Instigator / Pro
14
1500
rating
10
debates
35.0%
won
Topic
#4162

Atheism Is a Religion

Status
Finished

The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

Winner & statistics
Better arguments
6
0
Better sources
4
4
Better legibility
2
2
Better conduct
2
1

After 2 votes and with 7 points ahead, the winner is...

Skipper_Sr
Parameters
Publication date
Last updated date
Type
Standard
Number of rounds
4
Time for argument
Two weeks
Max argument characters
30,000
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Multiple criterions
Voting system
Open
Contender / Con
7
1737
rating
168
debates
73.21%
won
Description

Pro will defend "Atheism is a religion." Con will defend "Atheism is not a religion." Definitions will be included in my opening Round

Round 1
Pro
#1
Burden of Proof: 
Each side will defend their claim which was previously stated within the Debate Description.

Definitions by Merriam-Webster: 
Atheism - “a philosophical or religious position characterized by disbelief in the existence of a god or any gods”1

Religion - “a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices”2

Religious - “relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality…”3

1. Atheism is a religion, this I know. For Merriam-Webster told me so (Melody - https://youtu.be/QSaWPYb6_6k)4

Adhering to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines Atheism as a “religious position.” Atheists acknowledge an ultimate reality: “...disbelief in the existence of a god,” which means they qualify as religious according to the definition. If an Atheist does not manifest faithful devotion, they are not an Atheist. This is not quite a syllogism, so it is not recorded as such. 

Conclusion
Merriam-Webster is very clear in its definitions that Atheism is a religion.






Sources:



Con
#2
What am I supposed to prove?

Con will defend "Atheism is not a religion."
Which means, if either of the two shown below are being established successfully by any stage of this current discussion and remains sound at the end of the debate, CON wins.
  • Any instances, which are appropriately being classified as atheism yet are not appropriately classified as religion, exists soundly intrinsic structurally.
  • Some attribute within Atheism as a whole, and therefore all the instances of atheism, makes atheism and religion mutually exclusive ideas, therefore being both is never possible.
Mind you the definition of atheism, as to M-W dictionary, is
a philosophical or religious position characterized by disbelief in the existence of a god or any gods
Source cited already by Pro this round.

Argument R1

Let's start with an analogy: What do all non-smokers have in common, removing that they don't smoke? The answer is: Not necessarily anything. I am a non-smoker(And if you really want to doubt it, assume I really am one), Hitler once was one, and my aunt's dog or my friend's cousin's cat didn't smoke either because smoking animals outside humans are rare.

Exactly. There are nothing else necessarily common between non-smokers other than they don't smoke. Same with non-drivers(they don't drive), non-White people(They aren't white people), non-Harvard Alumni(they never graduated from Harvard as of yet), etc, and Atheists(Non-believers). Unlike the different "factions" for religions, such as Judaism, Protestantism, Islam, Hinduism, which mandates you to only interpret "God" in specific formations(For example, Christianity believes from their heart that God is something that created the fleshed-out world in 168 hours and spoke to Jesus himself much much later), there is no specificity, or even any organization after one single term, for the atheist position.

There is, frankly, no obligation for "faithful devotion" among atheists. All one needs to be an atheist is to not believe in the existence of any God, not to be devoted faithfully to any non-god entity. I believe Pro is mistakenly thinking that "all religious positions involve being religious", and such claims can be disproven using, such as:
  • "All political positions involves the position holders being political"
    • No, apoliticism is a position on politics, with apoliticals not being political, obviously
  • "All personal social positions involve being social"
    • No, I can be a total recluse from even online information, living by myself farming far away, that is a position socially.
  • "All positions on driving must involve driving"
    • No, my position on driving is that I don't drive. Simple as that. I hold no organized or institutionalized set of instincts or beliefs on "how to drive", because I think the best way on this issue as of yet is to NOT drive
  • "All positions on China must be pro-China"
    • Although I am not, anyone can be anti-China. Maybe you think this one is structured a little differently, however, this specific thing is exactly the same with "All religious positions must be pro-religion/religious", thus mistakenly classifying Atheism as a religion. Without any other arguments on why atheism is a religion, this argument on why atheism is a religion makes no sense.
Exactly, having a position on religion(especially one which denies the beliefs of those that actually classify as religions AND requires nothing more than a single claim) does not mean it must be religious.

I cite the definition again, to show something:
Religious - “relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality…”3
No "Ultimate reality" is assumed to be in common for all atheists. For example, some atheists believe in the principles of mathematics and science, others(such as babies), believe in none. Unless any one personal set or institutionalized system of beliefs can encompass the beliefs of all atheists, there isn't one exactly for atheism. Either there is or there isn't, and Pro has yet to show there is one.

Definition of Disbelief:
Disbelief definition, the inability or refusal to believe or to accept something as true.
And my position here is simple: Because some atheists believe in nothing at all(such as babies, and they don't believe in anything, yes, including anything religious), there is no system of beliefs that truly captures all forms of atheism. And yes, Babies are unable to believe in God, or anything, due to physiological reasons. 

For All Christians, no matter the faction or nationality their church sits upon, they all believe in at least a few things: That God created the full world to its extent in 7 days, that Noah's Ark and the Great Flood existed, and that Jesus was real, and God may answer to prayers. These are only a few attributes to the belief system held by all conscious Christians, which may possibly include the entirety of the Old Testament and even a few books of the New Testament. This system is thus being described as the "Chrstian" belief system. For all classes of religions, all believers of such religions must at least believe in common an entire set of beliefs on reality, and that set of beliefs is what makes that religion, that religion.

