Monday, November 12, 2007

It looks like a religion, it barks like a religion

Naughty of me, but when I found the First Church of Atheism I just could not resist this post.


You have the seminal texts,
you have the evangelists complete with click to donate web sites,
you need faith to believe (well strong atheists anyway - weak atheists need faith not to believe),
you have the regular meetings,
you have the T-shirts,
now you have the church www.firstchurchofatheism.com complete with ordained ministers,

... and you still don't have an atheist religion?

Peace - Hamba kahle

11 comments:

J.L. Hinman said...

not about this piece but you don't' give an email address. thank you for sticking up for my post on the DC stie. I am linking to this blog in appreciation of that act.

thanks.

BEAST said...

Heard of the Landover Baptist Church.

Satire and parody are part and parcel of comedy.

Beast

Techskeptic said...

You have the seminal texts,

What? Where? you mean this?

you have the evangelists complete with click to donate web sites,

All non profits are religious?

you need faith to believe (well strong atheists anyway - weak atheists need faith not to believe),

so you mean a vast majority of us don't need faith.


you have the regular meetings,

We do? I must be missing them. where is the meeting I must go to to identify myself as an atheist?

you have the T-shirts,
I guess thats true. Of course the Steelworkers union also has T-shirts.... are they a religion?

now you have the church www.firstchurchofatheism.com complete with ordained ministers,

two people out to make a buck does not a religion make.



gimme a break.

Neil Turton said...

Hi akakiwibear,

Thanks for this. I've been looking for somewhere to pay my tithes to ever since I stopped going to church. ;-)

Peace, Neil.

akakiwibear said...

Thank to Neil, nice to know someone else saw the humour.

Nightmare said...

Atheism is, by definition, not a religion. People will have their antics however ;)

akakiwibear said...

Hi Nightmare and welcome - Atheism is, by definition, not a religion in theory, but I wonder if it is not becoming one.

I think the distinction between a belief in (a) God and a religion established to give form to that belief should always be held in mind.

My somewhat tongue in cheek post does identify that atheism has picked up some of the trapping of a religion see also http://www.time.com/time/magazine
/article/0,9171,1686828,00.html

Organised religion tends to meet more needs than simply devotional. It covers community and social as well as areas such as eduction and lobbying. It is hard to deny that groups are springing up among atheists to meet these needs.

We should not stay with our picture of a classic religion in this day and age. The www provides new communities and opportunities to meet, talk and do what people previously associated with the bricks and mortar of religious establishments.

To me the RRS looks so like an evangelical church on the web that it would be hard to argue that it is not.

Hamba kahle - peace

Nightmare said...

I see your point, but once one begins to redefine what is and is not a religion in such terms, then simply anything becomes a religion - from a book club or gaming group to say the Republican party for instance. Such a liberal definition tends to reduce the accuracy of the word, and that IMO is not desirable.

I do agree it is humorous though ;)

akakiwibear said...

While I agree with you as a purist it is good to have sound definitions - I just don't really get excited about the religions to me what matters is the existence of the spiritual realm and the one we call God therein

... but that said, surely you don't question that soccer is a religion in the UK or rugby in NZ?



Merry Christmas!

Nightmare said...

to me what matters is the existence of the spiritual realm and the one we call God therein

Well, I can agree with half of that ;)

... but that said, surely you don't question that soccer is a religion in the UK or rugby in NZ?

Or football in my neck of the woods ;) They certainly have the trappings and fanaticism of a religion, that much is certain....

Neil Turton said...

Hi Akakiwibear,

You wrote:
"I just don't really get excited about the religions to me what matters is the existence of the spiritual realm and the one we call God therein"

I agree, which is why I don't have an issue with the First Church of Atheism or with football clubs. I also don't call them religions but I'm prepared to defer to your definition for the purposes of this discussion.

"Organised religion tends to meet more needs than simply devotional. It covers community and social as well as areas such as eduction and lobbying. It is hard to deny that groups are springing up among atheists to meet these needs."

Yes, it's good that religions provide for community and social needs. It's not too surprising that atheist groups are springing up for those purposes. Atheists have needs too.

Peace, Neil.