Debate:Is atheism a religion?

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This is a debate about whether or not atheism is a religion (as can be shown by the title). Well, don't just read this sentence, go read what other people have to say and rebuttle them or back them up you dolt. Yeesh. Don't deleate what someone else has written, please.

Answer: this is not a debate topic since the answer can already be found at religion. Depending on the definition one goes by, atheism may or may not be considered a religion. --Elton 14:24, 30 April 2008 (EDT)
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Opinions are welcome. Please remember to sign your comments on this page, and refrain from editing other user's contributions.

Yes responses for: Is atheism a religion?

Atheism is a religion.[1] This is because, to a certain extent, they are worshipping something. As Christians, Jews, and Muslims are one god, atheists worship the fact that there is no god. This might sound contradicting and might make no sense, but bare with me. If you are a Christian, you take to heart the fact that Jesus was the savior of man. You believe that Jesus is the savior. However, if you are athiest, you are taking to heart the fact that there is no god. --Rocky

As an atheist, I also have to sleep denying Mohammemed, Buddha, Jesus, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It's hard, but it must also e hard for you Rocky, having your religion defined as not believing in everything but Jesus. It must also be hard taking to heart that there are no super-intelligent aliens living among us, no unicorns, and no centaurs. All of those things are believed by some in a religious sense, so what does it feel like to say "I am a Christian, defined by not believing in x,y,z,... for 10 minutes". Boy, your definition really makes sense!--Mariowhaa 02:04, 7 May 2008 (EDT)

Obviously, atheism is a religion. Once cannot scientifically prove or disprove the existance of a god. Therefore, there must be some leap of faith, to some degree, to get from agnoticism to atheism. Therefore, I consider atheism to be the belief in no gods, rather than no belief in gods. This is a religious belief. Sunyatsen 16:15, 28 May 2008 (EDT)

While you may not agree in that proof, many people believe that all evidence suggests there is no god, and that the logical position in the absence of evidence is not "there may be X or there may not be X," but rather "there is no X unless you can prove X." In other words, it depends on what you consider to be the "default" position on matters of existence. You are not an agnostic when it comes to magical teapots in outer space, you are an atheist... you would say "there is no teapot out there unless you can prove it." In the same way, many individuals feel that "maybe there's a god" is not a reasonable position in the absence of anything to suggest there might be.--Tom Moorefiat justitia ruat coelum 16:19, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
The belief that there is no God may be a religious belief, but a religious belief is not necessarily a religion. Belief in angels is a religious belief, but there is no religion of angelism. Dadsnagem2 16:27, 28 May 2008 (EDT)

When atheists don't believe in God (or believe there is no God), they believe in something else - all people believe in something. It may not be an official religion, but at least this is religious (believe in something).Kmcheng 16:45, 25 December 2008 (EST)

Your quote "all people believe in something" illustrates your ignorance about atheists and their lack of belief. The purpose of atheism is precisely NOT to believe in something. Jpope14 13:38, 26 June 2012 (EDT)

No responses for: Is atheism a religion?

Atheism does not fit the definition of religion:

1.a. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe. b. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.

2. The life or condition of a person in a religious order. 3. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.

4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.[2]

One could argue that for some atheists atheism fits definition number four, but that is really a metaphorical usage of the word. Dadsnagem2 14:35, 30 April 2008 (EDT)

To call Atheism a religion would mean you would also have to say that christianity is not a religion because a christian does not believe in, say, Odin.

"Atheism is a belief the same way that not collecting stamps is a hobby." (Overheard on another forum) --Gulik5 20:41, 30 April 2008 (EDT)

In the same vein: "Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair color." --Don Hirschberg Dadsnagem2 11:17, 1 May 2008 (EDT)

No, although there have been Atheistic quasi-religions, such as the positivist 'Church of Humanity' in the late 19th/early 20th century. Bugler 11:18, 1 May 2008 (EDT)

Atheism is defined as the disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings. If you consider the disbelief in god/gods to be a religion, then you can also say that Christians have more than one religion because they don’t believe in the Greek god Zeus or in Allah, the Muslim God. Basically, all Christians are then both Christian and Atheist. --Atheistftw 11:03, 6 July 2008 (EDT)

"We are all atheists I just happen to believe in one less god than you"-I forget who said it but I feel it sums up this debate quite well--DerikJ 10:02, 27 February 2010 (EST)

Atheism's lack of belief in a God is no more religious than Christianity's disbelief in any other god is religious. What makes belief religious is positive belief in a deity, not negative belief about other deities. Jpope14 13:37, 26 June 2012 (EDT)

Atheism is the rejection of religion. By definition, it cannot be a religion. Someone in the yes column said that atheism was a religion because atheists take to heart that there is no god. But that is the exact opposite of what atheism actually is. There is no taking anything to heart.

