View Poll Results: Is atheism a belief or a religion?

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  • Atheism is a belief and a religion.

    7 8.33%
  • Atheism is a belief, but not a religion.

    32 38.10%
  • Neither.

    28 33.33%
  • It depends how you define belief and religion.

    17 20.24%
  • No idea.

    0 0%
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Thread: Is Atheism a Belief or a Religion?

  1. #1
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    Is Atheism a Belief or a Religion?

    I wanted to ask this for a while

    Some people say atheists are believers too, because they believe that there is no god.

    What atheists say:

    It is reasonably common for religious persons and others to class Atheists as those that have a “belief” system. It is taken for granted that the Atheist's "belief" system is somewhat different from a “belief” in the supernatural and sundry. Proponents of such loose use of the language would wish to bring Atheists down to their level of accepting un-evidenced dogma. They then “reason” that it is far better to have a “belief” in that which has some perceived beneficial or “moral” good than that which is “godless” and therefore immoral. How very wrong, incorrect and opposite to the truth is that thought.

    The Macquarie Encyclopedic Dictionary definition of “belief” is:

    1. that which is believed; an accepted opinion.
    2. conviction of the truth or reality of a thing, based upon grounds insufficient to afford positive knowledge:

    Most other Dictionaries tender similar definitions.

    Those definitions are basically saying that a “belief” is not formed by critical scientific investigation but by emotions, feelings and unsubstantiated opinion.

    As a child I can hold a “belief” that the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus are real characters. I can have a “belief” that Unicorns exist and that Ghosts and Goblins etc. are also real.

    As an adult I can hold a “belief” that any one of the numerous gods purported, do actually exist, and that humans have an immortal "soul". Some even have a "belief" in UFO's, the power of crystals and a myriad of other unproven paranormal activity.

    Atheists do not accept that any of the above imaginary creatures or powers do exist as no scientific evidence is extant in support of those propositions. This is not a “belief”, it is just lack of scientific evidence in their support.

    The word “belief” has been incorporated as part of the religious language of ethereal nonsense with a design to confuse the faithful. Certain words have been with humanity since the beginning of time and have been refined in use to fool the unwary. “Belief” is one of them.

    If religion was not evolutionary driven, with its majority acceptance “seen” as a herd benefit, then the word would not exist in its present form but would simply be a word or phrase that states that we do not know.

    That which we do not know is our ignorance and seen in that light, a “belief” in the supernatural etc. is giving ignorance far greater credibility than reasoned thinking should permit.

    Many so-called examples of our “beliefs” are thrown at the Atheist, but none come anywhere near being good explanations. For example, we have a “belief” the Sun will come up tomorrow. Forgotten, so it seems, is that by example of the Sun coming up every day for billions of years hence, shows a pattern that cannot be denied that it will come up again tomorrow. “Belief” has nothing to do with it.

    Another is since we do not fully understand how electricity works, we somehow have a “belief” in the workings of electricity. It may not be fully understood but it is accepted that if a toaster is connected to it, the bread will cook. Again and so on and so forth, “belief” has naught to do with it.

    If religions and such could do likewise and show by previous experience or experiment that some part of future action could be predicted, it would then no longer be a “belief” system.

    If “belief” in the super-natural had some kind of quantifiable substance to it, then it would escape the realms of our acceptance of ignorance as a way of explaining the world.

    The religious and others have a “belief” that ignorance is superior to empirical knowledge.

    Atheist see no credible empirical or scientific evidence for the super-natural and therefore reject the notion as one only originating from our ignorance.

    There is absolutely no similarity between the Atheist philosophical stance in life and that of the religious. Atheists accept only facts, whereas the religious et al find no need for them.
    http://www.atheistfoundation.org.au/belief.htm

    What do you say?

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    We do not "believe" that there is no god, we simply do not believe that there is a god, pending evidence. I call myself an atheist because I experience a lack of theism, which is what the word means to me, based on it's root words.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Todesengel View Post
    Some people say atheists are believers too, because they believe that there is no god.


    If you define belief like that then everything is a belief. In fact there's a member here who believes in almost every phrase she writes.

    No, atheists are nonbelievers, because they don't have a belief in the religious way. They lack it, that's what makes them atheists.

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    Atheism is a belief because they believe there is no God.
    Agnostics however are no believers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Holsatia View Post
    Atheism is a belief because they believe there is no God.
    Agnostics however are no believers.
    That's an interesting observation. I call myself atheist, but I don't consider myself to know for a fact that there is no 'god'. In that sense I suppose I am technically agnostic, but I consider 'agnostic' to be a fence-sitter's term. I don't know whether or not there is a creator of the universe, but there is certainly no reason to believe any supernatural occurrences have happened here on earth so when I call myself an atheist it is reference to all the man-made earthly religions.

