“Is Atheism A Religion Too?” My Succinct Answer.

“Is Atheism A Religion Too?” My Succinct Answer. March 1, 2013

A producer for a show I almost got to appear on sent me questions to feel out my positions on issues related to atheism. I am reposting my answers, edited, on the blog.

Agree of disagree: While atheism is the rejection of faith and religion, but in many ways itself has become a religion. It too has a set of beliefs. 

Atheism is not a religion any more than theism by itself amounts to a religion. Just as different theists are adherents of different religions, like Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc., and just as some theists reject organized religion altogether, so there are atheists who participate in different religions (like Universalism/Unitarianism, Wicca, Buddhism, Judaism, and some forms of Humanism, etc.) And a great number of atheists have no religion and are outright hostile to religiosity. Finally, a great many atheists, regardless of their place on the spectrum of religiosity to irreligiosity are so disconnected from any formal community or coordination with other atheists that it is completely implausible to impute to them a shared religion with other atheists.

Even to the extent that a majority of atheists might agree on any beliefs, or to the extent to which an anti-supernaturalistic view of the world philosophically might entail certain other philosophical conclusions, none of this amounts to having faith commitments. People can have systems of knowledge and belief claims without those, by themselves, making for a religion. If their beliefs are grounded in attempts to proportion their believing to evidence and if their beliefs are the result of rational scrutiny rather than dogmatic commitments, then these are not “faith-based” or inherently religious. And if their beliefs and knowledge claims are not intertwined with rituals, community, identity, or numerous other aspects of religiosity, then they remain just a philosophy and do not amount to religiosity at all.

Your Thoughts?

If you enjoy reading my philosophical blog posts, consider taking one of my online philosophy classes! I earned my PhD and taught 93 university classes before I went into business for myself. My online classes involve live, interactive class discussions with me and your fellow students held over videoconference (using Google Hangout, which downloads in just seconds). Classes involve personalized attention to your own ideas and questions. Course content winds up tailored to your interests as lively and rigorous class discussions determine where exactly we go. Classes are flexible enough to meet the needs of both beginners and students with existing philosophical background

My classes require no outside reading or homework or grades–only a once weekly 2.5 hour commitment that fits the schedules of busy people. My classes are university quality but I can offer no university credit whatsoever. New classes start up every month and you can join existing groups of students if you want. Click on the classes that interest you below and find the course descriptions, up-to-date schedules, and self-registration. 1-on-1 classes can be arranged by appointment if you write me at camelswithhammers@gmail.com.


"Demonization, in the name of a purity of ideals, is just another way of rationalizing ..."

I Stand With Liberalism Against The ..."
"Agreed 100%, these types are so far left of liberalism yet still have the temerity ..."

I Stand With Liberalism Against The ..."
"Nods--I know my daughter is using it that way. I think women are doing men ..."

I Stand With Liberalism Against The ..."
"You are most probably right.An interesting discussion on late nigh Woman's Hour BBC R4 last ..."

I Stand With Liberalism Against The ..."

Browse Our Archives

error: Content is protected !!