Another example of how Atheism is a religion…

Uncommon Descent posted this bit about Adam Rutherford’s comments on Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life: Adam Rutherford on his atheists’ Holy Book.

I blogged in the past about the religious overtones of Atheism, and how those within it’s own ranks even see the connection, though are usually loathe to admit it.   Church of the New Atheists was my previous post, which explores the odd idea of Atheist “church,” and the fact that many atheists, especially online, love to proselytize their religion.


Filed under Atheism, Origins

21 responses to “Another example of how Atheism is a religion…

  1. That’s an example of how atheism can be incorporated into a religion-like organization.

    So? What’s your point?

  2. Kliska

    My point is abundantly clear; Atheism is indeed a religious belief that has become a religion. Read my previous linked blog post for more info; it now has at least one Holy Book, several churches, proselytizers, preachers, etc… If you didn’t know, there are those from the atheist camp that throw a hiss if it is hinted at that atheism is a religion. Even Poe’s law can now be applied to it.

  3. Let’s say that you’re right and atheism has become a religion.


  4. Kliska

    Why do you feel there has to be a “so?” That point, if it were established, is plenty informative on it’s own.

    One of the ideas held by most atheists is that atheism rejects religion…in fact, many vocal atheists “hate” religion, and “religious” people. They consider any religion a form a brainwashing. It’s an interesting, and ironic, twist that atheism itself has indeed become a religion. Faith plays a role as well; atheists have just as much faith as believers, though they are usually loathe to admit that too; their faith is just placed in different things.

  5. dwilli58

    I wrote a post on this subject, as merely a question, over a month ago, and boy did I get atheists rushing to squelch even the mere suggestion that they may be religious! It verges on the paranoid! I guess if I hated anything as much as atheists hate believers and God, then I might also freak-out when someone suggests that I am religious in my unbelief?!

  6. From what I can tell about atheism, it’s a faith in inevitable non-existence, and therefore non-accountability for one’s actions. This is apparently interpreted as “freedom from guilt” of deciding good and evil for oneself. It’s a denial of any basis of conscience, allowing one to live as a hypocrite – ie: acting as if doing right or wrong mattered, but knowing it really doesn’t. That’s a contradiction that would tear most apart without some form of self-delusion firmly in place.

  7. aslansmane

    Morsecode – I believe that Kliska has answered your So questions and made her point quiet well. The title on your web page says “Suddenly Atheist”. That would be the same as saying — suddenly I have a particular system of faith and worship.

  8. “One of the ideas held by most atheists is that atheism rejects religion”

    Well, we reject the claims made by religions. We reject dogma. We reject unquestioning obedience.

    A group of people who think alike joining an organization…what’s wrong with that?

    Faith has no role in atheism.

    Do you need faith to not believe in leprechauns? No. And you don’t need faith not to believe in god.

  9. Kliska

    No, you actually don’t reject dogma, nor unquestioning obedience. The evidence does not back up your claims. Atheism, especially the new brand of fundamentalist atheism has plenty of dogma and demands absolute obedience to the fundamental philosophy of naturalism…woe be to anyone, even agnostics, who question naturalism, or Darwinism for that matter.

    Nothing is wrong with joining an organization, no one ever claimed otherwise.

    Faith has a staring role in atheism. Faith in nature, faith in science, faith in the laws of physics, faith in the idea of there not being a God, nor an afterlife…faith in the ability of oneself either to choose to do good acts or bad acts, etc… etc… etc…

    You absolutely need faith, blind faith at that, to not believe in God. The evidence points directly to Him, I hope you come to know Him, especially through His Son, Jesus Christ. I can tell you flat out that Faith in God, confidence and trust in Him, is absolutely built on evidence, both objective and subjective, as well as logic.

  10. Aspentroll

    Kliska stated:
    “One of the ideas held by most atheists is that atheism rejects religion…in fact, many vocal atheists “hate” religion, and “religious” people. They consider any religion a form a brainwashing. It’s an interesting, and ironic, twist that atheism itself has indeed become a religion. Faith plays a role as well; atheists have just as much faith as believers, though they are usually loathe to admit that too; their faith is just placed in different things.”

