Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Atheism as a 'Religion'

Atheism has no aspect in its character that one could define as religious. A religion by definition requires a set of beliefs held as a position based on faith. Indeed, if such beliefs were held without faith, then by definition they would be held on reasonable assumptions, or at worst wrong assumptions. The difference between a wrong assumption and faith, is that a position held on faith is never open to question and is simply accepted. Once you remove faith from the equation, you no longer have a religion.

Thus, by pure logic one realizes that no aspect of atheism relies on religious propositions. That is so because atheism has no connection with faith. Indeed, atheism in and of itself is not a belief position as such, rather, it is just the none acceptance of theism.

Religion is something one has to work at... It requires obeying certain 'positive' rules. Atheism on the other hand is simply a 'negative' statement against those beliefs... Therefore there is nothing to follow or do. You do not have to work at being an atheist. Indeed, the majority of atheists for the most part, do not give their atheism much thought... The only times they do is when their atheism is challenged by theists or in philosophical contemplation about their position in the universe and that kind of thing.

Saying one is an atheist is a bit like saying one breaths air and it takes about the same amount of effort. You don't think about breathing air... you just do, atheism is exactly the same.

If religion disappeared from the planet tomorrow an atheist would not lose anything... Rather, they would simply no longer need to say I'm an atheist, it would become meaningless; because there would be nothing to counter.

But what if all the atheists disappeared. Would theists be able to stop calling themselves theists... absolutely not. They would still have to work hard at holding on to their belief by following the rituals and practices. The difference is that religion relies on a 'positive' set of rules and regulations. Atheism only exists as a counter to theism. So, if an atheist lived in a World without religion, he or she would still have the heart and mind of an atheist... but would not need to use the word atheism.

An atheist looses nothing in a World that minimizes its religious hold. But the religious loose a great deal... In particular, they loose the ability to hold a position purely on faith.

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