Is atheism a religion?


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The Exchange

My not collecting stamps must be a hobby is not having a religion is one.
Might be better to call it a philosophy. maybe still not accurate but more so than calling it what it most clearly is not

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Atheism isn't a religion. It isn't even a united body of thought.

That said, there are those that pursue their disdain of religion with the outlook of a crusader.

And then there are those who are legitimately worried that unless vigilance is maintained, that this country could slide into a de facto theocracy.

Case in point. Can you actually envision anyone winning the Presidential election who doesn't make a convincing appearance of being a (preferably non-Catholic) Christian?


Is the catholic thing even an issue anymore? Romney s Mormonism doesn't seem to be hurting him (except by not helping him)

Grand Lodge

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Is the catholic thing even an issue anymore? Romney s Mormonism doesn't seem to be hurting him (except by not helping him)

Yeah it's still an issue, not quite as big as it was during Kennedy's election, but it hasn't gone away. And Romney's Mormonism is part of what alienates him trom the true Tea Party fanatics. While he was the front runner for the moderates, he wasn't and still isn't a candidate which makes the extremists happy.


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While I am pretty crusader-esque sometimes in my "spreading" of atheism, I try to do with with humour instead of vitriol.

Instead of saying "you're stupid for believing in god".

I would go "You do realize your religion is based on waiting for a cosmic Jewish lich to return to the earth and save us from a dude who's crimes include uniting the world's governments in 1000 years of peace.

You're basically waiting for an emaciated, undead carpenter to save us from Gandhi."

You don't have to do much to make religion sound humorous.


Better still can you imagain a republican candidate getting the nomination, if he publicially said he accepted the evidence of science, rather than believing in creation?

Grand Lodge

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Fleshgrinder wrote:

While I am pretty crusader-esque sometimes in my "spreading" of atheism, I try to do with with humour instead of vitriol.

Instead of saying "you're stupid for believing in god".

I would go "You do realize your religion is based on waiting for a cosmic Jewish lich to return to the earth and save us from a dude who's crimes include uniting the world's governments in 1000 years of peace.

You're basically waiting for an emaciated, undead carpenter to save us from Gandhi."

You don't have to do much to make religion sound humorous.

I don't generally do that to believers. Because part of Freedom of Religion is respecting the choice of others. It's only when they move to restrict MY choices that I go on the offensive. I had a long standing friendship with a priest of the Ascension Church who tolerated my atheism, and was the benefit of some acts of my charity because I considered him a good person and his projects an overall benefit to the neighborhood. (He recently retired from the priesthood to raise bees to help combat the serious decline in the American bee population.) He's a believer and I'm not, and we're mutually okay about it.


LazarX wrote:


Because part of Freedom of Religion is respecting the choice of others.

I don't think I can agree. I accept freedom of speech, even (especially) when I find that speech absolutely abhorrent, but the very last thing I do is respect someone's choice to engage in such speech. Holocaust deniers, to use the most obvious example, don't deserve any respect unless the term is stretched to include things like not lobbying for them to be rounded up and put in camps.


No, freedom of religion is that they have a right to practice their religion. The bill of rights is all about preventing the GOVERNMENT from curtailing those rights of citizens.

There's nothing that says I have to respect anyone, or anything they say, or anything they believe.

They have the right to practice their religion. I have the right to call them a lunatic and an imbecile.

Sovereign Court

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Is the catholic thing even an issue anymore? Romney s Mormonism doesn't seem to be hurting him (except by not helping him)

Actually, Penn Jillette talked about this on a big think video, which I'll link HERE. He discusses the term Christian and how that changed the role of religion in politics at around the 4 minute mark.


Morgen wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Is the catholic thing even an issue anymore? Romney s Mormonism doesn't seem to be hurting him (except by not helping him)

Actually, Penn Jillette talked about this on a big think video, which I'll link HERE. He discusses the term Christian and how that changed the role of religion in politics at around the 4 minute mark.

<3 that video.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
meatrace wrote:


There's nothing that says I have to respect anyone, or anything they say, or anything they believe.

They have the right to practice their religion. I have the right to call them a lunatic and an imbecile.

Respect is a two way street. You can't expect to get any if you're not willing to give in equivalance.


