Is atheism a belief system?

That’s the question I’d like to ask here, is it a belief system? That is to say does atheism rest upon some foundational belief or assumptions. If so, what are they, if not then on what does depend?


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No. By definition it is the antithesis of such a thing. Do you have an actual dictionary?


Is atheism a belief system? System? Really? Atheism is about one thing. It is not a system. It is a singular response to a claim.

Guilty or not guilty does not include innocent!

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Well to my mind atheism (there are actually several incompatible definitions) seems to presume that there’s nothing we observe that can’t (at least in principle) be explained by naturalism, that science alone can (in principle) explain everything a person can observe.

This seems to be an assumption, implicit in being an atheist. If I were to show you some tangible thing, even if you do not have or know of an explanation today, you’d be 100% confident that one does exist even if we don’t yet have it.

Is this a reasonable view for me to take of it?

Is there some reason you don’t want to accept the definition of atheism from folks who identify as such? Do you know better?

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No, atheists have belief systems, but atheism is not a belief system. Do we need a thread for something any dictionary can settle?

You’re wrong. Do I need to explain about babies being born atheists again?

No it isn’t, and what any atheist assumes, claims or believes doesn’t change what atheism means. It is the lack or absence of belief in any deity or deities, and nothing more. Anything else is on atheists themselves.

I’ve read that 4 times and still don’t understand it sorry?

Reasonable to whom? Not to anyone who is using the commonly used or dictionary definition of atheism.

Or from the dictionary, and therefore most people?

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But one cannot state that they “have no belief in any deity” without defining what they mean by deity. If deity has no meaning then atheism too has no meaning.

To express with confidence “I have no belief in X” what pretty much has to be able to define X.

Which definition do you use? The one established over the past few centuries in the literature or the much more recent Flewsian definition?

Are of the view that everyone who identifies as atheist, uses the same definition of atheist? and what is that definition anyway?

For me, it’s as I said (perhaps you didn’t read it), a single response to god claims. And in case you missed it, it’s not a belief system. Please accept that. After all, you’ve posed the question here, on the AR Debate Forum. The folks here who identify as atheist have told you what they think it is and isn’t. If you want to insist that not all atheists define it the same way then I’d suggest you have a one-to-one conversation with each to pose your question. I don’t speak for anyone but myself and an flummoxed that you would suggest that others define things differently. If you’re that concerned about them, talk to them.

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You just did. :woman_shrugging:t6:


Tell you what you get three guesses,

COUGH! emboldened COUGH! :roll_eyes:

Or would you prefer I linked the fucking definition in every fucking post? As I have done so multiple times already, explained it multiple times already…

What utter nonsense, you simply repeat the same claim no matter how many times it’s thoroughly rinsed. One more time then, babies man, Baaaybeeeessss…born without a belief in their rinkled fat heads, so no belief in any deity, so atheist then by definition, wow you’re wrong again, what are the odds? Please don’t make me explain this to you again, I’m begging you.

Dictionary, sigh…the meaning is in the dictionary.

Great so you are saying you’re unsure whether you believe wappadooks are real then right? Christ on a bike…


It is like a hobby. There are stamp-collectors. Nothing wrong with it BUT those who do not collect stamps DO not make a “club of non-stamp collectors”, nor do they all have the same reasons for NOT collecting stamps.

Perhaps you’ve heard this analogy so I liken it to drinking alcohol. Drinking alcohol can be a hobby (or addiction)…NOT drinking it isn’t a “hobby” (or addiction) AND then there are those folks in between.

Some people can get together and discuss not drinking.


Do you have a dictionary? You will find atheism defined very clearly. No need for you to stretch your mind at all.

Next question.

No. It means you have not got the wit to read a dictionary.

And just to clarify my personal stance: I do not believe the extraordinary claims made by theists for the existence of a god or gods.

Others labelled as atheists may disagree, but then, we DO NOT HAVE A SHARED WORLDVIEW. Got it?

In particular I doubt the claims of the Abrahamic religions ( I am a long time student of 1st - 5th century religious movements) as they are mostly based on historical error ( Or deliberate falsity) and unevidenced claims. I have read the claims that the OP has made about his preferred religious texts and they are wilful twisting of historical fact to suit a presupposition.


I wonder if the original poster may not imply a few interesting ideas with his question.

I do seem to perceive different schools of thought within atheism, and different ways of approaching this way of thinking.

I consider myself to be Jewish by culture and upbringing, yet I think of myself as a human first and a Jew second. My form of atheism is concerned with “harm reduction,” as I’m more focused on addressing the harm done by religion rather than demonzing religion itself.

Yet I know another atheist who is a member of the Satanic Temple, which is more concerned with promoting humanism. The Satanic window dressing is intended to be an antagonistic “slap in the face” of Christianity.

Then we have a “warrior atheist” who goes on the offense and aggressively attacks charlatan religious leaders. James Randi falls into this category, as he chased after cockroaches like Peter Popov.

I might also suggest a prosthetylizing atheist, who evangelizes to the masses. Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov, and Richard Dawkins fall into this camp.

So, I think it’s rather simplistic to lump us all together under the single umbrella term of “atheist.”


No, the definition of a or any deity is incumbent on the person making the claim for its existence/actions. Until that deity is defined in their claim then disbelief is automatic and needs no further discussion. Only when the claimant specifies the deity/actions of such can a rationalisation of disbelief occur.

