Friday, January 25, 2013

T 5:40pm class

17 comments:

Charlotte Denton said...

To begin one would really need to look into the definition. The definition of religion can go both ways. It says, in short, that religion is "organized collection of belief systems, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values", which if Atheists want to organize themselves in such a way seems to fit very well. This part of the definition says nothing about the existence of deities which is what Atheists have as their belief; they reject the belief of the existence of deities. But when you look further into the definition of religion it could cause one to question the validity that Atheism could classify itself in such a manner. Many religions have histories or traditions that tend to explain the origin of life, give meaning to life, and give a firm structure to moral values. Most of which have been passed down from narratives and/or scriptures that were directed by 1 or many deities. If Atheists have their own beliefs of how the world was created and why moral values are as such, then maybe so. It seems to me that God or gods are the reasons for morals. In times before current Atheism, someone had to start the concept of right and wrong and from that point hold humanity to those morals. Fear of their deities is what caused humans to act with moral values but Atheists reject such deities. Seems to somewhat contradict part of the definition of religion.

Charlotte Denton

Mohamed Elnomany said...

If Aithiests decide that they want to have a church, then so be it. Whether it is right or wrong, they're free to do as such. As for my idea towards the controversy of theism Vs. atheism, I lean towards theism. An argument about god isn't one that requires proof, because if god didn't exist, let us say that he did. If God decided that he didn't want to leave any shred of proof of his existence, wouldn't you believe that he is able to? Another thing, if one rejects an idea because there is no evidence, one should also reject his/her own existence. One cannot simply prove that he/she exists. The existence of god is just about as valid as your own existence. Atheists tend to reject a concept they can't grasp. The fact that human beings cannot grasp a concept does not make it wrong. Therefore it is close-minded to reject an idea, even if it is abnormal. If I asked an atheist how did life originate, the answer I may most likely get is evolution, and if I asked him/her to trace it back further, he/she would say the big bang theory. I could keep asking this question over and over until he/she runs out of answers. The fact of the matter is, time has no beginning and time has no end. Everything had to have come from something. Something had to have existed to create everything existing now. Whether it is a particle, a planet, a star, a god. Something had to have always existed, because something cannot come from nothing. Why can't it be god? The idea of god makes much more sense than any other. Another argument is one of justice. We live in a world where a group of people sitting in a room decide what is right or wrong in a particular nation. Who are these people to decide that these "crimes" are wrong. They are people just like us who are telling us that we can't do things. The only reason why people follow these laws is because they have the power to enforce it. If I obtained the power to overthrow this system and do as I please, then I could decide what is right and what is wrong. If I was evil, I could and probably would permit crimes like murder, rape, theivery, adultery, etc. I could make myself god. If god did not exist, that would mean everything is permitted and we are only "civilized" because the goverment has the power to eliminate or imprison those who "aren't." Just because an atheist finally figure out the origin of life, doesn't necessarily prove that god does not exist. What if god created that origin of life? The answer will never be found because there is an infinite loop in the very concept of time. It would take an eternity to find the answer because the origin of life existed exactly an eternity ago.

Rafamio551 said...

Rodny Rodriguez

If we look at the word atheism, it comes from the negative a which means ‘no,’ and theos which means ‘god.’ Therefore, atheism in the most basic terms means ‘no god.’ Basically, atheism is the lack of belief in a god. On the other hand, theism is the belief in the existence of one God viewed as the creative source of the human race and the world. In my opinion atheism is not a religion. As Daniel Smartt said on his article Atheism: A religion, “Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair colour”. Atheism is not a religion. It’s just the absence of religion. One of the key reasons I suggest that atheism isn't a religion is by examining its opposite. The opposite of atheism is theism - the belief in the existence of God. This clarification is very helpful, because I doubt many people would classify 'theism' as a religion. Theism doesn't appear on our census forms and it generally isn't understood as a religion. I wouldn't classify theism as a religion, hence I also wouldn't classify atheism as a religion.

Rodny Rodriguez

Elimelech Packouz said...

First, we must define what a religion is before we can decide whether an ideology (or lack thereof) fits into that definition.

The two most relevant definitions, according to dictionary.com (as good a source as any) are:

1. A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

And 2. A specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.

Before we can decide if "atheism" fits either or both these definitions, our next question must be: What is atheism?

Broadly speaking, there are two types of atheism. "Soft atheism," the lack of belief in a deity, and "hard atheism," the belief that no deity exists.