LazarX wrote:
meatrace wrote:


There's nothing that says I have to respect anyone, or anything they say, or anything they believe.

They have the right to practice their religion. I have the right to call them a lunatic and an imbecile.

Respect is a two way street. You can't expect to get any if you're not willing to give in equivalance.

That's as well as may be, but that has absolutely zero to do with the bill of rights and the Freedom of Religion.

As it happens I don't particularly care about the respect of people who believe in invisible sky gods, magical underpants, fairies, unicorns, etc. I'm just as like to take it as an insult, in fact.


LazarX wrote:
meatrace wrote:


There's nothing that says I have to respect anyone, or anything they say, or anything they believe.

They have the right to practice their religion. I have the right to call them a lunatic and an imbecile.

Respect is a two way street. You can't expect to get any if you're not willing to give in equivalance.

But there are points of view in this world that are so out there as to just be unworthy of respect, right? That crazy dude who lives on the street, smells bad and can't carry on a coherent conversation for instance: I just won't let him into the restaurant I work at, no matter how much money he has in his pocket.

It's up to each individual to decide where the benchmark is, but going by the two way street doctrine, someone who won't respect your beliefs isn't worthy of your respect, yes?

(I have the feeling this would be clearer if I repeated the word "respect" a few more times. :P)

Edit: Or maybe if Meat stated it simply while I was dithering about syntax...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
meatrace wrote:
LazarX wrote:
meatrace wrote:


There's nothing that says I have to respect anyone, or anything they say, or anything they believe.

They have the right to practice their religion. I have the right to call them a lunatic and an imbecile.

Respect is a two way street. You can't expect to get any if you're not willing to give in equivalance.

That's as well as may be, but that has absolutely zero to do with the bill of rights and the Freedom of Religion.

As it happens I don't particularly care about the respect of people who believe in invisible sky gods, magical underpants, fairies, unicorns, etc. I'm just as like to take it as an insult, in fact.

It has a lot to do with it. The Framers of the Constitution came from a society that while they had their knockdown dragouts and shouting matches in the halls of Congress also had high standards of etiquette and decorum, despite the fact that many of them had wildly varying beliefs when it came to the divine sphere.


LazarX wrote:
It has a lot to do with it. The Framers of the Constitution came from a society that while they had their knockdown dragouts and shouting matches in the halls of Congress also had high standards of etiquette and decorum, despite the fact that many of them had wildly varying beliefs when it came to the divine sphere.

So tell me how you get from

A)The first amendment prevents the government from establishing a religion, and allows for the free exercise thereof.

to

B)All citizens of the US are never allowed to say anything bad about religion, ever, under any circumstances.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
meatrace wrote:
LazarX wrote:
It has a lot to do with it. The Framers of the Constitution came from a society that while they had their knockdown dragouts and shouting matches in the halls of Congress also had high standards of etiquette and decorum, despite the fact that many of them had wildly varying beliefs when it came to the divine sphere.

So tell me how you get from

A)The first amendment prevents the government from establishing a religion, and allows for the free exercise thereof.

to

B)All citizens of the US are never allowed to say anything bad about religion, ever, under any circumstances.

I don't have to, because I never went there. You seem to have a problem with the fact that I as an atheist can actually have a good relationship, friendship, and respect a priest who is as true a believer than can be.

You're the one who's insisting on seeing everything as one absolute or another with no middle ground.


No actually thats Sam.
Meatrace can accept believers, he just snickers about them behind their backs.

:P


LazarX wrote:

I don't have to, because I never went there. You seem to have a problem with the fact that I as an atheist can actually have a good relationship, friendship, and respect a priest who is as true a believer than can be.

You're the one who's insisting on seeing everything as one absolute or another with no middle ground.

Now you're just making things up.

I have no problem with you having good anything with an anyone. I have Christian friends, Muslim friends, a Daoist friend, some Wiccan friends. We get along fine. I have no respect for their beliefs because they are bonkers.

The middle ground thing? That's the OPPOSITE of what I'm saying. You're saying you have to respect everyone's beliefs. HAVE to. I say no you don't...and you can still get along with people while telling them they're full of s@!!.

