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Is atheism a religion?


Off-Topic Discussions

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Scientology is a well documented fraud by government standards. I still can't figure out why they just simple pull their tax exempt status away from them and shut them down completely. I mean they were doing it back in 1986.

:::Shrugs:::

Steps into TARDIS and disappears.


Ragnarok Aeon wrote:
Well since 'Scientology' has already been taken and stained... I don't know, calling a set religion 'Atheism' grates on me. It's like calling a nation, 'Grassless Country'. It becomes confusing when someone can believe in no god, thus rightly being defined as atheist, and not be part of the Atheism religion...

For the record Scientology and Athiesm are entirely different belief systems.

For one Athiests don't believe that the writings of a science fiction writer are true.

Scientology link


Tiny Coffee Golem, I'm fine with your atheistic church (and any others like it) being a religion. It fits within what I said I thought the common definitions made a religion out to be. Moreover, it sounds like you really want it to be classified as a religion. I think that's fine.

I don't get the impression that's the general choice and lifestyle of most atheists, though. (I could definitely be wrong. I'm far from an authority.)


Eben TheQuiet wrote:

Tiny Coffee Golem, I'm fine with your atheistic church (and any others like it) being a religion. It fits within what I said I thought the common definitions made a religion out to be. Moreover, it sounds like you really want it to be classified as a religion. I think that's fine.

I don't get the impression that's the general choice and lifestyle of most atheists, though. (I could definitely be wrong. I'm far from an authority.)

Actually I don't really care if it's considered a religion or not. I just enjoy being an ordained athiest minister because I can marry people and get good parking in a few places. Also it really annoys my southern baptist family, which can be fun.

The following is my opinion and only an opinion. Take it as you wish.:

Frankly I believe all religion to be complete superstitious nonsense. It's an antiquated concept that people are statistically taking less and less seriously. I assess that this is due to the easy availability of information via the internet. So when someone wants to know something they look for the actual answer online as opposed to a parent or religious leader telling them "it's magic." Also, the assinine behavior of church officials is far easier to publicize than it used to be. That's my theory anyway.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I hypothesize that God is the creating force of the universe. :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
TriOmegaZero wrote:
I hypothesize that God is the creating force of the universe. :)

I hypothesize that the flying spagetti monster is the creating force of the universe. ;-)


Pulls up a chair and eagerly awaits Ciretose's response.

--

Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Eben TheQuiet wrote:

Tiny Coffee Golem, I'm fine with your atheistic church (and any others like it) being a religion. It fits within what I said I thought the common definitions made a religion out to be. Moreover, it sounds like you really want it to be classified as a religion. I think that's fine.

I don't get the impression that's the general choice and lifestyle of most atheists, though. (I could definitely be wrong. I'm far from an authority.)

Actually I don't really care if it's considered a religion or not. I just enjoy being an ordained athiest minister because I can marry people and get good parking in a few places. Also it really annoys my southern baptist family, which can be fun.

** spoiler omitted **

Lol. Fair enough on all accounts. I pretty much agree with all that you have in your spoiler. Religion (at least in the sense that it traditionally exists) seems to be a dying animal. It doesn't change my world-view, though.

Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
I hypothesize that the flying spagetti monster is the creating force of the universe. ;-)

He/She/It IS the perfect being!


Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
I hypothesize that God is the creating force of the universe. :)
I hypothesize that the flying spagetti monster is the creating force of the universe. ;-)

We can only resolve this by concluding that God is the Flying Spaghetti Monster. ;-)


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Darkwing Duck wrote:
I would call that agnosticism.

By your standards, those of us who adhere to an evidence-based world view are "agnostic" about everything. Human knowledge is imperfect. 99-point-whatever per cent certainty is the very best that can be achieved. We're OK with that, and at a certain point, describe it as "more or less definite."

We leave absolute claims, and the idea of "The Truth(TM)," to you religiously-minded people.

Calling science "only a useful approximation" is a compliment, inasfar as the contrast is "a lousy approximation." There's no such thing as a perfect one!

This also ties in with the speed of light thing you mentioned earlier. Say it does vary slightly, and the universe is 14 million years younger than the 13.75 billion we estimate (note the term: "estimate," not "believe"). That's an error of approximately 1/10 of 1%. That's amazingly awesome. It's well within the +/- 0.11 billion years that astrophysists commonly estimate as the margin of error for the age of the universe.

As a scientist, I don't look for absolute certainty. I don't believe in it.

Scarab Sages

Kirth -- help me out. Am I missing something that I said or did?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
I hypothesize that God is the creating force of the universe. :)
I hypothesize that the flying spagetti monster is the creating force of the universe. ;-)

We agree!


