If you’re one of those religious people who wants to try and tell me that being atheistic is a form of religion, this is what I have to say to you.

Here’s what the Merriam-Webster dictionary says in regard to religion:
re·li·gion
[ri-lij-uhn]
noun
1.a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral 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: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
3.the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.

I think if you make this argument. you don’t know quite what religion is defined as – but you can’t define it without it already having a set code of rules that a group of people follows and have agreed on in order to be a part of the religion as well as a way to try to explain the universe. Atheists have no such written rule-book. We have no rituals or beliefs that exist solely on the basis of being atheists. We don’t worship. So what is it about atheism that makes it a religion to some people? I feel like this really is just one of those things people say to make it seem like we’re talking about two similar things, and we’re just not.

My beliefs are more rooted in rigorous scientific testing with proof and evidence to back it up, coupled with logic that tears down any hope of the bible describing an all-powerful, all-knowing, loving being. All you have is a lot of really old documents with no credible sources to suggest that anything in them ever happened. Your source of information reads more like a story book than any book containing factual information. So again, how does what you believe even compare in terms of them being in the same field of study? Yes, both concern religion, but both ARE NOT religion.

Religious beliefs depend upon your faith, so all beliefs rooted in religion aren’t backed by anything other than the words in your holy book. Whereas I can say things and provide proof that your arguments or wrong or even rather that his or right. You can introduce philosophy into it any way you want and ask a million ‘what if’ questions, but your beliefs are still rooted in religion and lack evidence rather than in science and with proof. Religion and scientific beliefs are by no means derived in the same ways. If I wanted to be religious, I would be – but I’m not. Am I saying I’m scientific? Yeah, I suppose so – I’m not claiming to have endless bounds of scientific knowledge but science is the only thing that’s been able to explain the world to me without having to just take things on faith in the way that religion requires you to. Atheism wouldn’t exist without the existence of theism, that’s true, but that doesn’t make it a religion any more than a lack of a belief in any other mythological being would be a religion, like Santa, for example. Christians who don’t believe in Santa aren’t religious about it, they just don’t believe in it. The fact that my non-belief in religion would lead me to come up with other explanations of the world doesn’t make whatever explanation I come up with a religion.

You can’t just bend the definitions of something to try and make someone’s argument seem as if it’s on the same playing field as yours is. I emphasize that because this almost always come up toward the end of a discussion when I say something along the lines of people not wanting to consider the other side of the argument because their beliefs are so immersed in religion. Simply, my beliefs and yours aren’t the same, and my beliefs about the world are certainly not qualified as religious (big bang theory, evolution, all the stuff I always talk about) – they satisfy the first part of the definition given by attempting to explain the world but fail to fully conform to the ENTIRE definition of religion .Just in the way a school bus is yellow, and so is a baby duck, but just because they share one characteristic they obviously have other properties that would define them as two separate things.
Religion doesn’t really have much to do with science or gathering proof or valid historical data to back it up. Atheism has nothing to do with religious practices if you’re only looking at the core belief itself and not the topics of discussion that surround it. My beliefs have EVERYTHING to do with proof and evidence and looking at (reliable, very, very key word) historical documents. Religion doesn’t require proof, only faith, and that’s the key difference between where my views come from and anyone who would say this to me.

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About thatcatkatie
I came to this site to discuss my beliefs, and yours too, and hopefully learn some things from my fellow human beings.

6 Responses to If you’re one of those religious people who wants to try and tell me that being atheistic is a form of religion, this is what I have to say to you.

  1. I think the truly non-religious are agnostics. We used to have lengthy discussions about this when I was studying theology. At the end we all decided (based on researching the top sociologists of religion) that to be religious one asks themselves the religious question “is there more to life than this?” and Finds an answer. Because no one has empirical knowledge proving that there is or there isn’t, they only believe what they believe with the proof that they have.
    Anyways, that’s what the sociologists of religion have determined and what we learned from them. Not trying to stoke your fire, just thought I’d comment.

    • thatcatkatie says:

      But the argument you make is more of a philosophical understanding of how religion feels rather than what it really is.
      I’m tired of the argument that you can’t prove that God’s not there. I can’t prove God isn’t around anymore than I can absolutely prove that (and I’m sure you’ve heard this argument before) there’s a flying spaghetti monster out there somewhere in our solar system watching over us. Just because I can’t prove it isn’t there, does that mean it’s there? Absolutely not. It’s just illogical to fall back on that argument.
      Not to say I don’t appreciate your input, but a “perspective” doesn’t really define a definition, nor does it acknowledge the very vast, key differences between atheism and any religion.

      • That’s the thing though. You can’t prove it and yet, you believe it. That’s the base of the definition you gave for religion. Not having proof, but still believing. Anyway, that’s what the top sociologists or religion have concluded and I agree. Indifference is the opposite of passion, not hatred or dislike.
        I wonder though why does it mean so much to you not to be associated with religion even if it really does reflect your exact beliefs? Just genuinely curious.

        • thatcatkatie says:

          It doesn’t, I just am tired of people saying it to try to say that my views in the world are based on faith like theirs. I used to have faith, there’s a very clear and definitive difference for the understanding of the world I have now. It isn’t based on faith at all but everything science has shown me, proved to me, and given me tangible evidence for.

  2. goldheathen says:

    Not only does religion not require proof, it actually dismisses proof as a valid measuring stick of fact. (Unless of course it’s “proof” in said religion’s favor) This is the primary difference between faith and real knowledge. I couldn’t agree more with this post. Thanks for sharing.

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