1. Religion & Spirituality
Send to a Friend via Email

Atheism is Not a Religion, Ideology, Belief System, Philosophy

Many Christians seem to believe that atheism is a religion, but no one with an accurate understanding of both concepts would make such a mistake. Atheism lacks every one of the characteristics of religion. At most, atheism doesn’t explicitly exclude most of them, but the same can be said for almost anything. Thus, it’s not possible to call atheism a religion. It can be part of a religion, but it can’t be a religion by itself. They are completely different categories: atheism is the absence of one particular belief while religion is a complex web of traditions and beliefs.

Myth: Atheism is a Crutch, Opiate of the Egotistical, Prepackaged Worldview
It's not uncommon for atheists to argue that religion and theism are a sort of crutch that makes it easier for people to deal with problems in life, so perhaps it's not a surprise that some might try to turn this around and argue that atheism is actually the crutch. How, though, can mere disbelief in gods act like a crutch in any manner - no...

Myth: Atheists Attack Theism & Religion Because They Deny God
Many religious theists, especially Christians, resist defining atheism as simply the absence of belief in gods. There are a variety of reasons for this, but the main one seems to be that it makes it too obvious that the burden of proof or support lies with them, not with atheists. One tactic for arguing against the standard definition of atheism...

Myth: Atheism is a Cause, Therefore Atheism is not Mere Disbelief in Gods
People see atheists involved in various forms of political or social activism and conclude that atheism itself must be some sort of belief system and cause. This myth bizarrely confuses atheism with the causes, interests, and goals of people who happen to be atheists. If an atheist promotes church/state separation, that's evidence of atheism...

Myth: Atheists Argue Against Religion, Therefore They Have a Religion
The most visible form of atheists' activism is probably arguing against the value of religion and theism. More and more atheists are standing up to not only publicly admit that they are atheists, but also to say that neither religion nor theism have anything to offer which makes them very necessary or attractive. People can not only lead good,...

Myth: Atheists are a Unified Group Trying Exert Force on Society
It is true that many atheists work together for different causes and seek some of the same sorts of changes or developments in society. Does this therefore mean that atheism is a 'belief system'? Well, that would be like saying that 'female' is a belief system because women work together for certain causes and seek some of the same changes in...

Is Atheism an Ism? Atheism is No Religion, Philosophy, Ideology, Belief System
Because of atheism's long-standing association with freethought, anti-clericalism, and dissent from religion, many people seem to assume that atheism is the same as anti-religion. This, in turn, seems to lead people to assume that atheism is itself a religion - or at least some sort of anti-religious ideology, philosophy, etc. This is incorrect....

Is Atheism a Religion? Defining Atheism and Religion
Many Christians seem to believe that atheism is a religion, but no one with a fair understanding of both concepts would make such a mistake. Because it's such a common claim, though, it's worth demonstrating the depth and breadth of the errors being made. Presented here are the characteristics which best define religions, distinguishing them...

Atheism: A View from Where? Atheism is not Culturally, Historically C…
Atheism is not a philosophy, an ideology, a religion, or a worldview. It isn't even quite a viewpoint, though it might arguably come close. Religious apologists who want to criticize atheism as if it were a philosophy have tried a variety of tactics, with one being the attempt to argue that denying that atheism is a philosophy is really an...

Myth: Atheism is a Faith Commitment to a Way of Life and Philosophy
Most attempts by religious theists to argue that atheism is a 'faith' are usually attempts to argue that atheism isn't a rational, reasoned position - or at least that it isn't any more rational and reasoned than religious theism. This myth takes a slightly different line and argues that rather than simply being the absence of belief in gods,...

Myth: Disbelief is an Act of Faith, So Atheism is a Faith Position
Some claim that disbelieving in gods an act of faith, therefore atheism is an act of faith and perhaps a religion. This depends upon misrepresentations of belief, disbelief, and atheism.

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.