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10 April 2004 @ 10:14 pm
Wisdom for the day  
It can't be a religion if there isn't a collection plate.

- -the redhead-, upon being involved in a discussion wherein one of the participants claimed that atheism is a religion

-the redhead-
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Bill the bold bosthoonwcg on April 10th, 2004 09:41 pm (UTC)
I guess you mean that symbolically, in that you're saying it has to be taking in offerings from its followers to keep going, right?

I say this because the church I go to doesn't have a collection plate. Just a box near the entry where people can drop donations. I also know a lot of pagans who have some kind of similar practice, just taking up voluntary donations rather than passing a plate.
-the redhead-theredhead on April 10th, 2004 09:45 pm (UTC)
just taking up voluntary donations rather than passing a plate.

They are the same thing.

-the redhead-
dirtstar on April 11th, 2004 09:32 am (UTC)
Good argument...atheism is most certainly NOT a religion!
Slut Bamwalla, aka Zinglebert Slaptibackslutbamwalla on April 11th, 2004 10:29 am (UTC)
I hope you were intending to make the distinction between religion -- an organized institution -- and philosophical spirituality -- a personal life-affirming path. I believe that one can have deeply held spiritual beliefs without feeling the need to force those beliefs upon others or inspire guilt among others with similar beliefs in order to exploit them for monetary gain.

In my experience, atheism, while not an organized religion, is definitely a form of philosophical spirituality -- as my friend tacit might say, it's a belief in the supreme power of the Void as the great equalizer. I distinguish atheism from agnosticism in this respect, as most agnostics I've encountered tend to be very apathetic, drifting along in the midst of others beliefs, being buffeted along by currents of religion and spirituality, never truly finding a home. Atheists, by comparison, have tied themselves to the mast of antipathy to avoid the siren's lure of religion's call. They have an anchor, a firmly held system of beliefs that keep them grounded.

So, I agree that, no, atheism isn't a religion any more than eclectic paganism in the sense that neither are prone to cluster together in large groups and raise funds that disappear into some guru's pocketbook; however, that does not mean that atheism does not represent, at least in a base form, some sort of philosophical spirituality.