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Featured The Church of Atheism is not a religion

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by sun rise, Dec 8, 2019.

  1. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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    There's something shall I say a bit odd about a group of atheists calling themselves a "church". But it seems that the government in Canada agrees with many people here that atheism is not a belief system.

    Church of Atheism denied charitable status as court finds it isn’t a religion

    The Federal Court of Appeal has upheld the minister of national revenue’s refusal to register the Church of Atheism of Central Canada as a charity, saying the not-for-profit corporation fails to meet a set of common-law guidelines for what constitutes a religion.

    “It did not demonstrate that its belief system is based on a particular and comprehensive system of doctrine and observances,” Justice Marianne Rivoalen said in the decision.
    ...
    The group, she said, had pointed to a document called the “Ten Commandments of Energy” as a sacred text. The revenue minister had not found that convincing, Rivoalen noted, saying the group’s description of the document “provides no detailed information as to the particular and comprehensive system of faith and worship.”

    “Given the scope and vagueness of what was asserted here, it was reasonable for the minister to deny the appellant under the heading of ‘advancement of religion.’” Rivoalen said.
     
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  2. Estro Felino

    Estro Felino Believer in free will
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    Why call it Church?
    The etymology is related to the Greek word Kyriakos, which means "of the Lord".
     
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  3. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    Bizzaro! Describing a religion as not a religion!?!?!!?
     
    #3 shunyadragon, Dec 8, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
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  4. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Atheism can and sometimes does become a "religion" for some people. But it doesn't, and is not, for most.
     
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  5. Harel13

    Harel13 Active Member

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    How dare they decide what is and what isn't a religion?!
     
  6. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    It only shows that it is time to end the special privileges that religions receive.
     
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  7. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    Church, the word is from the Greek 'ekklesia' meaning assembly.
     
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  8. Harel13

    Harel13 Active Member

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    You're both right:
    From Wikipedia:
    The Greek word ekklēsia, literally "called out" or "called forth" and commonly used to indicate a group of individuals called to gather for some function, in particular an assembly of the citizens of a city, as in Acts 19:32–41, is the New Testament term referring to the Christian Church (either a particular local group or the whole body of the faithful). In the Septuagint, the Greek word "ἐκκλησία" is used to translate the Hebrew "קהל" (qahal). Most Romance and Celtic languages use derivations of this word, either inherited or borrowed from the Latin form ecclesia.

    The English language word "church" is from the Old English word cirice, derived from West Germanic *kirika, which in turn comes from the Greek κυριακή kuriakē, meaning "of the Lord" (possessive form of κύριος kurios "ruler" or "lord"). Kuriakē in the sense of "church" is most likely a shortening of κυριακὴ οἰκία kuriakē oikia ("house of the Lord") or ἐκκλησία κυριακή ekklēsia kuriakē ("congregation of the Lord").[5] Some grammarians and scholars say that the word has uncertain roots and may derive from the Anglo-Saxon "kirke" from the Latin "circus" and the Greek "kuklos" for "circle", which shape is the form in which many religious groups met and gathered. Christian churches were sometimes called κυριακόν kuriakon (adjective meaning "of the Lord") in Greek starting in the 4th century, but ekklēsia and βασιλική basilikē were more common.
     
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  9. Ponder This

    Ponder This Well-Known Member

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    I think there are plenty of people who believe in a god or gods that don't practice a religion. So it seems to me that being atheist isn't sufficient either. The question, in my mind, would be what, if anything, was this particular group of atheists doing that would qualify them as a religion in a formal sense, as opposed to a colloquial sense.
     
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  10. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    Not a big deal.
     
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  11. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    ... sometimes a fixation, but never a religion.
     
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  12. Shad

    Shad Veteran Member

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    Good ruling in my view. This was merely a tax dodge. The organization could have easily been a charity thus see a tax break. It didn't.
     
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  13. Straw Dog

    Straw Dog Well-Known Member

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    Although scope and vagueness are certainly hallmarks of mass appealing religions, I’d have to say that this ‘church’ doesn’t qualify as a religion.
     
  14. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Really? Why?



    Indeed, it isn't. "Church of Atheism" is a terrible choice of name. That says nothing about the doctrine, but it does hint that it might be the most convincing.

    Then again, convincing doctrine has never been a staple of religion, legally or otherwise.

    While the legal decision in this case appears to be reasonable, it is nonetheless dangerous to give a government the ability to decide what should legally count as a "proper" religion.
     
  15. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Why not? Describing non-religions as religions has worked fabulously for certain very influential groups that shall remain nameless... in this thread.
     
  16. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    I figure that there are probably laws that require some form of statement on the matter.

    That is quite unadvisable, to say the least. But laws are like that. They create all sorts of unreasonable expectations.
     
  17. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    And that, interestingly, is just as valid and as necessary a question for groups that purport to be Churchs of non-atheists.

    Sure, it is very often neglected or deliberately avoided. But still a question that requires an answer.
     
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  18. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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    They are not using the word "church" in the dictionary meaning of the word unless they are asserting they do have a belief system and are engaged in worship based on that belief system. Now maybe this group of atheists do have a belief system and worship according to that belief system.

    The government decides what is a religion and has for a long long time. The IRS for example has criteria for a church Churches Defined | Internal Revenue Service
     
  19. Straw Dog

    Straw Dog Well-Known Member

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    If I had to hazard a guess it would be that a group formed around the ironic and arbitrary notions that most religions build themselves upon in order to shed light upon such arbitrariness...

    Yet within the process, formed actual communal bonds with like-minded people... as most human beings seek such a connection.

    Tribal instincts take hold and BOOM! Nothing new under the sun.
     
  20. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    It can be practiced very much like a religion. And for very much the same reasons.
     
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