Is Atheism a Religion?

On May 16, 2012, in Apologetics, by july

This is a response to Debunking Christianity’s article on Is Atheism a Religion?

John Loftus begins his article by writing this:

No it is not! It’s not even a worldview. No matter how you define religion it must include supernatural forces or beings, and atheists deny them. If a Christian reader thinks atheism is a religion then please provide for us a definition of religion that applies both to Christianity and to its denial. Define it such that it applies to all groups that believe in the supernatural and also to groups that deny the supernatural

A quick search in Dictionary.com is almost comical.

religion

noun

1.

a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purposeof the universe, especially when considered as the creationof a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing amoral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

2.

a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects

3.

the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices.

Is atheism a religion? A quick look at the definition of religion seems to affirm that it is.  Atheism is not simply saying that there is a lack of evidence.  That’s agnosticism.  Atheism is saying that after looking into the evidences that points to the existence of God, one concludes that there is no God and embraces that belief.

Many atheists are fond of going the easy way.  They want to say that there it is simply a lack of belief (ex. Bertrand Russell ; Christopher Hitchens) But that’s not atheism.  That’s agnosticism.  Agnosticism is the position where one cannot arrive at a conclusion on the existence of God but are not affirming therefore His absence.

Since atheism affirms the absence of God, they cannot shy away from the fact that they are responsible in justifying their claim.  An immediate thought comes to mind.  The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.  Even if we cannot find gold bars in Saturn, that doesn’t mean that there are no gold bars in Saturn.  There MAY be gold bars in Saturn, just that none have been able to discover it thus far.

Now what about a worldview? Is Atheism a worldview? Dictionary.com, AGAIN, seems to say that it is.

worldview

noun

a comprehensive conception or image of the universe and ofhumanity’s relation to it.

If the atheist wants to affirm that his position is neither a religion nor a worldview, he has to show convincing evidence that none of what was written here is true.  He also has to show why, a position such as atheism, is not describable with words such as worldview and religion — an impossible task… for it attempts to bend the very fabric of how words and meanings cross… and should an atheist deny his position as a worldview or religion, he consequently relinquishes his statement of any form of logical sense.

 

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