Atheists deny that atheism is a religion, because they narrowly and falsely define religion (as they do so many other things). Their definition is limited to including ‘gods’ or supernatural beings, ceremonies and rituals. Dictionaries typically use similar definitions. One online dictionary I consulted defined religion as:
1. A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
2. A specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agree upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
3. The body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.
But these definitions fail to take into account religious beliefs that feature no supernatural beings, such as Taoism or UFO’s. A better definition by Ninian Smart (a recognized authority on the secular study of religion) includes what he called seven “dimensions” to religion. These seven points or dimensions are that a religion has 1) narrative (such as stories of where the universe came from and humanity’s part in it); 2) experiential events (an experience such as dread, guilt, awe, mystery, devotion, liberation, ecstasy, inner peace, or bliss that leads to conversion and later reinforce conversion); 3) a social aspect (a hierarchy of people at the top who promote their beliefs to gain and teach new believers (laity), or a shared belief system and attitudes practiced by group); 4) ethics (morality or a code of behavior); 5) doctrine (teachings or philosophy in an intellectually coherent form); 6) rituals (such as holidays and celebrations); and 7) material parts (objects or places symbolizing the, or treated as, sacred or supernatural). All religions do not have all of these in equal measure or attach the same importance to them, but in general they share these characteristics.
In an article by Daniel Smartt at http://creation.com/atheism-a-religion he looks at this seven-point definition of religion and does a good job showing how atheism fits right in. The stories or narrative of atheism include Darwin’s trip on the HMS Beagle, the big bang (nothing exploded and became everything), and evolution (from simple to complex). Their experiences include such things as “freedom” from religion or “liberation” after converting, while “faith” is needed to embrace the belief (contrary to the science they say they worship) that life arose from non-life. Atheist social hierarchy has people at the top like Darwin or Stephen Hawking who are revered and preach the shared belief system aiming to gain converts. Atheist ethics are that there are no ethics except perhaps self-preservation or survival of the fittest; and that humans are basically good. But borrowing from other ethical systems is encouraged due to the moral bankruptcy of their doctrine.
That doctrine is of course that there is no God; evolution as fact contrary to sound science, and such things as the Humanist Manifesto. Their rituals include Darwin’s birthday and Earth Day (Lenin’s birthday). The material dimension of the atheist religion includes a worship of nature along with exploiting nature because “survival of the fittest” means that humans are the fittest.
Atheism is by definition self-contradictory. They espouse “open mindedness” yet start off with a repudiation of God. If they were truly “open minded” they would consider at least the possibility of a God. They say they have no gods yet obviously worship the twin gods of science and rationality, when they aren’t worshiping themselves as gods. There is no rational way possible they can declare there is no God unless they are gods by the conventional definition. They would have to be everywhere present, all-powerful, and all-knowing, because God could be residing somewhere they can’t get to, or know about, or have the power to travel to. They say Christians cannot prove God exists (although we can) yet cannot prove that God does not exist.
C. S. Lewis earlier in his life was an atheist. But he later said “atheism turns out to be too simple.”
Nothing good comes from atheism. What little good there is gets borrowed from other religions, mostly Christianity. Out of the first 108 universities founded in America, 106 of them were for training pastors. Whatever you want to say about the training of pastors, it was still thought that pastors had to be educated. The first free clinic in England was started by Christians (1746, John Wesley). Christians during the reformation and after were the vocal advocates of education, because they wanted to encourage people to read the Bible. The abolition of slavery in the UK and U.S. was pushed by, you guessed it, Christians.
Atheists claim to be compassionate, yet give very little of their precious money to charity, even non-religious charities. One study from Barna Research http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/12-faithspirituality/102-atheists-and-agnostics-take-aim-at-christians found that in 2006 the typical no-faith American donated just $200.00 while the average active-faith adult (defined as having gone to church, read the Bible and prayed during the week preceding the survey) gave $1,500.00. Even when church-based giving is subtracted, the active-faith adults gave double the dollars. Three times as many atheists as Christians gave nothing at all.
