Atheism as a Religion?

Sep 25

It’s a good time to be an atheist in North America and Europe. A growing number of people (especially Christians) are rejecting religion throughout the two continents to join the ranks of the unbelievers.

That would, I suppose, include myself. I was raised a Baptist but rejected the faith in my mid-teens because of my confusion over the existence of other religions around the world.

Rather than go “all-in” with atheism, I consider myself an agnostic. One of my atheist friends chided me as “hedging my bet”, but while I reject the notion of a biblical god or a mythical supreme being, I think we’re part of something far greater in the universe, which we cannot even begin to comprehend.

I put my trust in science, which has already easily disproved the biblical mumbo-jumbo.

Anyway, the rising popularity of atheism has emboldened some to become more strident in their calls for mankind to reject religion.

Scientists such as Richard Dawkins, pundits like the late Christopher Hitchens and entertainers like Bill Maher not only promote atheism, but are quite vocal in their rejection of not just a Christian god, but any god.

Nothing wrong with that, as it is their right to free speech, plus they make very compelling, intelligent arguments to support their cases.

Not a church, but an incredible simulation.

Not a church, but an incredible simulation.

But I’m a bit uncomfortable with their stridency. They often preach with the zeal of evangelicals, running the risk of becoming the very thing they despise: a true believer.

Atheism has also given rise to its own church called the Sunday Assembly, with three churches in England, one in New York and one in Australia. Its goal, apparently, is to turn atheism into a global religion.

Few things are more absurd than a church dedicated to atheism.

It’s motto is “live better, help often, and wonder more”.  A very uplifting, sensible message, which bears a close resemblance to what’s preached by most organized religions, except the latter encourage you to put your wonder in an omnipotent unseen father figure.

What are sermons like in an atheist church? One assumes the central theme is a minister of some sort reading from texts in a monotone about why we shouldn’t believe in god and organized religion, followed by hymns celebrating nothingness.

Forgive my snark, but isn’t the point of atheism the rejection of god and religion? If so, why steal from religion to celebrate your godlessness?

I understand why some atheists prefer a place to meet with like-minded people to establish a sense of community, but borrowing the trappings of the very thing they reject seems hypocritical and silly.

The advance of science in modern civilization has taken much of the great mystery out of existence which religion sought to explain.

Promoting atheism in a mature, articulate, intelligent manner would be better than sprinkling it with some old time religion.

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