What about Atheism? Again, since some atheists could believe in nothing at all, and nothing other than that they don't believe in a God is in common for atheists, "Atheism" is not any one personal set of beliefs, let alone institutionalized system of beliefs, no matter religious or not. What this means is that, the topic, as of yet, is being proven wrong, or that the Con's Burden of proof is being upheld as of now.

Conclusions
  • "Any instances, which are appropriately being classified as atheism yet are not appropriately classified as religion, exists soundly intrinsic structurally."
    • For babies unable to believe in any kind of God or even just anything supernatural, obviously, they don't classify as "religious", which means that such instances do exist.
  • "Some attribute within Atheism as a whole, and therefore all the instances of atheism, makes atheism and religion mutually exclusive ideas, therefore being both is never possible."
    • Atheism is not religious, so Atheism is not a religion.
  • The conditions according to the statements shown above in quote marks of the same rank as this one, are being met by CON. Vote CON.

Round 2
Pro
#3
R1: Con Says Atheists Are "Non-Believers" 
Let's start with an analogy: What do all non-smokers have in common, removing that they don't smoke? The answer is: Not necessarily anything. I am a non-smoker(And if you really want to doubt it, assume I really am one), Hitler once was one, and my aunt's dog or my friend's cousin's cat didn't smoke either because smoking animals outside humans are rare.
To fulfill the analogy, Con is saying non-smokers are the "non-believers." This a very subjective term as people will "non-believe" in something and by contrast believe the opposite. Additionally, to say "Atheists are non-believers" can be a vague term. They don't believe in what? Christians don't believe in the absence of God. Does that make them "non-believers"? Con needs a better classification for Atheists than "non-believers."

Which leads into my second point. 

R2: Con Says Babies Are Atheists 
And my position here is simple: Because some atheists believe in nothing at all(such as babies, and they don't believe in anything, yes, including anything religious), there is no system of beliefs that truly captures all forms of atheism. And yes, Babies are unable to believe in God, or anything, due to physiological reasons. 

  • For babies unable to believe in any kind of God or even just anything supernatural, obviously, they don't classify as "religious", which means that such instances do exist.

Con admits "babies are unable to believe..." He adds they can't believe in God, but truly they can't believe in anything. How then can a baby believe in Atheism? Con is contradicting himself. Con says "Babies are unable to believe in God," but then purposefully does not mention they cannot believe in Atheism either. Con is digging themself into a hole with this one.

they don't classify as "religious"
They don't classify as "religious" because they don't classify as having a religion. 

To conclude, Babies cannot be Atheists. Con's point is void.

Rebuttal 3:
There is, frankly, no obligation for "faithful devotion" among atheists. All one needs to be an atheist is to not believe in the existence of any God, not to be devoted faithfully to any non-god entity. I believe Pro is mistakenly thinking that "all religious positions involve being religious", and such claims can be disproven using, such as:
  • "All political positions involves the position holders being political"
    • No, apoliticism is a position on politics, with apoliticals not being political, obviously
  • "All personal social positions involve being social"
    • No, I can be a total recluse from even online information, living by myself farming far away, that is a position socially.
  • "All positions on driving must involve driving"
    • No, my position on driving is that I don't drive. Simple as that. I hold no organized or institutionalized set of instincts or beliefs on "how to drive", because I think the best way on this issue as of yet is to NOT drive
  • "All positions on China must be pro-China"
    • Although I am not, anyone can be anti-China. Maybe you think this one is structured a little differently, however, this specific thing is exactly the same with "All religious positions must be pro-religion/religious", thus mistakenly classifying Atheism as a religion. Without any other arguments on why atheism is a religion, this argument on why atheism is a religion makes no sense.
By these hypothetical situations, Con is saying, "My position on belief is that I do not believe." An Atheist does not believe in God, but they certainly have a belief. They do not have to be pro-God to be a "believer" of a religion. Atheists believe in the non-existence of a god or gods. Con confuses pro-God with pro-religion. This debate is not about how everyone has a religion, only if Atheists/Atheism have/is a religion. One can use the aforementioned phrase, "My position on belief is that I do not believe," like this instead: "My position on disbelief is that I believe." I can use this same logic for every one of Con's examples. This part of Con's debate does not help them. 

I believe Pro is mistakenly thinking that "all religious positions involve being religious"
What Intel_06 is getting at is Atheists are non-religious. As stated in the above paragraph, Atheists have a set of beliefs along with non-beliefs just like every other person in the world. I will say it again in syllogism format:

Syllogism
Religion - “a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices”

Atheists fit into this category, but the question is pertaining to that certain word "religious." Are Atheists religious?

Religious - “relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality…”

Atheists have an acknowledged ultimate reality. Do they have faithful devotion? 

Atheism - “a philosophical or religious position characterized by disbelief in the existence of a god or any gods”

Yes, they have faithful devotion because they are religious.

P1 To be religious, one must have faithful devotion (in the definition--can't be argued against).
P2 Atheism is a religious position (in the definition--can't be argued against).
C2 Atheists have faithful devotion. Not faithful devotion to a god mind you, but they are faithful and devoted nonetheless.  
Con
#4
I don’t want to continue anymore. Just take the win.
Round 3
Pro
#5
Forfeited
Con
#6
What?

Anyways, just go with it, the concession statement is possibly irreversible in the context here.
Round 4
Pro
#7
"I don’t want to continue anymore. Just take the win." - Intelligence_06 
If this is a literal offer, then I accept and agree





Sources

Con
#8
Well, the debate has reached its end.