Saturday, December 07, 2013
Atheism Is a Religion
My doctoral studies were in philosophy and religion. I've taught philosophy of religion for many years. As a result of these studies (which are ongoing, to the second) I have reason to believe I can recognize a religion when I see one.
Atheism is a religion. At least a certain form of it (the Richard Dawkins type). Recently, atheist John Gray has pointed this out, in his excellent book The Silence of Animals: On Progress and Other Modern Myths.
In a recent interview Gray said:
"Atheists always turn red when I call atheism a religion. If atheism means what it should mean: to not have any use for the concept of God, then, in that sense, I am an atheist. But I’m not an evangelist. The fact that there were buses going around London saying, “There is probably no God” is completely ridiculous. You can definitely call atheists religious when they’re being evangelists and trying to convert the world to their belief."
Correct. None of the atheist philosophy professors I had would have been interested in converting people like me to their worldview. How religiously silly, it has always seemed to me, on atheism.