Soft atheism clearly does not fit Definition 1; it has no claim regarding the cause, nature, or purpose of the universe--or anything, really. Soft atheism does not fit Definition 2, either, because soft atheism is not a belief, it is a LACK of belief. Soft atheism cannot be said to be a religion any more than not believing in unicorns is a religion.

Now let's examine hard atheism. Hard atheism also does not fit Definition 1, as it also has no claim regarding the cause, nature, or purpose of the universe. Regarding Definition 2, hard atheism has no practices, but it does have one (and only one) belief: That there is, in fact, no supernatural deity. Is this belief enough to qualify it as a religion? If it is, then believing that unicorns do not exist must also be considered a religion.

Further, if hard atheism is to be considered a religion, then the belief that man cannot fly, that there is only one sun in the solar system, and that grass is green must also all be considered their own individual religions. Of course, this defeats the usefulness of the word "religion" and would make filling out the "religious affiliation" section of the National Census take an infinite amount of time.

Ergo, we can consider neither soft atheism nor hard atheism a religion. I WILL TAKE ANYONE WHO CAN CONVINCE ME OTHERWISE OUT TO DINNER.

Sincerely,
Elimelech Packouz

Holly Chery said...

Is atheism a religion? This idea by itself is a propaganda aimed to create tension and confusion to people.
If, we look up the definition of religion and atheism it would only confirm how absurd this idea might be. Religion:
1. The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.
2. Details of belief as taught or discussed.
It’s possible to have religion without God. Atheism is the belief that there is no God or the disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings. (According to dictionary.com). The first definition of religion cannot be related to atheism as it clearly stated the existence of a god, which atheism contradicted.
However, the second definition gives more freedom to the condition necessary to have a religion. With that being said, a group of people that happen to be atheist might meet up and projects some similar traits to religious institution.
Nevertheless, can we jump to conclusion to confirm atheist is a religion? Having a belief about something does not make it become a religion therefore any other belief would become a religion of its own.

Jose Quintero said...

Jose Gabriel Quintero said...
My ideology and beliefs are based on Christianity. Although, most people, including myself, find “God” during a crisis, and I know this is hypocritical, I still find peace knowing that I can find a place, kneel, (or sit) and find comfort. Whether it’s through prayer, or listen to a preacher give an inspirational speech. My faith in a superior being gives me comfort. Perhaps my troubles may not go away, but for that moment, I do not feel alone.
I looked at the dictionary definition of “Religion”. It says the following:
“Religion is an organized collection of belief systems, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with faith or belief system….” “The service and worship of God or the supernatural (2): commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance.” {www.wikipedia.com} {http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/religion}.
That begs the question. Is atheism a religion? Based on the articles, I learned different perspectives about the topic. However, I still believe that atheism is not a religion. Although, Atheism is a philosophy by which to live, that does not qualify it as a religion. According to the articles, Atheists have no religious beliefs in God, or any superior being. It should be noted, the dictionary definition of Religion (and my personal view of Religion) is the belief in a supernatural being or God. I am a person with faith. I think we all need faith. My personal view may be archaic, but I stand by them.

Jose Gabriel Quintero

Silvio Ortega said...

To begin If Atheists decide that they want to have a church, let them be. What we might consider to be religion may not be to another. If a group of people want to worship something that might be consider wrong , who are we to tell them what is wrong and what is right. Furthermore the right to freedom of religion is guaranteed by the First Amendment something that everyone in this country cherish dearly. One thing that I can’t help to point out is the correlation between this group of people who are trying to build there own church, and the early Christians back in Roman times. My beliefs are based on Christianity and in the early days of Christianity it was meet with heavy resistance when they tried to organize and form their own church just like these group of people. Eventually the early Christians succeeded and if the atheist succeed they will join a host of denomination from the major religions like Christianity, Muslims, and Hindus to the smaller and even bizarre like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the Snake Wranglers of Kentucky. In the end people will always have there own belief as long as they don’t hurt anyone and infringe on other peoples rights. Let them be I don’t have an issue with them they are not the ones who wake you up early Sunday morning and no matter how much you hide and pretend your not home they still wait for you to come out.

Niky said...

Atheism is not a real religion, nor do most atheists believe it to be. Atheism is merely the philosophy that there is no superhuman controlling power. It is also the belief that there are no "chosen people" and that everybody and mostly everything is equal. It is a self-reliant philosophy that makes one intellectually free to live without a fear of a god or gods. Religions however, label a god and create a path of salvation for you. They have rules you need to follow in order to remain in the religion and typically instill the fear of gods wrath. Atheism has none of these components and is in my opinion the exact opposite of traditional religion. In order to label atheism as a religion, you have to redefine the word religion completely.