    I’m 74 years of age and have been an atheist for as long as I can remember. Atheism does reject religion because common sense dictates that talking snakes, walking on water, virgin birth, coming back from the dead, to name a few myths, are not provable and hugely unlikely. In fact the whole bible is suspect for what it claims, at least to clear thinking people.
    As for hating religion and religious people, I’m a little more advanced than that. Even tho I’m surrounded by people who want to tell me that I’m going to hell because
    I’m an non-believer, I only wonder about their sanity and
    wish they they could just shut up.

    The only faith that I hold is that maybe someday everyone will stop believing in ghosts, goblins and omni-everything
    entities who they say control their lives. Not to mention
    the fact that if some over zealous Christian with his finger on the button in the White House decided that he wanted to start “End Times” or the rapture, we ( the world in general) could all be in serious trouble. I have faith that
    that wouldn’t happen.

    My atheism is certainly not a religion, I just don’t believe in the boogey man, tooth fairies, Santa Clause and whatever other fantasies abnormally religious folk may have.

    The only reason I even answered your blog is to try and set you straight about your ridiculous statements. If you want to call that hate, then go for it. But hate goes both ways. Geo. Bush Sr. stated that atheists shouldn’t be considered citizens of the US and that they should not be allowed to be in government. You talk about hate, how about the way Christianity acknowledges homosexuality,
    stem cell research, pro-choice for women and even women themselves. Take a good look in the mirror, my friend and be sure you still like what you see.

  11. Kliska

    ‘troll; I would normally not post your comments, but for some reason, I feel enough searching in your post to reply. As I teach regularly in logic, sometimes what some people consider to be “common sense” simply is not sense at all; it is actually factually wrong and also illogical.

    I’m sorry that you’ve not met someone yet that can answer whatever questions you feel have remained unanswered about God, or that some Christians have misused you in some manner. If you have respectful questions you’d like answered, feel free to use the “contact” tab at the top and I may do a blog post in reply. I can assure you that Christianity and Christ Himself stands up to all scrutiny including logical, historical, etc… It is worth your while to learn of Him, even if you can’t stand the label “Christian.”

    You can be skeptical of what the Bible claims, but you should also be honest enough and care enough about the truth to give it a fair shake, and do research; the Bible stands up to historical scrutiny, prophetic scrutiny, archaeological scrutiny, it is internally and externally consistent, etc… As for people telling you you’re going to Hell, that’s sad because we are not the judge of you, but God is. You going to either Heaven or Hell is between you and Him. I can tell you how to have a relationship with the Creator of all things, and how to secure your eternal relationship with Him, and that is through His Son. If you want to find fault with us mere human Christians, you will be able to, each and every one of us, especially including me…but there is no fault to be found in Him. Turn to Him, not religion or other mere humans.

    As for “insanity,” I’m a licensed Counselor, my Masters degree is in Counseling Psychology, and my husband, The ‘Shrink, is a fully licensed Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist. It is not insanity to believe the Truth, to follow logic and evidence, to recognize right and wrong, and our place in this world.

    Christians have been in the White House a majority of the time, and thus far your odd scenario has not occurred, any true Christian knows that we have no control over when Christ decides to return, though we know that He will. God is in control of all things, we are to watch and wait, and have faith.

    I don’t think that the only reason you “answered” my blog is to “set me straight.” Maybe it is, but maybe it’s not. I don’t mind if you hate me, I don’t believe you do, but that is irrelevant. My friend, I look in the mirror and despise what I see, because I’m a sinner just like everyone else, but I also recognize that I am made in the image of God, as are you, as are homosexuals, women who have had abortions, the babies killed by abortions, and every other human being on the face of the planet. When I look in that mirror and realize I’m a sinner, I also acknowledge that Christ was not, and that He suffered for my sake, and yours. I recognize that I’m a child of the King, not perfect, but forgiven and put right with God because of His Son. The Lord plainly teaches us to love Him, and love our neighbors, which includes prostitutes, liars, adulterers, homosexuals, murderers, etc… of which we all are on some very real level.

    I want you to know that even though you claim not to believe in God, that He is there. He hears you, that I promise. If you are ever scared, or alone, and feel the pull to call out to Him, He’s there, and He’ll listen. Thank you very much for your comments!

  12. “You talk about hate, how about the way Christianity acknowledges homosexuality,
    stem cell research, pro-choice for women and even women themselves. ”

    By whose authority do you judge these things? The atheist god? Apparently there must be one, because you are appealing to some hypothetical standard of right and wrong.

  13. Kliska

    Folks, I realize this is a hot topic, and I do enjoy conversation, but please do read my “Respect” page for my rules and regs; how not to get your comment deleted. Thanks!