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
I hypothesize that God is the creating force of the universe. :)
I hypothesize that the flying spagetti monster is the creating force of the universe. ;-)
We agree!

Isnt' that one of the signs of the apocalypse? Well played Mayans. Well played.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Dude, the world ended long ago.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Dude, the world ended long ago.

Touche'


Moff Rimmer wrote:
Kirth -- help me out. Am I missing something that I said or did?

As near as I can tell, you guys are just on slightly different wavelengths, and the signals just keep gettting crossed. I wouldn't worry too much about it.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2013

The issue is if you define what "divine" is, it can become something you can test. I can prove a defined version of Santa Clause does or does not exist.

The chinese teapot can be proven to exist or not exist, but it isn't believed to exist so what is the point of bothering. Similarly if God has defined attributesn those can be tested to exist or not exist.

If you declare God is omnipotent, I can test that. If TOZ's only criteria for God is the creator of the universe, that isn't a useful God to worship unless they have other abilities or features that can provide benefit in exchange for worship.

TOZ's god to me is the chinese teacup I could care less about. The unanswerable question of what is creation. If energy is mass and mass is energy shift back and forth, the question of what was before only begs the question of what created that.

If you have doctrine that defines divinity as X, you can test for X.

Saying you can't define X is a cop out, and disingenuous. Each religion defines it's deities. Therefore you can test those descriptions and see if they can be proven or disproven.


Moff Rimmer wrote:
Kirth -- help me out. Am I missing something that I said or did?

You continue to misrepresent the guy's statement, which HE AND I HAVE CLARIFIED, to use as a strawman to punch.

Freaking stop it.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
I hypothesize that God is the creating force of the universe. :)

It is either 1)Sentient, in which case what created him/her/it?

2)Not sentient or alive in any way, in which case calling it god has about as much to do with anything as calling my bedsheets Sally.


to answer the OP.

my oopinion is that atheism is NOT a religion at all.

its a belief but not a supreme being belief.
aetheists are infidels and must be converted to islam or christianity, or hinduism( sorry dont know what it is called), or whatever the jewish community calls themselves....

the above is an opinion based on opinions and should not be taken as factual in any form or fassion. and if you do take it as actual fact in any fassion then you are a fassist person with nothing better to do.

the above statement is not meant to be insulting but a play on words and nothing more.... fassist isnt even a word to my knowledge...

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Is Atheism a religion? I don't think so.

On the other hand, it's clearly impossible to prove that god doesn't exist.

In my opinion, it depends on the definition of "atheist" one chooses to employ.

The vast, vast, vast majority of people I know who describe themselves as atheists, or who are described by popular culture as such, can be more accurate described as "secular humanists." That is, they simply believe god is so fantastically unlikely as to be not worth considering, especially in a sea of equally implausible (and often mutually exclusive) possibilities. This includes people like Richard Dawkins, a man constantly and widely referred to as a "militant atheist." There is no way this can reasonably be described as a religion.

On the other hand, anyone who actually believes they can prove god doesn't exist (who presumably be a textbook atheist) is guilty of exactly the same faulty reasoning as many theists. So in the sense that it is a belief not based on evidence, then I suppose it could be considered a religion, or at least close enough to one for the distinction not to matter.


bugleyman wrote:

Is Atheism a religion? I don't think so.

On the other hand, it's clearly impossible to prove that god doesn't exist.

In my opinion, it depends on the definition of "atheist" one chooses to employ.

The vast, vast, vast majority of people I know who describe themselves as atheists, or who are described by popular culture as such, can be more accurate described as "secular humanists." That is, they simply believe god is so fantastically unlikely as to be not worth considering, especially in a sea of equally implausible (and often mutually exclusive) possibilities. This includes people like Richard Dawkins, a man constantly and widely referred to as a "militant atheist." There is no way this can reasonably be described as a religion.

On the other hand, anyone who actually believes they can prove god doesn't exist (who presumably be a textbook atheist) is guilty of exactly the same faulty reasoning as many theists. So in the sense that it is a belief not based on evidence, then I suppose it could be considered a religion, or at least close enough to one for the distinction not to matter.

Thank you! +1

I've never actually met someone who declared he knew with certainty that no god existed. Whereas nearly every religious person I've met has declared certainty for the reverse.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Richard Dawkins wrote:

We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in.

Some of us just go one god further.

Scarab Sages

meatrace wrote:
Moff Rimmer wrote:
Kirth -- help me out. Am I missing something that I said or did?

You continue to misrepresent the guy's statement, which HE AND I HAVE CLARIFIED, to use as a strawman to punch.

