I did this last week, and I wasn’t sure I’d be back to do another, but here I am:
Do you believe that atheism is a set of religious beliefs or is a religion in any sense? If so, why? If not, why not? Or, do you have no opinion on the matter or just don’t care one way or the other?
Personally, I don’t care. Believe what you want, or don’t. It’s no actual skin off my rear end.
What I will say, however, is that there are a lot of atheists who use science as a substitute for the deity/ies they claim not to believe in. They’ll proudly state “I don’t believe in God; I believe in science!” For example, Neil DeGrasse Tyson once famously said “The thing about science is that, even if you don’t believe in it, it’s still true.” Change “science” to “the Bible” in his pronouncement. How is one different from the other?
One of the more disturbing things I’ve heard in recent years is “the science is settled.” I would suggest that, if it’s settled, it isn’t science: it sounds suspiciously like religion. Want proof? Walk into a group of climate change activists and tell them that you think that climate change is complete and utter bullshit. You’ll be cursed as a denier, doxxed, lose your job, your family, your home, your life, your friends, cast out of your congregation, and, if they could find a way to do it without releasing carbon into the atmosphere, they’d burn you at the stake for your blasphemy.
Repeat after me:
SCIENCE IS NEVER SETTLED!
“Settled science” is called that because no one has found a better explanation for why things happen as they do, and all the formulae have been written assuming those things. If someone were to prove that an alternate theory could explain gravity, for example, all the books and all the formulae that use it as an assumption would have to be rethought. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
Maybe, as a friend of mine once said, there is no such thing as gravity: the world sucks. Maybe Earth is the center of the solar system, maybe even the universe. Maybe I’m the center of the universe. Maybe the world is flat, we just haven’t gotten close enough to the edge to find out. And who’s to say that, if we do ever fix climate change, we won’t inadvertently knock something else out of whack?
I’m not trying to be facetious (although I’m doing a pretty good job of it, if I say so myself).
So, in answer to the original question, “Do you believe that atheism is a set of religious beliefs or is a religion in any sense?” I think we have to say that sometimes it is.
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