  14. aslansmane

    Kliska — your ability to logically cover apologetic issues is impressive — I think a God give talent. Matthew tell us that true Christians will be known by their actions, not merely by their profession, reminding them that absolutely no one lives without sinning at all.

    The important thing to remember is that no one, no matter how persuasive, can force anyone to believe anything they don’t want to believe. No matter what the evidence, no matter what the argument, people will believe what they want to believe. This is true for both sides, since the angry antiChristian types are some of the least tolerant people around. But conviction is not a Christian’s job. The Holy Spirit convicts people, and they choose whether or not to believe. What we can do is present ourselves in a way that is as Christ-like as possible. Most of the “beating up” that Christianity endures involves actions that are not in line with Biblical teachings, or arguments that are deliberately twisted. It is sad that there are many atheists who have read the entire Bible, word for word, looking for ammunition to throw at Christians, and that there are many Christians who have hardly read the Bible at all.

    It’s hard for the angry crowd to accuse a Christian of being a hateful, cruel bigot when that person demonstrates a life of kindness, humility, and compassion. When a Christian can discuss, debate or debunk secular arguments accurately, the label of “ignorant” no longer fits. A Christian who has read the arguments of the secular crowd, and can politely point out their flaws, helps to deflate the stereotype pushed by the vocal atheists. Knowledge is the weapon, and it is invincible when we let Christ direct us in how to use it.

    Warm Regards in Christ,


  15. Kliska

    Robin, I agree completely. We are also directed in scripture itself to present a reason for the hope that is in us, and to contend for the faith, if done in love and Truth, and not just for argument’s sake.

    May God help us all in following His will in the way that He intended, share His love, mercy, goodness, good news, AND justice with others, and not to skew it with our own human foibles.

    Grace and Peace,

  16. dwilli58

    I would also add that Jesus, as our example, did not argue with people, which I need to remember every minute! As you have said, Robin and Kliska, arguing is only serving the portion of us that is not like Christ!

    “I believe, therefore I speak!” Once we have spoken and been rejected, then we should simply kick the sand from our sandals and move on! God, help me to put into practice this truth!!!!

  17. Kliska

    The Lord was all about the questions…you’ll notice in scripture when the trolls of His day tried to trap Him either with questions or arguments, He’d ask them a question that usually shut everyone up.

    Mark 11:27 And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders, 28 And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things? 29 And Jesus answered and said unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me. 31 And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him? 32 But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed. 33 And they answered and said unto Jesus, We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.

    Matthew 22:41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. 43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, 44 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? 45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? 46 And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.

    I love The Lord…I think these examples would be fodder for another post on more trolls in Biblical times…sometime soon.

  18. Peace on Earth

    Hi there. My response to this will have to be brief as I’m rather busy at the moment but I’ll try and post a more detailed response later. For now I’ll limit myself to replies to other posts that caught my eye.

    Dwilli58 said “…I guess if I hated anything as much as atheists hate believers and God…”

    Well, I don’t recognise this characterisation at all. I’m one atheist who doesn’t hate believers. Both of my parents for example are deeply religious people and I’m personally offended at the suggestion that I hate them; I love them! Very few of the friends that I made as an active Christian have chosen to have nothing more to do with me because of my rejection of the truth claims of Christianity. I don’t hate them either, in fact I’m very fond of them. I find it hard to think of anyone that I truly hate. I can think of bad people who I wouldn’t want to associate myself with, but I’d probably stop short of saying I hated even them (I’m thinking of the Bin Ladens of this world). I doubt that I’m a particularly unusual atheist in this respect. In short, I’m suggesting that you’re mistaken in your assertion that atheists hate believers. This seems to me to be a sweeping generalisation. I dare say there are individual atheists who might hate believers, but I think they are very far from the average atheist. I dare say that some religious people would admit to hating atheists, but it would be equally wrong to assert from this that all religious people hate atheists.

    As for hating God, well as I no longer believe in God it seems absurd to suggest that I hate Him. It would be like saying that I hate fire-breathing dragons.

    Kliska said “Atheism, especially the new brand of fundamentalist atheism has plenty of dogma and demands absolute obedience to the fundamental philosophy of naturalism…woe be to anyone, even agnostics, who question naturalism, or Darwinism for that matter…You absolutely need faith, blind faith at that, to not believe in God.”

