Is Atheism a Religion?

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This topic contains 67 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Simon Paynton 1 month, 4 weeks ago.

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  • #24328

    By declaring themselves JW’s, they are self-declaring themselves religious.

    I would think so too but they don’t. They seem to think that they have found some deep Biblical truths that “religions” have not found. This is what makes them different. They are somehow special in their gods’ eyes and because of this “knowledge” they are already in some sort of fellowship that formal man-made religions don’t have.

    Ever ask a J.W. for a definition of “cognitive dissonance”? Go on, you know you want to 🙂

    #24329

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Why certainly Strega…already explained how the definition fails.

    Now to explain how it is patronizing and condescending. Unseen’s definition is intended to quiet the religious person who insists atheism is a religion. Among adults the only way to do so is to define and distinguish. Telling a theist that they are adherents of a religion cuz they say so and I on other hand am not cuz i dont identify as such is to lower the discourse so that it has become infantile.

    We who seek to be rational don’t have the liberty of defining reality as we would have it.  Science/natural world does not depend on belief or arbitrary definitions. It is independent of our perception.  Divorced from reality as individual definitions may be, suggesting such a compromise to a theist is tantamount to accepting faith as a guide. It is unsuitable for a monkey let alone a homo sapien.

    In any other sphere (except perhaps Trumpistan where truth/reality is as it is defined by the proponent) is dreck. Thus it is patronizing and condescending to do so…

     

    #24330

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I was being harangued by a JW once, and he said that because humanity is so awful, God is going to destroy the world and only save the JWs.  I said, isn’t that a bit drastic?  Why doesn’t He just make people better?  Or give us a chance?  We’re not that bad.  The JW said, thank you and good-bye.

    #24331

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    @unseen – Jake is right – by your reasoning, Jehovah’s Witness is not a religion.

    #24332

    Unseen
    Participant

    @unseen – Jake is right – by your reasoning, Jehovah’s Witness is not a religion.

    My definition was defined in this way: A religion is any belief system that claims to be a religion or self-identifies as a religion or whose members claim to be religious.

    Notice the separation by “or” in the formulation. If any one item so separated is true, the formulation applies. I believe that the JW organization cops to being a religion. If individual members say otherwise, they are just misinformed. If the JW organization is taking tax exemptions and benefits as a religion, they are claiming AND self-identifying as a religion no matter what they say.

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  Unseen.
    #24334

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    If the JW organization is taking tax exemptions and benefits as a religion, they are claiming AND self-identifying as a religion no matter what they say.

    That would be correct.  Therefore, if JWs say that they’re not religious, we can remind them of this bald fact.

    #24335

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Article about Jehovah’s Witnesses’ tax exempt status.

    #24336

    ..and to think if they were to “tithe” 10% of what they saved on property tax they would be able to pay compensation to some of their child abuse victims. Yep, they are most definitely a religion.

    #24337

    Davis
    Participant

    Some people respond to the “drastic punishment by God” if he…say…destroys the world per evil… with the argument that, as children our parents may restrict us and even spank us because they lovingly know that it is for our protection, education and development as a person. And yes…it really does come from love. We should note that  many western countries have outlawed spanking and violent disciplinary measure as there usually is an alternative. But yes…as children it is confusing and seems quite unfair. But they know better. Usually? Right?

    It is true to some extent that if there were a God…of a magnificently higher intelligence, conscious of the future and how things work and might do things to protect us and teach us in a loving way. It may seem outrageously unfair…but he knows best and is lovingly protecting us.

    That being said:

    I don’t believe that in any universe with a being of any level of consciousness…would any moral entity order the mass slaughter and mass rape of an entire city. No. Could that concievably have an educational loving purpose? Worse the flooding the entire planet and murdering nearly every single being he created. I cannot imagine what lesson people might learn if they are dead before the moral is clear…nor how a woman may be treated lovingly by God as he orders his soldiers to gang bang her while she watches her father and brothers throats slashed.

    I have never ever ever had a Christian who didn’t stop, stumble, lost for words and give a pathetic reply. Usually “God works in mysterious ways” though sonetimes nothing at all. What could a reasonable modern western human say to this?. At this point I thank them for wasting my time and ask them if they really think they’ve don e a good job at trying to convince me of God’s existence.

    #24339

    jakelafort
    Participant

    to Davis…in re to a response to the oft-used god works in mysterious ways.

    “If by mysterious you mean at odds with morality you are correct. (give laundry list of biblical atrocities and laundry list of human on human atrocities and natural disasters resulting in thousands of human deaths)”

    “Would you apply the same high standards to a serial murderer/rapist who has caused harm that pales in comparison to god?” If theist answers yes then you respond that we need no criminal justice system and you are perfectly justified in punching him in the mouth, knocking him the fuck out and throwing him in a river with cement tied to his shoes.

    If he says no ask him how he can explain a standard of conduct that is nonexistent for the god he preys to and gives credit to than the serial rapist/murderer. Conclude with a parting shot. “So it appears to me that the one who works in mysterious ways is standing here before me in living and mysterious color.”

     

    #24340

    Unseen
    Participant

    Article about Jehovah’s Witnesses’ tax exempt status.

    So, they claim religious status for tax purposes. That’s enough for me to tell JW’s that they are simply wrong if they think they’re not representing a religion.

    If they’re not a religion, they may owe billions of dollars in back taxes.

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  Unseen.
    #24342

    Davis
    Participant

    “So it appears to me that the one who works in mysterious ways is standing here before me in living and mysterious color.”

    +1

    #24343

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    What does a religious person mean, when they say that atheism is like a religion?  We might be surprised at the answer.

    Maybe they mean that we take whatever we believe in, “on faith”.

    #24344

    jakelafort
    Participant

    That is an interesting question Simon.  Undoubtedly there would be varied answers but my guess is majority of theists would say it takes faith to disbelieve. Especially as to theists who are cocksure of their gods it might appear to be a LEAP of faith to disbelieve in some member of the costume party.

    #24345

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    And so, believer… is not believing in unicorns also a religion?

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