“We find the most terrible form of atheism, not in the militant and passionate struggle against the idea of God himself, but in the practical atheism of everyday living, in indifference and torpor. We often encounter these forms of atheism among those who are formally Christians.”
Nicolai A. Berdyaev
We_find_the_most_terrible_form_of_atheism. Dictionary.com. Columbia World of Quotations. Columbia University Press, 1996. http://quotes.dictionary.com/We_find_the_most_terrible_form_of_atheism (accessed: March 04, 2013).
Atheists love to speak of war and death in the name of Christianity, yet lie when confronted with the many-times-greater war and death caused by atheism. They do this by saying that the atheist versions were not “in the name of atheism.” Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Lenin, Pol Pot, Castro, etc. have caused more deaths than all the so-called religious wars combined, and more in “peacetime” than in war. These men were all atheists, either by direct statement or by action. Totalitarians have all been atheists. Hitler, it is claimed, was a Christian, but was not. He used Darwin’s theories to justify his death camps, and used the national church (church is not the same thing as Christian) as a rubber stamp to further his policies of war, eugenics and terror.
Atheists also ignore the millions of deaths by abortion perpetrated by atheist Margaret Sanger and others of similar thought. She was the founder of Planned Parenthood and a dedicated eugenicist (improving the quality of the human race by selective breeding and elimination of self-determined “undesirables”).
And when, by the way, has a book been published by an atheist that is so popular it has been in print for thousands of years selling billions of copies and translated into most known languages?
Stan, the 40 year atheist at atheism-analyzed.net points out in his First Principle of Atheism blog post (atheism-analyzed.blogspot.com) that “Atheism is a VOID, intellectually and morally. This seems hardly arguable given that many Atheists declare the relief of total freedom that Atheism has given them – freedom from onerous absolutes, rules and authority (1). This VOID or hole is created solely by rejection, commonly of the nature of rebellion, and commonly is adopted in juvenile years of poor intellectual and cortex development coupled with raging hormones and personal emotional turmoil. After the VOID is adopted, Atheists find themselves totally free to create their own truths to backfill the hole. In essence, the Atheist is enabled to fill the hole totally with himself, and his own personal desires. So Atheism is completely self-focused and narcissistic. This is not to say that all narcissists are Atheist, nor that all Atheists meet the clinical definitions of narcissism. But the first principle of Atheism opens the pathway to narcissism and many take that path.”
Seinfeld was a sitcom very popular in the ‘90’s. To quote its creators and critics, it is “a show all about nothing.” Adherents to atheism claim that nothing exploded and produced everything, that nothing evolved and produced humanity, that there exists nothing but what we see hear touch taste and feel, that there is no God, and nothing awaits us after we die. There is no basis for morality, no guiding principles except that of “dog eat dog,” and no hope for the future. Truly atheism is also a show about nothing. It is the Seinfeld of religions.
Christians on the contrary possess quite a bit of substance. We have a God who is the source of all things of love, good, right, light, justice and life. We have comfort that there is a purpose to our being here, and a hope that all will not continue in pain, suffering and misery indefinitely. Our hope is that the perfectly loving, just and righteous Father will cleanse creation and put it back to right with His Son. We will be a part of His kingdom and family forever.
Atheists want us to trade all of what we have for…wait for it…nothing. They’ve got literally nothing to offer. Believers have everything, and lose nothing if we are wrong. Atheists have nothing, yet have everything to lose if they are wrong (an application of Pascal’s wager). The hook for atheism is that a person can be his own god with no accountability for decisions good or bad. This pitch has been made before. In the Garden of Eden. By a liar and the father of lies. So atheism is just another dressed up version of “you will be like God.” Atheism has got to be about the dumbest religion ever created by man. At least most of the other religions admit what they are doing. So the Seinfeld of religions wants us poor, idiot Christians to trade all we have for all they don’t?