The New York Times “Room for Debate” blog is tackling the question “Is Atheism a Religion?” (More specifically: “Can atheism replace religion? Is it a religion?”)
Here’s a sampling of the responses:
Religion is not morality. Theists ask me, “If there’s no god, what would stop me from raping and killing everyone I want to.” My answer is always: “I, myself, have raped and killed everyone I want to … and the number for both is zero.” Behaving morally because of a hope of reward or a fear of punishment is not morality. Morality is not bribery or threats. Religion is bribery and threats. Humans have morality. We don’t need religion.
Jason Torpy, president of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers:
It doesn’t matter whether atheism is a religion, and atheism doesn’t have to replace religion. What matters is that we as a society of many beliefs can welcome and embrace atheists as a newly visible part of the diversity in America.
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