Subject: Re: Atheism as religion (was Wake Up...) In article <email@example.com.Mi.US>,
Subject: Re: Atheism as religion (was Wake Up...)
In article <firstname.lastname@example.org.Mi.US>, email@example.com.Mi.US
>I'm assuming you mean any personal god by the capitalization. You're right
>again; atheism itself is not a religion. However, it seems as though
>atheists still _have_ some sort of religion.
Incorrect. Atheism, by definition, is the absence of religion.
>Whether or not anyone wants to admit it, we all have our gods. I believe
>in a personal God, but someone else might hold money and power above all
>else. Possibly another human being be the object of someone's worship
>(look at the young people at some of the rock concerts these days). Maybe
>it's leading a "good" moralistic life, or science in all its glory. Maybe,
>just maybe, it's ourself. We all put something at the center of our
>private universe, and whatever is at that center is our god.
This is an example of what I mentioned in an earlier article, of people
who like to use a fast and loose definition of "religion". When a person
says they adhere to a religion, that usually means something definite.
Granted, everyone values something in their life highly, but "religion"
has a much more specific meaning than "valuing something highly". One
does not to credit to the commonly accepted meaning of "religion" to
dilute it to mean "to value something". Atheists don't accept or care
about god, heaven, hell, prayer, souls, angels, devils, afterlives, sin,
or any of the other concepts that are singularly "religious" in nature.
>You have a god; it's simply not a person. Religion doesn't require a
>personal god, as far as I'm aware -- only something to worship.
True.. Deism, as I understand it, has no personal god. But whether one
worships a personal god or not, to have "religion" implies a certain
philosophical stance with its rituals and doctrines, which distinguish
it from atheism, does not hold that stance. To value money, for example,
in no way makes it a "religion" or "worship". A person that displays
the same zeal in earning money as another person displays in their
religion in no way implies that the person's value of money is a religous
quality. To value something is NOT the same as offering prayers and
supplication, building temples, and other religious activities. (Though
I'm tempted to include the baseball shrine in "Bull Durham") This
confusion of religious vs. non-religious aspects of one's life is proof
of nothing more than the extent to which many people have integrated
supernatural religious beliefs into their lives, superimposing it upon
every aspect of their life and philosophy, whether it has any logical
relevance or not.
Wayne Aiken firstname.lastname@example.org "You can BE what
PO Box 30904 email@example.com you WON'T!!"
Raleigh, NC 27622 StarFleet BBS --"Bob"
(919) 782-8171 (919) 782-3095
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank