Atheism is not a Religion

Atheism is not a religion. We are all born atheists. There is no such thing as a Christian child or a Muslim child or a Buddhist child, just as there is no such thing as a Republican child or Democratic child. These designations are the result of indoctrination by culture. As we get older we try to justify our beliefs with our ever expanding body of knowledge, but if you truly consider yourself a truth-seeker then you will embrace being wrong in light of new information. That is the scientific method, and the enemy of religious fundamentalism.

When religious people caricature atheism as a religion, it really shows a lack of understanding about what religion and atheism really are. They are not mutually exclusive. The Buddha was an atheist; he rejected the idea of an eternal soul because he believed that that idea was the cause of suffering in the world. In believing that you are eternal, or even that you have a permanent identity, you immediately separate yourself from other people in the world. Your entire body replaces itself every 7 years and your body of knowledge is always increasing, so to assume that you are the same 'self' is problematic and will undoubtedly lead to conflict with other people who believe the same thing about their 'selves.'

Furthermore, there is no reason to assume that any supernatural power has played a role either creating or manipulating life on earth or in the universe in general. When religious texts were written they offered an account of the world using the best interpretation available to them. The King James Version of the Bible is an excellent example of the metaphor and philosophy employed by ancient thinkers. It provides great insight into what our ancestors perceived ultimate reality to be.

However, to still rely on these ancient documents and the dogma of religious institutions for guidance in your immediate life sells human reasoning short. Religion offers answers; it tells people what to think, but philosophy and science teaches how to think, which infinitely more beneficial to mankind.


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