    What happens to an atheist who dissents from the “dogma” of the new atheists? Are they killed for apostasy? Are they ostracised by their families? Of course not! I’m honestly not sure what you’re referring to when you speak of the “blind faith” of atheists. Darwinism requires no faith. It is supported by masses of scientific evidence. If the scientific evidence turned overwhelmingly against evolution by natural selection and pointed elsewhere then I’d accept the findings of this new, (non-existent but hypothetical) evidence. And, in order to accept these conjectured new findings, I would have no need of faith, merely scientific evidence. The need for faith arises in the absence of evidence. Who would need to have faith if they had incontrovertible proof?
    Kliska continued: “The evidence points directly to Him, I hope you come to know Him, especially through His Son, Jesus Christ. I can tell you flat out that Faith in God, confidence and trust in Him, is absolutely built on evidence, both objective and subjective, as well as logic.”

    Well ok, what’s the evidence that points directly to a being I can’t see, can’t hear and who doesn’t make Himself known to us in anyway? Is it even possible that there could be ‘direct’ evidence of such a being? No, that’s why belief in such a being requires faith, not necessarily blind faith, but faith all the same. Whilst I can accept that your faith in God is supported by ‘evidence’ as well as ‘logic’ I cannot accept that the same is true of all believers. But simply telling me this “flat out” doesn’t convince. I need evidence in support of that statement before I could have any faith in it!

    I’ll turn my attention towards why I think atheism cannot accurately be described as a religion in my next submission.



    • Kliska

      Gareth, First, I do believe that non-believers may not “hate” God; but they certainly reject Him. I’ve no doubt about it. You see, evidence isn’t really the issue, it’s more of a “heart” issue. Evidence is all around us, in us, etc… It’s the decisions we make based upon that evidence that matter. Now, I’ve given several evidences for God through my blog, stick around and read up on my “Apologetics” section for more. God has absolutely made Himself known to you and everyone else. What often happens is that no matter what kind of evidence is given to someone, they refuse to count it as evidence. Often, the problem is this; the non-believer wants to be forced into belief, but that will never happen. God does not force Himself on anyone. So, He knows you intimately and will not force you to trust or love Him, but He does offer just enough evidence where a decision can be made. Respond to Him and the evidence He gives in faith, or reject it, deny it, and deny Him.

      And, of course Darwinianism, atheism, etc… requires faith, especially in fallible man, as well as faulty science, and also faith that life can somehow, without outside intervention, come from unliving matter…no, I’m not going off on that tangent in the comments section. And, yes, if an atheist denies a dogma of the atheist belief system they are indeed attacked. There have been evolutionists who start to question the theory that are raked over the coals, and there have been agnostics who have lost their job for mentioning intelligent design, for example. Just because an atheist isn’t killed, what does that prove? I’ve not killed someone who questions my religious beliefs, and Jesus clearly taught that we are not to do so. I have distant family members who question, or who are outright atheists, no shunning there either. The fact is, though, that there are repercussions to those who go against the atheist faith, especially from the inside.

  19. Peace on Earth

    Hello again,

    Why do I feel that it is inaccurate to categorise atheism as a religion? I’ll need to explain what I mean by ‘religion’ in order to try and demonstrate why I don’t think atheism can fall within this category.

    Defining religion is notoriously difficult. Trying to distil into one brief sentence the vast array of beliefs and practices, amongst other things, encompassed by this word will inevitably lead to overlooking many who are recognisably religious. For example, if we define religion in terms of a belief in a God or gods we would exclude a majority of the world’s Buddhists (who do not believe in any gods) from our definition. I hope we would all recognise that a definition of ‘religion’ that does not include Buddhism is an incomplete definition. There is no one single defining characteristic of ‘religion’. We need instead to identify a range of different aspects, or dimensions, of ‘religion’. If most or all of these key features can be identified then we can be sure that we have a legitimate example of ‘religion’.

    So one key (though, as we have seen, not essential) feature or dimension of religion is a belief in a God or Gods. As atheism explicitly denies the existence of such a Being or beings it cannot be said to exhibit this particular feature of ‘religion’, but this alone is not enough to exclude atheism from the category of ‘religion’.

    Another dimension in common to many religions is the enactment of certain identifiably ‘religious’ behaviours such as praying, worshipping, meditating, etc. Again there are no such required behaviours for atheists to fulfil that could be said to be the equivalent of praying etc.