Freaking stop it.

And I've as much as said that.

Moff Rimmer wrote:
And actually, Meatrace's explanation of Swivl's comment helped me figure out what exactly Swivl was trying to communicate.

I'm just trying to figure out where ciretose is coming from or what he's talking about. He keeps referencing things that I didn't say. And even his last explanation doesn't make a lot of sense to me because it wasn't what I said. I was never talking about definitions of "divine" or even "God". If that's what ciretose wants to discuss, he can have fun discussing that with others.


Does everyone at least understand why the "prove *Blank* doesnt exist" arguement is fundamentally flawed?

In the "prove it doesnt exist" arguement replace your deity of choice with "Flying spagetti monster" and it has the same amount of validity.

All I'm saying is consider a new arguement because when one uses that one they lose any shred of credibilitiy they may have originally had.

Consider this a public service announcement.

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Richard Dawkins wrote:

We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in.

Some of us just go one god further.

Dawkins frequently refers to himself as an atheist -- but he also clearly states he cannot prove god doesn't exist, meaning he really isn't an atheist in the strictest sense of the word. Though I could (and have) argued that any definition of atheist pedantic enough to exclude Dawkins is nigh useless, certain parties hold that such an assertion is evidence of profound ignorance and a complete unsuitability for the discussion at hand. ;-)


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Christopher Hitchens wrote:
Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely soley upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
meatrace wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
I hypothesize that God is the creating force of the universe. :)

It is either 1)Sentient, in which case what created him/her/it?

2)Not sentient or alive in any way, in which case calling it god has about as much to do with anything as calling my bedsheets Sally.

An unimportant question, being that he has never manifested in or had an effect on my life beyond providing a place capable of supporting my existence.

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:

Does everyone at least understand why the "prove *Blank* doesnt exist" arguement is fundamentally flawed?

In the "prove it doesnt exist" arguement replace your deity of choice with "Flying spagetti monster" and it has the same amount of validity.

All I'm saying is consider a new arguement because when one uses that one they lose any shred of credibilitiy they may have originally had.

Consider this a public service announcement.

I understand that the burden of proof rests with he who asserts the existence of the unobservable.

I was simply pointing out that anyone who claims they can "prove" god doesn't exist (which doesn't include any self-proclaimed atheists I know) is mistaken, and that the thought process that would lead to such a mistaken assertion seems comparable to that which leads to religious certainty.

Scarab Sages

Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Muja wrote:

I've always found that there were certain traits that seem to be required in order for something to be considered a religion. There is always some form of mysticism, a dealing of the unknown. They are pedagogical, they teach creation or ethics. I had other traits to add but I can't remember them.

Given what I said I find that atheism is not a religion. Atheism does not explain the origin of life, the universe and everything. Nor does Atheism have an ethical stance.

Like the big bang theory, evolution, and the constant cycle of the expanding and contractcing universe?

Before you make blanket statements about another culture regarding something that you (and many others on this thread) clearly don't have a strong understanding of feel free to educate yourself. It's just a google search away. For example:

Might I direct you to the What we believe section of the First Church of Athiesm FAQ;
The First Church of Atheism is formed around the belief that the mysteries of life can be explained through science and reason. We aim to provide a place for atheists to become ordained, for free, as well as a hub for atheists to find ministers to perform their ceremonies. This is our doctrine:
“Nothing exists besides natural phenomena. Thought is merely a function of that natural phenomena. Death is complete, and irreversible. We have faith solely in humankind, nature, and the facts of science.”

Atheism doesn't teach the Big Bang Theory, nor does it support Evolution via Natural Selection. While many Atheists find those to be a valid explanation about life, the universe, and everything, not all Atheists do. I don't see how I made any blanket statements, let alone feel that my knowledge on the subject is obvious and lacking.

The First Church of Atheism is a construct of "necessity" to allow true "non-denominational" services be practiced. And while the church may claim "Atheism" (keyword "may") it would not be the same Atheism as the disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.

That Atheists may turn to Science to explain life, the universe, and everything via empirical knowledge, the scientific method is not mutually inclusive of Atheism.


bugleyman wrote:
Dawkins frequently refers to himself as an atheist -- but he also clearly states he cannot prove god doesn't exist, meaning he really isn't an atheist in the strictest sense of the word. Though I could (and have) argued that any definition of atheist pedantic enough to exclude Dawkins is nigh useless, certain parties hold that such an assertion is evidence of profound ignorance and a complete unsuitability for the discussion at hand. ;-)

See my post above, regarding 99-point-whatever percent being as good as it gets. To a theist who thinks that absolutes are real, those of us who subscribe to an evidence-based worldview are agnostic about everything.

