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When people call atheism a religion


Forum: Atheist and Agnostic Parenting

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  #1  
August 21st, 2006, 06:24 AM
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Does it bother you? What do you say?
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  #2  
August 21st, 2006, 07:43 AM
mrobinson
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I think it's fair to call it a belief system, but I wouldn't call it a religion.. I probably would say that.
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  #3  
August 21st, 2006, 08:00 AM
Number_3's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Ok...I'll start by defining religion.

Merriam-Webster:
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English religioun, from Latin religion-, religio supernatural constraint, sanction, religious practice, perhaps from religare to restrain, tie back— more at rely
Date: 13th century

(1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
2 : a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs,and practices
3 archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness
4 : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

Dictionary.com:
1. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
2. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
3. The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
4. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
5. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.


Since we know aetheism does not regard supernatural forces/powers as valid, we can't go with about 3/4 of the definitions here. However, it may be said of aetheism that it is a cause, principle, or activity pursued with conscientiousness/devotion. (not too sure about the zeal part, although there may be a few) and it has been admitted by many that it does involve having some degree of faith. In this case the faith is in science, or facts that can be backed up by tested theories and empirical evidence.
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  #4  
August 21st, 2006, 08:23 AM
smt smt is offline
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I like what Number_3 had to say. I think the difference is that atheism is not a religion, although the analogy of "religious like zeal" could be applied to some people, but that still does not mean it IS a religion.

As far as "faith" is concerned, you have to separate "Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing" from "Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence." The latter is more like what "religious faith" is about.
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  #5  
August 21st, 2006, 08:28 AM
Number_3's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
As far as "faith" is concerned, you have to separate "Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing" from "Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence." The latter is more like what "religious faith" is about.[/b]
I agree. I should have qualified my use of the word "faith" as NOT blind faith.
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  #6  
August 21st, 2006, 07:17 PM
Kath M.'s Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I think the common reaction is to say 'no way is it a religion" but I guess if you read into the definitions carefully it could be considered one. I have never considered it one.
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  #7  
August 21st, 2006, 08:57 PM
kadydid
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Quote:
Does it bother you? What do you say?[/b]
I find that mainly the people who try to convince me that it is a religion are doing so for their own agenda. (IE: religion in schools)
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  #8  
August 22nd, 2006, 09:14 AM
smt smt is offline
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Quote:
Quote:
Does it bother you? What do you say?[/b]
I find that mainly the people who try to convince me that it is a religion are doing so for their own agenda. (IE: religion in schools)
[/b]
I think the purpose is to try and justify the term "religious" and make it credible. If you accept that atheism is a religion then it severely limits you in rationally attacking religious beliefs on a debate board.
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  #9  
August 22nd, 2006, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Does it bother you? What do you say?[/b]
Yes, it does bother me. I explain that A is a suffix meaning "without" or "not" and theism is "religion" so that atheism means, literally, without religion. To me calling atheism a religion makes about as much sense as asking someone what sort of adog* is their cat. A cat is a cat, not a dog, and atheism is not a religion.

~Nay

* not a typo
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