Author Topic: If atheism is a religion, then what is "not a religion-ism"?  (Read 349 times)

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Offline Aaron123

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If atheism is a religion, then what is "not a religion-ism"?
« on: November 10, 2013, 03:24:43 PM »
Atheism = lack of beliefs in gods.

Sounds simple, right?  No gods, no religion.  Yet, there are christians[1] that insists that if you don't believe in god, than that non-belief is, in itself, a religion.

Obviously, a lot of the time, this is said just to get under our skin.  But some really do appear to be serious when they say this.  "So you believe in nothing".  "It takes more faith to be an atheist...".

If atheism is a religion, then what, in those people's minds, is "not a religion-ism" suppose to look like?  I really can't imagine.
 1. Not sure if people from other religion pulls the same tactic
Being a Christian, I've made my decision. That decision offers no compromise; therefore, I'm closed to anything else.

Offline Nick

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Re: If atheism is a religion, then what is "not a religion-ism"?
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2013, 03:37:30 PM »
It is simply the fact that they cannot comprehend the thought of anybody not having some kind of religion.
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: If atheism is a religion, then what is "not a religion-ism"?
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2013, 05:23:26 PM »
It seems to me like they can't comprehend not believing in something big. So they think not believing in their big thing means we believe in something else equally big, even though they think we are wrong. They don't seem be be able to parse non-belief. And they have a need to insist that our POV is in itself a religion.

Weird.
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Offline Ataraxia

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Re: If atheism is a religion, then what is "not a religion-ism"?
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2013, 03:17:19 AM »
Yes, some of the time the theist is just acting disingenuously in order to get a reaction, but some really are stupid in thinking that atheism is a belief.

I've even come across arguments in the past where I've been told I'm not an atheist because I don't fit the classical, Greek definition. Well, this is the 21st century and language and meanings have moved on quite a bit since those times. If you applied this same reasoning to all words (you know, so you're behaving consistently and not just picking out one word to suit the point you're trying to make), then you'd be talking complete gibberish now.

Anyway, it's the same dumb "logic" I see time and time again - "You don't believe this therefore you must believe the opposite". No. Just NO! They see God as everything and since we don't believe that, then we must believe the opposite and believe in nothing. It's bonkers. All of these people are completely at home with the concept of not believing things, because they themselves don't believe in a myriad of things, yet somehow, when it comes to theism/atheism, some part of their brain switches off where they become blinded and oblivious to the idea that someone doesn't actually believe in the existence of gods. It's a great example of compartmentalisation.
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Offline Nick

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Re: If atheism is a religion, then what is "not a religion-ism"?
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2013, 09:48:07 AM »
Yahoo news has a big splash about atheist churches this morning.  That will continue the nonsense about atheism being a religion.
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Offline G-Roll

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Re: If atheism is a religion, then what is "not a religion-ism"?
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2013, 12:39:58 PM »
Yes, some of the time the theist is just acting disingenuously in order to get a reaction, but some really are stupid in thinking that atheism is a belief.

I've even come across arguments in the past where I've been told I'm not an atheist because I don't fit the classical, Greek definition. Well, this is the 21st century and language and meanings have moved on quite a bit since those times. If you applied this same reasoning to all words (you know, so you're behaving consistently and not just picking out one word to suit the point you're trying to make), then you'd be talking complete gibberish now.

Anyway, it's the same dumb "logic" I see time and time again - "You don't believe this therefore you must believe the opposite". No. Just NO! They see God as everything and since we don't believe that, then we must believe the opposite and believe in nothing. It's bonkers. All of these people are completely at home with the concept of not believing things, because they themselves don't believe in a myriad of things, yet somehow, when it comes to theism/atheism, some part of their brain switches off where they become blinded and oblivious to the idea that someone doesn't actually believe in the existence of gods. It's a great example of compartmentalisation.

