One of the issues raised in Prothero's short chapter on atheism is whether it should be considered an alternative form of faith or the antithesis of faith. In other words, does it fit into a course on world religions and religious perspectives? While it may be tempting to make a quick assumption about this issue, we've seen from previous chapters that defining religion is harder than it looks. If 'belief in spiritual beings' is the only essential thing that makes something a religion (as Tylor said), atheism obviously doesn't count. But if we use other definitions, such as Durkheim's, we could perhaps see elements of considered sacred in atheism. For this discussion you should address two questions by writing a post of 200+ words and replying to at least one other student's post with 100+ words:
1. Briefly mention which definition and theory of religion you consider the most helpful, comprehensive, and accurate? What has made it stand out from others for you?
2. Based on your reading of Prothero, do you think the modern atheistic perspective on religion should be covered in a class such as this? As a non-theistic worldview (similar in this sense to Confucianism and forms of Buddhism), does it make sense to include it here? Why or why not? What kind of definition of religion is implied in your decision to include or exclude it?
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- Submitted On 03 Aug, 2016 08:09:23