I RESPECT them too much to be dishonest about it. I tell my friends who are dumb that they're dumb, and they tell me I'm an arrogant prick. Then we roll some dice really its just fine.

TL;DR-Respect the person, not the belief.
P.S. Also some people I don't respect at all. And that's okay as well.


ZOMG hate the sin not the sinner!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Hate the belief not the believer.


Kryzbyn wrote:

No actually thats Sam.

Meatrace can accept believers, he just snickers about them behind their backs.

Samn has religious friends, albeit not many. And he's ok with that. Told me so himself.


Kryzbyn wrote:
ZOMG hate the sin not the sinner!

I prefer to love the sin and hate the sinner; I have fun, and know who I should deride.


Samnell wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:

No actually thats Sam.

Meatrace can accept believers, he just snickers about them behind their backs.
Samn has religious friends, albeit not many. And he's ok with that. Told me so himself.

That's great. They must be great people if you can get past your utter contempt for religious folks.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Hate the belief not the believer.

Or both.

Or just hate everything by default.
Then when there's something you don't hate, it's all the more meaningful.


It is the secret to being the hulk...oh no that was always being angry...


Kryzbyn wrote:


That's great. They must be great people if you can get past your utter contempt for religious folks.

I don't throw around the word 'friend' lightly. Only the best will do.


Fair enough.

The Exchange

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I just have no tolerance for hypocrites. Like the 3 times divorces, living with an unwed partner christian screaming about how gay is a sin.


Or someone cheating on his second wife while calling for the impeachment of a president for cheating?

Not that I have anyone specific in mind.

The Exchange

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thejeff wrote:

Or someone cheating on his second wife while calling for the impeachment of a president for cheating?

Not that I have anyone specific in mind.

That too but anyone involved in politics, being a hypocrite is a given


Andrew R wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Or someone cheating on his second wife while calling for the impeachment of a president for cheating?

Not that I have anyone specific in mind.

That too but anyone involved in politics, being a hypocrite is a given

Find me some genuine dirt on Russ Feingold and I'll swallow that.


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Hitdice wrote:
That crazy dude who lives on the street, smells bad and can't carry on a coherent conversation for instance:

You mean the gamers?


Morgen wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Is the catholic thing even an issue anymore? Romney s Mormonism doesn't seem to be hurting him (except by not helping him)

Actually, Penn Jillette talked about this on a big think video, which I'll link HERE. He discusses the term Christian and how that changed the role of religion in politics at around the 4 minute mark.

Nice. According to him and/or the book he was citing it probably wouldn't be an issue anymore.

Wonder how long it would take for atheist to reach the same status.

The Exchange

meatrace wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Or someone cheating on his second wife while calling for the impeachment of a president for cheating?

Not that I have anyone specific in mind.

That too but anyone involved in politics, being a hypocrite is a given
Find me some genuine dirt on Russ Feingold and I'll swallow that.

Not going to study him for all info available, nor do i have the resources to plumb his entire life. There are exceptions for every rule, doesn't change what the vast majority are.


darth_borehd wrote:

I have no interest in basketball.

Therefore I don't have a favorite basketball team. My "no team" is not a team itself.

I have no interest in religion, so I don't have one. See above.

Well put. I'll venture another one.

Humans have long fooled themselves with religious belief systems their made up gods and the threats to follow the religious culture or else. I do not follow these religious belief systems, any of them, so how can I be considered following a religion?

I can talk about ethics and morality, but there is no belief in a religious system and its claims, so there is no religion.

If you don't submit (Islam), pray, worship or believe in the higher powers and the beliefs raised around these ideologies and systems of cultural power, you are not within a religion. It has to me, always seemed fishy and obviously a made-up farce. Perhaps it was the early expose to D&D, religion and clerics. Perhaps I never came across a religious fellow with a high enough Bluff.

Dark Archive

Andrew R wrote:
That too but anyone involved in politics, being a hypocrite is a given

Politician, from the roots poly - meaning more than one, many, and tete, meaning head or face.

Politician = man with two or more faces.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Morgen wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Is the catholic thing even an issue anymore? Romney s Mormonism doesn't seem to be hurting him (except by not helping him)

Actually, Penn Jillette talked about this on a big think video, which I'll link HERE. He discusses the term Christian and how that changed the role of religion in politics at around the 4 minute mark.

