So this dude was trying to start an argument with me today about how Pol Pot, Kim Jong Il, Stalin, Mussolini, etc. all the famous mass murderers of the past hundred years were terrible people because they were atheist extremists, to which I replied that I wouldn't consider them atheists just because they didn't believe any current or past god or gods were extant or the one true whatever. To the contrary, they believed in gods each and every one of them, but in their minds they themselves were the gods of their own religion. All of them had cults of personality where the universe revolved around them in their twisted little minds. To which he just looked at me like a cow looked at an oncoming train.
So what's your thoughts on that? Cults of personality and whatnot.
That doesn't really make sense unless you define "religion" as devotion to something, but that's not what it is. Odysseus believed in the Greek Gods even if he wasn't devoted to them and thought all of them were cruel pricks.
That requires defining the sort of system that can enable such actions and allegiance as being a form of religion and then saying that obviously people in such a system aren't Real True Atheists.
I don't think it's useful, either as a political strategy against those who say atheists are evil (far too flimsy an argument for that) or as a useful way to analyse such systems. Comparing them to religions is OK to understand the power structures and methodologies, at least in the places where they happen to line up. But pretending that people who were within such systems weren't atheists puts way too much emphasis on the atheist identity as pure and enlightened. Spending a few hours with any group of atheists should be enough to overcome that sort of thinking.
Personally I am a Christian however I believe that religion is inherently flawed. Mostly because it was created by man and everything humans make is flawed because we are flawed. Religion is a powerful tool, misused by many many people as a means of control and is in many senses wrong! In the case of Christianity however it is not about a religion, about abiding by rules etcetera in order to get into heaven, it is in principle having a relationship with God. It just turns out that religion is the best way to do that therefore following one is the easiest way to have that relationship.
post hoc ergo propter hoc It is because it happen after or something, some correct me. People believe stuff because they think it is what happened, that's what starts atheism and theism
Religion and non-religion are truly in the eye of the beholder. We will never separate religion and belief from life. I am empirical and atheist and think that we need to see everything for what it is most likely when reviewing all the data. For example, show me God and I will not believe he is God until it is totally proven in all regards to data and what he can do.
Therefore I have no faith, and that is a cornerstone to religion so I am not, but some people run on blind faith in things like there is no God, they are sure of it which is the same basis as religion.
I say that is no evidence and therefore low probability and for me very low possible, but thats dependent on the person.
You don't have to have faith in anything to have a religion. The way I see it is simple, first of all, if it wasn't a religion it wouldn't have a name. It has an official term, it has core beliefs, and it is followed by a mass of people. That makes it a religion. If you believe in something regarding whatever happens after death, that makes it a religion to me.
There are a few definitions of religion. The one I generally go by is "the belief in the existence of a god or gods, and the activities that are connected with the worship of them". By that definition than no, Atheism is not a religion. There is also the definition of "a particular interest or influence that is very important in your life". By that definition than Atheism definitely is, though I have never liked that definition. It is just too vague. By that logic, then I have many, many, religions including video games, movies, and hiking. They are all interests that influence my life and our important too me.
Many people say that Atheism is a religion because they they are a group of people with a shared core belief, but to that I say "are fitness clubs a religion? They are a large group of people that all believe it is important to spend much of their time staying fit"
C'mon, you know better than that. I guarantee you that there isn't a single person that wouldn't say something to the effect of "My faith let's me know that to be a fact". Faith comes part and parcel with religion. If you don't have an aspect of faith, you don't have a religion.
Explain why then. Is faith not what I just described? Catholics can't prove that they will go to heaven, but they have faith that they will. That is ok to you, but Atheists believing they will turn into a tree but not being able to prove it is something different? C'mon here.
What are these "prerequisites" you speak of then. I guarantee the people who created these religions didn't follow "prerequisites." That way of thinking was created centuries after. Religion having "prerequisites" is an oxymoron.
Where are you pulling this absolutist statement from, other than out of your ass? If you're talking about The Circle of Life(TM), then this is something that can be observed in a lifetime. It has absolutely nothing to do with faith if it can be observed. Seriously, man, what the hell is the point you're trying to make? It seems as if you're playing the idiot card on purpose.
What I refer to, when I'm referring to turning into a tree, is a belief that some atheists share. This belief, as detailed from my good friend Frank Lefevre, who is an atheist, is described to me as a belief in which when an atheist dies, his body, essence, and life force are returned to the Earth and are fused with nature. They believe their life force and essence then grow, or become attached to animal or plant life and they, in a sense, "become" that thing.
Obviously, we all know that when we die, our physical body decays and elements of our physical body return to the ground. But scientifically, it doesn't go any further than physical. This group of atheists believe in the spiritual transference of their life force into another natural being.
Here is a good article I found that helps explain what I'm saying about Atheism being a religion. It helps solidify my statements. creation.com/atheism-a-religion
Obviously, I'm not going to change you people's opinions, and I'm not trying to. I'm just expressing mine. You don't have to agree with me, in fact, I prefer if you don't. What I don't want you to do is argue with me because of my opinion, when I'm not the only one in the world that feels this way. The only thing I cannot respect, is someone trying to devalue my points or opinions.