For several years now, I’ve defended atheism here and in speaking with others, saying that no, atheism is not a religion. You can search through the archives here and see how many times I’ve written about it mainly because it had come to irritate me that there are so many people, non-atheists, that hold that atheism is indeed a religion of sorts.
As I’ve written in these pages on multiple occasions, atheism is a conclusion. It’s a conclusion that there are no gods. That’s pretty much it and for most people I know that had religious underpinnings in their lives, coming to the conclusion that god doesn’t exist could be long and sometimes mentally and emotionally painful.
Atheism, as far as I know, has no philosophical base by itself. Certainly there have been philosophers that have written about atheism in the past, but there has never been any rules to being a “good” atheist. No one decides for any other what constitutes good or evil, moral or immoral, within atheism. As I’ve echoed many others in the past, atheists are no different than anyone else with that one exception.
Atheism does not rule my life or most of the people I know that are atheists. It’s rarely even a thought unless it comes up as a topic of conversation, or, like this, a blog post. Unlike many that identify with one religion or another (Christians may wear a cross or crucifix. Jews may wear a Star of David), it’s almost impossible to just look at a person and determine whether or not an atheist exists there.
Like anything erlse i. life, there are exceptions. I do know a few people who are almost evangelical in their atheism. All that I’m aware of have even constructed a philosophical foundtion that others (atheists) don’t necessarily agree with, then those dissenters must not be true atheists. For these people, atheism alone is not enough to fulfill whatever their requirement may be at the time. Not that someone cannot be involved in social projects of any kind, but none of that (social justice, humanism) have anything to do with being an atheist. those that believe a person must have that philosophical foundation to be an atheist is less one and more the other. What they are looking for is a religion, and there are plenty of those across the world without having to create one from non-belief.
One thought on “Maybe Atheism is a Religion (For Some)”
How can atheism be a religion? Who do we worship? And who’s going to kill us if we don’t? Atheism doesn’t demand absolute unquestioning obedience, or demand unquestioning belief without evidence, or make threats about eternal damnation, nor does it wage a determined war on basic freedoms like thought and speech. It doesn’t protect pedophile priests from justice, nor does it treat women like 2nd class citizens. In a way it’s a shame it’s not a religion, because we might be able to get a few tax breaks out of it.