Nice. According to him and/or the book he was citing it probably wouldn't be an issue anymore.

Wonder how long it would take for atheist to reach the same status.

It will never happen. Religion like sex is hardwired into our genes. While some individuals may have a varying, a weaker or no sex drive, it remains present in the bulk of our species. The same goes for the urge to believe in something larger than ourselves. Many atheists actually only sublimate that urge into something else. such as a favorite computer platform, or science fiction show.


LazarX wrote:


It will never happen. Religion like sex is hardwired into our genes. While some individuals may have a varying, a weaker or no sex drive, it remains present in the bulk of our species. The same goes for the urge to believe in something larger than ourselves. Many atheists actually only sublimate that urge into something else. such as a favorite computer platform, or science fiction show.

Europe seems to be pretty close to it, so i doubt the need to hate people that don't buy your religion is genetic


LazarX wrote:
It will never happen. Religion like sex is hardwired into our genes. While some individuals may have a varying, a weaker or no sex drive, it remains present in the bulk of our species. The same goes for the urge to believe in something larger than ourselves. Many atheists actually only sublimate that urge into something else. such as a favorite computer platform, or science fiction show.

Would that imply that religious people are less likely to be passionate about other things, like computer platforms or science fiction shows or RPGs, than atheists are? Since they don't need to sublimate their religious drive into something else?

Is there any evidence for that?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
LazarX wrote:
It will never happen. Religion like sex is hardwired into our genes. While some individuals may have a varying, a weaker or no sex drive, it remains present in the bulk of our species. The same goes for the urge to believe in something larger than ourselves. Many atheists actually only sublimate that urge into something else. such as a favorite computer platform, or science fiction show.

Would that imply that religious people are less likely to be passionate about other things, like computer platforms or science fiction shows or RPGs, than atheists are? Since they don't need to sublimate their religious drive into something else?

Is there any evidence for that?

There are several studies on the matter including separated twin cases. This article in New Scientist can get you started. Separated twin cases have also pointed down other things such as our genetic happiness quotients.


LazarX wrote:
thejeff wrote:
LazarX wrote:
It will never happen. Religion like sex is hardwired into our genes. While some individuals may have a varying, a weaker or no sex drive, it remains present in the bulk of our species. The same goes for the urge to believe in something larger than ourselves. Many atheists actually only sublimate that urge into something else. such as a favorite computer platform, or science fiction show.

Would that imply that religious people are less likely to be passionate about other things, like computer platforms or science fiction shows or RPGs, than atheists are? Since they don't need to sublimate their religious drive into something else?

Is there any evidence for that?

There are several studies on the matter including separated twin cases. This article in New Scientist can get you started. Separated twin cases have also pointed down other things such as our genetic happiness quotients.

Which says nothing about atheists sublimating that into other obsessions.


thejeff wrote:
LazarX wrote:
thejeff wrote:
LazarX wrote:
It will never happen. Religion like sex is hardwired into our genes. While some individuals may have a varying, a weaker or no sex drive, it remains present in the bulk of our species. The same goes for the urge to believe in something larger than ourselves. Many atheists actually only sublimate that urge into something else. such as a favorite computer platform, or science fiction show.

Would that imply that religious people are less likely to be passionate about other things, like computer platforms or science fiction shows or RPGs, than atheists are? Since they don't need to sublimate their religious drive into something else?

Is there any evidence for that?

There are several studies on the matter including separated twin cases. This article in New Scientist can get you started. Separated twin cases have also pointed down other things such as our genetic happiness quotients.
Which says nothing about atheists sublimating that into other obsessions.

It also bears pointing out that religious inclination, which the article talks about, is not in and of itself religion. About a million posts ago in this very thread, I drew a distinction between a religion (Baptist, for example) and a religious classification (Atheist, for example). IMO religious inclination and any specific religion are two different things.

It seems to me that religion being hardwired into our genes, and the studies that have found certain areas of the brain become active when undergoing a religious experience, would suggest that religion has a biological cause rather than a divine one.

I will however concede the point that identical twins are more similar than fraternal twins. :P

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