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Is Athiesm a religion in itself?

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[COLOR=DarkSlateBlue]My friends and I discuss this a lot... I think that Atheism is a religion in itself,mainly because it is the belief in not believing. From [URL=http://www.m-w.com]Merriam-Webster.com[/URL], the definition of a religion:

religion- a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

Isn't it true that Athiests have faith in the fact that there is no God?

Also, some of the Atheists I know say you can't be an Atheist unless you follow certain guidelines. One says you have to beleive in the removal of all religions everywhere in order to be a true Atheist.

Faith in something and guidelines to follow- is it just me or is Atheism sounding more and more like a religion?[/COLOR]

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The irony of the question is not lost on me; a classmate of mine in high school once wore a shirt from the National Athiest Council. My only question was, since the only given common thread between these guys was their lack of a religion, then...what, exactly, do they do at meetings? Design the shirts?

Anyway, to believe in the removal of all religions isn't a requirement for athieism; that tends to be politically motivated in the public arena.

To answer your question, it's not a religion; it's really more akin to a philosiphy. Simply believing in something doesn't make it a religion.

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kind of reminds me of something I thought of in high school. If it's the style to not be like everyone else, then you are being like everyone else by being different, lol.

but I agree with DeathBug, that athieism isn't a religion. I guess people like belonging to an athiest club, so they can talk to people who share their same views. Like someone belonging to a theoretical physics club, hehe :catgirl:

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[QUOTE=DeathBug]
To answer your question, it's not a religion; it's really more akin to a philosiphy. Simply believing in something doesn't make it a religion.[/QUOTE]

This is true. Although I do see where your coming from with thinking it could be considered a religion. But that would go against everything they stand for. The Council is probably more like a club then anything else, although I don't know why there'd actually be one, its obviously there for a purpose to bind them together. But no it is not a religion.

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[size=1][color=Gray][b]It's not[/b] a religion, it's simply a belief.

A religion is a set of rules, a structured order, and this is one of the main reasons I don't even call my own Christian faith a religion, as it takes on many different forms and expressions. Religion however, is a structure that must be strictly ahdered to.

So, atheism is not a religion, because those who practice atheism don't have a religious order, or a way they go about things.

Ever wonder where the term "doing (such-and-such) religiously" came from?[/color][/size]

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[COLOR=Blue][SIZE=1]No, Athiesm is not a religion. It is the belief, or disbelief, in all other religions out there.

I am an athiest, but I do not participate in athiesm clubs or meetings. I find not having to go to church one of the "perks" of being an athiest, but that's just me. We (referring to myself and other athiests in general) have no faith in anything; that is why we aren't anything.

The way athiesm is "celebrated" depends entirely upon the person. I am an athiest because I do not "believe" that there is/are (a) God(s), a heaven, or a hell, and that once you die, you're dead. Simple as that. Others may "believe" in similar, yet different things like there is no God, heaven or hell, but you are reincarnated after you die.

All that matters is we are not an organized religion, and we do not believe in any organized religion. Therefore, we are nothing but athiests. :^D

NOTE: The reason I continued to put quotations around the word "believe" is because technically, we do not believe. But I'm too lazy to type another word to describe what exactly we do. Meh. ^__^;;[/SIZE][/COLOR]

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[b]Um... if the prefix "a" , meaning non, anti, ect... is used in conjunction with "theism" which is derived from the root "theo" (or thea), meaning: "religion", then I suppose it would be an utter impossibility for atheism to be a religion, right? :animesigh [/b]

[b]It is the [i]absence of religion[/i]... not a [i]belief [/i] in the absence of religion.[/b]

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[color=#B0251E]Well, yeah, Buddhism doesn't believe in a Christian God anyway.

But yes, athiesm isn't a religion. Nor is it a "lack of belief". If you're an athiest, you simply don't believe in God/religion. That doesn't mean that you lack beliefs in general or anything.[/color]

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[COLOR=blue]It's all about connotations. I think people are used to hearing the prefix a- stand for "the lack of," but in this case, atheism actually stands for the "belief that there is no God." When you are an atheist, you are assertive in your belief that God most definately does not exist.

I'm not sure how the argument of "it's a belief" makes it NOT a religion, as I'm pretty sure religion is also a belief. Theism is the belief in God - that's it, and most people consider theism a religion and its subsets religions as well.

Also, if you are going to try to argue that religion is a belief system while atheism is simply a belief, I think that doesn't make any sense. How is atheism any different? When you believe in God, you believe that He created us and the universe by His infinite power. On the other hand, if you believe God does not exist, then you believe that the universe was created by tangible rules and is a structured and ultimately predictable/foreseeable (at least in theory) formation.[/COLOR]

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[color=#B0251E]I think the key difference is that while athiesm is about having no belief in God, there is no particular organization or set of organizing principles surrounding it. By that I mean, there are no athiest commandments or particular religious ceremonies and so on.

I mean, I think it would be possible to argue that a religion is more than just one's faith in God. A religion is almost like an entire set of cultural beliefs combined with certain lifestyle traits. This is why people tend to seperate "belief in God" from "organized religion". Of course, the two are intertwined, but they are also different.

I think the only thing athiests share, in terms of beliefs, is that they [i]don't[/i] believe in God. But there don't really seem to be any cultural or lifestyle aspects to athiesm, versus religion. Even when one doesn't really practice their own religion, we still know that religions are more than just a belief in God. They come with an entire set of principles and theories and philosophies.

But having said all of that, I think it's a pretty grey area anyway, when you consider that even religious people have varying degrees of support for their own religion (in terms of how much of it they choose to practice). In that sense, athiesm has no "practices", if you see what I mean.[/color]

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I think this is worth reading: [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion[/url]

It explains the very different connotations the word may carry at any given time depending on who uses it or what they use it for. Under some ideas of the word, atheism is considered a "religion", under others it is not.

Considering that, I don't know how anyone is going to agree one way or another on this topic.

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[COLOR=blue]I think Generic is right. However, I should make one caveat: culture and religion should not be confused. Culture is a regional (i.e., geographical location) practice, while religion isn't bound by any particular culture/place. In fact, there are a lot of times where you'll find cultures conflicting with religious practices (probably because religion was introduced later to the ignorant ones and they just added/mingled their old ways that they couldn't part with).[/COLOR]

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[quote name='AzureWolf][COLOR=blue']I think Generic is right. However, I should make one caveat: culture and religion should not be confused. Culture is a regional (i.e., geographical location) practice, while religion isn't bound by any particular culture/place. In fact, there are a lot of times where you'll find cultures conflicting with religious practices (probably because religion was introduced later to the ignorant ones and they just added/mingled their old ways that they couldn't part with).[/COLOR][/quote]

[color=#B0251E]That's partly true. What I meant was that religion is more than just "a belief in God" -- it is, to some degree, a lifestyle choice. For some it's a very sigificant lifestyle choice that dramatically affects the way they live.

To some degree you are right, but at the same time, religion also has direct cultural heritage and ties. There are different forms of religion practiced in different places, which can often be attributed to differences in culture (this is at least partly true in the Middle East, when you talk about different forms of Islam).

So, I don't mean to say that the two are one in the same. They aren't. But religion or a "religious lifestyle" definitely has important cultural links, both historically and in a contemporary setting.[/color]

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[b]Ok, semantics aside, the atheist exists [i]in contradiction[/i] to the religious... it's the same thing as shadow and light-- as a shadow cannot exist without light, an atheist could not be atheist without religion.[/b]

[b]To claim that atheism is a religion in and of itself is the same thing as saying you can cast a shadow in pure darkness.[/b]

[b]That's my two cents.[/b]

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