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Is atheism a religion?

There has been a lot of debate over whether atheism can be classified as a religion, or whether it is excluded from being a religion.

What do you think?

Topics: atheism religion
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    Jun 16 2011: It seems to be preached like one.
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      Jun 16 2011: Go to a meeting of Environmentalists, anarchists or feminists and tell me you don't see the same fiery passion. Passion and advocacy are not what makes a religion.
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        Jun 16 2011: Passion for what benefit? Atheism seems to be preached like it has major importance in the world when it comes down to it its just a belief in nothingness and so would have no effect (at least beneficial) towards people. Religious people preach so as to save people (or at least they think so) where as preaching atheism carries no reason for it.
        • Jun 16 2011: Religious people are atheists as well don't forget!! At least in a world full of atheists we could see a world that put people's needs first and no religious dogma would be used to justify war, kill homosexuals or subjugate women. Benefits of religion? Probably not.
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          Jun 17 2011: A belief in nothingness ha! You funny man. Atheism is beneficial in many ways. It does away with all the homophobic, sexist and sectarian thinking of religion and embraces the idea of secularism, reason and a naturalist approach to the universe.

          You can't really say "saving people" is beneficial unless they are truly saved (which they're not).
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          Jun 17 2011: Question: does an atheist believe that anything is possible in terms of afterlife, etc., but just aren't interested in all the speculation/voodoo thinking about it? If so, that's me.

          Atheism is not a religion. It's oxymoronic to even think it is. Religions are institutions.
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        Jun 17 2011: I agree there is a lot of hatred by religious people (as well as by non-religious people) but this is not due to the religion itself it is either corruption or misunderstanding most of the time it is used as an excuse to do bad things king henry the eigth for instance. and in many of these cases this as just been passed on through the ages, if you are to look back at jesus himself and his teachings; he was a socialist, a pacifist and totaly against any discrimination it is just over time it has been corrupted many times and has evolved into what it is now. they may not really be being saved but if they think they are saving thats what gives them their passion whereas i dont see how atheists can hold so much passion for something which translates into quite a depressing "reality" in fact i see in a lot of evangelic atheists that they only do it to push others down, and you dont need to be atheist to argue for gay rights ect. i do so and i am religious (not stupid religious though) and in fact if the change comes from inside it will be much more effective than if it comes from the outside, that whole thing about the sun and the wind trying to get the coat of a guy. and essentially all science says is that there was nothing then there was a big bang and then we were here, but however far you trace it back you are going to need something (whether its god or not) outside of our dimensions and beyond our comprehension to be able to create us. all in all science explains how and religion explains why, you cannot have one without the other.
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          Jun 17 2011: You can't say that when your religious texts are littered with those feelings. To quote one example of sexism in the Bible: "Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything." It's in Ephesians 5:21-32.

          Yes, our goal is to get everyone depressed like we are (/sarcasm).
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        Jun 18 2011: Mathieu how does atheism do away with sexism, and homophobia. Seems like I could be a sexist homophobe who does not believe in god.
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          Jun 18 2011: Of course, but then that comes down to the individual. Being an atheist does not predicate sexism and homophobia whereas religion does because it's all in the book. Thankfully, at the individual level too, some religious people chose to think outside the confines of their religion.
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          Jun 19 2011: obviously there has to be personal input to what is agreed. i would point out that that quote is not one said by Jesus but by one of his followers, who was known to be sexist. i believe that the bible has been corrupted many times, like all religions, and so you should only look really at the areas where it can be trusted fully what Jesus himself says. he does not once mention sexism or homophobia, in fact he would often anger people with his love and compassion for women and other outcasts, he befriended tax men, talked to prostitutes and touched lepers, but like usual the bible got corrupted as has everything good in the world (communism ect) Jesus himself would be very angry im sure at what has eventually happened to a lot of what he preached, just one example is that many "Christians" are right wing when Jesus was openly a socialist. it happens in all walks of life just look at nuclear weapons to see an original idea to produce mass energy turn into a bomb of mass destruction. if you look at the core of the bible that is what you need to look at and then each person should make his opinions on that.
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        Jun 19 2011: Mathieu
        Yes there are quotes that are outdated in the bible. Leviticus 19:27 tells what haircut a man should have. Funny that most people ignore this rule but will harp on Lev 20:13 when it comes to promoting homophobia. As for the new testament there are a few vague phrases that one could use to back up homophobia, but they could be taken in other ways. As for other religious traditions many strains of Hinduism is fine with homosexuality.
        What I 'm saying is its a bit more complicated than you are making it out to be. Religions grow out of specific cultures and take on their world view. Any philosophy that that is numerous centuries old will have some dead branches that need pruning. A thousand years from now I hope some of our laws are seen as barbaric and immature (hopefully sooner). That doesn't justify saying our culture was a failure, but a work in progress.
        Atheist are for the most part progressive minded people, who give healthy amounts to charity, volunteer their time, and keep healthy ethical boundaries. I just think its a stretch to say its a causation of atheism. We are more connected through technology which seems to be the real catalyst for humanism, and whatever belief/non believes we have / don't have are outgrowths of that.

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