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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Well, I'm Canadian and after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup to the Bruins, I saw grown men crying in the parking lot of Vancouver Pizza (Boston Pizza's temporary name during the playoffs).  Then there was a riot in Vancouver.  Although I think the riot was planned and would have happened even if the Canucks had won, the game was the jumping-off point.

Well there's another aspect I forgot about: Emotional Investment.  The degree of emotional investment somebody puts into their 'hobby' probably has a lot to do with how distraught they get when things don't go along quite as they predicted! 


Do Canadian sports 'heroes' thank god/jesus for their victories like a lot of our American counterparts do?  Like divine intervention occurred?

I haven't seen a lot of that, but then again, Canada is a bit more secular.  The percentage of atheists gets higher the further west you go.  I started out back east, moved all the way to the west coast, and then to an island off the west coast, and am now contemplating moving to the west coast of the island itself.  Any time a group hears an athlete thanking God for a victory, someone always makes a remark about how then you must conclude that either God hates the other team, or the other team must be playing for Satan or something like that.  Lots of smartasses around here.

Ask a wrong question and get non-answers like "Is!" "Is not!"

Don't ask if atheism is a religion. Instead, ask "What behaviors do non-believers and believers have in common?"

An atheist friend just hours ago did what I regularly see xians do: he needed to explain an event and, to get one, reached beyond reason...way beyond anything Ockham's razor might have given him.

A mutual friend told us he had put up a large dish antenna near his farmhouse, where there was no light pollution, and the antenna's dish had suddenly glowed a bright white for a few seconds. As I wondered if some kind of lightning had struck the antenna, my atheist friend said some kind of electricity had been responsible.

"There were no nearby electrical circuit," I said; "don't reach so far."

He insisted that he hadn't reached.


Is baldness a hair style?
That analogy doesn't work.  Baldness is a lack of hair; atheism is the lack of belief in the existence of god, not the lack of religion, necesarily.

Baldness can be a conscious choice....a person with hair can make the decision to cut it all off. That, my friend, is a Seinfeld episode, if you are familiar with the one I'm referring to. Elaine begs her bald boyfriend to grow his hair back after she sees an old photo with him and his luxurious hair...only to find that the boyfriend's hair doesn't grow back quite so perfectly after the years of baldness....Elaine dumps him.

Of course, baldness can be a genetic predisposition, too...i.e male pattern baldness.  Or it can be caused by a chemical reaction...as with chemotherapy treatments.


Now a comparison with atheism: Atheism seems to be a conscious choice to seek answers to questions that religion finds taboo.  Some people are born into atheist families, however, and don't have to go through agonizing 'loss of faith' and 'questioning the existence of god' episodes.  In addition, I also think there may be people that resist the emotional attachments of religion and group ritual...cognitively and psychologically less susceptible to religion perhaps?

Hey Karl, something to remember when discussing faith or religion with Christians (or maybe a believer of any religion) is that their whole life is likely taken up with, and based around, their beliefs - which are embodied in their religious practices. Believers tend to have difficulty seeing other ways of living, so they look at everything in terms of their own experiences. They have faith so they expect that you have faith too. Their faith is in their god, so they project that onto you. They usually cannot comprehend a life without the supports that religion provides them, so therefore (in their minds) you must have those supports too.


The analogy of bald versus hair colour has already been mentioned, as has the TV station. I prefer the latter, because the idea of choice is clearer. I choose to not believe in any god or gods because I see no evidence in the real world that would cause me to believe. I cannot say with 100% certainty that there are **no** gods (because you cannot prove a negative), but there is no evidence of any supernatural influence visible or measurable in the real world, so the chances of such a being existing tend towards zero.


Good luck :-)

This reminds me of the expression: Leap of Faith.


The implication of taking a leap of faith can, depending on the context, carry positive or negative connotations, as some feel it is a virtue to be able to believe in something without evidence while others feel it is foolishness. It is a hotly contested theological and philosophical concept. For instance, the association with "blind faith" and religion is disputed by those with deistic principles that argue reason and logic, rather than revelation or tradition, should be the basis of belief in God.

 Atheism has no doctrine no sacred book no deities (well maybe Dawkins and Hitchens!!)

So how can it be  religion , i would guess it cant ,its just a lack of belief in the super natural

 gods of all religions.


Atheism cant be a religion.. and those who claim that Atheism is a religion they either dont really understand religion itself or, they are criticizing Atheism


Religion = believing in supernatural things, prophecies, spirituality and all these insane stuff!

Atheism = believing that there are no deities.

Atheism is the lack of a belief in a deity.  Nothing beyond that is implied.  Disbelief is not even a requirement.  For example, someone who has never been introduced to the concept of deities is also an atheist, but they cannot hold the positive belief that there is no god; they only lack a belief in a god.


Atheism is not a religion.  There are common beliefs generally associated with atheists, and if you can identify them, you should.  The collection of beliefs you identify may have another name (naturalism, scientism, etc), or may have no name.




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