Is atheism a religion?

Posted: May 31st 2007

George Ricker www

Atheism is the absence of god-belief. All else is embellishment. Atheism has no dogma, no rites, no holy books, no places of worship and no clergy of any description. It offers no moral guidance, no political opinions and no world view.

It is not a religion.

Posted: March 23rd 2009

See all questions answered by George Ricker

flagellant www

No, of course atheism isn’t a religion.

One of the best ways to demonstrate this is by analogy:

Atheism is a religion in exactly the same way as not collecting stamps is a hobby.

(Apologies to whoevever coined this succinct expression for the lack of recognition. I think it’s brilliant.)

Posted: July 16th 2007

See all questions answered by flagellant

Russell Blackford www

No, it isn’t. By itself, atheism is not even a comprehensive worldview: it is merely the absence of belief in gods, whether it be a monotheistic god, such as “God” in Christianity, or polytheistic gods such as those of the ancient Greeks.

The absence of belief in gods is compatible with many philosophies and even, strictly speaking, with some religions, though atheists usually don’t believe in supernatural beings or principles of any kind. Thus, atheists can be expected not to believe in ghosts, goblins, ghouls, and fairies, or in such things as fate or karma.

Posted: June 15th 2007

See all questions answered by Russell Blackford

bitbutter www

No atheism isn’t a religion. If it were then the list of religions we’d all be members of would be unmanageable; ateapotism, aunicornism, afairyism, awerewolfism, agoblinism etc.

Posted: June 1st 2007

See all questions answered by bitbutter


Atheism is the lack of a religion. However, some people define religion so broadly, that it can include just about any belief system, even atheism. Atheists prefer a conventional definition of religion, as actually practiced by billions of people globally – i.e. a belief in a supernatural creator that is free to intervene personally in the universe.

A second component of religion is where (part of) you survives death in some form of afterlife.

The more narrowly one defines religion, the less followers it will have. God can mean all things to all people, and the use (and misuse) of the term has produced much confusion.

Clearly, atheists deny the existence of a supernatural Creator as there is simply no evidence (and plenty of evidence to the contrary), so atheism is not religion.

Another way to define religion is to say that it consists of a (1) cosmology that explains origins and (2) an absolute moral code.

While these two aspects are inextricably interwoven in the traditional monotheistic Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam), many pre-agricultural tribes around the world do not have their cosmology myths linked to their moral codes of behaviour.

So religion can manifest itself in many forms. Despite this, atheism is clearly not a religion, as it is an absence in belief in Supreme Beings, supernatural events and a soul that survives death, or any combination of the above.

Posted: June 1st 2007

See all questions answered by RTambree


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