Secularism – The Atheist Bias Does Not Exist

Jul 11, 2011 Comments Off by

The secular principle denotes that all people are entitled to freedom of religion, including freedom from religion. However, many argue that this promotes atheism, and is therefore not unbiased towards all religions. This is not the case, and here’s why.

Firstly, atheism is not a religion. (There are several other articles on this site that explain why this is more thoroughly.) This is because it is a negative assertion: it is sceptical of the conclusions made by religion because they are based on belief. Negative assertions intrinsically have no content and no information. Atheism is only ever describable relative to the religious position. Atheism only gets described as a religion for two reasons. Firstly because atheism is a negative assertion on the subject of religious claims. Secondly, some religious people like to describe atheism as a religion, just as a way to singularly annoy atheists and to try to patronise them.

Secondly, secularism demands neutrality of the religious position; no bias towards any one religious opinion. The only position that has this property is no religion at all. If we had any religious opinion, that would be a bias, therefore we must have no religious opinion. The only difference between secularism and atheism, is that atheism is described relative to religious opinions, secularism is described relative to nothing. Secularism should not mention the atheist standpoint, because that would in turn involve referencing religion. Secularism says nothing, whereas atheism says something in response to something else. Therefore secularism does not promote atheism.

However there is considerable overlap between secularism and atheism. Secularism is no assertion whatsoever, atheism is a negative assertion. A negative assertion and no assertion have the a similar property: neither has any content. This makes the two look the same in terms of the end result, nothing, and this is why some people claim that secularism supports atheism. If religion were to disappear, atheism would lose its claim of reference, and then atheism and secularism would become the same.

If you want to have a look at a related article, then it is here:

However it meanders around the point without any structure to the arguments, making it a very dull read.

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I am the founder of Atheism Network.
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