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ricedaragh brings up a good point about the origin of the word 'atheist', but I think most people today consider an atheist to be someone who doesn't believe in the existence of gods.
I agree with this, but I wonder with the development of atheism as a modern belief system, does there need to be more grades or classifications.
I'm just using it as an opposing option to deism, that is, without a deity.
if that is true then all the Religions you have mentioned are Atheist Religions
I'm just trying to form a distinction, personally I believe that atheism is too lose a term especially as it's becoming more popular, note though that this is my opinion and you are actually right.
should you not be posting on the other side or is it me that has got the side's wrong?
To be honest, it's for argument's sake I'm making a distinction, you are totally right to be on the other side.
In a way I suppose one could call themselves a Christian without believing in God or all of what Jesus states, kind of like being a Darwinian, we can't accept all of what Darwin stated because at the time he wasn't in possession of the knowledge we now have.
It is probably "devout" Christians' that would have a problem with an Agnostic for example calling themselves a Christian because they believe the teachings of Jesus to be something they want to live by, as they view them as a good moral code.
We are still in terms of evolutionary time quite a young species, the need to explain a highly complex and dynamic world would have in my opinion been the birth of an idea that lead to God.
Religion though I feel is the creation of Humanity, probably originally a set of rituals created to bring about favorable circumstances in any particular pre-societies' environment.
I like to imagine that one early Homo had a member of their family that maybe did a particular dance that brought rain when desperately needed, word spreads, Chinese whispers exaggerate claims and people start to think this person has a connection with the powers of the earth. Humans being enthusiastic copiers imitated the actions of those they believed had the power as this would no doubt yield power over their people.
Roll on the centuries and it evolves into an organisation, power in numbers, and more power to those that can be at the top of this pyramid, rules that bring about subjugation, inspire guilt and threaten the nature of the infinite existence of the "soul" keep the people in check and willing to die.
Human knowledge evolves, science starts to explain things about the existence and nature of our universe; this does not mean that God does not exist. The format of Religion I believe will as you point out change. Who's to say that Physics will not eventually just uncover the way a God works, or at least come close.
I think that there is maybe much that Humanity will never know, people like, and gain comfort from the idea of a creator. I just think we are outgrowing old Dogma and forming a new way to respect and admire our Universe, through trying to understand it. There maybe many more millions of years for humanity left so who's to say where we will evolve too. One thing I do commit to is the fact that the old religious way is wrong and dangerous.