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- Well even so, an atheist is a person who disbelieves or lacks …
Mmmm no. Atheists have formed organizations with unique philosophies and mission statements. They support and oppose political powers and act within the societies of their own cultures. This is not true of every atheist but neither does every person claiming a religion observe it closely. If one has a philosophy they believe strongly, it directs the way they live and act regardless of a belief in a diety. I find that very often, athiests who are sure of their reasoning are very zealous about tearing down what they think is wrong. People all have that which motivates them and some people are assholes about it. Maybe Im one too.
Those organizations still aren't "Atheism" though - they're organizations that are athiest-exclusive, which I guess makes them close to a subsect or cult in comparison to Christianity. But you'd be hard pressed to findnyone that unironically thinks that those raving Kool-Aid cults represent the entire group. You're also gonna get a bit of confirmation bias with zealous atheists, because they make a fuckload of noise in comparison to the ones who aren't.
Athiesm is still an "ism" though. Living with the idea that there is no higher power will lead one to make certain determinations about the world they live in. There are common themes and practices among independent individuals who believe any similar philosophy because our worldviews are the root of our motivations. Its the same as chosing a direction to follow. If someone follows a certain path, they will inevitably run into the same obstacles as anyone else who follows that same path and come up with similar methods to overcome them.
Now Im not saying that all worldviews are right, on the contrary there can only be one ulttimate truth. However, to make a religion itself a target is pointless when it is the people of that religion that give it momentum by their independent choices.
That's fair enough, that it'd affect your actions in some way, but I'd argue it's still a lot less than most religions would, due to the lack of pre-established scripture or moral code involved, and moreso just "doing your own thing" (for better or worse) in that regard. You're right that similarities are inevitable, but they also aren't universal, is I guess what I'm saying here.
If we wanna get super technicaly about it, Atheism is only an ism because it means a lack of another ism, that is to say theism - so putting the two in the same bag seems a little odd to me, seeing as it'd be effectively the same as comparing "communism" and "not communism".
And while you're right to a degree that making religion a target can sometimes be a pettty and pointless act... it's really not, sometimes. Religion being questioned has been both inevitable and necessary for human progress, historically speaking. Of course, back then, you couldn't be an Atheist, so you'd effectively swap out the shitty doctrines of whatever religion you'd previously subscribed to to a Lite Version of the same thing.
And your last bit seems inherently contradictory, unless I'm not understanding you correctly. "The group doesn't matter, only the individuals do, but all the individuals are gonna do the same thing that the group leads them to."
Im trying to cut a fine line. More often then not i make comments on these boards to sort out my own thoughts. I suppose Im trying to draw attention to personal responsibility. I may follow a certain ideology but I can still question that which I follow. Trying to seek out the truth goes beyond the rituals we repeat based on what we think we already know. I may be part of a movement and may give credance to its principles but I am still responsible for my own actions in choosing to follow it in the first place.
The real point in all of this is that there is no religion or ideaology that is ultimately to blame for the way people behave. There are some toxic ideas in this world to be sure but people and their individual choices are the source of all this confusion and pain.
My initial response to the first comment was based on a common idea that could be inferred; that if it weren't for religion, the world would be a much better place. What Im conveying is actually pretty close to what they originally wrote, that peoples actions are ultimately their own responsiblities. However I am saying that this is even so in spite of religious belief because we all have a belief one way or another. Whether its for or rejecting an idea, it still leads us.
I could go on and on but I feel im just splitting hairs if I go on any further. I fear I may argue for the sake of arguing from time to time. There. Thats a strong finish. Nailed it.
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