    Clearly there is an ethical dimension to the world’s great religions. Indeed we frequently hear talk of ‘Christian ethics’, or ‘Buddhist ethics’ and so on. But there is no atheist code of ethics that I am aware of. I do not say that all atheists are silent on the matter of ethics, but rather that there is no specifically and identifiably atheist code of ethics. Atheists are a disparate and divided lot, independent-minded by nature and given to agreeing with one another about the existence of God and disagreeing with each other on just about every thing else. Dawkins thinks that it is a kind of compliment that organising atheists has been likened to ‘herding cats’. For an example of this consider his huge and irreconcilable political differences with Britain’s other notable atheist, Christopher Hitchens, on the matter of the Iraq war, the war on terror, or indeed hardly any political issue you may care to mention. Hitchens is an unorthodox neo-con and Dawkins is a left-leaning liberal. Much the same divisions can be observed amongst atheists on ethical issues. To return to Dawkins and Hitchens for example, the former is ‘pro-choice’ and the latter ‘pro-life’. In any case no atheists that I’m aware of turn to either Dawkins or Hitchens when considering ethical dilemmas, and they have no shared ethical handbook to consult. Once again atheism is excluded from this particular dimension of religion.

    Most religions are based in part upon a great founding-myth contained within an ancient text, which generally also doubles as the ‘ethical handbook’ mentioned above. I need not list these; they are well-known. There are, of course, no ancient founding-myths concerning significant historical persons or gods within atheism; atheism has no sacred texts or scripture. It seems to me to that religious believers insult their own sacred texts when they suggest that ‘The God Delusion’ is the atheists’ equivalent of their holy books.

    So, atheism has no sacred texts, indeed it has no concept of the ‘sacred’. There is no ground that could truly be said to be holy-ground to an atheist. For atheists, there are no words or texts that are sacred, or that require reverence or a greater respect. For an atheist, the Bible deserves no more (or less) respect than, say, Homer’s Iliad. An example might help to illustrate this point. No doubt if some fool were to make an even greater idiot of himself by publicly vandalising or destroying a Bible many would raise their voices in complaint, including myself. However, unlike some of my hypothetical Christian fellow-complainers, I would not feel that this fool had committed an act of desecration, for I hold nothing ‘sacred’ in that sense of the word. When the biologist P Z Myers recently destroyed a copy of ‘The God Delusion’, not one atheist-voice was raised in complaint. To an atheist there are no ‘sacred cows’, and blasphemy is a victimless crime.

    It is certainly true that there are plenty of clever Christians who have been asserting that atheism is a religion, and I’m prepared to believe that some of them genuinely believe this to be the case. However, for the reasons outlined above, this is a point of view that I do not share. Of course, the features or dimensions of religion that I’ve identified may not concur with your own identifying characteristics of religion. I have to say that if you think a contrived applicability of Poe’s law to atheism qualifies it, then I certainly choose different dimensions than you. There is no shortage of scholarly definitions of religion, but atheism would not accurately be included in any of those that I am familiar with; not Malinowski’s anthropological definition, Durkheim’s sociological definition, Eliade’s historical definition, Smart’s phenomenological definition, or Sharpe’s definition within ‘comparative religion’. All of these would exclude atheism from the category of ‘religion’, and so I put it to you that this is because atheism is not a religion.

    Of course, learning that you consider atheism to be a religion partially explains why you consider the term ‘fundamentalist atheist’ to have merit. Perhaps this goes further in explaining why I think it does not.

    Sorry to see that you’re ill. I hope you’re feeling better soon.



    • Kliska

      Gareth, In short, you know very well that this example of Poe’s Law applied to atheism/Darwinian evolution isn’t the only reason I, and others like me, claim that atheism has indeed become a religion. Needless to say, if you are set in your perspective, I won’t be able to change your mind. If one looks at the state of atheism at this point in time, one can clearly see it has morphed over time. Slowly but surely it has started to acquire all the trappings of religion, which in no way surprises me. If mankind denies its creator, they usually try to find something, anything to fill that void; false religions, drugs, sex, money, power, etc…

      Along with that, nothing I can say past what I’ve already said will convince you that Dawkins does indeed represent a fundamentalist stance on evolution/atheism. That’s a matter of opinion, one which the readers are free to delve into on their own and make up their own minds.

      Yes, I’m finally feeling a bit better, though it is still taking awhile to fully recover from my latest fight with the flu and a sinus infection. 🙂

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