Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 9 years ago

The REAL reason atheists don't?

Ever wonder why the atheists on R&S so vehemently deny atheism is a "religion"? Because if it were to be considered one, they would fall under the rules of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constition ("Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion") and many of their goals would be legally hampered (removing "under God" from Pledge of Allegiance, "in God we trust" from money, silent prayer from schools, etc...)

But isn't that just what it is? Consider the three criteria below that was used in defining "religion" in a legal case -

Malnak v Yogi (3rd Cir.) considered whether SCI/TM (scientific creative intelligence/transcendental meditation), offered as an elective course in New Jersey public schools, was a religion. If so, offering such a course--even on an elective basis--might be unconstitutional. Those challenging the course produced evidence that instructors told students that "creative intelligence is the basis of all growth" and that getting in touch with this intelligence through mantras is the way to "oneness with the underlying reality of the universe." They also pointed out that students received personal mantras in puja ceremonies that include chanting and ritual. On the other hand, supporters of the course showed that SCI/TM put forward no absolute moral code, had no organized clergy or observed holidays, and had no ceremonies for passages such as marriage and funerals. Is SCI/TM a religion? Judge Adams of the Third Circuit applied these three criteria before answering the question in the affirmative:

1. A religion deals with issues of ultimate concern; with what makes life worth living; with basic attitudes toward fundamental problems of human existence.

2. A religion presents a comprehensive set of ideas--usually as "truth," not just theory.

3. A religion generally has surface signs (such as clergy, observed holidays, and ritual) that can be analogized to well-recognized religions.

http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conl...

So, is atheism a "religion" or not?

Update:

ooh, resorting to name calling and intelligence attacks. I had my doubts, but now I'm convinced -

Update 2:

Lady Morgana, poor dear, you think I care

25 Answers

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  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Atheism simply means you don't believe in an active supernatural God. One can fulfill the three requirements stated for religion and still be an atheist, although most atheists do not fulfill them. One can be a pantheist, new ager, or even a deist , and still consider themselves an atheist. The fact that there are few if any common practices among atheists suggest it is not generally considered a religion. As numbers increase, there seems to be organizations offering doctrine that would qualify as religion

    Source(s): Latin root of religion: religare: to tie, moore, hold fast.
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  • JBere
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    1. A religion deals with issues of ultimate concern; with what makes life worth living; with basic attitudes toward fundamental problems of human existence.

    - Nope. Atheism is a lack of belief in Gods. Atheists do not share a conviction as to what makes life worth living even though they tend to share an interest in rationality.

    2. A religion presents a comprehensive set of ideas--usually as "truth," not just theory.

    - Nope. Atheists share just one idea, that there is no God. Many atheists subscribe to a number of theories, the obvious one being Evolution, but there is no comprehensive set of ideas taken to be an unquestionable truth beyond their lack of belief.

    3. A religion generally has surface signs (such as clergy, observed holidays, and ritual) that can be analogized to well-recognized religions.

    - Nope. There are no atheist clergies, observed holidays, or rituals.

    So, 0 for 3 on atheism being a religion.

    And your basic premise, that atheists vehemently deny being a religion because they don't want first amendment issues, is wrong. The real reason is because religion is based on faith, not evidence. Atheists generally consider evidence superior to faith, and resent being accused of being the same as all the theists.

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  • 9 years ago

    You are already wrong.

    Judgments have already been made that rules atheism to be a religion, from a _legal_ point of view; which is to say atheists are protected against discrimination like any follower of theists religions.

    But that is the *legal* definition. The philosophical definition of religion makes it so that atheism cannot be a religion.

    By the way, the 3rd criteria, that of surface sign, does not apply to atheism. We clearly do not have a clergy, we do not have rituals and we certainly do not have 'atheist holidays'.

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  • 9 years ago

    Is theism a religion or not? Is the belief in God or Gods a single religion? Are Hindus and Muslims members of the same religion?

    No?

    Then perhaps atheism, too, is just a single tenet, a disbelief in deities.

    Perhaps religions, like zen buddhism, can be atheistic, but individuals without religions can also be atheists. Perhaps secular humanists, pantheists, nihilists and others can all have non belief in deities in common, while sharing little else.

    Does a person need to have a religion to believe in God(s)? Can't a non religious person be a theist?

    If you answer yes, then you must admit that no, atheism ISN'T sufficient on its own to constitute a religion. Theism and atheism are single tenets that can be held by members of religions or individuals without religions.

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  • Mercer
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    I think it doesn't really matter. What matters to me is I don't believe in god and I try to obey the laws and speak against what is not good for human beings.

    Language is often twisted and confusing. The bottom line is there is no god and that's all we need to really know, worrying endlessly about what atheism means is a waste of time. People should practice good choices and be happy because life is very short.

    Really it is not a religion although some live and breath this lifestyle.

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    "Because if it were to be considered one, they would fall under the rules of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constition ("Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion") and many of their goals would be legally hampered (removing "under God" from Pledge of Allegiance, "in God we trust" from money, silent prayer from schools, etc...)"

    Atheism already is considered a religion under the law for the purposes of First Amendment protections.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism_and_religion

    Skip to "Legal status of atheism."

    Your entire question is moot and useless. Removing religion from publicly owned property and from government endorsed events is a secular issue, not an atheistic one. The First Amendment hampers none of this. Hope you enjoyed typing all that out for nothing.

    Source(s): By the way, there is a difference between a legal definition and an actual definition. Atheism is not a religion. Get over it.
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  • 9 years ago

    Atheism is not a religion, and the ONLY reason you and your ilk want to characterize it as one is to make us mad and insult us. And how ironic it is that you choose the term "religion" as your pejorative term. Why? Because you know damn well that religion is total nonsense.

    But you cannot foist your nonsense BS on us. No matter how many times you make your ASSertion, you never succeed in making it so. You can call a banana an animal but it does not make it so. It must makes the person who says so look like a total idiot.

    So stop making your self look that way. You are on an international forum and I am sure you don't like the fact that millions of people are laughing at your preposterous claims right now at this very moment. Well, too bad, you are the one that posted this dreck. You could withdraw your post but it is really too late. We are already laughing at you.

    Lady Morgana

    edit: poor little deluded Ann, no I do not think you care. I think you suck.

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  • landin
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    don't be stupid. we live in basic terms like something of you do. some solid and a few no longer so solid. you may observe in case you have an interest in non secular issues that it took 3 hundred years to confirm that Jesus became into divine - it became right into a real concern and that they had many fights approximately it. there became into no Holy Spirit coaching as became into promised. the genuine reason is that evidently there is not any GOD.

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  • 9 years ago

    not

    re·li·gion NOUN:

    Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.

    A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.

    The life or condition of a person in a religious order.

    A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.

    A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.

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  • 9 years ago

    Not it's not a religion. It's a lack of belief in a higher power. Everything else is upto you to believe or not. I'm in Australia too so sorry but your example isn't relevant my atheist views.

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