Is atheism a religion?

Oct 2009
3,416
San Diego
Be warned. DO NOT mock other people's beliefs. Disagree with them with respect.

That goes for everyone. There will be no further warnings.

Wait- are you suggesting that pointing out fallacious claims made by believers is Mocking them?

Does this just apply to religious beliefs? Or do Flat Earthers get a pass as well to be free of challenge to their claims?
If only the religious get the free pass... then why the special treatment?

If someone posts their belief that the holocaust never happened... is that off limits to challenge as well?
What if they were told that in church?
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
31,593
T'Republic of Yorkshire
Wait- are you suggesting that pointing out fallacious claims made by believers is Mocking them?

Does this just apply to religious beliefs? Or do Flat Earthers get a pass as well to be free of challenge to their claims?
If only the religious get the free pass... then why the special treatment?

If someone posts their belief that the holocaust never happened... is that off limits to challenge as well?
What if they were told that in church?
I am not "suggesting" anything. I am TELLING you that your tone is mocking and unacceptable in the Chamber. I do not intend to debate this - you can take heed of my warning or not, but if you do not, I can assure you that the consequences will be both reliable and demonstrable.
 
Thanks.. that was useful. Question: he speaks of an atheist community. What do you understand him to mean by that? Is there such a group and if so, how organized is it?
It's a misleading term. He's referring to new atheism, that is, the relatively recent phenomenon of atheists who are passionate about discussing religion and morality, especially in relation to their non-belief, the criticism of religion and religious claims (e.g. creationism, evolution not being a thing, etc), secular humanism, separation of church and state, and in the case of gnostic/strong/antitheistic atheists, the absence of gods. But the reality is that many atheists (whether they identify as atheists or as agnostics) do not engage in such things, because those kinds of interests are not part and parcel with simply being an atheist, especially in the terms that I, Dillahunty and certain others in this thread have defined it.

But it's questionable to what degree an 'atheist' or 'secular' community even exists having excluded all the atheists who are not interested in such topics, not least because there are major disagreements about certain topics, like mythicism, the criticism of Islam, the criticism of Zionism, etc. And of course, certain atheist commentators have taken on other baggage by commentating on politics, culture, etc.

That being said, there are organizations that relate to 'new atheist' interests, such as secular humanist organizations, separation-of-church-and-state organizations, mythicist organizations, etc.

But at this point we're not talking about atheism as a concept, but the phenomenon of 'new atheism', and what exactly that entails. We're talking about what certain atheists in the 21st century like to discuss and debate about religion in the context of their non-belief.
 
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Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
2,374
Crows nest
Therefore, it seems that while atheism per se does not meet the criteria to be a religion, those atheists described as "new atheists" are so wound up by the concept of a sole creator god of pre-existence that they think as much about this supernatural being as those who do believe in it, and probably to a greater extent that normal religious folks just getting on with their lives.This being so, and it does look like it, then it is in fact starting to look like just another religion, and debates between the two sides look somewhat like debates about the "Holy gourd" or "Holy sandal".

I would think that a normal atheist would just go about their lives without giving a thought to something that does not exist, and could never be said to be part of a "religion of atheism", and in fact would be insulted to have their non belief equated to a belief by believers who cannot or will not comprehend this state of un belief.
 
Therefore, it seems that while atheism per se does not meet the criteria to be a religion, those atheists described as "new atheists" are so wound up by the concept of a sole creator god of pre-existence that they think as much about this supernatural being as those who do believe in it, and probably to a greater extent that normal religious folks just getting on with their lives.This being so, and it does look like it, then it is in fact starting to look like just another religion, and debates between the two sides look somewhat like debates about the "Holy gourd" or "Holy sandal".
As an atheist who has developed a fascination for religion and has engaged a good deal with 'new atheism' and the issues that interest new atheists (creationism, evolution, morality, separation of church and state, etc), I can't agree that the debates and discussions that new atheists engage in, in general, can be fairly compared with the Life of Brian exchange. A lot of these debates strike me as meaningful. But certainly, there are new atheists that can be characterized as overly zealous.
 
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Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
2,374
Crows nest
As an atheist who has developed a fascination for religion and has engaged a good deal with 'new atheism' and the issues that interest new atheists (creationism, evolution, morality, separation of church and state, etc), I can't agree that the debates and discussions that new atheists engage in, in general, can be fairly compared with the Life of Brian exchange. A lot of these debates strike me as meaningful. But certainly, there are new atheists that can be characterized as overly zealous.
Maybe you missed the point in the film.

