When one considers the ideas and concepts offered by the singular overall theory of religion, does atheism cross your mind?. This is an area you may wish to consider. Religion, in the broad sense, is the idea or concept in which a person adheres to a socio-political, meta-physical, or spiritual based belief structures.
Religion is general has multiple characteristics that are common. This is true of just about any religion you can think of. Lets examine common traits found in all religions:
- Belief in a higher power- God, Allah, Buddha, Confucius, Dianna, and so on
- Meeting place- Church,Temple, Tabernacle, Synagogue, Forests, Homes
- Symbolism- Moon, Sun, Cross, Six sided star, Pentagram, Sword
- Images- Statues, Paintings
- Focus Points- Alter, Candles, Stained Glass
The list can go on indefinitely. Now let us see which religions fit within these parameters as described above. Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Muslim, Wicca, Catholicism, Taoism, Shinto. These are but a very small handful of examples as shown. As you can see all of these major religions share in all of the traits that each other has in common. Now lets get back to our original question. Is Atheism a religion? Lets see:
Atheism as a religion
- Belief in a higher power- Yes, Although atheists do not believe in god or any other deity, most believe there is a higher intelligence at work. Is this higher intelligence space aliens, possible, but unlikely. More likely, this higher intelligence is the belief in ones self, and not on other men such as pastors, priests, or whatever term your respective religion deems appropriate.
- Meeting place- Yes, There are many buildings, offices, and homes in which atheists meet and discuss spirituality. These discussions tend to follow the line that as intelligent beings, our intellect in and of itself is spiritual. This means that atheists are not dependent of advice or guidance of invisible, non-physical realms.
- Symbolism- Yes, There are many atheist groups that use the human brain as their symbol. No they do not worship the brain, but rather they honor the abilities of the mind to reason, and to calculate abstract concepts.
- Images- Yes, see symbolism
- Focus points- Yes, Atheist focal points center around a humans ability to think in terms of the abstract. Abstract is and of itself a focal point as it gives a starting point for discussion.
So, lets now consider the answer to the question of atheism as a religion. In a simple word, YES, atheism is a religion, if you accept the requirements as set forth by all the major religions of the world. It is interesting that the major religions can accept another religions existence on the grounds that they at lest believe in a Deity, but can not accept atheism as a religion due to they do not believe in a god.
In summation, religion is a major aspect of most peoples lives and psychological well being. Religion as a whole provides people with a focus and goal in life. Every religion on earth accomplishes this goal in one way or another. Although these religions may bicker among each other, they are working together toward the same goal in an indirect way. Atheism is also amongst this great and humbling goals. They are actively interested in the evolution and improvement of all mankind. This is to say that they consider the ability to reason and use the brain as the highest form of spirituality. Often they are not aware of this themselves, but it is there if you choose to look. As you consider this, look at your own religion and seek the commonalities, instead of the differences, and your entire outlook may just change.