Atheism vs. Religion
Atheism refutes the existence of god or gods. It is a belief that no gods ever exist or any other divinity (BBC.co.uk). This belief of absence of a god has been contrasted time and again with theism which is the belief in the existence of one God. Polytheists also believe in the existence of many gods and strongly contrast atheists (BBC.co.uk). Religion on the other hand is the belief in God and the existence of a deity or some supernatural powers (Sowerbutts). Religion is often associated with devotional actions towards the supernatural powers and observances of particular rituals. There have been arguments about atheism and religion whereby many have raised questions on the existence of such supernatural powers as conceived in religion. Similarly, some have argued and strongly supported that there in no god and others have given reasons why they think there is some divine powers that works in their lives (Sowerbutts). While in religion there is a general conception that supernatural powers exist, atheism does not believe in the existence of any god or supernatural powers (Sowerbutts).
Atheism believers base their arguments on scientific thoughts that human life might have began from very miniature elements and evolved to complex humans over time (BBC.co.uk). For instance, atheists believe in theories such as the Oparin theory which try to explain the origin of life from inorganic elements (BBC.co.uk). Atheist also base their arguments on social and historical view points and support the theory of evolution of everything from more primitive creatures to advanced humans. In contrast, religious people believe that the supernatural power, who in most cases God, created man in His own image. They also believe that God is the key guider to most events that happen to man in his life for instance birth, death and sickness among others (Sowerbutts).
Atheists rely entirely on cynicism with regards to any supernatural claim with references to absence of experiential and practical evidence (Sowerbutts). They have come up with reasons why they belief in no God and this includes the crisis of evil; the argument from revelations that are not consistent and even the philosophical and sociological reasons (Sowerbutts). Despite the fact that some atheists rely on worldly philosophies like naturalism, humanism and rationalism, there has still been no specific ideology that is well adhered by the atheists. On the other hand, religion has common aspects like symbolism, practices, beliefs that they do to exhibit their relation with their supernatural being who is God (Sowerbutts). One can be identified to have an ideal relationship which is religious with his or her deity through prayer, meditation or any other form of worship.
Religion has set of ethical principles and values that one should follow and religious people believe that failure to follow the morals, there will be some consequences or punishments to ensue (BBC.co.uk). This serves as a warning and most of the religious individuals do not engage their minds in criminal activities (O’Connor & Pattison, 201). These religious laws are clearly outlined in the Holy Bible or even in the Holy Quran depending on the type of religion. To some extents, it is evident that religion includes cultural and ancestral traditions and even mythologies. Further still, religion has been observed to take many forms relative to the societal changes. This is so much contrasted to the atheism where there is no outline where one can follow the right and avoid the wrong. There is still no further punishment for law breakers and the atheist world has been blamed for increased criminals in the society.
Despite the numerous differences between religion and atheism, there are some similarities that link them together in one way or the other (Berman, 106). However much atheism is regarded as unspiritual, it is a broad category of ethical philosophies that verify worth and respect of all individuals in the society. For example, an individual who is an atheist has the ability to recognize right from wrong. This helps atheists relate well between them and other religious people in the society. Further still, some practices of the atheists are so much in line with the demands of religion and some of these practices have been included into a number of schools of thoughts in religion (O’Connor & Pattison, 204). Atheism recognizes truth and morality in solving in most of the conflicts among people and this has been seen in applicable in most religions in solving conflicts amongst them. Therefore one can conclude that atheism and religion are at one point intertwined despite the many differences between the two.
Another similarity is that both the social set ups believe that they are right in their beliefs. Atheists on their part have developed reasons to support their argument as to why they believe in existence of no deity, and so are religious people who have come up with proves to support their thoughts about the belief in God (Berman, 106). In these two set ups, they take themselves to be justifiable in their beliefs and it is rare to change an atheist into religion or the other way round. This belief that they are both right in their beliefs has been derived from what they call proofs. Atheists believe that a human being evolved so many years ago and constant evolution has made man be what he is today. On the other hand, in religion, people believe to have been created by their God (BBC.co.uk). This has made both set ups to believe so much in themselves to the rightful in their morals and observances.
In conclusion, atheism and religion are two different social set ups in any society and these are groups that exist everywhere. Atheism in the modern society is being absorbed into some religions like human Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism since they also share the same belief of lack of existence of a deity. Religion is composed of Christianity and even Muslims. Atheism and religion at one point are closely related despite their many differences.
BBC.co.uk. Atheism at glance. BBC. October 22, 2009. Web: July 12, 2010 from <http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/atheism/ataglance/glance.shtml>
Berman, David. A history of atheism in Britain: from Hobbes to Russell. New York: Chapman and Hall, Inc, 1988
O’Connor, David & Pattison, George. Routledge philosophy guidebook to Hume on religion. London: Routledge.2001
Sowerbutts, Lissie. An atheist guide to religion. Hubpages.com. 2010. Web July 12, 2010 from <http://hubpages.com/hub/An-atheists-guide-to-religion>