No, I think is fundamentally untrue. Atheism would be a religion if it required its adherents to attend an un-church and un-worship God under the auspices of an un-priest - but this, if anything, would be some kind of Satanism.
Mr. Tea said:Atheism is not an active statement of belief in no-God, it is the lack of an active belief in God. It's a subtle but vital distinction.
This feels weird and confused to me, sort of straw man-ish. Who are you addressing, Swears or Martin? Are you talking about atheism as religion, which was just something random brought up by childo'blog, or about active non-belief as belief? Two very different points.
That could just as easily be agnosticism though couldn't it?
Mr. Tea said:Swears said that a lack of belief in something does not constitute a belief system, and I think I agree with that.
UFO over easy said:That could just as easily be agnosticism though couldn't it?
No, agnostics admit the possibility that there could be a god. Atheists are firmly convinced there isn't.
I was addressing Martin, who was disagreeing with Swears. Swears said that a lack of belief in something does not constitute a belief system, and I think I agree with that. I for one don't believe in God, and I don't believe there's a magical donkey who shits gold and lives in my back garden. My absence of belief in one is equivalent to my absence of belief in the other. The reason why an absence of belief in God has a specific name (while there is no such term as 'a-donkey-ism') is that the majority of people in the world do believe in a God of some kind*, whereas belief in a magic donkey is not widespread. Although if it were, it would be no less irrational and empirically unsupported.
not believing in anything (including the last statement) is based on a number of complex stances, these life stance become a belief system on which you act.
But I think that a religion is more than a belief system isn't it? It's a specific type of belief system (although probably very hard to define exactly) and I think that if you stretch the definition to include atheism and (particularly?) agnosticism then you have stretched it beyond the breaking point
Sure, and in fairness to CofB he didn't say that atheism is a religion, I read what he said as describing Dawkins' evangelicism for atheism as similar to that of religious types.
Which I took to mean that atheism is ridiculous when it's treated as a religion - I didn't read it as saying that it is a religion but I guess we'll not know for certain unless s/he comes back and clears it up."Hopefully we're all aware how ridiculous atheism as a religion is by now"
That's cool, of course, but the problem comes with your assumption that atheism is a passive thing, because that would allow for it to be confused with agnosticism in the way I tried to outline before. Agnosticism can be a passive position as well so how do you distinguish the two?
They admit the possibility, sure, but they still lack an active belief in God, which was your definition of an atheist. Surely to be 'firmly convinced' of something, you must believe it? To be passively convinced about something, even a lack of something, seems... weird.. if the conviction is there.
Ignosticism is the theological position that every other theological position (including agnosticism) assumes too much about the concept of God and many other theological concepts. The word "Ignosticism" was coined by Rabbi Sherwin Wine. It can be defined as encompassing two related views about the existence of God.
The first view is that a coherent definition of God must be presented before the question of the existence of God can be meaningfully discussed. Furthermore, if that definition cannot be falsified, the ignostic takes the theological noncognitivist position that the question of the existence of God (per that definition) is meaningless. In this case, the concept of God is not considered meaningless; the term "God" is considered meaningless.
The second view is synonymous with theological noncognitivism, and skips the step of first asking "What is meant by God?" before proclaiming the original question "Does God exist?" as meaningless.
Except that atheism is concerned with the same area of things as religion is and those other examples aren't so much.That still doesn't make it a religious activity, though, any more than someone who 'evangelises' about road safety or organic food or dubstep is taking part in a religious activity.
In any case, Christians only have to believe in the existence of one god whereas atheists have to believe in the non-existence of countless deities, therefore atheism is the more religious and faith based belief system.
After all, there's no point denying something which no-one holds to be true in the first place.
Is there equally no point affirming anything that everyone holds to be true?