Essay talk:If atheism is a religion

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Remark on this essay[edit]

There is one shortcoming to this essay, no matter how many examples are piled on it: It only applies to implicit weak atheism. Explicit weak atheism and strong atheism, which are both positive beliefs (that Gods should not be believed in and that no Gods exist, respectively), are not simply the absence of the beliefs associated with the "religion" of the traditional definition; you have to add in those few positive beliefs as well.

Make any responses to this remark here. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 19:00, 17 February 2009 (EST)

Actually, it's easier here to reply to one part of what you define as, I guess, "implicit weak atheism" - you say "that Gods should not be believed in" (emphasis mine). I don't understand where the "should not" comes from. I don't believe in any gods - or other supernatural creatures and events. I don't see where the "should not" comes into play, unless I was "evangelizing" my lack of said belief. ħumanUser talk:Human 21:49, 18 February 2009 (EST)
What sets implicit and explicit weak atheism apart is that the explicit weak atheist has thoroughly considered the situation and made a positive decision not to believe in any Gods — a positive decision that he should not believe in any, for otherwise, having considered it, he would.
I did not mean that explicit weak atheists categorically hold that others should not believe in any Gods either, although many of them seem to take that position. Poor choice of words. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 22:55, 18 February 2009 (EST)
I think you're making a semantic mountain out of a molehill with all these different kinds of atheists. In reality, I suspect there are as many atheist baramins as there are atheists. But thanks for the explanation, I see what you meant now. ħumanUser talk:Human 23:29, 18 February 2009 (EST)

These arbitrary distinctions are arbitrary. Nobody considers themself an "explicit weak atheist". Also, I see you class "Gods should not be believed in" and "no Gods exist" as "positive beliefs" despite both statements containing a strong negative. Basically all of your arguments rest on redefining every word or concept you get hold of to some arbitrary & specific definition that only belongs to you.

Make any responses to this remark here. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 23:36, 18 February 2009 (EST)

As to implicit and explicit, weak and strong, that is not me: I am following this taxonomy. I am being so tediously pedantic about it because the last time I was not, I took quite a hammering over it.
My use of "positive belief" in that place was another poor choice of words; I was trying to distinguish the beliefs mentioned there from the lack of belief that is implicit weak atheism. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 00:16, 19 February 2009 (EST)
So now you have twice said you made a poor choice of words on this issue, which you rest almost entirely on your definitions of what atheists believe or don't believe. I just think you are searching for a needle in a haystack of your own creation. PS, I don't care what some WP article says about it. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:15, 19 February 2009 (EST)
Human, it is rather ridiculous when you bash me for using my own definitions while, in the same post, you reject established definitions yourself. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 14:13, 20 February 2009 (EST)
This is really what it boils down to, Listener. You're using your own definitions of a lot of words & concepts, not always explaining them well, & then adhering to really pedantic theoretical constructs on other things. It makes arguing against you a real waste of time, since whenever we refute what you're saying, you just reply "ah, but by X I really mean Y".
Atheism is lack of belief. See what I wrote here - I came to atheism through realising I just didn't have faith in all the God stuff. I would imagine that many atheists who come from a theist family have a similar experience. Your phrasing of atheism as a "positive belief" is nonsense - you're basically saying "if you don't believe in God, you must believe in non-God", or, to put it another way , which is obviously a flawed result. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 07:29, 19 February 2009 (EST)
I shall try to avoid labels in this reply.
Consider what happened when you realized that you did not believe in any Gods. You were characterizing your pre-existing lack of belief in terms of theistic beliefs. This requires a knowledge, and hence an active rejection, of these theistic beliefs. I hold that in doing this, you had to ask a question of yourself, "Why am I rejecting these theistic beliefs?" — and that the answer to that question became a new belief of yours. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 15:32, 19 February 2009 (EST)
Nope. I didn't reject theistic beliefs; I just became aware that I didn't have them. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 15:48, 19 February 2009 (EST)
Why waste your time? He argues almost as badly as a Calvinist. EternalCritic 16:03, 19 February 2009 (EST)
And you argue almost as badly as Ken. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 14:13, 20 February 2009 (EST)

I realise that I have walked into an empty room but surely the central issue is that non-belief =/= disbelief.  Lily Inspirate me. 12:19, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

Ah! Tush! It's the old "Bald is a hair colour" thing. Not worth discussion. 12:31, 23 June 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast


I like this example. I only just recently had to explain to my eight-year-old niece that cold didn't really exist. I told her that what she was feeling outside (February in Pittsburgh, Pa., U.S.A.) was just less heat energy than what she felt last July (and, presumably, will again this July). I'm not sure she still quite gets it yet. --Edgerunner76Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 08:11, 19 February 2009 (EST)

That's a pretty complex thing to understand for any 8 year old. The abstracts nature of cold is a bit of a stumbling block. EternalCritic 16:05, 19 February 2009 (EST)


I edited... is that okay? — Unsigned, by: Mectrixctic / talk / contribs

I think so, this essay says its by all and sundry. Also, the history shows many editors. --signed by an Oniontalk edits 19:30, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it's fine. All RW articles are essentially "collaborative essays" but ones marked so in the essay space are under slightly more lax (albeit still unwritten) rules. Scarlet A.pngtheist 21:10, 3 August 2010 (UTC)


Last example is:

  • (If atheism is a religion) Tomatoes are fruit

Botanically tomatoes are fruit. Perhaps we should remove this one.--BobSpring is sprung! 19:25, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps that was intentional on behalf of whoever put it in, but to be fair, most of the bottom half of this is starting to go into Whatthefuckistan. Scarlet A.pngtheist 20:26, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
um.. I was wondering about intentionality too. But it's getting more surreal . Let me think
  • If atheism is a religion, why can't cabbages fly.
  • If atheism is a religion the people on Mars don't wear socks.
But creating non sequiturs deliberately is a pain. I'm going to eat the tomato though.--BobSpring is sprung! 20:50, 17 August 2010 (UTC)


Is it just me, or are some of these actually true? 0 km/h, for example, is a velocity, and 0 g has a mass of 0 g. It's a velocity of zero. Likewise, giving birth can be an abortion if it's a stillbirth, or if you're one of those people who thinks any termination of a pregnancy is an abortion. "Nothing" can and does have a volume, of exactly 0 cm^3. DC can be thought of as having a frequency of 0 Hz. Nudity is a costume in some contexts, like trick-or-treating as a nudist, Adam/Eve, etc. (not recommended). (talk) 15:25, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

There are a whole bunch of these that suck and should be removed. We should be able to link theists to this page without red herrings and embarrassing crap showing up. DevilTex (talk) 13:02, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

As I suggested a few years ago (how time flies!) many of these are not very convincing.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 20:39, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
I just hid a metric boatload of them behind comment tags. Feel free to revert some or all. Many of the ones still left visible are unconvincing, as Bob so diplomatically puts it. CamelCasePragmatist (talk) 20:57, 9 July 2015 (UTC)