Atheism as Religion

Atheism as Religion - Adam Lawrence Final Paper...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Adam Lawrence Final Paper Anthropology of Religion March 19, 2008 Atheism as Religion and Spirituality Atheism, the fundamental principle of denying the existence of a god CITATION Ric06 \p 225 \l 1033 , is often thought of being devoid of religion . When atheists are asked what religion they follow, they often reply, “atheism,” I believe that this is not a mere coincidence or simply an easy way around a sometimes difficult religion . Atheists much like theists have religion and spirituality. The difference is that there religion is not centered around a divine being (or beings) . I will articulate within this paper, a short history of atheism, the meaning of atheism, the religion of atheism (including notable atheists), and the spirituality of atheism . It is my belief that atheism provides a foundation for understanding and interpreting life . Many make the argument that religion provides a moral framework for living in a civilized society and in the absence of religion people would be immoral, this is also wrong, atheism has a framework of morality that helps to govern the actions of its practitioners . Atheism is defined as both a religious theory and an intellectual theory . Atheism literally means “a” without and “theism” meaning god, so it means without god (Encarta) . Atheism can trace its’ root back to the origins of modern western CITATION Ric06 \p 225 \l 1033 http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=atheist
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
philosophy . Through the writings of Plato it is possible to surmise that Socrates was a non-believer. From there it is possible to trace atheism through the middle age philosophies of skepticism and naturalism . These two ideas invoke notions of the agonistic (doubt about the existence god) belief . It is furthermore important to distinguish atheism from pantheism—the idea that the universe and god are one in the same and therefore cannot be separated (Stanford University) . Defining exactly what atheism is as a complex process . Everyone who is non religious tends to have a slightly different definition of what atheism is. The classification of atheists is something that remains a bit of a challenge today . Fortunately, John Reid wrote a handy text, The Anatomy of atheism this text is design solely to help classify atheists . Reid believes that atheism can be classified into three different religious subsets as well as two intellectual groups . The different subsets of atheists are grouped according to non belief (or belief in atheism) level . The first level is the Practical atheist this is a person who may participate in ecclesiastical religion but fails to believe in it . He may think of himself as a believer, a religious man, and may even adhere verbally to certain religious [Godly] principles, or be counted a member of some denomination . He may, in fact, be a catholic in juridical and theological sense, but he is, nevertheless, an atheist because for him God has no real meaning . God simply does not enter into his daily considerations and concerns.
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 05/29/2008 for the course ANTH 120 taught by Professor Phinney during the Winter '07 term at Seattle University.

Page1 / 16

Atheism as Religion - Adam Lawrence Final Paper...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online