Originally Posted by Iron Ape
Not that I expect a response since I am perma-ignored by Ape (and Grandma Ape to a lesser extent), but atheism is the rejection of deities (Gods) and the ideals of "organized religion
" more or less as a whole. Most people have this idea of "religion
" being segregated to just the belief in a higher power, which is not the case by the definition of the word. This is like saying that the word understanding applies only to one’s ability to comprehend, and has nothing to do with tolerance between two altering perspectives coming to an agreement; it's the same word but has multiple applications outside of what you generally associate the word being (like I said, words are fun). If religion is a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons, how so is the belief “there are no such things as deities
” not thought to be a belief system in its own right?
The one valid argument against atheism as a religion that I have heard is the idea that there is not specific place to house or spread its cause; the idea is that it's not an "institutionalized practice
" governed by a specific group or hierarchy (the church if you will). However, when defined by the terms of Sociology, the idea of an institution is a well-established and structured pattern of behavior or of relationships that is accepted as a fundamental part of a culture, thus resulting in the “institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, or practices
” being based upon what that personal/specific culture expresses to be true or accurate. Atheism might not have a specific place to come together as a congregation outside of message boards and forums on a website, but it is an institutionalized practice, dependent upon if you are willing to accept the definitions of a term or if you apply only the definition you are most comfortable with using based upon your specific views. I'm not trying to further an argument, rather trying to explain where the stance of Atheism is a religion stems from.