  6. #6
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    Just look at what a basic common 'Thought' is. how do you proof that you have a 'Thought'.

    you can perceive the electrons chasing through your brain by means of apparatuses. but where are those electrons actually changed into the 'Thought' and how does that work? Nobody knows. Not even Atheists now according to their definition that there is a 'thought' because you can't prove it. for them they only can proof an electron running through a heap of molecules while they at the same moment use, what they can't prove and therefore doesn't exist for them.

    they can't even prove an "I" but they definitly believe they exist.

    Reality is never proveable to common men because they use their organs of perception (how do they know they are real?) knowing that perception don't give you reality but only a picture of reality?

    You can hypnotize somebody and tell him there is a snake in the room and he really sees it, even posthypnotic. For him/her the snake is real because he sees it. How do you say it doesn't exist? using your perceptions? well the hypnotized is using his perceptions as well. So who of you is right and why?

    Hindus say everthing is Maya, everything is illusion and that includes you. (for them they mean the lower self which is indeed not real from the point of view they look at it)

    I don't know whether you ever saw the movie Matrix? it shows pretty well what religious thought means about reality. (the story itself is hogwash but this point they show very well)

  7. #7
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    IMO atheism is both belief and non-belief, depending on the angle from which you look at it: it is the absence of belief in supernatural beings, or, the belief that supernatural beings don't exist (strong atheism), or are unlikely to exist (weak atheism).

    If one understands belief from a strictly religious position, then atheism is lack of belief. Atheists are commonly referred to as "nonbelievers" or "unbelievers" by adherents to several religions, however, the term isn't reserved solely for them, rather for anyone who does not subscribe to that specific religion.

    Whether it's a religion or not, depends how one defines the term, however, although there is not one single definition of religion, it is widely accepted that religion refers to a system of faith and worship, a belief in one or more supernatural beings/deities. In other words, religion can also be understood as theism. Since atheism is the absence of theism, it cannot be a religion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aeternitas View Post
    IMO atheism is both belief and non-belief, depending on the angle from which you look at it: it is the absence of belief in supernatural beings, or, the belief that supernatural beings don't exist (strong atheism), or are unlikely to exist (weak atheism).
    There is no "weak atheism". It is all disbelief or nothing. What you have described above is more akin to agnosticism. You are giving atheism an escape route in order to establish it as a dual possibilty, which it isn't. It is just as dogmatic and straight forward as religion. Either you do or you dont.

    Whether it's a religion or not, depends how one defines the term, however, although there is not one single definition of religion, it is widely accepted that religion refers to a system of faith and worship, a belief in one or more supernatural beings/deities. In other words, religion can also be understood as theism. Since atheism is the absence of theism, it cannot be a religion.
    In the United States, the teaching of atheism is also forbidden wherever the teaching of x-tianity is forbidden. This is but one comparison that can be made for the argument that atheism is a parallel of religion.
    The government rules that the Theory of Evolution is a truth, which is one of atheisms strongest arguments, if not the strongest.
    They permit atheism in the form of evolution, but forbid prayer in schools. This is establishing a dogma in a way that is exactly similar to how x-tianity was imposed.
    If it is practiced as an absolute method for defining existence then it qualifies as a dogma, particularly if it is fervently preached by its believers as a final truth, just like x-tianity.
    This to me constitutes it as a religion even if on paper one can argue that it is not. It behaves, preaches and suppresses exactly in the same way x-tianity has. It resembles an established religion, and to me this makes it one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aeternitas View Post
    Whether it's a religion or not, depends how one defines the term, however, although there is not one single definition of religion, it is widely accepted that religion refers to a system of faith and worship, a belief in one or more supernatural beings/deities. In other words, religion can also be understood as theism. Since atheism is the absence of theism, it cannot be a religion.
    I would not immediately equate theism with religion, understanding that religion can be a type of "folkway" - where it is not merely a system of faith and worship, but one of faith, worship and traditions.

    When traditions are involved, they may be celebrated in their religious form, but also by people who lack much faith, and who certainly do not practice worship.

    An example would be the approach 85% of people take to Christmas/Yule or Easter: Celebrated in a religious context, but oft by people with very little faith, who only ever go to church when someone marries or dies.

    Another example would be most Jews, who observe Passover, eat Kosher and adhere to some Talmudic Laws, but have little faith and are never to be seen in the synagogue, instead pursuing other shady business.

    As such, if religion is equated solely with theism, a person who nominally belongs to a faith but is a non-practitioner would be classed as an Atheist, when they are more commonly referred to as "Secular [insert random religion]".

    This would, if we understand Atheism as the lack of Theism, mean that about 90% of our fellow folk are Atheists, a statistic which would sound very puzzling to the average man.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    Atheism is a flawed sense of logic. The mortal enjoys a blind journey through time and space. Without a blind adventure there could be no dynamic experience. The Atheist enjoys a perfect blind adventure all the while feeling a sense of logic and reason is the foundation for there ideas. It's not as simple as a conscious being just existing on a perfect environment. Nor is it a dogmatic system of laws such as many faiths purpose.

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