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(14-Aug-2003 at 14:58)


Atheism, a religion or not?

When I have read these forums I have often seen people calling atheism a religion. The latest incident was Muirgein, she said that she wouldnt want to discuss that in the thread she posted in, so I made a thread where people can discuss this subject.

What do you think? Religion or not?

I am quite sure it cannot be associated with any religion, due to many reasons.

1. Look at the word Atheism

the word comes from the word Theism, which means "belief in the existence of a god or gods, especially belief in a personal God as creator and ruler of the world"

Then lets look at the word A theism , which means A. "Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods", and B "The doctrine that there is no God or gods."

So all religions will fall under the theism category, where people who dont believe in a god or gods, will fall under the atheism category

2. In every religion there is a holy book, or something like that, which tells the followers how to respond to the world. Atheism has no such book. Christianity has the Bible, Islam has the Quran, and other religions have something the same.

I often find myself arguing with atheists. That is because we dont necesarrily share the same belief in anything else than the non-existance of a god or gods. We dont have any "code of morals" that tells us what to do. We follow our own set of morals. For some, that may be to beat their kids do raise them, for some it may not. I personally dont have any belief in the death penalty, while many atheists I know want it to Norway allso. That is because we dont have any common set of morals to tell us if that is good or bad, we like to think for ourselfs.

The point is, we are not followers of a religion. We are only a community in the debation of religion. There are many people on this Forum that I didnt like before I found out that they were atheists. After that I gained more respect for them, but there are still atheists that I disrespect and dislike.

I hope someone will respond to this, and that this can be a thread where maybe some theists change their opinion on what is religion and what is not.


My MSN is still [email protected].
My Skype is kapteindynetrekk
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Old lmc
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(14-Aug-2003 at 15:18)


To call atheism a religion is off the mark, but there are valid comparisons. First and foremost of these is that it is a 'faith' in the sense that ahderents of atheism must take it as a matter of faith that there is no god, when empirical science can tell us absolutely nothing about the existence, or otherwise, of god.

One of Anthony de Mello's little stories puts this very well;
"Tell me", asked a disciple to his master. "Is there a God - Really?"
Said the Master, "If you want me to be perfectly honest with you, I will not answer."
Later the disciple demanded to know why he had not answered.
"Because your question is unanswerable," said the Master.
"So you are an atheist", the disciple remarked.
"Certainly not. The atheist makes the mistake of denying that of which nothing may be said."
After pausing to let that sink in , the Master added, " And the theist makes the mistake of affirming it."

Those are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others.

Groucho Marx
http://tangenitaldrunkeness.blogspot...ac22c48044bdd8
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(14-Aug-2003 at 15:21)


But science can determine which of the options are most likely, god or no god.

Wouldnt you say that it is silly to belive in something just because it cannot be proved wrong?

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(14-Aug-2003 at 15:25)


I just posted this in the other thread, but I'll put it here too..

Quote:
Religion
a : the state of a religious <a nun in her 20th year of religion> b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
2 : a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
3 archaic : scrupulous conformity : CONSCIENTIOUSNESS
4 : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

A system of beliefs held to with faith...

Now you have extreme faith that there is no god. Thats what you believe with all your heart.. so that makes it a religion.

Thats my opinion though.

-For those who fight all over the world.. fight for peace, fight for freedom, and fight for their lives..
Will someone please give Bush a BJ already so we can start the Impeachment?
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(14-Aug-2003 at 15:35)


That is allright, but you cant ignore the other stuff I have posted. Like the meaning of the word, or the lack of community.

And if you say that everything that contains that is a religion, then every single group in this world is a religion of it's own. Look at political parties, they have extreme faith in their parties, they must be religious. I personally dont think we can compare that type of faith with theist faith, but you obviously do, so then that rule must apply for you.

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My Skype is kapteindynetrekk
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(14-Aug-2003 at 16:12)


Quote:
(Originally posted by Nimon)

That is allright, but you cant ignore the other stuff I have posted. Like the meaning of the word, or the lack of community.

And if you say that everything that contains that is a religion, then every single group in this world is a religion of it's own. Look at political parties, they have extreme faith in their parties, they must be religious. I personally dont think we can compare that type of faith with theist faith, but you obviously do, so then that rule must apply for you.

I just think its catagorically a different kind of faith.. but basically still a faith. Any opinions that fundamentally effect how you see life are part of a system of faith..

And I don't even think it would be inaccurate to call all those little groups religions. Religion is not a special title. Its not like frats where you have to have certain criteria.. except beliefs or a system of beliefs. It doesn't matter if those beliefs are based on god or no god.

-For those who fight all over the world.. fight for peace, fight for freedom, and fight for their lives..
Will someone please give Bush a BJ already so we can start the Impeachment?

Last edited by muirgein, 14-Aug-2003 at 16:14.
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(14-Aug-2003 at 16:18)


I understand what you mean... But I still think that religion is only theism, atleast thats what the main meaning of the word, the meaning most people associate it with. Thats what this duscission is about. Since you see many other things as religion, we have different views of religion. This detabe is wether some people see atheism as a religon as it is for me, and most people..

My MSN is still [email protected].
My Skype is kapteindynetrekk
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Old lmc
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(14-Aug-2003 at 16:20)


Quote:
(Originally posted by Nimon)

But science can determine which of the options are most likely, god or no god.

Wouldnt you say that it is silly to belive in something just because it cannot be proved wrong?
Nimon, the inability to prove something wrong may be no reason to accept it as true, but it's hardly a reason to dismiss it either. Some extremist, fundamentalist beliefs are obviously flawed (creationism, give me a break) and these only serve to discredit theists in general. However there are many who can quite happily combine theism with reason. I think many atheists allow their natural distaste for the ridiculous teachings of most organised religions to cloud their judgement.

