A lot of times I hear people call atheism a religion.  At first I thought the definition of the word 'religion' was limited to supernatural explanations of creation.  But I now discover that even other non-theists say that the word 'religion' and has varying meaning that we can no longer as atheists say "we oppose religion" without being called-out as a religion ourselves, in turn making us hypocrites. 


This very clever device is obviously set against us using a controversial word with several different meanings....the word 'religion' is now more damning than helpful to continue being a word that describes our opposition, as now the word has expanded it's range of definition, and therefor engulfed us (atheists) in the flames of it's controversial empire of meaning.


I'm sure I'm not the only atheist in the world that's encountered this problem.  It always leaves me feeling like I did something wrong and can no longer cover one of my own bases.


In effect, it now seems more logical to me to accept the term 'religion' to describe atheists with indifference than to fight it.


Instead referring to what we used to call the "religious" as "theists"....that word can never include atheists, because it is the very antithesis of what we are.  Correct?


Any thoughts?

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Religions must have; Dogma, a deity or deities, some form of prayer and ceremonies.

Atheism, has none of those.

The argument I've heard is that since it takes as much faith to reject a god, then Atheism must use a lot of faith.

Which is, of course, utter hogwash. But since they're used to believing in an imaginary sky-pixie, they have trouble facing any kind of reality or rational thought.

Just because theists have redefined the word "religion" does not mean that it is valid.  There is a version of Christianity that insists that it is not a religion, just a "personal relationship with Jesus".  Of course, this redefines "personal relationship" as well.  What kind of relationship is there where you do all of the real talking and there is no physical manifestation?  It's like talking to your diary.
Atheism is having a personal relationship with reality.

You should put this up in the 'Quote of the Day' group. 

Well said!

"Atheism is having a personal relationship with reality."


One of the greatest sentences I have ever read in my life. Precise, accurate and stunningly to the point. Kudos. You should definitely post it in the 'Quote of the Day' group. I can't wait for the next time my religious extremist buddy tells me about his personal relationship with the creator... I may have to bait him... Is that wrong?

ohh...I like that
Yeah, that is a good one.  Did you write it?  Does someone else deserve the credit?  I ask because I have every intention of using it and want to make sure the right person gets the credit.
Wow, all very valid points indeed!  :)  I love how people can change the meaning of things to candy up their bullshit.
I don't consider atheism a religion, however when asked what my religion is, rather than saying I dont have one, I say atheism.  Why?  Because they seem to think that not having a religion = still believing in a god.  Because they have been forced to accept the idea that people SHOULD believe in a magic sky wizard, they cannot comprehend how someone DOESNT.  There is no mistake like this when I answer how I do.
I know it's old, stale, and worn out, but:  If atheism is a religion, then bald is a hair color.

doone who is Rick Warren?


I'm not answering for doone, but this is in case it saves him a little time. Rick Warren is a highly visible conservative, evangelical Christian and Creationist, who likes to engage with different political parties. My impression is that he seems like a nice, intelligent guy, kind of like Huckabee, but that just makes them more effectively dangerous. Here are a few highlights:

Wikipedia on Rick Warren

Wikipedia on Civil Forum on the Presidency

saddleback church

(whoops, almost forgot) TED Talk


By the way, without looking at previous context or possible answers, "believe in nothing" is usually equivalent to "don't believe in anything". I get your humor, too.

He is a smoother version of Jerry Falwell.


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