Vash wrote:I was about to say that you were right, but I did remember that many Atheists have widely varying philosophies and do not view themselves as having leaders. That said, I did a while back watch Atheist talk shows on the internet and adopt some of their ideas. It is mainly about counterarguments to religious viewpoints, supporting Atheists who are worried about finding acceptance in religious families or areas, etc., though.
Most arguments you'll hear in favor of atheism are counter-arguments seeing as the base argument is simply "in the absence of evidence, I have no reason to believe." The rest of the time is spent pointing out why somebody's supposed "evidence" doesn't qualify as actual proof.
You've heard of Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, or Charles Darwin (although really, some Atheists treat Darwin as more of a Saint)? You've never seen Darwin or FSM symbols on the backs of sedans? While it lacks an accepted hierarchy, Atheism encompasses a range of denominations, just like Islam.
Nobody reveres those people in nearly the same way that a religious person reveres his religious leaders, mostly because we don't take their word for anything: somebody might trust his priest on a religious matter, but atheists expect all claims, even from leaders, to be validated by independent evidence. Not only that, but the views of these people vary wildly between atheists. For example, I'm not a fan of Richard Dawkins because he's too anti-religion.
As for a range of views, it's a range of views, not organizations of conflicting viewpoints. It's about personal values, not sects.
It has all the trappings of a religion, however, it would not be a religion if it is not based upon a system of unverifiable beliefs.
It isn't. It's based around the lack of beliefs.
But at that point, I think you need to make a distinction between Belief=NOT(God) and NOT(Belief=Any), that is, between Atheism and agnosticism.
Agnosticism, contrary to popular belief, is not some middle ground between atheism and theism. Agnosticism is a kind of atheism.
A gnostic theist is one who asserts that there is a God.
An agnostic theist is one who chooses to believe a God in lieu of proof one way or the other.
An agnostic atheist is one who finds no reason to believe in God without evidence.
A gnostic atheist is one who asserts that there is no God.
you will find that most people are either gnostic theists or agnostic atheists, though I have run across a few agnostic theists before. I've never seen a gnostic atheist though.