Is it plausible that the theists you mention see us all as nihilists? They see a purpose in life handed down by their god to say how awesome that god is. Work work work for a golden ticket to heaven. Anyone who doesn’t share some form of this monotheism therefore must believe in nothing. I just don’t know where the believe in nothing comes from. Atheism is the lack of belief in deities. I can't comprehend why they give the word so much more power than it actually wields.

I like your idea of compartmentalization.

Offline Antidote

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Re: If atheism is a religion, then what is "not a religion-ism"?
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2013, 02:46:41 PM »
Yahoo news has a big splash about atheist churches this morning.  That will continue the nonsense about atheism being a religion.


I haven't read that article yet, but if it's the kind of gathering I think it is, any hardware store qualifies because most if not all carpenters go to hardware stores, so is a hardware store the church of carpenters?
According to Cpt. Obvious: Theists think they know God, Atheists require evidence.

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Offline Ataraxia

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Re: If atheism is a religion, then what is "not a religion-ism"?
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2013, 02:48:10 PM »

Is it plausible that the theists you mention see us all as nihilists? They see a purpose in life handed down by their god to say how awesome that god is. Work work work for a golden ticket to heaven. Anyone who doesn’t share some form of this monotheism therefore must believe in nothing. I just don’t know where the believe in nothing comes from. Atheism is the lack of belief in deities. I can't comprehend why they give the word so much more power than it actually wields.

I like your idea of compartmentalization.

I think if there are those that see us all as nihilists, then they know the distinction between atheism and nihilism, otherwise they'd just refer to it solely as atheism and be unaware of any nihilism. This is just a dishonest tactic so that they can keep denying to themselves and others what atheism is. Of course, it's just too weird and outlandish to solely lack a belief. &)
"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." - Voltaire

Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: If atheism is a religion, then what is "not a religion-ism"?
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2013, 09:06:06 PM »
Back in my pre-communicating-with-atheists days, I decided atheists worshipped a false god of science / logic / reasoning.  It was comforting because now I could paint ALL atheists with the same broad brush and feel that wonderful feeling of self-righteous smugness knowing that I had the superior understanding of them.

Then, for reasons I ascribe to God thumping me on the head, my curiosity about atheists got the better of me and I began subscribing the atheism newsletter on About.com and began interacting on this website and another.  Over time I came to realize atheism is not a religion.  It is, as often posted here and elsewhere, an absence of god(s).  And I also discovered atheists are human!  Who would have thought?

So for those who conclude atheism is a religion, I suspect it is probably something along the first paragraph because it is SO much easier to demonize someone you do not understand rather than take time to understand them or their ideas.

Enough preaching.

OldChurchGUy 
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: If atheism is a religion, then what is "not a religion-ism"?
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2013, 09:17:18 PM »
Old Church Guy! You're back. Hooray! Man have we needed you a few times. If only to remind us that not all theists are mental cases.

Good to see you again. I'm looking forward to your words. And I'm giving you a +! as in a meagre attempt to encourage you to stick around.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline Aaron123

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Re: If atheism is a religion, then what is "not a religion-ism"?
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2013, 01:46:45 AM »
Another thing related to this question.

Sometimes, I'd see "If atheists don't believe in god, then who do they pray to in their times of need?"

I've never understood this sort of questioning.  Prayer is something you do when you believe in a deity.  Without belief in a deity, you don't pray (what would you even pray to?).  Simple and straightforward.  So why does this question ever get brought up?  Is the whole idea of "do not pray at all" really that hard to grasp?   :o
Being a Christian, I've made my decision. That decision offers no compromise; therefore, I'm closed to anything else.

Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: If atheism is a religion, then what is "not a religion-ism"?
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2013, 06:41:53 AM »
Old Church Guy! You're back. Hooray! Man have we needed you a few times. If only to remind us that not all theists are mental cases.

Good to see you again. I'm looking forward to your words. And I'm giving you a +! as in a meagre attempt to encourage you to stick around.

Your kind words are greatly appreciated.  It is nice to be back. 
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle - Philo of Alexandria

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion - Dalai Lama