Yet another reminder that atheism isn’t a religion

Honestly I’m tired of repeating this, but recently someone asserted that my atheism is religious because I write about it. I also have a programming blog. Does that mean c# is my religion too? This isn’t even an atheism blog or a recovery blog for that matter… it is a blog by a former addict, and I write about whatever I’m passionate about. I write about atheism precisely because of people who impose their religious views on me and my son, and who claim that my atheism is a religion. So my writing may often be a response to sentiments exactly like this claim; that’s apart from the claim itself being a non sequitur. And I write about recovery in the same way, since my skeptical approach to sobriety does not involve being “in recovery”. I haven’t heard anybody claim that not following a 12 step program is another kind of 12 step program.

When I see such claims that atheism is a religion, I wonder how much of it is a combination of these two factors:

  1. Tu quoque: It’s like a little child pointing the finger and saying “But you are also naughty”. Or a men’s rights activist claiming that women who fight for their equality are oppressing men, or a white bigot claiming that Black Lives Matter is all about oppressing white people.
  2. A failure to understand what atheism is: Maybe someone who can not imagine not believing in god somehow thinks that atheism is thus an opposing ideology, like a religion that believes the opposite of them. OK, let’s call this what it is… ignorance.

When a child stops believing in Santa, they don’t suddenly start believing that presents are brought to the children worldwide by some alternate Santa. Likewise, atheism isn’t about some “opposite” kind of creationism. We reject the claims that a god created everything, and thus (while I can only speak for myself) reject everything that comes along with it, like creation, an afterlife, Heaven and Hell, and so on. Rejecting a claim does not imply an opposing claim in the same way you don’t believe in some “other” kind of Santa. It really is that simple. People who assert that atheism is a religion need to grow some fucking brain cells.

8 thoughts on “Yet another reminder that atheism isn’t a religion

    1. Thanks… I responded to the other comment.

      Not sure if that applies here. This “atheism is also a religion” nonsense is widespread. One cannot write about atheism anywhere without at least one person making this claim.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. A person with solipsistic personality disorder “knows” he is right all the time and you are always wrong.

    You can often hear him or her say, for instance, Jesus talked to me, Jesus touched me. I felt it in my heart.

    Ghost believers often say, I know what I saw, you can never persuade me to deny what I experienced.

    When you and I talk to such persons we often tell them, I don’t deny that you had an odd experience. But I just try to offer a better and more naturalistic (and parsimonoius; cf. Occam’s razor) explanation.

    And then the solipsist often answers that he doesn’t need any naturalistic or more parsimonious explanation, because he already KNOWS what the truth is.

    So he or she KNOWS that atheism is a religion. Because a pastor told him/her so, Or maybe Jesus told him/her so. Cf. belief in authority.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I recently had such an incident. I am a gamer and am very open about my atheism. a fellow gamer that has known that I am an atheist for some time, asserted that atheism is religion, because it is the belief that god does not exist. When I corrected him that as an atheist I simply don’t believe that any gods exist. He then insisted that he knew better what an atheist is, than I, an actual atheist does. It was so infuriating and disrespectful, yet this ‘friend’ could not understand why I was so upset.

    Liked by 1 person

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