-Dominique Espinoza

Deborah Kemp said...

First of all, one of the debaters feels that religion should be gotten rid of and not replaced. He says that atheism is not a religion and that it is wonderful. I do not think that religion has to be non-existent because non-believers are not interested in being a part of what religious organizations do and what they believe in. If atheists choose to have their own churches or gatherings, that is up to them. One article’s caption is “At Atheist Church, No Faith Required”. I believe that the atheists seem to have faith in believing that they can gather in a church setting to encourage each other with the good in their lives, and singing songs, but without believing in God. I have to agree with a portion of what the West Coast Editor wrote as far as atheism, when he wrote that the new era of atheists that believe that atheism should be less about the degradation of religion. To be called brainless or morons for being theists is not right.

Anonymous said...

Interesting blog titled, Is Atheism a religion? I would have to say yes it can be categorized as a religion. In my opinion Atheism along with the many other religions and beliefs we have such as, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, only to name a few among the many. Only difference with atheism is that they choose not to believe in any sort of god or gods or goddess for that matter; or in the idea that the universe and everything which inhabits this earth was created by the powers of an "All mighty God". Next question at hand and which I assume has caused great debate and commotion is, "should those non believers in any sort of god or deities have there own church? The answer to that in my opinion is yes for the simple fact that they have a belief in a non existent god since they don't have the evidence before hand that such a being exist. I myself am a christian and have a strong faith in my god but I am also free spirited and don't judge others on personal preferences such as the subject at hand with what one decides to believe in or worship. -Juan C. Banegas

Aisha Akter said...

In order to describe first we need to know what religion is. According to dictionary religion is belief in and reverence for a supernatural power recognized as the creator and governor of the universe. It's the spiritual or emotional attitude of one who recognizes the existence of a superhuman power or powers. On the other hand atheism is completely opposite. It is way the view that God doesn't exist.
Anyone with a common understand will not define that atheism is a religion. Religion is what guide us what to do, and give us rules that we have to follow all the time. Atheism doesn't fulfill any of the requirement of religion. Also it is not philosophy either. An atheist person doesn't belief in interconnected beliefs. Atheism is just the denial of the existence of gods where single belief is not a system of principles. They think everyone and on this universe should be equal. So there is no way that atheism goes under a category of religion or philosophy.

Aisha Akter

Anonymous said...

Is Atheism a Religion?
Religion as many of us know can be quite a controversial topic. One must understand what religion is before making an argument, but the truth is that religion has many definitions. It is however commonly defined as a set of beliefs and practices concerning the cause, nature and purpose of the universe agreed upon by its members Religion involves a set of believers with common practices. It has been taught to us and passed on from generations to generations. It has an extensive number of beliefs, groups, and uses various systems. Studies have shown that religion has been the reasons of which we are today and how it influences our thoughts, behavior and actions. This may be true but no one knows for sure the facts and evolution of religion. This is like asking, how did the world come to be? There are many theories and views about this topic and we believe the reasons that are more viable.
Atheism is said to be a set of beliefs about the nonexistence of God. There are no laws by which one must abide or live by unlike religion. It does not and has not involved the common practices which are performed by a religious person. If one chooses to be an atheists is entirely up to them. They are only making a statement of what they do not believe in. Hence, I do not think that atheism is a religion. I also do not think that a church is necessary. A church as we know is a place of worship and atheists are simply trying to be heard, not to worship. They should be able to have an institution if they desire but it should not be consider a church.

Reesha Alli

Anonymous said...

I strongly agree with Penn Jillette’s notion that Atheism is neither a religion nor its replacement. Religion concerns itself with supernatural cosmologies and how those things affect the lives of humans and all other living things. In the case of the Abrahamic religions they are a strict set of rules created to dictate to all humankind that without the machinations of some grander deity they are aimless and morally bankrupt, completely incapable of reason if not for the grace of the unexplainable. While the many religions of the world range in the severity of their grip, they ultimately seek to govern the affairs of the pious. Throughout human history this has led to as many uplifting and majestic works as it has to horrible atrocities and bloodshed. Atheism can be seen as a vacuum with no such framework of rules save for one: There are no gods, only man and what he makes for himself. The absence of the supernatural, the unknowable, and all other aspects of faith and religion disqualify Atheism from being a religion itself, at least in my eyes. The idea of atheists congregating somewhere is no more a religious gathering than a science fiction convention or an auto show, regardless of the enthusiasm on display.

