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February 10, 2013
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"Saying that Atheism is a religion is like saying bald is a hair colour"

:icontinoculars:
Tinoculars Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
I've heard this stupidity repeated so many times by the citizens of the Internet that I have to say this:

Bald isn't a hair colour. It's a hair style.

Sometimes voluntary, sometimes at the will of your genes.

Short hair isn't a hair colour either. If I tell someone I have short hair, that doesn't automatically give them the image of me being a redhead.

Neither is long hair. Those are all hair styles.

I don't know who was the witty rebel teenager who figured that would be the most clever analogy to show those pesky conformist religious sheeple how wrong they are about everything. Out of arguments? I'll just use a bad t-shirt slogan and a link to an online dictionary and that'll show 'em.

Bald people have to go through a different routine of personal hygiene than people with long hair, dreadlocks or a perm have to.

But no, you're not part of any group. You've just figured life out all by yourself from the comfort of your own bedroom, and there's no one else who thinks like you. And if there is, it has to be just a coincidence cause when was the last time you even had any form of human contact that didn't involve a keyboard?
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Devious Comments

:iconsheepy94:
Sheepy94 Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
"Saying that Atheism is a religion is like saying bald is a hair colour"

"Bald isn't a hair colour. It's a hair style."

Well no fucking shit, that's the point of the analogy!

Do you even know what an analogy is, before crying about it on the internet?
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:iconbrainninja11:
brainninja11 Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2013  Student General Artist
You know how you said that bald isn't a hair color? That's the fucking point! You are calling atheism a religion, when it mostly consists of people who are rejecting religion. It's completely nonsensical. And for the last bit, they aren't saying their not part of a group, they're saying they aren't part of a RELIGION. There is a difference, and if you don't know that, then you need to figure out what religion and atheism means, because you're confused. Not every group is a religion. Rejecting religion is not a religion.
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:iconoprahwinfreyx:
OprahWinfreyX Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Atheism is a religious belief, not a religion. there is no dogma, rule or requirement to be an atheist
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:icon135711cal:
135711cal Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013
While this may or may not be true, it is true that if it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck and it waddles like a duck it's a duck, no matter what other name you try to stick on it.
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:icontinoculars:
Tinoculars Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
I don't disagree with that.
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:iconvanhir:
Vanhir Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I'd love to see your reaction to people saying literally any metaphor ever.
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:icontimlavey:
TimLavey Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Gotta find at least something to pick on, right?
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:iconjackmolotov3:
JackMolotov3 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
again, what the fuck are you talking about. speaking of angsty teenagers....
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:iconcarusmm:
carusmm Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Atheism has no system.
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:iconvanhir:
Vanhir Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Atheists have no hair.
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:icongalacticgoat:
GalacticGoat Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't think I've heard anyone says "hair color". I have heard "hair due/hair style" which is valid because its not really a style of wearing hair as you can't really wear what isn't there. Though the more common comparison I see is comparing atheism to having a hobby of not stamp collecting.

The more accurate thing is atheism is a potential branch into a religion but can't be a religion in itself kinda like theism, deism and agnosticism are not religions either but can be aspects of a religion. For example Buddhism is technically an atheist religion even though some morons deny Buddhism is a religion on the basis it does have that lack of certain belief. The thing is religion is quite complex but the nowhere is its defining factor belief in God therefore atheist religion can and do exist.
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:icontdroid:
tdroid Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013
a major point of that metaphor is that hairstyle and hair color are two different things. Atheism cannot be a religion because it doesn't fit the difinition of what a religion is on its fundamental meaning. Another analogy is that Atheism is a religion like abstinence is a sex-position.

Atheism is one position on one issue, religion is a system of belief. The two are simply different things.
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:iconreesewhyte:
reesewhyte Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013   Digital Artist
"Bald isn't a hair colour. It's a hair style."
Well technically that's still incorrect, as there's no hair present to style. It's just a lack of hair. If you had a dropdown list of different hairstyles, selecting "none" would basically equate to bald. Same principle applies to atheism, it would just be the "none" in a dropdown menu of religions.

I think maybe you're over-complicating the analogy and placing too much emphasis on the wording rather than the actual message behind it (because I'm sure you understood what the analogy is suggesting). Maybe the person who came up with the expression could have done a better job of presenting the idea, but the message is still the same.
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:icontetrarools:
tetrarools Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
personally i dont consider Atheism a religion but i do consider science to be a religion. religion is a belief in something and religions purpose is to supply mankind with a purpose. science give the purpose of discovery and perseverance. the belief in god often gives the idea of living so that after words you may find something better.
these are simply my thoughts on the subject. and i simply think that atheism is simply living because you live.
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:iconsvataben:
Svataben Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Religion defined [link]:
"a : the state of a religious <a nun in her 20th year of religion>
b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
2
: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
3
archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness
4
: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.
"



Science defined [link]:
"Definition of SCIENCE

1
: the state of knowing : knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding
2
a : a department of systematized knowledge as an object of study <the science of theology>
b : something (as a sport or technique) that may be studied or learned like systematized knowledge <have it down to a science>
3
a : knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method
b : such knowledge or such a system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena : natural science
4
: a system or method reconciling practical ends with scientific laws <cooking is both a science and an art>
5
capitalized : christian science.
"

Clearly science cannot fall under religion. One cans rude religion by using the scientific method, but that does not make science religious.
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:iconhai-etlik:
Hai-Etlik Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013
Being an "atheist" doesn't mean the person in question doesn't have any beliefs of any sort. Just that they don't believe in certain specific things (The existence of gods). That's it. That's all there is to it and everything else is wide open.

