The short answer is, no.
Atheism is not a religion. It’s a declarative stament about the existence of God/gods.
This is a popular argument between atheists and theists. I’ve noticed theists using it to derail conversations, fairly often. Ask them an uncomfortable question, and they’ll lob it into the conversation like a hand grenade. It works all too well.
If you want to piss off every single atheist in your circle, just make that stament. Then sit back and watch the conversation devolve into chaos.
Watch as the conversation becomes a definitions game. That game is seldom won on either side.
So here’s my question:
Would it matter?
If atheism were a religion, would that classification affect the validity of its core stament:
There is no God, or I don’t believe in God.
I don’t believe it would.
We don’t oppose religion because it’s classified as religion, we oppose it because it’s not true. Because organising ones life around a lie forces one to deny fundamental truths that contradict that lie. This has disastrous effects on society.
It’s the cause of oppressive laws, science illiteracy, bigotry, and violence in the name of said beliefs. Just to name a few.
The constant need to square the circle. To make actual reality, reflect fictional “reality” so you can continue to believe the lie.
This is laid out much more eloquently by Nicholas Lamar Soutter in his wonderful article here:
If any of the religions turned out to be true we’d be forced to drastically change our approach.
So, the next time some theist uses the tired old turnip “atheism is a religion” maybe don’t argue for three hours over definitions. Maybe instead, ask what difference it makes. Put the onus on them, and watch them squirm.
It works. I promise. Every time I’ve used that response, the theist in question was stumped. I’ve actually watched their face drop.
Why? Because there is no good answer. Explaining why we oppose religion, and how their assertion is irrelevant, true or not, leaves them with no angle to work.
That’s just my opinion my loves. Stay strong, stay resolute, and be the atheist that makes your local pastor wake up in a cold sweat.
I love you all.