Are Liberalism and Atheism turning into religions?
Before you start pointing fingers at me and judging me, I'd like to identify myself as a Pantheist Atheist (which I am). I have been a 'pure' Atheist before reaching this pantheist state of mine. The reasons are long and detailed so I'm not really going to discuss them now.
My question is long if you feel bored don't mention it please.
Before I was a hardcore Antitheist Atheist. I am of a Muslim background and I was born into a place where speaking your thoughts freely are frowned upon by society. Soon under the pressure I turned against everything and became a hardcore Atheist where I keep insulting religion especially Islam. I followed Atheist thinkers and writers such as Dawkins almost blindly like all do. I believed in gay marriage, legalization of drugs, etc... But this year I watched an American talk show where an Atheist organization considered 'Merry Christmas' to be insulting. I thought to my self, why are they really caring that much about non harming details. In fact, Christmas is a nice holiday and no one really needs to take people's joy away and shun the common greeting of those days. I started thinking, if we attack religious people as harshly wouldn't this work against us?! I mean we are preventing their natural evolution and the opportunity to question things on their own. No Atheist/Agnostic I know has ever became so without starting thinking about it himself. Also, calling people sheep is quite offensive, I mean children are less smart than adults. Adults cannot call them worthless sheep. This is similar to the USSR, people were for long forced to hate religion and what is the outcome? President Putin kisses the Orthodox Patriarch's hands now. I thought, gay rights are absolutely legitimate, but I don't see any good in legalizing marijuana. So I started thinking, we are organizing like a religion and we have our own view of heresy too. I looked into history and found out that in the Roman empire and Arabia people buried their baby girls if they had too many of them. When Christianity and Islam came (with all their odds with the modern world), they prevented this, and charity and good will was strengthened. I found that religion is a natural outcome of evolution. Religion was a bright idea at it's time that grew old and angry. What are your thoughts about this? Any counter arguments are respected.
- jpopelishLv 77 years agoFavorite Answer
You still have a way to go. Atheist is not capitalized, unless it is the first word in a sentence. It is just a run of the mill adjective or common noun, not the name of an organization or group or even a dogma. It simply means 'not theist'. It deserves a capital letter no more than 'not purple' does.
Now that I got that out of my system, for the moment:
I think your earlier Muslim indoctrination may have shaped your mind to see to see atheism as an equal (in kind) alternative to theism. But it isn't. Atheism is just everything else, if you don't have any theism (belief in the reality of any hypothetical deity, that you are imagining), not just some focused alternative belief.
Anti-theism may be more like a religion than atheism, because, it is at least based on an opinion, if not a belief, that theism is evil or negative or bad in some way. None of that is included in being 'not theist'. Newborn babies are not theist, but that doesn't make them religious, in any way.
I think you should consider the concept of religion memes when thinking about religions or the alternative of having no religion. A meme is a pattern of thoughts that takes on almost a life of its own, as it moves into a mind and takes control of what that mind allows itself to think, after adopting the meme. Memes reproduce themselves in new host minds, through the communication of ideas, but in many respects, they evolve much like other parasitic organisms.
Though they may have originated as some leader's thoughts on how to live well, they eventually evolve into whatever it takes for them to survive, replicate and compete for new host minds, whether they remain good for the host or not. An atheist is someone who has not gotten infected (by luck effort, education, or by developing immunity, as in your case) with a theistic religion meme.
To get you started, I have added a link to a brief video about memes.
Congratulations for rejecting the Muslim meme that used to reside in your mind. And don't worry much about some atheists who speak out against some religious tradition. They are just trying to sensitize people about how insulting the assumption of belief can be to those not carrying that meme around.
John PopelishSource(s): "Dan Dennett: Dangerous memes" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzGjEkp772s
- Anonymous6 years ago
Ideology or any group thinking, when taking on a tribal mentality that does not question, and takes up a lot of ones own identity, is a kind of religion. Or religion is a kind of ideology depending on how you look at it. Atheist is a disbelief. Only when a person becomes part of a group and adopts a passionate set of fixed beliefs revolving around that disbelief does it become ideology and religious like. Religion, ideology, nationalism, ethnocentric, have similar attitudes.
- Anonymous7 years ago
"Are Liberalism and Atheism turning into religions?"
You'd have to give your definition of Liberalism... the USian version, yeah?
If it wasn't for Liberals you'd still have Slavery and women being treated as property.
IF we were all conservatives we'd still be living in caves WITHOUT fire for FEAR upsetting the gods of fire or some other pathetically childish reason.
There is no religion about NOT having a belief in gods.
That'd be quite insane.
"I found that religion is a natural outcome of evolution."
Religion is a implement for controlling the peasants.
Seneca: Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.
Lucretius: All religions are equally sublime to the ignorant, useful to the politician, and ridiculous to the philosopher.
For an atheist you have a LONG way to go ;)
- Mr. KauffmanLv 57 years ago
I'm sorry, but this question is too all-over-the-place and confusing.
"I believed in gay marriage, legalization of drugs, etc..."
Is this supposed to have something to do with your lack of belief in gods? Otherwise it's just a non-sequitir, floating here without rhyme or reason.
"But this year I watched an American talk show where an Atheist organization considered 'Merry Christmas' to be insulting. I thought to my self, why are they really caring that much about non harming details. In fact, Christmas is a nice holiday and no one really needs to take people's joy away and shun the common greeting of those days. I started thinking, if we attack religious people as harshly wouldn't this work against us?!"
You're using a "PC-police" stereotypical leftist to try and apply it to nonbelievers, as if our lack of belief necessarily entailed...whatever it is you're implying. In other words, you're attacking a strawman.
"I thought, gay rights are absolutely legitimate, but I don't see any good in legalizing marijuana."
Ignoring that this is (yet another) confusing non-sequitir, it doesn't matter if you see "any good" in legalizing it. If you can't see bad in it, then it has no reason to be illegal, period.
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- Mystery OwlLv 57 years ago
People with extreme views tend to get the most attention. Most atheists aren't like that, Fox News just likes to parade them around because it's a tabloid news station that benefits by getting its viewers really angry rather than giving an even-handed presentation of an issue
- Anonymous7 years ago
Liberalism is a political/social philosophy, not a religion, smart one.
Most religions contain philosophies, but most philosophies are NOT religions. It has no god, doctrine, magic/miracles, stories/legends/myths, holy text, afterlife, prophet, church/temple, etc. I have no idea where one would get the idea that it is a religion.
Atheism is just disbelieving the claims of religion.
If not having a religion is the same as having a religion, then not being a girl must be the same as being a girl and not having a million dollars must be the same as having a million dollars.
- RickLv 67 years ago
Atheists come in all stripes. You can't make too many sweeping statements about them that is likely to be accurate.
I don't know what that wall of text you wrote is really getting at, but no, atheism isn't becoming a religion. Liberalism is a political stance.
Have a nice day.
- Anonymous7 years ago
Western atheists/skeptics are discussing things in groups more, yes, but they have not and do not "organize like a religion".
You get that idea from desperate christian conservatives. That, and the anti-marijuana sentiment.
And cult members are indeed "sheep". Bah.
- 7 years ago
You would need to have a very different definition of religion to the one in the dictionary for that to be true!