An atheist my be a free thinker, or may dogmatically believe in some ideology. An atheist may be religious (Excluding theistic religions) or irreligious. An atheist may be a naturalist or may believe in the supernatural (except for gods). An atheist may believe in the absence of gods, may believe it is unknowable whether they exist, may believe that it is knowable, but not know, may consider the idea of gods too ill defined to have a truth value, or may simply have never encountered the idea or not care enough to think about it.

That's the point the "bald" analogy is trying to make. Complaining that it doesn't make your point for you is ridiculous. You are making what amounts to a circular argument for the invalidity of an analogy. You are essentially saying that because atheism IS a religion, any analogy that doesn't group the analog of atheism within the analog of religion must be wrong. The point being argued though is whether atheism IS a religion. You could argue that it's a bad analogy on other grounds. For instance, a better analogy would be to say that atheism is like "not-red" as a hair colour. There are non-redheads who have hair of some other colour, and non-redheads who are bald and therefore have no hair colour.

Atheism doesn't imply a claim to any special knowledge or that we have figured everything out. Given the wide open definition, there are some people who do make such claims who are atheists, but it's not because they are atheists or implicit in being atheists. Joseph Stalin was an atheist, but he had very little in common with someone like James Randi other than not believing in gods, and having some impressive facial hair. Stalin was every bit as dogmatic as the most fundamentalist theist and would have hated a free thinker/skeptic like Randi.

If you want to argue with specific claims or actions of someone or some group that happens to be atheist, you'll have to be specific about them, and don't expect everyone who happens to not believe in gods to agree with them or feel responsible for the actions of anyone else who also happens not to believe in gods.
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:iconunclegargy:
UncleGargy Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
And I'm not a teenager, the older I get the less I believe.
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:iconunclegargy:
UncleGargy Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Why do non-believers even have to be grouped? Some people can live on this planet without religion. Maybe they are stronger in spirit and don't need to belong to any group. They can find their own path by themselves without the need to be taught or guided by others. Believers just can't stand free thinkers and want to shackle them to outdated belief systems.
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:icontinoculars:
Tinoculars Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
Isn't it natural to group people who have something in common though? Maybe you don't like the word "group", but a multitude or beings or objects that share at least a common feature.

What free thinkers are you talking about?
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:iconsherberttcat:
SherbertTCat Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Of course Atheists don't want to be seen as part of a religious group! Don't you know? Their shit don't stink!
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:icontinoculars:
Tinoculars Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
Or, you know, maybe they don't even shit at all.
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:iconsmkiller:
Smkiller Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Hobbyist
Or, you know, atheism on its own doesn't fit the definition of what religion actually is.
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:iconvicsor-s3:
Vicsor-S3 Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Or, you know, not believing in a god might just not qualify as a religion.
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:iconrosleinrot:
RosleinRot Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013   Photographer
Well if someone believes atheism is not a religion (but rather a way of thinking, etc), then this analogy is true, because it's not a hair color. It's not the best-written analogy in the world but when viewed through this lens it works.
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:iconhai-etlik:
Hai-Etlik Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013
That's why the stamp collecting analogy is far more common.
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:iconno-doves-fly-here:
no-doves-fly-here Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013
The fact that one poor analogy is poor does not change the fact that atheism is not "an organized collection of belief systems, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values." -Nor is theism. Nor is agnosticism, or ignosticism, polytheism, pantheism, panentheism, deism, autotheism, nontheism, post-theism, freethought, etc. These are all potential philosophical elements of a religion, but they are not religions in and of themselves.

One might say that positive-atheism, explicit-atheism, pragmatic-atheism and agnostic-atheism are theological philosophies, but they are still not religions because they lack the defining qualities of a religion. There are secular/nontheistic religions which include atheism in their creed, however, such as Secular Humanism, nontheistic Friends (Quakers), nontheistic/pantheistic Sufi Muslims, Nāstika Hinduism, Cārvāka, nontheistic variants of Buddhism and Jainism, possibly "antitheism" or "antireligion", various theodicies as well as the occasional political cult of personality. Then you have implicit-atheism, which is not a philosophy at all but rather the default state of theological unawareness.
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:iconsolum-ipsum:
Solum-Ipsum Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
"nontheistic/pantheistic Sufi Muslims"
I think Sufism is closer to Advaita Vedanta, which is proto-gnostic/solipsistic.
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:iconno-doves-fly-here:
no-doves-fly-here Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013
There are many branches of Sufism. I was not calling Sufism nontheistic or pantheistic as a whole, I was citing those specific branches of Sufi thought.
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:iconsolum-ipsum:
Solum-Ipsum Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, I see. Thank you for enlightening me on the topic. :)
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:iconperibyss:
Peribyss Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
So, what exactly do you have a problem with, then? Atheism? The belligerent teenage atheists? The analogy?

