Is Atheism a Religion, Belief-System or a Worldview?

Tremlett, Paul-François (2022). Is Atheism a Religion, Belief-System or a Worldview? In: Taira, Teemu ed. Atheism in Five Minutes. Equinox Publishing Ltd, pp. 79–82.



This question appears inviting, but it is prudent to proceed cautiously. Perhaps a definitive answer depends on the precise delineation of the question’s key terms as a means of establishing whether atheism is or is not a religion, a belief system, or a world view. But pausing to reflect on the impulse to delineate, define, and circumscribe the meanings of terms, it might be altogether more productive to treat the terms in question and their meaning(s) as mutable and dynamic. For example, atheism is derived from the Greek a-, meaning “without,” and theos, meaning “God.” The word is commonly associated with an absence of the belief in God or gods. Must it, then, refer to a fixed or constant mental state corresponding to an absence of belief?

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