, but in the end no matter how much incestuous adoration it garners, it will grant its artist no ecumenical satisfaction”
Why is it so hard to define what a religion is these days? Religion: “An organization and/or set of ideas pertaining to a given doctrine that argues for a particular supernatural view of the world and concerns itself with inculcating followers with this doctrine.”
I’ll admit I just came up with that, but I think it covers everything. I didn’t include the aspect of “gaining more followers” in my definition because I wanted it to be as general as possible. The practice of proselytizing by a given “religion” is something determined by the doctrine of said religion, not necessarily simply by virtue of being a religion.
If atheism can be considered a religion simply by virtue of the fact that there are some atheists who try to convince others of their atheism, then we may as well be able to call political parties religions.
Sorry to break it to you but Atheism is NOT a religion. To be called a religion you must have a belief in a higher power. Atheism has NO such belief. So to call Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair color.
I like your “like calling bald a hair color” analogy.
Sorry to break it to you but Atheism is NOT a religion. To be called a religion you must have a belief in a higher power.
Nooo, to be called a religion you must have a belief ABOUT a higher power. By your definition Buddhism is not a religion.
Catherine, what exactly is the difference between a belief IN a higher power and a belief ABOUT a higher power? I don’t see why you’re nit-picking it. Sounds like basically the same thing to me. Why would one bother to have a belief ABOUT a higher power that they didn’t also believe IN?
Matt is unfamiliar with the Buddhist concept of the non self existence of anything much less a higher power. So there you have it a belief about something without believing in it. Not nit picking at all.
Atheists have a belief about higher powers also… that they don’t exist.
Buddhism is atheistic.
Then again, it may not technically qualify as a religion. Religion is, at its heart, a Western concept. Buddhism is called a religion largely because Westerners had no idea what to think about it.
The problem with buddhism is there are a LOT of different sects, some with highly varying sets of beliefs/teachings. Just go here to see what I’m talking about:
Amitabha…celestial buddha. I’m not trying to argue that ALL buddhism has deities or even semi-deities, but there are sects out there with explicit supernatural elements.
Buddhism is interesting because it has a sort of opposite flow than Christianity. Christianity started (to use Alfred Whitehead’s terminology) very tribal and more superstitious, then eventually the Neoplatonists pinned some philosophy on it. Buddhism started with a metaphysics, and as it expanded it became more tribal and esoteric.
Regardless, atheists only necessarily agree on one point, whereas religion implies a fairly uniform world view. In this sense, atheism isn’t a religion, unless you join an atheist church…
I would like to see an atheist church.
“And Lo, Richard Dawkins did say…”
woo 10 points for me and paganism
I thought atheism was the lack of a belief in a higher power. If I have no idea what to believe I would be an atheist, but would not have a belief about higher powers.
James, that’s called “agnosticism”
Where you go “Dude, like, I don’t know if there’s a god or not. There’s, like, not enough proof either way, man”
I thought agnostics were just atheists who don’t want to admit to it.
Only two sides of the coin, theism, the belief in a god, atheism, the lack of belief in a god.
James…only Theists believe there are only two sides to the coin, everyoner else knows there is that awkward, edgy bit between.
But bob, does not that edge bit give way to either side.
In such a world that the coin could stand comfortably on end, perhaps it wouldn’t matter to which side it fell.
Alas, it cannot, and it does.
How can you believe and not believe at the exact same time?
You can believe that you don’t know, James.
If you don’t know, then you don’t believe in a god and you are by definition an atheist.
hey there um…yeah atheism isn’t a religion but i would like to see an atheist church as well…”and thus chuck norris said…” lol
Angel that doesn’t work ’cause Chuck Norris is a very devout Christian.
to be concrete….is an athiest the one who is brainwashed into believing that God does not exist, or is it the religious who are brainwashed to believe that God does exist?
It’s certainly possible for an atheist to be “brainwashed” into not believing god exists, but it’s sort of beside the point. For me the bottom line is someone who doesn’t accept the claim that god exists. That’s it…whether or not they were raised that way or “brainwashed” is a whole other issue. Do you consider a child who has been raised Christian to be brainwashed? I know it’s a tired point…but a child who is raised Christian could have just as easily been a child who’d been born in Iran and been raised a muslim. Which one is brainwashing? I say both…though I don’t like the word “brainwash”. Brainwashing can be done to adults…I think what I’m referring to is more like…indoctrination or something.
***Woops, I mean’t it’s possible for an atheist to have been brainwashed that god DOESNT exist…my bad. Typo.
Atheism is kind of tricky to define. It seems that there is an ongoing debate about whether it is the belief that god does not exist, or the lack of belief in a god (or supernatural power).
Agnosticism is the philosophy that it really is impossible to know whether or not there is a god (or supernatural power).
I have heard people categorize themselves as “Agnostic Atheists” meaning that they realize that it can’t be proven, but they would assume, based on available evidence, that there is no supernatural power or god or what ev. I am not sure I like that term particularly, but I always like the militant agnostic thing. Ya know… I don’t know and you don’t either.
Yes…atheism does seem to be tricky to define, but I’m not convinced that that’s for a good reason. Maybe it’s just because I’ve studied morphology before (makeup of words) and I think that ALL the word “Atheist” should ever entail is “not a theist”. Whether or not you’re agnostic…or you want to get in peoples’ faces and try and “prove” god(s) don’t exist, that’s your business. I try to push for a more simplistic definition of the word…literally a non-theist. If you do not answer “yes” to the question “Do you believe in at least one deity?” then you are an atheist…that’s it, at least in my view.
Atheism is not believing in or about a higher power. Since God (pick one) has no belief in a higher power he must be an Atheist. So if Atheism is good enough for God it’s good enough for me.
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