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Kirth Gersen wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
Dawkins frequently refers to himself as an atheist -- but he also clearly states he cannot prove god doesn't exist, meaning he really isn't an atheist in the strictest sense of the word. Though I could (and have) argued that any definition of atheist pedantic enough to exclude Dawkins is nigh useless, certain parties hold that such an assertion is evidence of profound ignorance and a complete unsuitability for the discussion at hand. ;-)
See my post above, regarding 99-point-whatever percent being as good as it gets. To a theist who thinks that absolutes are real, those of us who subscribe to an evidence-based worldview are agnostic about everything.

You're absolutely (*snicker*) right...I'm simply pointing out that theists don't have a monopoly on absolutes (at least not in theory).

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Kirth Gersen wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
Dawkins frequently refers to himself as an atheist -- but he also clearly states he cannot prove god doesn't exist, meaning he really isn't an atheist in the strictest sense of the word. Though I could (and have) argued that any definition of atheist pedantic enough to exclude Dawkins is nigh useless, certain parties hold that such an assertion is evidence of profound ignorance and a complete unsuitability for the discussion at hand. ;-)
See my post above, regarding 99-point-whatever percent being as good as it gets. To a theist who thinks that absolutes are real, those of us who subscribe to an evidence-based worldview are agnostic about everything.

Are you 100% sure about that?

*ducks*


Muja wrote:
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:


Might I direct you to the What we believe section of the First Church of Athiesm FAQ;
The First Church of Atheism is formed around the belief that the mysteries of life can be explained through science and reason. We aim to provide a place for atheists to become ordained, for free, as well as a hub for atheists to find ministers to perform their ceremonies. This is our doctrine:
“Nothing exists besides natural phenomena. Thought is merely a function of that natural phenomena. Death is complete, and irreversible. We have faith solely in humankind, nature, and the facts of science.”

Atheism doesn't teach the Big Bang Theory, nor does it support Evolution via Natural Selection. While many Atheists find those to be a valid explanation about life, the universe, and everything, not all Atheists do. I don't see how I made any blanket statements, let alone feel that my knowledge on the subject is obvious and lacking.

The First Church of Atheism is a construct of "necessity" to allow true "non-denominational" services be practiced. And while the church may claim...

Athiesm teaches "The mysteries of life can be explained through science and reason." The big bang theory, evolution, etc are the predominate scientific theories covering their respective subjects. Sooo, yea that basically is athiest docterine. However if any of those are disproven and a more accurate theory is presented then that will for all intents and purposes be athiest docterine. The difference being that Athiests are open to alternate interpretations based on science and reason until proven wrong.

The only difference being that religion says "Magic created the universe. Period. No further discussion will be allowed." Whereas athiests say "This is what we think happened. Lets try and prove it."

Edit: Minor verbage changes.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dave Tennant wrote:

Scientology is a well documented fraud by government standards. I still can't figure out why they just simple pull their tax exempt status away from them and shut them down completely. I mean they were doing it back in 1986.

:::Shrugs:::

Steps into TARDIS and disappears.

They did. The IRS fielded about 2500 lawsuits because of it, all frivolous but consuming ludicrous amounts of time and money. One would get dismissed and the same parties would immediately be back with another. During this time, Scientology also ran a major espionage operation infiltrating the IRS. This is how the church treats pretty much any prominent criticism.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014

I removed a few uncivil posts, and quite a few replies to them.


Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
The only difference being that religion says "Magic created the universe. Period. No further discussion will be allowed." Whereas athiests say "This is what we think happened. Lets try and prove it."

In our defense, not all believers in God (or multiple gods) take this stance. I believe that the world works the way the Bible says it does. If the Bible was proven false, then I'd have some serious re-thinking to do.

There are close-minded, arrogant people on both sides of this discussion (as has already been discussed).

EDIT - eesh, had to do a massive edit on my post there... i'm pretty sure there aren't atheists in this thread who believe the world works the way the Bible says it does (as it previously read). Sorry about that... brain froze for a second.

The Exchange Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:


The only difference being that religion says "Magic created the universe. Period. No further discussion will be allowed." Whereas athiests say "This is what we think happened. Lets try and prove it."

Bzzt! Foul. False dichotomy in progress.


Ross Byers wrote:
I removed a few uncivil posts, and quite a few replies to them.

Hopefully it wasn't one of mine. Apologies if I was inadvertantly uncivil.


Eben TheQuiet wrote:
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
The only difference being that religion says "Magic created the universe. Period. No further discussion will be allowed." Whereas athiests say "This is what we think happened. Lets try and prove it."