Debating the existence or not of that which is invisible and supernatural, call it a god or gods, varies only with scale, not nature, and debating about the existence or not of fairies at the bottom of the garden is essentially no less worthy. Modern theists are themselves just as dismissive of arguments about the existence or not of the old gods, so why should they get a free pass on this and an assumption that their beliefs are any more valid than a belief in Ptah or fairies at the bottom of the garden. That there are some billions of believers in the Abrahamic god does not make their position a valid one, it makes them products of millennia of a propaganda that brooked zero tolerance for any belief except in the overarching party line, a belief in a god, no matter than some split off to channel their worship in different ways.

So it looks like you are seeing a reference to Monty Python in this thread as somehow "trivial", yes, no?

Without putting words into your mouth, let's suppose that Python is trivial here. How would it be trivial without an assumption that the believers in the Abrahamic god are arguing from a rational position. Are they in fact arguing from a rational position, and if so, then arguing for the existence of any invisible supernatural entity, be it one of the old gods or fairies at the bottom of the garden, must also be a rational, and therefore worthy argument. However, arguing for the existence of any supernatural entity or entities other than the Abrahamic one is, as I point out above, brushed aside as trivial, as if if one invisible supernatural entity had more substance and credibility than another. The very debate is skewed by it's terms being dictated by the believers in the Abrahamic god, and by that I mean that as they have had control over religion for millenia, we live in their universe whether we hold by it or not.

But the thread is not about the existence or not of any god or gods, but if atheists are religious in not having a belief. And here was have an example, irrespective of the thread starters beliefs, of the terminology of belief dictating the terms of the debate by labeling atheists as having the potential to be religious by dint of having no belief. This is absurd, with the exception of those who have made their non belief their raison d'etre, but until they start putting on vestments, performing magic spells and talking out loud to an invisible being, cannot be said to be actually religious in the accepted sense of the word.
 
Maybe you missed the point in the film.

Debating the existence or not of that which is invisible and supernatural, call it a god or gods, varies only with scale, not nature, and debating about the existence or not of fairies at the bottom of the garden is essentially no less worthy. Modern theists are themselves just as dismissive of arguments about the existence or not of the old gods, so why should they get a free pass on this and an assumption that their beliefs are any more valid than a belief in Ptah or fairies at the bottom of the garden. That there are some billions of believers in the Abrahamic god does not make their position a valid one, it makes them products of millennia of a propaganda that brooked zero tolerance for any belief except in the overarching party line, a belief in a god, no matter than some split off to channel their worship in different ways.
I never said that belief in the Abrahamic god has more merit to it than belief in fairies. But discussing with theists their beliefs is important to me because their beliefs are pervasive and have an effect on society.

The Python sequence strikes me as a comment on unnecessary factionalism among the religious over seemingly meaningless disputes. It doesn't seem relevant to what I am saying about new atheists and how they engage with the topic of religion.

As for the rest of your post, I never agreed to the notion that atheism is a religion. I suspect we're mostly on the same page.
 

Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
2,374
Crows nest
Well yes, It is more important because many societies are controlled by believers, and this will be the case indefinitely, but I am a believer in bringing down that which should not be by laughter. Think anekdoty

I see the Python sketch, and a lot of the film, as being about ridiculous pompousness as well, and this is very evident in some of the debate, outside of this forum of course, and youtube is littered with examples.

I see the situation vis a vis theists to atheists thusly.
Incredulity of the credulous in the incredulity of the incredulous
 
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Nov 2018
124
Denmark
I would think that a normal atheist would just go about their lives without giving a thought to something that does not exist, and could never be said to be part of a "religion of atheism", and in fact would be insulted to have their non belief equated to a belief by believers who cannot or will not comprehend this state of un belief.
Although I do not confess to a religion or think that supernatural events or beings is real,

I do not want to define myself from something that does not exist in my worldview.

And the reason is that in my family and culture there was no talk about believing in God, I am baptized and confirmed, because that was how it was then.

In addition, we also had Christian studies in school and the priest came and taught us when we were to be confirmed.

However, no one looked like they believed in God or tried to convince us that God was real, not even the priest.

So when my daughter was born and I had to decide if she should be baptized. I had to realize that I could not proclaim The Apostolic Creed with my heart.

So she was not baptized and I signed out of the Danish national church. Fate would have it, though I'm far from home that it was the same priest who confirmed me that I should resign from.

It has not led to a burning desire to burn down churches or conduct heated debates with Christians or other religious communities.

How hard it can be for believing and non-believing people to understand, there are actually some people who are completely indifferent to religion.
 

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