- Mario Acevedo

Kelitha Bien-Aime said...

Can Atheism be categorized as a religion? To answer this question we have to understand what the purpose of religion is, and not just any religion but true religion. There are hundreds of religions, and they all believe that there is an almighty supernatural force that they can count on and worship, whether that force is good or evil. How can the concept of religion exist without a spiritual being for humans to worship and to place their beliefs in? As told in the bible the true religion is recognized by the beliefs and conducts of the people practicing it.They seek to do god's will by basing their teachings on the bible, show genuine love for one another, and worship only the creator and not his son or any other spiritual being. All scriptures in the bible are inspired by God and they are beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, and for disciplining in righteousness. Atheism is a doctrine presented to society with minimal proof of why they reason the way they do. This doctrine is based on human views and traditions. To say that God doesn't exist is to also say that the bible is a lie as it is god's words written in those pages. A religion has certainty in a supreme being, moral codes, ritual acts, adorations, and an over-all purpose that unites a group of people to form a bound.

Kevin Gandolfo said...

An atheist church of religion. I find it amusing how contradicting that phrase really is, like the phrase “living dead” or “canned fresh”. The reason I find it contradicting is because like some of the article written about atheism; atheism is not a religion. By dictionary definition, a religion it’s “a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observance.” First thing, it must be involve in a superhuman agency that centers around(God) and well atheist don’t believe in a sort of god or any superhuman creator so that logic is pretty much thrown out the window. Another thing that bothers me is that in the definition of religion it describe that the whole point of it is to talk about the cause, nature and purpose of the universe in the church. Except of course in the oxymoron church of atheism they’re not talking about how the world it’s created and it’s history of becoming of what it’s today, they instead have comedy shows most of the time(says in the article) and talk about becoming a person with morals(that reason seems to be the only reason why they want to call themselves a religion). Also as a personal experience many atheist I have met or seen in fame are anti-theist; in other words in the approve of erasing religion from earth so I’m not sure how they are going to get many followers. Don’t get me wrong on the whole idea though, I think it’s a great thing that atheist have a way to show their true belief unlike years ago where atheism was frown upon. It’s just that calling it a religion maybe a bit of stretch and should be referred to another name (an association, a group, ect). The only reason actually see something bad with it, is that in America, churches get many perks that can be exploited such as paying no taxes for property its built on or receiving large amount of donations, and etc. That I feel it could have possibility of being exploited(atheist or not they are still human and can be tempted). Aside from that I believe this is a good thing, a step up in welcoming each other as human beings.

Hayalcilik said...

To tell the truth, when I first read the article about an atheist church it kind of confused me. Most of the atheists I know are atheist due the way religion has made church to be. The whole reading scripture, singing songs, praying and hearing a person preach the way some churches do drives them away. So the fact that a group would go back into similar fashion it makes it seem like atheism is in some terms no different than religion. But they still have the freedom to do so without abiding by any opinions or critics from people who have the establishment where they can fellowship with people who have the same point of views. Everyone needs to feel like they are part of something and if atheists want a church they are free to have one. One thing that maybe suggested is respect for the religious churches in which they choose to hold fellowship in. I believe if you give respect you should get respect; but that’s not how it seems to work in the world.
Vardine Jean-Francois

Anonymous said...

Atheism is not a religion, but it can certainly become one. Religion is to believers what atheism is to non-believers, a means to understand and justify our actions of morality and being. Both can be interpreted differently by every individual. Religion asks the believer to follow certain principles and doctrines to live a happy and fulfilling life. Atheism allows the non-believer to think independent of any creed but that of logic, reason , and rational thoughts. But both have issues that are similar to each other's. I believe that religion must've been created by following similar if not the same core ideals as a atheist would, just the difference being that theyre is a belief of life after death. Religion is based on laws that if followed, can be applied to every individual for the greater good. It does not seek to explain every little detail about the natural world nor does give evidence or explanations to the problems of all humans, but provides comfort and tranquility at times of despair. Religion is more sort of guidelines of how to be a better individual, with notions that if one behaves accordingly one will prosper while if disobediant one will suffer. Atheism is governed by the idea of a thinking man and the results of that thinking, whether right or wrong is totally independant on the thinker. Basically, atheist create their own religion by believing in their own thoughts and reasoning as being truths. Where both religion and atheism fail they succeed, having faith that their beliefs are right and true and unwavering to any other belief.

Linda Pineda