In our defense, not all believers in God (or multiple gods) take this stance. I believe that the world works the way the Bible says it does. If the Bible was proven false, then I'd have some serious re-thinking to do.

There are close-minded, arrogant people on both sides of this discussion (as has already been discussed).

EDIT - eesh, had to do a massive edit on my post there... i'm pretty sure there aren't atheists in this thread who believe the world works the way the Bible says it does (as it previously read). Sorry about that... brain froze for a second.

Yea. Pre-edit you really had me confused. lol.


I do what I can. :\

Scarab Sages

Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
I removed a few uncivil posts, and quite a few replies to them.
Hopefully it wasn't one of mine. Apologies if I was inadvertantly uncivil.

At least one of mine was. And I was a little confused by it. I think it was because of the quote I was including...


Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Eben TheQuiet wrote:
EDIT - eesh, had to do a massive edit on my post there... i'm pretty sure there aren't atheists in this thread who believe the world works the way the Bible says it does (as it previously read). Sorry about that... brain froze for a second.
Yea. Pre-edit you really had me confused. lol.

Though if there were, there'd be a stronger argument that at least those atheists might be in a religion. :)


Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:


Athiesm teaches "The mysteries of life can be explained through science and reason." The big bang theory, evolution, etc are the predominate scientific theories covering their respective subjects. Sooo, yea that basically is athiest docterine. However if any of those are disproven and a more accurate theory is presented then that will for all intents and purposes be athiest docterine. The difference being that Athiests are open to alternate interpretations based on science and reason until proven wrong.

The only difference being that religion says "Magic created the universe. Period. No further discussion will be allowed." Whereas athiests say "This is what we think happened. Lets try and prove it."

Edit: Minor verbage changes.

Atheism teaches no such thing, since it's not a religion.

Science teaches us ABOUT those things, but makes no absolute conclusions as to their veracity.
Since Buddhists and Daoists are atheists, and my Daoist friend doesn't believe in evolution OR the big bang, I challenge your blanket statement.

Now, as an atheist, I do believe in those things you describe. But I'm just one dude and I don't speak for anyone else solely on the basis of shared disbelief.

Scarab Sages

Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:

Athiesm teaches "The mysteries of life can be explained through science and reason." The big bang theory, evolution, etc are the predominate scientific theories covering their respective subjects. Sooo, yea that basically is athiest docterine. However if any of those are disproven and a more accurate theory is presented then that will for all intents and purposes be athiest docterine. The difference being that Athiests are open to alternate interpretations based on science and reason until proven wrong.

The only difference being that religion says "Magic created the universe. Period. No further discussion will be allowed." Whereas athiests say "This is what we think happened. Lets try and prove it."

Edit: Minor verbage changes.

Atheism and Science are NOT mutually inclusive. And anything testable cannot be compared to divine creation.

Shadow Lodge Star Voter 2013

ciretose wrote:
Beckett wrote:
ciretose wrote:

If you want me to prove that an omnipotent god can't exist, I can.

If you want me to prove an omniscient god can't exist if we (or even the god itself) have free will, I can.

I'm interested in hearing this.

If god was "all powerful" he could create a being more powerful than God, which would mean he wasn't all powerful, but instead just very powerful. Also if god is all powerful, the greater good argument fails completely, since God would not need sufferering to occur for him to achieve any outcome God wanted, being as he is able to have and do whatever he wants.

If god were "all knowing", he would know what we are going to do before we doing, and more importantly would have known from whatever point God became omniscient. If we ever did something he didn't know we were going to do in advance, he couldn't be all knowing. So everything we do would therefore have to be preordained, otherwise he could potentially be wrong, in which case, not all-knowing. Similarly if God is all knowing, he also knows everything God will ever encounter and how God will react when God encounters it, meaning God has the same free will issue, since an all knowing God can't be wrong.

It is kind of like when people go "If God didn't create the universe, who did? All things need a creator" and I reply "If all things need a creator, who created God?"

I don't mean this to be rude, but is that it?

Liberty's Edge

BluePigeon wrote:

Atheism is a denial of a potential higher reality or alter state of consciousness.

Therefore:

I'm a theist, I'm a theist, I'm a theist.
I'm a theist, I'm a theist, I'm a theist.
Oh oh oh I'm a theist.

Sorry Falco...

Atheism doesn't preclude 'higher' or alternate realities or altered consciousness. Oh, wait...you were making a joke.


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

The definition of religion is too narrow. There are theistic religions and there are atheistic religions. Even this is not enough to cover the field, and other distinctions are needed, such as non-theistic religions, etc.

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