I'm guessing this has been discussed before but i got into a debate with a religious (christian) friend of mine.  It started with "Well, atheists don't believe in anything" and ended with him saying Atheism is just another false religion (like Hinduism in his mind).  I really couldn't debate one way or another whether Atheism was a religion or not.  Thoughts?

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Ok, how can some religions be atheist?  BTW, I love the "bald is a hair color" responses.  I'm ging to use that next time.
Sorry for the delayed response.  I've been out of town.  Just to get a better understanding I went to the Unitarian Universalism website.  One of their seven principals is "Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.".  As an Atheist I personally do not believe in some existence web.  I don't think they are talking about the WWW either.  Clearly, their stated belief system is way less looney than "Believing in a water walking Jewish zombie will get  you whisked off to some destination resort in the sky when you die" nonsense.  But my question is, given the interconnected web belief is UU an Atheist religion?

At the Unitarian church I checked out I was asked what I believed.  I answered atheist and the woman was like, "that's awesome so is my husband."  And he was right there too.  So I view Unitarian Universalists as being pantheistic and inclusive of non beliefs.  So it's a religion that focuses on inclusion rather than one creed to me.  Agnostic works but I really think UUs do not make a claim one way or another if you were setting up to argue against their position.


I didn't go back because I don't really like hanging out in that crowd when I think it would be more fitting to have "sermons" about progressive advocacy campaigns instead of how to be centered.  I'm not a person who gets centered.

If atheism is a religion, then bald is a hair color!
-- Unknown

I'm sure you've heard all the one-liners to this question.

Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby.

Or not smoking could be called a habit.

Where am I? The Water Cooler? Hmmm....


How can we be a religion when we spend so much time expressing what is WRONG with religion?


I will continue to argue that atheism is not a religious world-view because of the absence of the supernatural. And what would be our rituals or customs?  I suppose we should find a universally accepted definition of 'religion'.  What components are essential?

Atheism is merely lack of belief in gods.   It's no more a religion than "off" is a channel on your TV.

Brief and to the point...ha...gotta love it.


I think the classic Dawkins response is "is not collecting stamps a hobby"?
No, but criticizing stamp collecting is.

then is criticizing movies a religion?


Criticizing religion is, at most, a hobby.  Not a religion.

Does this help the debate ?

The Concise Oxford dictionary defines religion as the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods. A particular system of faith and worship. A pursuit or interest followed with great devotion.

The same dictionary defines Atheism as disbelief in the existence of a god or gods.

Can Atheism be regarded as a pursuit or interest followed with great devotion ?





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