Atheism is a faith. It makes an absolute statement about something which cannot be known in an absolute sense.

Those are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others.

Groucho Marx
http://tangenitaldrunkeness.blogspot...ac22c48044bdd8
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(14-Aug-2003 at 16:22)


Quote:
(Originally posted by lmc)

Atheism is a faith. It makes an absolute statement about something which cannot be known in an absolute sense.
Which makes it a religion... atleast thats what it looks like to me.

-For those who fight all over the world.. fight for peace, fight for freedom, and fight for their lives..
Will someone please give Bush a BJ already so we can start the Impeachment?
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(14-Aug-2003 at 17:00)


But not all atheist believe the same things.I as well as other atheist i know personaly accept that there is a small chance that some higher being realy exists
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(14-Aug-2003 at 17:10)


Quote:
(Originally posted by DHoffryn)

But not all atheist believe the same things.I as well as other atheist i know personaly accept that there is a small chance that some higher being realy exists
And not all Christians believe in the same thing.. but alot of different sects of Christianity with different beliefs come under the title Christian.

-For those who fight all over the world.. fight for peace, fight for freedom, and fight for their lives..
Will someone please give Bush a BJ already so we can start the Impeachment?
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(14-Aug-2003 at 18:03)


If an atheist believes well and truly that there is no god, then they are following a religion. It's not an organized religion, but it is still a religion(if a very unrestrictive one). My belief that there is no god is based on my best guess. I'm highly skeptical, but not being sure, I don't have faith in the atheism religion. That's my take on it.

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(14-Aug-2003 at 18:46)


Quote:
(Originally posted by muirgein)

And not all Christians believe in the same thing.. but alot of different sects of Christianity with different beliefs come under the title Christian.
yeah, but you still believe in a god, and follow the bible. We have no such set of morality code

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(14-Aug-2003 at 20:27)


Quote:
(Originally posted by Nimon)

yeah, but you still believe in a god, and follow the bible. We have no such set of morality code

Ah but there is one common belief that binds you...
The belief that there is no god. That is the very doctrine of your faith.

-For those who fight all over the world.. fight for peace, fight for freedom, and fight for their lives..
Will someone please give Bush a BJ already so we can start the Impeachment?
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(14-Aug-2003 at 21:09)


Atheism is exactly the same a religion.

Key among the commonalities is the faith based belief that their is no such thing as a God. Usually this is based on "I dont see any proof of God, so he doesnt exist". However, scientifically that is a fallacy. Here is an analogy my professor told me:

"You cannot conclude that something can not exist by lack of evidence. It is akin to the question of whether or not a black swan exists. Have you ever seen a black swan? Even if you could look at every swan in your country and if they were all white you still could not conclude that a black swan does not exist, because there might be one elsewhere. You can only conclude that there is a very low probability of said swan existing based on a large random sample."

The truely devote Atheists dont just say there is a very low probability of God existing. They say he absolutely does not exist. Some in this forum have even said that they would not believe in God if he came down and thumped them in the head. It takes real faith (or anti faith?) for someone to say that.

Atheists also have their "scriptures" written by various prominant atheists around the world. Karl Marx is a particular favorite for his "religion is the opiate of the people" quote.

Lastly, they have people actively seeking converts to Atheism. Whether it be in forums or in convention centers.

Some Atheists even have "churches" such as in my area labeled something like "The Church of Science".
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(14-Aug-2003 at 21:32)
Royal Assassin3:

Quote:
The truely devote Atheists dont just say there is a very low probability of God existing.

Not at all. Those who allow a "slight" chance of propability is called/labeled agnostics.

An atheist just as sure as a christian belives there is a god, belives there is no god.

Becouse anyone with the slightest doubt of there being no god would not be a christian would he/she not? (basing their "faith" on the bible)

There is no good or bad, just perspective and opinion. -Squall FF8.
When you forget how it was to be a child, that is when you truly die.
Life isn't about avoiding mistakes, because that's not possible. Life is about what you do about them when you've made them. -DharTook

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(14-Aug-2003 at 22:06)


Quote:
(Originally posted by Royal Assassin3)
Some Atheists even have "churches" such as in my area labeled something like "The Church of Science".
I assume you are probably making reference to the "Church of Scientology", which is a religion in and of itself; Scientology is not connected with Atheism.

"To sit alone with my conscience will be judgment enough for me."
-Charles William Stubbs
"'Faith' means not wanting to know what is true."
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(14-Aug-2003 at 23:47)


Quote:
Not at all. Those who allow a "slight" chance of propability is called/labeled agnostics.
Not quite...it's a bit of a blurry line. An agnostic believes that they don't know and that it's probably unknowable. An atheist believes that there is no god.

I'm right on the line, because I believe there is probably no god, but I'm not entirely sure. So I suppose I could call myself either, and I could be called an agnostic. I prefer to consider myself an atheist with agnostic leanings.

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(15-Aug-2003 at 00:13)


Here are the formal definitions for everyone:

Atheism: a disbelief in the existence of deity b : the doctrine that there is no deity.

Agnostic: a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and prob. unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god.

"To sit alone with my conscience will be judgment enough for me."
-Charles William Stubbs
"'Faith' means not wanting to know what is true."
-Friedrich Nietzsche
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(15-Aug-2003 at 04:16)


Quote:
(Originally posted by TheTitan)

I assume you are probably making reference to the "Church of Scientology", which is a religion in and of itself; Scientology is not connected with Atheism.
Possibly, I never went in it but it sounded like something an atheist would name their church.
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