You made claims about the words/actions of your jesus figure. I disbelieve them and question your rationale. That is enough to label me atheist.


Greetings Sherlock
It is a good question. I so want to allude to your previous posts in other threads and not take you seriously at all, however, I will treat your question as a genuine inquiry.

Lets begin;

Atheism is not a belief system, it is the dropping, or letting go of a belief system. Generally Theism. It is the non-adoption of a belief system. I am an atheist not based on a belief system. I am an atheist absent a belief system.

Atheism is a response to the claim - God Exists! And nothing more. In response to this claim, the atheist says "I don’t believe you.’ ‘I don’t know what you are talking about.’ or ‘Huh? I have never heard that before.’ There are intentional atheists and unintentional atheists. All babies are born ‘atheistic.’ Without a belief in God. Belief in God or gods is something that must be taught. Elsewise there is no belief system and no world view asserting a god thing is real. We are at ‘ZERO’ point. NOTE: This is also the Null Hypothesis. The time to believe something is when it has been demonstrated.

Now, with that said. I may be an atheist because of my world view. I might be a skeptic, a Buddhist, a humanist, a solipsist, a rationalist, Confucianist, existentialist, stoicist, nihilist, etc… There are many positions from which a non-believer in God or gods can come.

In it’s most basic form ‘Atheist’ is a rejection of the God claim, it is ‘non-belief’ in God or gods and nothing more. It tells you absolutely nothing about the person’s world view.
Nothing. It is not a belief system. It is not a belief in ‘no God or gods exist.’

No God or gods exist is a claim and thus requires a burden of proof. If an atheist holds this position, (An anti-theist position) then they have in fact made a claim about reality. This claim would function as a world view. Now, with that said, I have never met anyone with a logical or rational claim for the existence of their version of God or gods. I can honestly say that no God claim has ever met it’s burden of proof. Therefore I am an antitheist with regard to most gods I have been introduced to. Still, I am an atheists, and I do not believe God claims, it is not a life position or system of belief. I am a skeptic and it is a method of inquiry based on being skeptical. I am happy to hear your god claim and I will believe it if you can evidence the claim sufficiently. I may not worship your god but with proper evidence you should be able to demonstrate its existence.

You will find most of the people on the site with a ‘skeptical’ world view of some sort. Atheism itself is what religious people call those who do not believe their claims. Popular synonyms include non-believer, disbeliever, unbeliever, heretic, skeptic, doubter, infidel, and more.

Here is a question for you. You have a cancerous tumor in your body someplace. You go to the doctor and have it removed. With what do you replace it? The correct response is NOTHING, You just toss the tumor away and get on with your life. This is all atheists have done with the God claim. It is simply tossed away and then they get on with their lives. It’s just that simple.


You are confusing “Naturalism” with atheism. (Not the same thing.)

Science is not a thing? You are using the word incorrectly. Do you mean scientific inquiry? The scientific method is a system of inquiry that helps us to describe the world around us. Science does not necessarily ‘Explain.’ It is descriptive and not prescriptive.
Explanations change as the evidence suggests and so the descriptions also change.

YES! You are correct. What I mean is, no one has ever presented to me evidence for deistic claims that have met their burden of proof. That can stand against logical inquiry. All deistic claims to date have fallen short of producing believable evidence as to their existence. When I say, I do not believe in a deity, I am referencing all deities known to me to this present date. There has been insufficient reason to believe in any of them. If you think you have a deity that is sufficiently evidenced and worth believing in. I would love to hear about it. So what do you have?
EDIT: I will add to this, my personal belief based on all the evidence provided to me at present, is that magical universe creating deities do not exist. I have seen or heard of no sufficient evidence to the contrary. I have seen theists lie, appeal to emotions, use fallacious assertions, use inane assertions, argue from authority, and use all manner of deceit and deception. (This view is facilitated by skepticism and not atheism.) My skepticism and inquiry (Honest inquiry into the existence of God or gods) has led me to the conclusion that they are most likely made up stories by man. There is no reason to assume there is anything real in the idea of God or gods. My skeptical world view has led me to Atheism. There are many other world views that also lead to atheism. Even the absence of a world view leads to atheism (as in the newborn).

We are not arguing your definition of atheism. You are on a site with atheists and they have told you their definition of atheism. ‘Non-belief in a deity.’ Now, arguing any other position is a ‘Strawman’ fallacy. The claim is, ‘I do not believe in God or gods.’ I have looked at all the god claims presented to me and found them lacking. Now, do you have a god claim you would like to share?


This. I might not be on the same page as you regarding many subjects, but right here you have formulated quite eloquently a take on the subject that overlaps remarkably well with my view. Thank you. I would just like to add that the god claim often presented by religionists(*) claims an unprovable and unfalsifiable god, i.e. something that would be quite irrational to put ones faith in.

(*) abrahamic reglions, since I know very little about non-abrahamic religions


Awww hell… if we agreed on everything, one of us would be unnecessary and this whole place would be so much more boring. :slight_smile:

Almost everything you know about Abrahamic religions is directly applicable to other major world religions. We just stretch the atheism a bit to include, ‘supernatural, spiritual, mystical, magical,’ and other un-evidenced nonsense. If you spot it in the Abrahamic faiths, you can likely spot it in the other nonsense.