One thing I find funny is that atheists often like to vigorously deny that atheism is a religion. They usually say that atheism is not a religion, and they get annoyed when us “idiot” (brilliant) Christians call atheism a religion. They insist they are not religious at all, and atheism should not be classified as a religion. After all, they don’t believe in God, so how could they be religious?
But is this the truth, or once again are atheists just trying to avoid the truth? What is the truth? Is atheism a religion?
Is Atheism a Religion? Are Atheists Religious and Do They Fit the Definition of Religion?
To answer this, let us first look at the popular definitions for the word “religion.” Here are a few definitions of religion on the web:
- An organized set of beliefs about a deity or deities.
- The service and worship of God or the supernatural
- Commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
- A personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
- Archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness
- A cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith
- A particular system of faith and worship.
- Devotion to some principle; a strict fidelity or faithfulness; conscientiousness; pious affection or attachment.
- Strict faithfulness; devotion: a religion to one’s vow
These are the most popular and common uses of the word “religion” in the English language. Those are pretty clear-cut. So let us now compare common atheists beliefs and practices (as we can easily gather from their websites, public speeches, books, etc.), and decide on whether atheists are religious or not.
As I think you will quickly realize, most atheists are indeed VERY religious. In fact, atheists are some of the most religious people I know. They often have a very strong faith, when they don’t know something, they rely on “atheism of the gaps,” and they are usually well prepared with arguments/counterarguments against their faith.
Atheist Religious Comparison: Are They Religious or Not?
First, do atheists share a set belief about God or a deity (or deities)? The answer, of course, is YES. They do have a belief about God/Gods. They believe God is a myth, and that Gods don’t exist. So they in fact have a set belief about Gods. Therefore, they are religious in this sense of the word.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to believe in a deity to be considered a religion. Buddhists, for example, have no deity, but Buddhism is certainly a religion worldwide.
Second, do atheists worship a God or anything supernatural? Do they worship anything? That depends on how you define worship. If you mean having a “strong devotion to,” then yes, atheists worship their beliefs in naturalism. They worship evolutionary theory strongly. In fact, just consider how much atheism parallels almost any major world religion with the below comparison:
- Atheists have a belief about God or Gods (They believe they don’t exist). So do other religions.
- Atheists have a creation story that they all generally believe (it is called abiogenesis, the big bang, and evolution). Every religion has a creation account.
- Atheists have faith in their beliefs (they don’t know if we evolved from non-life, they just believe this and have faith this is how it happened). Faith is a component of every religion. We can’t know everything in life, so faith is required to fill those gaps in knowledge.
- Atheists have organizations and groups. They meet on websites, message boards, speaking events, and so forth. Same as other religions. Like minded people flock together.
- Atheists raise and donate money collectively, and do so often with intent of spreading their belief system. Sound familiar?
- Atheists have an unofficial Bible (called the Origin of Species). So do other religions.
- Atheists have famous spiritual leaders, writers, and preachers (Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, etc.). Every religion has these people.
- Atheists have thousands of evangelists (they run countless blogs and websites, they get on forums, they write books, they do speaking events, debates, create YouTube videos, etc.). So do other famous religions.
- Atheists have modified their behavior to match their world-view. Just as a new Christian may modify their lifestyle once they come to Christ (aka being born again), an atheist may modify their lifestyle once they reject God, or become firm in their beliefs that God doesn’t exist. Example: An atheist may start preaching atheism, or they may stop observing Christian holidays, etc..
- Atheists have a belief of what happens after death. Atheists generally believe you die, your atoms are recycled and your knowledge and personality cease to exist, and that’s that. All religions have some belief about what happens after death (since death is one of the big questions that most religions attempts to answer).
- Atheists try to change laws. I always find it funny how atheists bark at Christians for trying to change laws or get religiously favored laws passed. Yet atheists do the same thing without realizing it. Atheists try to influence politics with their world views just as much, if not more, than Christians.
- Atheists reject prayer in school, but yet want to make sure your kids get dowsed with the unprovable atheistic theory of macro (large scale) evolution. How hypocritical, huh? So once again we see atheists wanting to collectively spread their beliefs in the school systems.
Isn’t it abundantly clear at this point that atheism is absolutely a religion in almost every sense of the word? This matches up perfectly to everything we know about religion and religious practices. So when an atheist approaches you to try and “convert” you, just remember that they are no different than any other false religlion trying to get more converts. Satan uses false religions. Adrian Rogers used to always say that Satan doesn’t want casualties, he wants converts.
Can Religion Be Escaped? Every Person That Can Reason is Religious
I guarantee you that every single human being alive right now that has the ability to think and reason has a religion. When I say “religion,” I am speaking about the common use of the term. Because every person will develop a belief about God (what God is like, if God or Gods exist, etc.).
Every single person will develop a set of principles to live by based on their beliefs. Example, a Christian will try to follow the Bible, an atheist may have their own moral code (and may try to follow societies moral code), etc.
Unfortunately, religion is inescapable. It is a fact of life, and something we all will have. Even the poor agnostic who isn’t sure about religion or God is religious, simply because he or she will have decided that it isn’t important to make a decision, thus, they are making a decision in doing that by default. Therefore, their religious belief is simply: it isn’t important, and I will arrange my own beliefs based on experience and preference.
Atheists are clearly VERY religious, and follow a religion. Many atheists are very strong in their beliefs, so much so, that they are closed minded to even the hint of a God existing.
If We All Have a Religion, Shouldn’t We Make Sure We Are In the Correct Religion?
It is quite clear that we will all form a religious belief in our lives. So if we are going to pick a religion (atheists included), shouldn’t we choose the right one? And shouldn’t our religions offer us something?
So if we have to be religious, we have to have faith, and so forth, why not put your faith in the most believable God in history (the God of the Bible)? Why not have faith in a religion that is scientifically compatible with historical evidence, eyewitness accounts, is logically sound, and reasonably true?
Why not choose a religion that offers to make you a better moral person by allowing Jesus Christ to work through you? Why not choose a faith that offers forgiveness for your sins (and we all have them), that offers you eternity of life of happiness, peace, and prosperity (and we all know something out there is eternal)? Why not choose a religion that can change the world, change you, and all of this? Why not choose a religion that not only teaches those things, but actually exists in reality, and will all come to pass as truth?
Christianity is the ONLY religion that fits this bill, and Jesus Christ is the only one who can save you from your sins. I certainly would have never changed from a former atheist to a current Christian if there was any truth to atheists claims. God is the Truth. God is the light in this dark world.
Christianity has made me a better person. Even though I still sometimes fall short of the glory of God, I know in my heart that I am a changed man. I’m better today than I was a few years ago, and by God’s mercy and grace, I’ll be better in a few years than I am now.
Have you accepted Christ as your savior? If you are an atheist and you are in a religion anyway, why not choose a religion that can save you from your sins? Atheism tries to solve the sin problem by eliminating the concept of sin. But saying sins don’t exist doesn’t erase them anymore than claiming buses don’t exist will save you from getting hit by one on the street. You need forgiveness for your sins, and that will only come from the bloody cross of Jesus Christ.
Consider accepting Christ as your savior. No matter how evil you’ve been, how much you’ve blasphemed God, or whatever else—God stands waiting to forgive you and give you life.