Yeah, the analogy is fairly retarded, and volatile, belligerent teenagers are equally so, atheistic or otherwise, but if your problem is with atheism, would you care to elaborate on it?
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:iconsiegeonthorstadt:
siegeonthorstadt Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013
every personal tradition is a persons religion, every argument of their point of view is preaching. atheists wont be excluded simply because they think they can change everything by simply stating it
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:iconsaeter:
Saeter Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013
Religion is more specific a world view that asserts a supernatural agent(s) that require ritualistic devotion/prayer and posthumous existence. Though much can be considered like religion everything cannot be called a religion.
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:iconsiegeonthorstadt:
siegeonthorstadt Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013
the definition of ritual is identical with personal habit
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:iconsaeter:
Saeter Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013
Depends on why the person does it. If I drink a cup of coffee first thing every morning does that mean I worship coffee?
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:iconsiegeonthorstadt:
siegeonthorstadt Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013
not to the coffee but to your habits, depending on how far you could go to make the morning coffee possile
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:iconsaeter:
Saeter Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013
Yeah I'm sure that some sense of spirituality is required for a religion.
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:iconsiegeonthorstadt:
siegeonthorstadt Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013
and how do you define spirituality?
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:iconsaeter:
Saeter Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013
1. Of, relating to, consisting of, or having the nature of spirit; not tangible or material.
2. Of, concerned with, or affecting the soul.
3. Of, from, or relating to God; deific.
4. Of or belonging to a church or religion; sacred.
5. Relating to or having the nature of spirits or a spirit; supernatural.
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(1 Reply)
:iconvictorianexcentric:
VictorianExcentric Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That requires a redefinition of religion entirely at odds with the currently commonly accepted definition, [link] The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods. .

So while possibly pleasant for you as an individual perspective, I am not sure it really is very useful. We don't get to redefine words if we wish to discuss things...

VE.
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:iconsiegeonthorstadt:
siegeonthorstadt Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013
definitions vary in the dictionaries of every language. just because the english butchered millions of people all over the doesnt doesnt make their definition the final
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:iconvictorianexcentric:
VictorianExcentric Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You are writing in English here of your own volition, which is what matters for the purpose of this discussion. And you still don't get to redefine every word which ever way you please.

VE.
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:iconsiegeonthorstadt:
siegeonthorstadt Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013
the lingual rules of english are a matter here, not the context
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:iconvictorianexcentric:
VictorianExcentric Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
No, the matter is you don't get to arbitrarily define words if you want to have a significant conversation with others. If the conversation takes place in one language, than that is the common ground to establish valuable communication. Otherwise, you are just talking to yourself.

VE.
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:iconsiegeonthorstadt:
siegeonthorstadt Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013
my inflexible friend, "having a conversation" is all about talking about the meanings of words. otherwise we would all sit down and read a dictionary and nobody would be able to state their opinions.
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:iconvictorianexcentric:
VictorianExcentric Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Phew, I was glad to read that post of yours, after translating it roughly using my own custom definitions, here is how your words now reads,

Dear Sir VictorianExcentric, I would like to apologize for my silly and childish argumentation. It is indeed of course idiotic to expect to redefine commonly used words as part of a poorly formed argument. It is evident that in order to ensure communication, one must rely on the commonly accepted definitions. If one wishes to establish a valid semantic argument, one would at least start by establishing such premises clearly, rather than absurdly making this [link] kind of absurd statement.

I am glad you can shoulder so bravely the absurdity of your previous statements and are now ready to face it. (The alternative to your agreement here is that you don't accept arbitrary semantic redefinitions, which would prove my point)

VE.
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(1 Reply)
:iconhai-etlik:
Hai-Etlik Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013
Even then, atheism is still simply a label an absence of theism and doesn't require any particular tradition or point of view. So even with siegeonthorstadt's non-standard and wildly broadened definition of "religion" (such as it is, "atheism" still isn't a religion.

To use the stamp collector analogy. Even if you redefine "hobby" to mean "any activity of any kind", "not collecting stamps" is still not a hobby, it's the absence of one particular activity.
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:iconvictorianexcentric:
VictorianExcentric Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Possibly, but then I am not particularly interested in starting a discussion on the details/scope of the redefinition of the word "religion" that ~siegeonthorstadt has affected.

I can assume that if ~siegeonthorstadt has redefined his terms to include the personal worldview of atheism, he can argue that point for himself. I suspect that if needed he/she will further broaden his definition so as to ensure to include it.

My main point was that if we go down the road of redefining such terms with some incredibly vague terminology, debate is pointless.

VE.
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:iconhai-etlik:
Hai-Etlik Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013
Yes, I was just pointing out that he was doing the something similar in redefining "atheism" as an actual position, rather than a label for the absence of a particular position so it's doubly pointless.
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:iconvictorianexcentric:
VictorianExcentric Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Fair enough, he was indeed redefining atheism as well as religion...

have a nice evening...

VE.
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:icontotally-dead:
Totally-dead Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
And?
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