Atheism is often considered another religion. When filling out profile information on website atheism is stated as a religion rather than the choice 'none'. When people ask an atheist his/her religion his/her answer is "I'm an atheist". When one asks a christian his/her religion his/her answer is "I'm a christian".

I believe that atheism seems like a religion to ignorant people because the word 'atheist' is used in that context. Many people believe that an atheist just hasn't found Jesus yet, or the right religion for that matter. They don't understand that we have substantial evidence and a strong belief that there is no god. This is not to say that we have a set of beliefs because that isn't the case.

A few things atheist share are the denial of any supernatural being(s) or a supernatural creation of the universe. Most atheists believe that the answers of the universe will be answered through science. The beliefs of the rgin of life on Earth and the universe differs across the board but our ideas are usally backed by scientific evidence and theory.

We have no dogma to dictate our lives. We need no written morals because we know what is good and bad. "I don't steal from people because I don't want them to steal from me." or I don't kill because I don't want to be killed". I don't understand why one needs a book to dictate this when it seems innate to me.

We have no guilt or the idea that we will always fall short because of our sin. To us there is no sin. We don't have to spend our lives trying to please a nonexistant entity when we can work to improve each other's lives.

We have no fear of an after life because we know there is none. We don't wait for death to get our rewards; we work in life to achieve. We don't fear infinite punishment for finite wrong doing or the failure to accept that a dead man is the son of god.

We don't fail to act because we leave the issue in 'god's hands'. Failure to act often leaves to people's deaths. We give credit where credit is due. If someone is cured of an ailment we thank the doctor for his/her hard work and marvel at how amazing the human body is to fight off the sickness.

I believe that the openness and desire to learn that comes along with being an atheist is much better for the advancment of the human race and the world. We don't worry about death and we focus on the issues at hand. If the world is going to change for the better it will be through secular means and not through religion. I'm 100% certain of this.

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Comment by Dre Smith on January 12, 2009 at 3:08pm
The problem is not the word itself but the context in which other people, namely religious people think about "Atheism". No matter how explicit we place it, Atheism simply is a rejection of religion without theism. Nothing doctrinal about "practicing" atheism. The concept actually does not exist at all because one cannot practice atheism at all to be fair, for there are no doctrines to follow at all. But rather a loose collection of life philosophy based on humanism, secularization of government.
Comment by Adam Johnson on January 12, 2009 at 2:22pm
Doing some calculations the percent of all christians in jail is 3% and the percent of all atheists in prison is 3% so the trend shows no correlation between religion and crime. It is probably a constant across the population. But to look at the numbers there are ~63000 christians in prison vs 156 atheists in prison.
Comment by Adam Johnson on January 12, 2009 at 2:04pm
I think it would be more accurate to look at relative numbers. Such as % atheists in prison vs. % of christians in prison. If there are more relative christians in prison it would be a stronger argument. Playing devil's advocate, but I totally agree with you and I think that the statistics would still back up the other information. I'm gonna do some number crunching
Comment by Fox Anderson on January 12, 2009 at 2:01pm
These are statistics I read somewhere and not sure as to the accuracy but here it is.

Percentage of people in prison who are Christian 75%.
Percentage of people in prison who are Atheist 2%

In America total population in prison stats.
Percentage of Christians in America that are in prison 8%
Percentage of atheists in America that are in prison 0.2%

If these are accurate I would say that it is a good sign of the morality of Atheists and shows that religious people don't like to take responsibility for their actions.
Comment by Adam Johnson on January 12, 2009 at 1:26pm
That is absolutely right. The idea of an afterlife allieviates responsiblilty in life.
Comment by Dan Gilbert on January 12, 2009 at 1:22pm
I like this quote from your piece...

"We don't wait for death to get our rewards; we work in life to achieve."

I think that's key. Atheists HAVE to be better people NOW because the only rewards we expect to get are in THIS life, so we have to make it the best life we possibly can. Doing that involves helping others, building strong social ties, self-improvement, spreading happiness, and a myriad of other great things.

I get my reward now in this life, so if I piss off the people I love, I'm miserable, and no amount of praying is going to change that.
Comment by Adam Johnson on January 12, 2009 at 1:10pm
Some people have said in order to make a difference we need to unite under a common banner being atheism. I suppose in this since it would be proper to label us that but as Sam Harris said being atheist is like being a non-astrologer. We don't call people who disbelieve astrology anything. Atheists are really just non-religious people. We prefer reason over faith. We ask for evidence instead of dogma.

Other than the common cause there is no real reason to label us anything. I guess we'll see in a number of years if the title has faded away and we are just looked at as people or not.
Comment by j on January 12, 2009 at 12:44pm
Self-Label, not religion. No, we don't have Faith. And we don't have Faith in Skepticism.
The Choice is Evidence verses Dogma. They do not have Freedom to make this Choice...
Comment by Arshad on January 12, 2009 at 12:37pm
Hi Adam Johnson,

You have raised very important point. If 'Atheism' can be regarded as another latest 'religion' like so many religions adopted by the humanity in the past. It is absolutely not such case. "Atheism" not a faith. It is the objective reality of the nature of which we are product. It is not a set of certain beliefs and rituals based on ignorance or of human psychological needs. Actually, 'Atheism' word is being used for just understanding. Otherwise, we do not need this word/terminology. And it is wrong to say "I believe in atheism"... To me It is a nonsense and useless phrase. Believing only can be made which is none existed. For instance, no one can say that "I believe in sun". Sun is there. Sun does not need believing for its proof of existence! It is simply there. No one can deny. One can not say, 'I do not believe in Sun' too. Belief and act of Believing is only can be said which do not exist. The fact which has its objective reality, believing and unbelieving is nonsense word for it. We can say, ' I believe in god' but we can not say 'I do not believe in god'.. it is a nonsense phrase. It means god is there but I do not believe in it... as nobody say and can not say, that 'I do not believe in sun'.

Belief is required only for those things which are not existed. If they were existed there was no reason to make believed on them..

So as a matter of fact, 'Atheism' is not a belief like any other religion. We do not believe in anything as such. We do not need to believe. "Atheism" is a temporary word. We should make it clear loudly that it is not a another kind of religion.. We are just saying that what objectively is there in the universe, its natural laws governing in physical, social, and historical world... we should accept them. They are the undeniable reality. We should not fabricated 'laws' by ourselves as all religions are done...



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