Atheism is a religion.
(by Alfalfa Henry)
Atheists themselves will vehemently deny it. I’ve heard
their rejoinders: If atheism is a religion, then bald is a hair color
or more smart one liners like Atheism is a religion like collecting stamps is a
hobby . Brilliant, Touch’e. Atheists can deny it all they like but that
does not mean that it is not true, it just means they are denying it. To be a
religion or to act religiously one need not posit a god that is worshiped or
even identified . Some religions are polytheistic (Hinduism, Mormonism), some
monotheistic (Judaism, Christianity, Islam), some non-theistic (Buddhism). The
New Atheism religion is really “anti-theistic.” And their behavior and
attitude more than proves it so…
Materialism is the dominant worldview in atheism. Materialism (the view that the material world is all there is) This is the lens through which atheists view the world. It is not open-minded and all of these follow-the-evidence intellectuals interpret all data ONLY within the very narrow worldview of materialism. It is akin to asking a blind guy to describe the beauty of a Van Gogh.
They have a type of religious orthodoxy. Orthodoxy is a set of beliefs acceptable to a religous community and are in general faith based . Just like there are orthodox Hassidic Jewish beliefs, there is an atheist orthodoxy as well. It is the belief that everything, even the universe can now be explained by blind, random undirected processes and purposeless evolution. And that all claims to have any validity are and must be subjected to empiricism. This is not at all the healthy skepticism of intellectuals of days past, (Flew, Russell, Lewis, Paine) but is instead scientism. The worldview that only science holds the key to ultimate truth.
There is a rank and file mentality and anyone who breaks this pattern is guilty of apostasy. Apostasy is the abandonment of one’s faith. Consider the once atheist turned Christian genetic scientist Francis Sellers Collins. Collins who converted to Christianity and is now in charge of the Human Genome Project was vehemently rejected by the atheistic branch of natural scientists and was even questioned as far as his credential and ability to lead the project because of his faith. The orthodox atheistic view in scienctists is to reject anyone who does not accept an atheistic view or reality. But this is not just in science, this phenomena is not just confined to science but to all levels of academia such as philosophy as well. Let us reflect on Sir Antony Flew who for decades was one of the world’s most prominent atheist philosophers and intellectual. He was the author of many books and intellectual works. And then he changed his mind. How was this revelation accepted by the “open-minded, tolerant” New Atheist movement and its hierarchy? Sir Anthony Flew was vilified and Richard Dawkins went so far as to accuse Sir Anthony Flew of “tergiversation” (an academic term for apostasy) when Flew abandoned their atheist “faith.”
They have saints and prophets: Nietzsche, Russell, Feuerbach, Marx, Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens.
They have Darwin propped up as a messiah: According to atheists Darwin gave the final swing of the axe to theism and creation with his theory of evolution that supposedly delivered the head of religion to the proverbial chopping block of reason. According to atheists the theory is a comprehensive explanation for why a God is not necessary for any part or cause of the creation or diversity of life. (Never mind that it has no account for how life arose from inanimate material nor produced a single transitional fossil that can withstand scrutiny when there should be thousands and thousands of them) They have even went as far as applying atheistic natural selection to the creation of the universe by positing the non-testable and non-provable multi-verse as well as claim that religion and ethical codes are an evolutionary product as well. (see Dennett.
They have their own preachers and they evangelize. There is a plethora of atheist preachers, Dennett, Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens and Dennett. They, like Pat Robertson and other evangelists, have foundations, write books, host events and gatherings and espouse a belief that they believe is superior to all others and they present this as a gospel, (sharing “Good News” with the ignorant masses). These people are not out to present atheism as just a way of thought; they are actively seeking converts.
The premises of atheism are faith based. This is 100% correct though they will again vehemently deny it. They would have you believe the opposite. Their writings ridicule faith, their converts condemn faith. They commonly employ mockery and bile towards the faithful though they explain it as “parody” Atheism is a faith based enterprise beyond any reasonable doubt. Atheism has no explanatory power in the things and areas where religion makes its claim. The existence of God is not at all an empirical question but a philosophical and logical one. The existence of God cannot be proven or disproven by empirical science as God is the totality of reality and denying the existence of god takes faith. Physics has no explanation for why our universe is orderly, predictable, measurable, quantifiable and is filled with beauty. Atheistic evolutionary theory and natural selection has no rational explanation for why there is such a thing as rational thought or experience. There is no accounting for all of the things they hope you won’t ask: Why do we have self-awareness? Why do we have freewill, what makes us conscious? From what source is there a universal sense of right and wrong? And why do we have an inborn sense of altruism not just towards our own but towards the creation in total. Atheists merely state that science will explain all of these things. (a faith statement) In essence atheism just takes such unexplained things by … faith. The acceptance of these things are the core of all religious belief thus atheism is beyond all doubt a religious worldview.