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47. Re: Morning Metaverse Mar 13, 2013, 23:36 Jivaro
The premise of the argument is skewed. Religion is very specifically defined as "The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods."

To believe that God or those gods do not exist is exactly the opposite of that definition, and thus not religious. To call someone "religious" because of their fanatical belief in atheism is an incorrect use of vocabulary.

Beamer said religion "is a belief about the purpose and cause of the universe". Most religions do contain such a structure, however that is not the definition of the word. By reducing it to that his caricature of Dawkins is easier to communicate, and I think that is all he meant to do...communicate the irony of how a man (Dawkins) who is absolutely fanatical about the fact that he does not believe there to be a God or gods ends up himself portraying atheism as being a religion or cult.

That said, the concept that simply having a belief in something you can not prove makes you religious is wrong. It does mean you have a capacity for "faith". Many people who consider themselves "fact based" or hang their hats on science are uncomfortable with the word "faith", but there isn't another word in the English vocabulary that better describes something you believe to be true but do not have any facts to prove. Atheism, whether atheists want to admit it or not, can not prove they are correct without a shadow of a doubt. They simply have faith that they are correct because they have never seen any proof to the contrary.

In the interests of full disclosure, and despite the Bill Maher video I linked, I consider my self agnostic, not atheist. I don't believe in anything in particular other than the obvious truth that we are a very small part of a very big universe that has a whole lot of things going on that we can't predict or control. I don't believe there isn't a God or gods, I don't believe they exist either. I simply don't know. Nothing that I have observed or experienced in my life proves either belief to me. I do believe that regardless of whether a God or gods exist, religion itself is man made and that many religions, including all the modern varieties, get twisted by people for selfish reasons.

This comment was edited on Mar 14, 2013, 01:01.
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