I had recently conversation trying to understand if atheism is religion.

However best argument I had - is that lack of belief into something isn’t theology - and it seems fare to me.

However speaking to people, subjectively I’ve found that atheists quite often are very defensive in their view, and wouldn’t listen to certain arguments, which are numerous there of something mysterious, scientifically non-reproducible like consciousness, Chinese Room argument etc… And for me such behavior doesn’t seems rational, so there are certain emotions behind that.

Is it fare to say, that some people forming some sort of cult around atheism. Cult doesn’t necessary should include any theology study inside, but it still have certain attributes that religion does. In my opinion rejection obvious thing like consciousness is also a lie - perhaps existing of consciousness is not obvious for everyone, however materialistic and scientific study is falling here.

As very good example of atheistic emotions God is Dead said by Nietzsche, but people still believing in God or gods. If people still keep believing in God, does God is really dead. What about human soul: is human soul dead together with God? I am not taking all the aspects of any religion, but the most core one like human soul.

In my humble opinion certain level of skepticism is needed in any study even if it theological or scientifical, however how it possible to be confident that God is not exist without certain level of belief into something.

I know that there are many humble people, who doubt about existence, just because there is no good evidence. However my question about people who are overly-confident that God doesn’t exist like Nietzsche said, and seeing an evil in any sort of religious belief? Can it be considered as atheistic cult?

And here ethical questions arise - if someone go into crusade for atheism, is it any better medieval crusades? If you will learn world history for last century, you will find many evidences of crusades for atheism.


As one note, just to think about. We all know history around Giordano Bruno, who died for his ideas. However could you imagine medieval society with medieval morality in permanent wars and crusades, and now scientific study separated to church brings nuclear weapon or any other weapon of mass destruction, like G. Bruno wanted. I don’t know if it is God’s work or not, however this weird coincidence of conflict between religion and science - potentially saved humanity from extinction.


Each downvote - I am considering as evidence, that atheism behaves as a cult.

Rational arguments are much appreciated.

  • 3
    Sincere questions about atheism and the definitions of "religion" and "cult" could be appropriate, but your previous question was "Is atheism religion", and now you ask "Is atheism a cult". You seem more interested in just criticising atheism than actually sincerely improving your understanding of anything. If you actually want to understand things, I'd suggest starting with the Wikipedia page on cults. If after that, you still think atheism is anywhere near cult status, then I'd suggest listening to atheists to find out what atheism involves.
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented Feb 29 at 17:25
  • 7
    "Each downvote - I am considering as evidence, that atheism behaves as a cult" - typical close-mindedness, where you'll make no attempt to understand why people do what they do, and instead you just consider any criticism you receive as just further evidence that those you disagree with are bad people. It's not often that I see someone so openly admit this. You can't get much closer to admitting that you'll irrationally stick to your belief no matter what evidence is presented to you.
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented Feb 29 at 17:33
  • 4
    @DmytroBrazhnyk There has been a sum total of 7 questions on this site since your previous question. Do you really think it's that unlikely for someone who frequents the site to have seen both of your questions from just e.g. looking at new questions?
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented Feb 29 at 17:54
  • 1
    @DmytroBrazhnyk Calling something a cult and then defending that by saying actually cults could be good? Yeah, I just don't believe that you're being sincere.
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented Feb 29 at 18:15
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    I am not an atheist and I would have voted to close. My reason is not the ideas expressed here, which I largely agree with, but because this forum is not for essays; it is for questions. Commented Feb 29 at 19:50

2 Answers 2


I like the BITE model of cult.


It's a series of questions to tease out what level of control an organization has over its members across various criteria.

If we take that model as the definition of cult, there may be a handful of atheistic cults out there (some instances of Communist parties, as an obvious example), but atheism itself wouldn't qualify. Atheism itself has no central organization and wields no control over individuals who call themselves 'atheists'.

  • Communist part that’s what was on my mind, just was waiting until someone will tell that. But that’s not alone, there is exists another example, and quite sinister one. Nietzsche he was source for some other ideas. Commented Feb 29 at 18:22
  • @DmytroBrazhnyk absolutely, you could make a very coherent argument that some individual communist parties are cults, and are fairly describable as cults while being atheistic. It should be noted, most atheists in, say, America or Europe are not in a cult like that.
    – TKoL
    Commented Feb 29 at 18:23
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    It should probably be noted that there are also some (well, quite a few) religious cults. You could also form cults consisting only of men, or where members share any other belief or trait. Atheism in itself does not have a propensity towards cults. Also, unlike most other things, atheism is a non-thing - it's an absence of belief. It would be like having a cult of non-stamp-collectors - it doesn't conceptually make much sense, unless you're gathering a bunch of people who really dislike stamp collecting (but that would be better described as an anti-stamp-collecting, i.e. anti-theist, cult).
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented Feb 29 at 23:42
  • @NotThatGuy This example of “cult of non-stamp-collector”, yeah it makes, however it typically not about stamps, but something that people can’t really tolerate, if you search you will find many examples of this nowadays and in history. So I guess TKoL made a point, that atheism is disorganized to be a cult. Commented Feb 29 at 23:54

Let's look at Oxford Languages' definitions of cult:

a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object

Atheism does not have devotion toward any particular figure or object. It's just the belief that no gods have been proven to exist.

a relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister

Relatively small? It's something like 10-15% here in the USA. Regarded by others as strange or sinister? Sure, but again, atheism is just the disbelief that any gods exist. One may regard that as sinister, but they'd have a lot of work to do in order to actually demonstrate it's sinister.

a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing

Atheism isn't "admiration for" anything. It's just the lack of belief in gods.

So, no, it isn't a cult.

  • Let’s go one by one. 1) Object of belief - antipod of God is Chaos and Science . 2) 15% is marginally small group of peoples. 3) sinister - I was downvoted when told that Einstein and Euler were believer into Christian and Spinoza’s God, and there are many other examples. Commented Feb 29 at 18:18
  • @DmytroBrazhnyk 1) there's no devotion or veneration to that belief, though. If you convince me today that any god exists, I will happily say I'm no longer an atheist. 2) We can discuss whether 15% is marginal. Proportionally more people in the US and western Europe identify as atheist/non-religious than how many people are born left-handed in those places, for whatever that's worth. 3) Does a downvote on a philosophy discussion group really count as sinister? lol
    – microondas
    Commented Feb 29 at 18:35
  • sure, I will show you evidence of God, but first you need me to show evidence consciousness that it is exists, and I will show you the God. Commented Feb 29 at 18:38
  • Are you currently alert and aware of the conversation we're having?
    – microondas
    Commented Feb 29 at 18:40
  • prove me that I don’t, or do. I think you already found you own God. Day 6 of Genesis, Bible. “God created man in his own image” Commented Feb 29 at 18:40

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