Sunday, August 14, 2011

Atheism is not a religion.

This seems to go without saying, but it has been brought up twice already this week.  The person sending the email tries to convince me that Atheism is really no different from Christianity in that they both hold ideas about the universe and how to live.

Now it is time to set the record straight.  Atheism is so far from religion that anyone who makes this comment is truly ignorant of the facts.  The following are reasons why Atheism is different from religion, in this case, Christianity.

  • Christianity claims to get all of its moral values from a book of scripture (which they actually don't).  Atheism has no such book.
  • Christianity believes in the immortal soul.  Atheism does not.
  • Christianity teaches of a supernatural sky-god who takes an interest in our daily lives and thoughts.  Atheists don't believe in any supernatural power, ghosts or other non-material manifestations of intelligence.
  • Christians range from casual to fundamental, the latter of which will not change their minds about their beliefs no matter what evidence they are faced with.  Atheists generally believe whatever the latest and greatest science says, and will change our minds in the face of new evidence.
  • Christians fill every gap in science with their god.  Atheists look for gaps in science as an exciting new gap to be filled by science.
  • Many Christians threaten people with an everlasting torment where the smoke of their torment will rise to the heavens and the worm never dies.  Atheists have no such place.
  • Christians perform a type of apple-polishing by giving to non-profit organizations (their Bible says they must, so they're trying to stay on God's good side).  Atheists have no God, so when we do the same thing it is only out of the kindness of our hearts and the charity of our character.
  • Christians have killed people who are opposed to their beliefs (abortion doctors, Mohammedans, etc.), while Atheists don't do the same.
  • Christians are taught to accept the status-quo, including being poor and teaching their children that it is okay to be poor and raise their families in squallier, while non-lazy Atheists strive for a better life for themselves and their children.
  • Christians have fought wars over their beliefs.  Atheists have not.
  • Christians demonstrate that they have an overblown sense of entitlement.  You can not criticize Christian values or beliefs in a crowd of strangers and expect not to be confronted, sometimes violently.  Atheists are fair game.
  • Christians can spend an enormous amount of time on their knees telepathically trying to communicate with their god.  Atheists are only on their knees when they get racked by a softball during a game, when they're looking for the Clorox under the sink, when they're cleaning behind the toilet and similar activities.
So, as you can see, just from these few examples, Atheists don't do anything that would mark them as performing any acts like a religion.  So calling Atheism a religion is just silly.

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