Atheism as Religion

In addition to any other definition provided by law, the term “religion” used herein expressly includes non-religion, such as atheism, agnosticism, and non-belief in God or gods as has been recognized by the courts.

The First Amendment of the US Constitution covers atheism as well as theism. Your point?

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I suppose it was not obvious that the City of Portland wanted to protect atheists/agnostics from discrimination, because the law originally prohibited discrimination based on “religion”, and the City apparently acknowledged that atheists and agnostics are not commonly recognised as a type religion.

So they corrected that ambiguity by expressly including atheists/agnostics under the definition of the word “religion” … which wouldn’t have been necessary if atheism & agnosticism were obviously a kind of religion in everyday understanding.

@T_aquaticus - yes, I don’t know what the point is either.

Yes, @Mung what’s the point of this?

FFRF pushed for this law to outlaw discrimination against atheists.

Well, a Federal court in the US determined that the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster does not constitute a religion…

But the State of Arizona says that you could take your license photo with a spaghetti strainer on your head if it is your deeply held religious belief.

I would guess that @mung 's point is something along the lines that it could create an interesting conundrum when atheism is seen as a religion. Currently, there is a somewhat clear separation between faith and science (for instance.) And creationism is seen as being associated with religion. So, if atheism is religion and it is associated with anti-creationism, the rules of engagement could change. People of faith can begin to say, as many have been saying for some time, that there are ideals that are associated with (and even stem from) the religion called atheism.

I’m not making a stand on this, personally, but I’ve thought often about the implications of atheism being recognized as a religion. Of the spaghetti people describing themselves as a “church” and these kinds of laws being put into place, obviously with one outcome in mind, but wondering if, in fact, it may not backfire on them.


Tax exemptions for pasta restaurants!


Makes complete sense… In fact, it’s almost as if it were designed that way…


@mung Did I come close to capturing your initial sentiment?

I hear that there is an entire set of religious symbols for atheists to choose from for their grave.

Usually, it is a rather self defeating argument along the lines of “See, atheism is just as bad as Christianity because athesim is a religion too!”. It’s similar to the way they try to use terms like Darwinism, Scientism, and Evolutionism.

Just a few including none at all. :sunglasses: