***This is a post I consider to be very good from last semester written by Ijji Skiffington***
Today in class we talked about religions and beliefs, and what makes a religion. As an atheist I have always believed that I had no religion, however last night I conversed with a friend who also shared my views, and an interesting question came up: Is Atheism a religion?
Because the question caused me to question my previous thoughts I figured I would ask the all-knowing Google. After searching briefly through a few lengthy articles, I found a shorter one which really caught my attention. If you want to read it, you can click here.
The author, who was also an Atheist was making the point that Atheism was not a religion. He draws the comparison that “if Atheism is a religion, then bald is a hair color.” This also goes with the ideas that we looked at in class, that in order for there to be a religion there has to be some belief in a higher power, which at first glance Atheism does not, since the whole point of Atheism is that you don’t believe in a higher power.
However if you start to dissect this, you start to see many parallels. The first being that most Atheists look at science, which we look at in class, saying that it could be a religion. With this in mind, could evolution be looked at as a higher power? Perhaps in simpler terms, being the power of nature itself.
The next point he makes against Atheism not being a religion is that not all Atheists believe the same thing. There is a general consensus that there is no God, he says “the only common thread that ties all atheists together is a lack of belief in gods and supernatural beings… atheists do not have a common belief system, sacred scripture or atheist Pope. This means atheists often disagree on many issues and ideas.” However, isn’t there disagreements in many religions? Isn’t what makes it what you believe in, interpreting the way you see it, not all people in one religion live their lives the same way. They have interpreted their religion into what they believe fits the system.
From what we have learned in class, and all the questions I have pondered over, as well as all the views of others on this subject I have come to the conclusion that religion is what you interpret it to be.