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What comes after atheism?

I’ve heard it said that atheism is basically a skeptical response to religious claims. So, what if there was no religion any more, what if there was nothing to respond to any more, what if atheism would win all other points of view? Where would atheism lead us? What comes after atheism? What would you like to come after atheism?

Posted: August 18th 2011

Blaise www

Like the others have said, 'atheism’ derives its meaning from the existence of religion. If religion disappears, so does atheism. In the aftermath of religion, I would devoutly hope (pun intended) that humanity would start using rational thought and compassion as their guiding principles.

Posted: August 21st 2011

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Eric_PK

I think you’re asking the wrong question.

Nothing comes after atheism; it’s only the lack of belief in god, and if nobody believes in god it’s not relevant.

If you are asking what comes after religion, then my vote would be some sort of humanism.

Posted: August 19th 2011

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Daniel Midgley www

As long as we humans have monkey-brains, we will always believe weird things, and we will use cognitive biases to muster excuses for believing them. There will always be pseudoscience, and skeptics (including atheists) can turn their attention to them.

We can already see the future of post-religion. Even now, as most religions are in decline, people are putting their faith in new, barely-formed proto-religions like 'The Secret’ and the 'Master Key’. They work the same way religions do — wish fulfilment combined with confirmation bias. You could think of them as the mechanism of religion stripped down to essence.

Don’t worry. There will always be more to be done.

Posted: August 19th 2011

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brian thomson www

Atheism doesn’t lead anywhere as such: it’s a state, not a prescription for anything. It’s how you’re born, and it’s where you stay in the absence of religious indoctrination.

If I try to answer your question, though, I’d say that the “thing” that comes “after” atheism is humanity. I’m not simply looking forward to the end of religion alone, but to the end of all dogma, irrationality, undeserved authority, and anything else that allows man to be inhumane towards man.

Call it The Enlightenment, Part IV if you like. Part I was the ancient Greeks and Romans. Part II was the Renaissance (Copernicus, Galileo et al), Part III the 18th Century Enlightenment in France, UK etc. (Voltaire, Hume, Smith et al).

Posted: August 19th 2011

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SmartLX www

If religion went away, we’d all be atheists but we wouldn’t bother to call ourselves atheists, the way nobody bothers to declare themselves anti-slavery nowadays. We could think about other things instead.

Posted: August 19th 2011

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