You see the quotes about "atheism is a religion like..." think about this: "atheism is a religion like theism is a religion" I think that people who are atheists might have a religion that involves there not being a god, but in a general sense atheism is not a religion. I would go as far to say atheism is the lack of a clearly defined religion. But that is not to say that atheists make statements about their beliefs, it's just that atheism isn't their religion. --Mdamber 11:08, 1 June 2013 (EDT)

No, even though some like the unpleasant Richard Dawkins push it as fervently as any religious fundamentalist does. Most, I would go far as nearly all, simply don't care. They do not believe in God and have no interest in religion whatsoever.--Patmac 11:35, 1 June 2013 (EDT)

Not believing in something is not a religion. Is not believing in reincarnation a religion? Whether one believes in god(s) or not can be an element of one's religious opinion(s) but it is not, as such, a religion.--10parsecs 19:35, 21 December 2015 (CST)

It's definitely not a religion. As the person who made the first post pointed out, aside from obviously believing in a deity, other key factors to a religion involve a belief in a higher power, not to mention supernatural powers, and also the belief in an afterlife, whereas atheists do not believe in ANY of that stuff. Even Buddhism, while technically not having a god per-se, does at least endorse supernatural elements, and also believes in an afterlife, so it still counts as a religion in that sense. So whenever I hear Conservapedia claiming that atheism is a religion as if it were fact, I get a bit irritated. Even worshipping comic book characters or Jedi comes far closer to an actual religion than atheism does, since at least they are explicitly worshipping people who have supernatural abilities (ie, abilities no human can naturally do without the aid of technology or, heck, even with the aid of technology). And this is someone who actually follows Catholicism and believes in God, at least believing that He exists (though I'll admit I might not have the best relationship with him, viewing him more as someone to be downright terrified of). The most you can say about atheism is that it's a belief system, which you don't even need a religion to have a belief system. Nihilists are also a belief system, but you sure as heck can't say they're religious, believing nothing actually matters. Pokeria1 (talk) 08:22, 11 June 2019 (EDT)

Impossible to say responses for: Is atheism a religion?

Lacking a concrete definition of "religion," it is impossible to say whether or not atheism is a religion. The first step in this debate should be to determine such a definition. And in this case, that's probably also the last step.

  • A religion is a set of beliefs designed to explain natural phenomena. Atheism is not a religion.
  • A religion is a worldview. Atheism is a religion.

And so on. So before you try to answer this, preface your argument with your definition of "religion."--Tom Moorefiat justitia ruat coelum 16:22, 28 May 2008 (EDT)

Well, first one have to define which form of atheism are we talking about here. Without a clear definition it's impossible to claim that either points are valid. Atheism, a-theos-ismos, is nothing more than "living without God(s)".

Does the idea of living without God(s) constitute having a religion? No, most definitely not! Living without God is no more a religion than living without a dog is a religion.

But that doesn't mean that certain types of atheism isn't religions. The Atheism that has built up around Idols such as Richard Dawkins, and his like, most definitely fits the criteria for a religion. It's clearly a charismatic movement too, and due to its fundamental core beliefs and its organization in semi-indepentant cells, it can also be considered a dangerous religion. In the end there are only one type of organization that organize in such a manner, and that are fanatics of different types, such as for example terrorist groups. Now, I am not stating that Dawkins' Atheists are an organization that would spread death and destruction around them, just that they operate in a similar manner as such groups that does these deeds. Also, I do not say that they are not terrorists either, as anyone who has discussed Atheism with any of these people can witness to, they certainly gang up as terrorists in any place where ideas bordering on their religion are breached. And they are just as fanatic in their ways as any other similar group.

So, is atheism a religion? No, but certain groups of fanatic Atheists most definitely do adhere to a religion with a certain commonality.
--Koppadasao (talk) 17:35, 7 November 2018 (EST)

Sorry, I don't see that as a religion at all. Until Richard Dawkins does something like, say, pull the stunts Lex Luthor pulled when he got a superman serum at the electric chair, or even pull the stunts Neo did in The Matrix Revolutions, or what Kefka does in Final Fantasy VI, or what the Jedi and Sith do in Star Wars, he is absolutely not a god of any sort. He may have a following, but he's still no god. Heck, I wouldn't even call government a god precisely because it doesn't utilize supernatural abilities, which is my main qualifier other than maybe an afterlife. Pokeria1 (talk) 08:29, 11 June 2019 (EDT)

What constitutes a religion?

See also: Atheism is a religion and Religion

What constitutes a religion: any system of attitudes, practices, principles, requiring an adherence to belief in and faith of an order of actions. Whether they be theistic or non-theistic in their origins. An atheist is thereby conforming to religious principles. You can also look up the definition of 'Religion' in conservapedia to help explain the meaning of the word. Unfortunately atheists detest the application of the word 'Religion' that they exclusively like to apply only to theistic beliefs such as Judaism, Christianity, ...etc. Therefore the reason for the liberal redifining of the term. To the atheist, this is a derogatory term meant to only apply to others and rejected for the use to their own set of beliefs. This can be argued is why when someone mentions the "R" word it is accepted they are describing Judaism, Christianity, and not the secular world.--Roopilots6 12:22, 28 June 2008 (EDT)

"... requiring an adherence to belief in and faith of an order of actions" assumes that Atheism has this. It instead has a LACK of this. So how can you claim that it is a religion?

The word "religion" has no settled definition. The religious scholar Wilfred Cantwell Smith, in his book _The Meaning and End of Religion_ even found in his research that the word - and the idea - is a relatively recent invention of the West. Then there are things like "Christian Atheism." Look it up! The US Supreme Court has said that anything that occupies a "parallel" importance in someone's life as god-belief-theology does in believers' lives is, legally, entitled to the same protections as any recognized or traditional religion. 10parsecs 22:16, 21 December 2015 (CST)


  1. Atheism is a religion
  2. "religion." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 30 Apr. 2008. <>.